Friday, June 22, 2018

First Trimester Workout Routine

When I found out I was pregnant this time, I was of course super excited but also really nervous about the changes that were going to happen in my body. Having had a baby before, I do know how incredible a woman’s body is and I’m so proud of all my body did to carry Madeline, bring her into the world, and nourish her.

BUT, I really struggled after she was born with my body. I wrote about this before here. The weight did not just “fall off” while nursing. In fact, I actually gained weight while nursing and trying so hard to improve my supply. The newborn phase was also a really stressful time for me as I adjusted to parenting a new baby (who was super fussy, had reflux, went through a colic phase, and was just not much of a fan of sleeping) alone while Corey traveled for work, our bright idea to buy a new home and sell our previous one, returning to a work environment that was just not a good fit for me as a mom. I believe your priorities are what you make them and these are all “excuses” but taking care of my health was just not my first priority at that time in our lives. It didn’t even rank in the top five while trying to keep everything else together. 

It took a long time to feel like I had my body back. I didn’t fit comfortably into my pre-baby jeans until Madeline was eleven months old and I didn’t see any semblance of ab definition until she was close to fourteen months old. I know these are all normal things after having a baby and many the mama can relate but it just didn’t make me feel good about myself and it was a source of unnecessary anxiety. Parenting a newborn can make you feel like you have very little control - sure enough they will spit up all over you right as you’ve finished getting dressed, have a blow out as soon as you put them in the car seat when you’re already running late, or let out that fierce, hungry cry when your cart is loaded high at the supermarket even if you just finished nursing 30 minutes ago. Not being in control of my health just made me feel like my life was more and more out of control.

So this time, I’ve been very intentional about exercise and nutrition. For the most part, I haven’t had to modify any exercises yet but I do find myself feeling like I need a few extra seconds of rest time in between rounds. And of course I feel like I need to eat more than I was before I was pregnant - I’m just trying to make sure I’m eating more of the right foods this time. 

For my first trimester I worked out 5-6 days a week. Before I was pregnant, it was usually six days with some other form of activity on the seventh day. 

Monday: 30 minute total body workout. I love Dirty 30 Extreme, PiYo (Sweat and Sculpt are two of my favs), and T25. These are all from Beachbody on Demand and I do them at home, which is so convenient. 

Tuesday: 30 minutes of cardio (usually intervals on threadmill at the gym) and 10 minutes of abs (I like the ab workouts from 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme and the Hilliard Studio Method at-home program). I will play them from the app on my phone at the gym after I get off the threadmill. 

Wednesday: 30 minute leg and booty workout. I love the Barre legs workout from 21 Day Fix and both the regular and extreme lower Fix workouts.

Thursday: 30 minutes of cardio and ten minutes of abs just like Tuesday’s workout. 

Friday: I attend a barre class at a local studio or do Pilates Fix if I am at home. 

Saturday/Sunday: I try to do a yoga or Pilates workout from Beachbody on Demand or the Hilliard at Home total body workout. Sometimes I opt for a long walk with the family instead.

I don’t schedule a rest day in - I just choose my days off based on our schedule for the week and if we have plans that don’t let me work out at my regular time then that’s the day I skip. Since my workouts are mostly 30-40 minutes aside from the hour long barre class, I try to make sure I get in at least five days. I’m a big believer that it’s always ok to take a cheat or rest day when you need it - just don’t cheat on your nutrition and skip a workout on the same day. 

So far, I’m not needing to modify any of the moves but I’ll keep listening to my body to give me clues when it is time and will sub in some of the prenatal workouts from Beachbody on Demand later in my pregnancy. And there are also workouts I can do with the baby (while wearing him or her in a carrier) after he or she arrives, which will be amazing when I’m trying to get back in to the swing of things after getting the all clear to workout post-delivery. 

While I know that I’ll probably experience some of the same struggles and insecurities after Baby makes his or her debut (your body really is amazing and goes through a lot of change to being a baby into this world!), it’s my goal to have a stronger and healthier pregnancy and postpartum recovery this time around. 

I really can’t say enough great things about Beachbody on Demand for keeping me fit as a busy mama. The workouts are amazing and it is the least expensive way to have access to quality exercise that I have found. ($99 for the whole year!) I used them exclusively for Madeline’s first year and a half and really attribute being able to get a challenging workout at home with getting me in great shape (actually better shape than I was before I was pregnant with Madeline!) leading up to this pregnancy. If you are interested in learning more about workouts or having access to a monthly boot camp for support, I highly recommend reaching out to Lynn here. She is an amazing leader and runs monthly support groups which are so motivating! 

I definitely plan to keep these as a big source of my routine in the months to come - and there are lots of great postpartum routines, too, for later on. Now that I’m in my second trimester, I know that some aspects of fitness are about to get more challenging (especially having to modify to standing core work instead of laying down soon) but I’m really hoping to continue with an active pregnancy in the months to come! 

I’ll update in a couple months with how my pregnancy fitness is going - especially as we navigate it all with preschool being out for the summer and me having a toddler in tow seven days a week! 


  1. Go Elizabeth!! I'm so impressed! It sounds like you have a great thing going, and I'm sure it will make a difference for your birth and post pregnancy life.
    I'm so glad you elaborated on Beachbody on demand. I was curious about it as soon as you mentioned it. Do you like Piyo? I did one of Chalene's earlier programs and loved it. Haven't tried Piyo yet. $99 a year is super reasonable, especially since if you buy one of the dvd sets its more money!
    -Kristen //

    1. Let me know if you are interested! I am a beachbody coach (Lynn) and would love to give you information. You now get access to ALL the programs via the app.

  2. Hi there! Yes I love PiYo and Chalene Johnson is just very motivating. It’s a great low-impact program where you still get a good workout and slightly faster paced than yoga, which I love for feeling like I accomplished something. I think you can try it for two weeks free to make sure you like it. I can put you in touch with an awesome coach and fellow blogger if you want more info.

  3. This is so impressive - and educational actually, I always feared exercising beyond swimming when pregnant and totally relate to needing to feel in control of fitness and diet. I had no idea you could still do abs for example! Didn't know either that you could do beachbody from as little as $99 per year - it sounds like a great programme! Keep us all posted and well done! xx

    1. Lady, working out while preggo makes labor so much better and you would not believe how much easier the weight comes off.

  4. Love you girl! So proud of you and I got to do a LIVE workout with Chalene this weekend, thought of you!

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