Working Out in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy: 19-Week Fitness Update

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Hi Everyone!

Time is flying by & I am already over 19-Weeks Pregnant! I am feeling amazing, and happy to report that I am still loving my workouts. They make me feel fantastic, and they help make Baby Bender stronger.

I have been averaging 4-5 workouts per week. My workouts range from a 60-Minute HIIT Boot Camp Class, 60-Minute Yoga class, Running 3-5 Miles & going on nice long walks. My energy is much better, but I still haven’t been filming many new workouts because it seems like every day when I get home from work we have so much on our agenda. I work 40-hours per week as an Occupational Therapist. I often wish that there were a few more hours in the day so I had more time to get things done and still get enough sleep!

There have been some reality checks along the way. For example, I suddenly seem to have lost the ability to do consecutive pull-ups. I am maxing out at 1-2 standard (palms facing away from your body) pull ups at a time. I was discussing this with one of the Physical Therapists at work yesterday, and we drew the conclusion that it is most likely due to the increased relaxin in my muscles, which is making my shoulder joints work harder to maintain the correct alignment. Perfect form is imperative for getting in really good pull-ups.

Below I have included some of my Baby Bump Photos from along the way, as well as the workouts I have done for the past few weeks.


I am surprised to find that I love being pregnant. Everyone I talked to pre-pregnancy made it sound like a horrifying and miserable experience that you suffer through from start to finish. I actually feel great! Knowing that exercise makes the baby healthier and stronger, and sets him or her up for a better fitness level in life is a great motivator to get in some type of workout.

I can feel Baby Bender moving a little bit now. I can’t wait until Jesse can feel the movements too. The baby can hear now, so we both sing and talk to the baby a lot.


I miss going hard during my HIIT workouts! Pacing myself is not as much fun as pushing and challenging myself. It’s worth it to make sure my baby is safe, but I miss going hard and getting as sweaty and out of breath as I want. I miss running as fast as I want to, and I even miss hill sprints. I never thought I would miss hill sprints!

When pregnant, it is great to work out, but you should always maintain a pace that you can still speak at. You should never go full out, bending over, gasping for breath hard. My Boot Camp students thought I was crazy when I told them that was one of the hardest parts of being pregnant. They considered not having to push as hard a bonus! They tried to tell me that Baby Bender doesn’t like Burpees, but so far Burpees and I get along just fine. I just move more slowly to make sure I am really maintaing form & engaging my core.  On the plus side I still do the Boot Camp workouts with the class, with minimal modifications at this point. Jesse is able to demonstrate/teach the full variation. My doctor approved me for all core exercises up until 5-Months pregnant (including supine-lying on my back) as long as it doesn’t cause me any discomfort. I have my next doctor’s appointment at 20-Weeks.


The majority of my maternity leave will be unpaid. I can legally take up to 12-weeks off to bond with the baby and adjust. I plan on taking the full time, but I will only be paid for about 3 weeks. I know that we will be fine because Jesse is also an Occupational Therapist and works full time, but the thought of losing one income for 9-weeks is still stressful. Also, if I have to use any of my sick days or vacation days between now and then for doctors appointments, etc, that will decrease the amount of paid time off I have available. Just one more incentive to stay healthy!

I haven’t started the nursery. The nursery is currently my office & I love that space. We have a King size bed in our guest bedroom, and I have to figure out if there is a way to combine the guest room and my office. My goal is to start working on that this week.

The Workouts & Baby Bump Photos:

Workouts from Weeks 16-18, and Bump Photos from Week 7-18.


Week 18 Workouts:

Teaching a 60-Minute Yoga Class

30-Minute Walk Outside

3.1 Mile Walk Outside

4.09 Mile Run Outside (easy pace, 41 minutes and 26 seconds: 10 minute, 6 seconds per mile pace)

Teaching a 60-Minute Boot Camp HIIT Class

Modifications: No lying on my stomach for exercises: Superman exercises were traded for Quadruped Supergirl. Pacing-Monitoring how hard I am pushing during each workout to ensure I can still maintain a talking effort. If you can’t speak you are pushing to hard.


Week 17 Workouts: 

-3.1 Mile Walk

-Teaching 60-Minute Yoga Class

-4.37 Mile Outdoor Run + .7 Mile Walking Cool Down at a comfortable talking pace. (9 minute, 53 second per mile pace.)

-Treadmill Workout:

Walk: 1 mile (15 minutes)
Run: .25 mile (7.3 min/mile pace)
Run: 1-mile (8:32 min/mile pace)
Run: 1-mile (8:32 min/mile pace)
Run: 1-mile (8:00 min/mile pace)
Walk: .25 mile (3:24 minutes)

-Teaching 60-Minute HIIT Bootcamp Class + 20 Minute (1.5 Mile) Walk


Week 16 Workouts:

-42 Minute Walk + 20 Push-ups + 10 Leg series per leg (10 leg lift, 10 hip, 10 combo)

-Teaching 60-Minute Yoga Class

-20 push-ups, 20 leg series per leg, 20 squats

-5-Mile Run

Lower Body Sculpt for Butt, Thighs & legs

-Teaching 60-Minute Boot Camp Workout (I still need to film this one. When I do I will update the link).

15 Rounds of 30/50-30 Seconds of High Knees Before Each Exercise

1. Walk the Plank
2. Side Plank Reach-Right
3. Side Plank Reach-Left
4. Heel Tap Abs
5. Temple Tap Abs
6. Squat Jump
7. Lunge Jump
8. X-Jump
9. Pendulum Squat Jump
10. Plie Jump
11. Tricep Pushup-Right
12. Tricep Pushup-Left
13. Reverse Plank Leg Lift
14. Spiderman Pushup
15. Leg Lift Pushup

Repeat 2X + 10-Minute Warm Up and 10-Minute Cool Down

4 5 6 7 8 9 10


11 thoughts on “Working Out in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy: 19-Week Fitness Update

  1. Joanna

    Hi Melissa! Thanks you so much of sharing your thoughts and feelings about your pregnancy! here in Finland we are legally allowed to be off to work from 9 months to 3 years! So big difference! We get paid that full 9 months ( but not 100% salary). In my house we have only two bedrooms and the other one is our “office” room ad I think the baby won´t need own room until age 2 or so. We haven´t decided yet will the baby sleep with us or in the office room. Or maybe me and the baby are sleeping in the office room 😀

    • benderfitness

      It is so wonderful that you have 9-months to 3-years! I think that time is so important to bond with baby and teach the baby. My nephew is almost 5-months old and I look at him and think “I will be back to work for 2-months already when my baby is that little.” I wish we had a better maternity leave system in place. I am sure you are right about the room situation. Until kids are old enough to play by themselves they probably don’t use their room very much.

  2. Karo

    Hi Melissa!
    I’m a physical therapist and osteopath from germany and 17- week pregnant. It’s so exciting to see all off these changes the body makes for the baby. And I love to see how working out controls these changes. 😉
    Thanks for being with me!!!!!

    • benderfitness

      Congratulations!!! It’s such an exciting time & I think it’s so important to stay healthy for both yourself and baby. 🙂

  3. Marina

    I enjoyed reading about your progress and thoughts on pregnancy. I had a good experience during my pregnancies too! It is fun once they start moving a lot and others can feel it. They are so strong. I know what you mean about having such little time at home once they are born. For me it was also about who would take care of them after returning to work because I didn’t have my family close by. Hopefully you will have family or someone close to you available to care for your little one. Thanks for all your posts. I always look forward to them : )

  4. Anna

    Good for you, Melissa! It’s great to hear about your pregnancy progress and to see you are keeping up the workouts. I kept pretty fit during both of my pregnancies (I particularly loved swimming, especially during the third trimester) and I had very smooth, efficient births (both natural, unmedicated and in the water). I know some of that is down to genes and good luck, but I’m sure a positive mindset and fitness played a part, too. (Btw, Ricki Lake’s documentary “The Business of Being Born” is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.)
    I also think the U.S.’s lack of maternity leave is terrible. Here in New Zealand we have just extended from 14 to 16 weeks’ paid parental leave, and you can also take up to a year’s unpaid leave from your job. I chose not to go back to my job in the end and 3.5 years and another little one later, we are surviving just fine on one salary! All the best with the rest of your pregnancy – I look forward to the next update 🙂

  5. Awesome pics . You look so beautiful, that’s too bad that you have to worry about that issue, i think they should pay mothers for at least 3 months before they go back to work. I love your baby bump 🙂 🙂 xoxo .

  6. Anonymous

    Just found your site today but I know I’m going to keep it on my must read list!! Your workouts are just my style. I had my first baby 15 months ago and being a Mom is the best. I did burpees right up until two days before he was born actually all plyometric exercises felt good the entire pregnancy. Best of luck to you and enjoy all the moments.

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