How my workouts have changed- 1st trimester

So I’ve received quite a few requests to talk about how my workouts have changed since the little nugget began to build its home in my belly 🙂 Please keep in mind that even though I’m a certified Personal Trainer, I do not have any prenatal certs, just sharing what I’ve been doing. If you have any questions, please check with your doctor or personal trainer.

In some ways my workouts have changed a LOT and in other ways, they’re exactly the same. Both my homeopathic doctor and midwife told me to keep doing whatever it is I’ve been doing, but I’m not really sure if they know the ways of BodyRock or HIIT 😉 Since I saw the joyous two pink lines, I’ve been using my body as a gauge to tell me where my stopping point is, along with some other tools.

photo (66)

What I changed in the first trimester:

-No more HIIT or BodyRock. The doctors told me I could keep up with my current workout routine, but I had a feeling that doing this would be a little too much for me. BodyRock gets my heart rate sky high, and even though it isn’t for a long period of time, I didn’t feel comfortable with all of the jumping along with the super high intensity. Same goes for HIIT. I usually got my HIIT in the form of TurboFire, which I retired for the 1st trimester, mostly because I was tired. I also wanted take it easier on my joints and avoid a lot of jumping to keep everything in place.

-More walking. Since I’ve had a lot of fatigue, I found that walking often helped me to feel better. Sometimes it was the only cardio I did that day, but it felt good to know that I still had some movement in my life, thinking/alone time and a chance to get Bella in the (42)

-Lighter weights. I kept up with my 3x week weightlifting routine pretty much the entire first trimester, but pre-nugget I liked to lift to muscle failure. Instead, I chose a challenging weight that didn’t leave my muscles totally screaming at me at the end.

-No more pool classes at the resort. I’ve been assisting pool classes up until last week, but when my manager came out to the pool and saw how miserable I must have looked, she took me off pool classes for right now. I told her that I was fine being out at the pool –I’d jump in the water to cool off and made sure to stay hydrated- but am secretly so, so thankful that I’ll be doing something else.

What stayed the same:

-Teaching and taking Zumba. I’ve done Zumba for a little over 4 years and danced my entire life, so my body is entire used to it. I feel comfortable busting out while I’m teaching in addition to the classes I take twice a week. I think the baby is either going to love or hate Zumba music 😉

-Dance cardio. I’ve been able to assist dance cardio classes at the resort, no prob. The good news is that the assistant’s job is to show lower intensity modifications for the dances, so I had a feeling that this would be ok to continue with in addition to my normal workout schedule.

-Resting. My body does a good job of telling me when it needs a down day, so I always take at least one day off each week from everything and just chill. In the first trimester, sometimes it was 2 or 3 days totally off from working out, and I knew it was exactly what I needed.


What I’m changing 2nd trimester:

-TurboFire. Since the fatigue and nausea are starting to go away- I feel almost normal again!- I’m excited to bring TurboFire back into my cardio routine. After researching, I found that many girls were able to safely keep up with TurboFire by wearing a heart rate monitor (check) and watching Allie for low-impact modifications. I’m excited because the workouts are SO much fun, and by watching Allie, you’re able to nix the jumping and still get a great workout. I was doing TurboFire (and BodyRock) up until the moment I found out I was pregnant, and feel comfortable bringing Turbo back with the modifications.

-Foam rolling. I’ve been ok with the foam rolling, but I’m bringing back date night with the foam roller. My hips have been extremely sore –the Snoogle has helped a ton- so I think that it will be a good idea to foam roll my little heart out on a daily basis.

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-More yoga. Not only will it help with flexibility and focus, but I can see it being extremely helpful during the labor process as well.

Back and stomach modifications. It’s really important to maintain a strong core throughout pregnancy, because when you push that baby out, guess where a lot of that power is coming from? Core. After the first trimester, they don’t recommend any prone (stomach down) or supine (on your back) exercises. An easy modification for me has been using the stability ball for both types of exercises, such as chest presses, back extensions, etc. For abs, I’ve been doing a lot of planks and hanging leg raises. After the second trimester, ab exercises aren’t recommended at all because it can increase your chance of Diastasis Recti, which occurs when the ab muscles separate.


Heart rate monitor!


(Polar FT40)

I love having a heart rate monitor again, after leaving mine in Orlando. It’s been really helpful to make sure I’m getting enough fuel for myself (and the nugget) with my activity level. I burned 650 calories teaching Zumba on Saturday and without the heart rate monitor, I would have had no idea. [I was only estimating around 400]

LOTS of water. Staying hydrated is especially important now- I always keep ice water on hand, everywhere I go.

My biggest tip for pregnancy workouts is to try and maintain what you’ve been doing, but never add. If you’ve never done something before, being pregnant isn’t the time to experiment or try to add it to your routine. For example, I haven’t consistently ran in over a year. Right now would be a silly time for me to sign up for a half marathon and start running everyday. Stick with what you’ve been doing, use your body to tell you if it’s right, and save the new fun workout experiments for after the bundle of joy has made their debut. Also, take the extra care to listen to your body. If you’re tired, rest. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Our bodies our extremely intelligent machines, it’s just up to us to listen <3

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  1. Bluma on April 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Great Blog!!! I’m a fitness instructor in my first trimester and was out of commission for the first few weeks with the flu, now as I went back to give an dance/aerobics class, i came out feeling awful and went to bed for 2 hours. I may be out of shape and the combination with morning sickness really thru me off. Any suggestions would be very appreciative! I dont wanna give up all my classes for the next little while! Thanks in advance!!!

    • Fitnessista on April 27, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      is there any way you can ease back into it, like by team teaching a class?? that helped me with zumba

      • bluma on April 27, 2014 at 7:25 pm

        not where I work. I am gonna try and ask my frequent attendees to help me out perhaps. Does my bodies response makes sense? So wiped out??

        • Fitnessista on April 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm

          yeah, the first trimester can be really tough. i napped pretty much every day and making it through classes was sometimes challenging. what do you teach? do you have to actively participate the whole time or can you do a few reps and walk around to coach?

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