Post-Baby Body Boot Camp: Phase 1

I am so excited to finally start my new fitness plan. I am a fitness fanatic and I actually LOVE eating clean and killing myself in the gym everyday. No, it’s not easy, but the feeling of accomplishment I get when I stick to my plan for a day is seriously addicting. If anyone reading this would like to follow along, I highly recommend it. This plan is guaranteed to work if you follow it. I not only have credentials as a former NCSF Certified Personal Trainer, I have proof because I myself have already transformed my body once before:

How I prepare for the program:
  • Goals: I am currently 6-7lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight (my weight fluctuates), but I had a little bit more weight on me than I wanted when I got pregnant, so my goal will be to lose around 10-12lbs. That will put me about where I weighed in that picture. I don’t have exact numbers because I don’t think they’re that important when it comes to having a good physique. Muscle weighs more than fat, and I’m sure I’ve lost some during this pregnancy. Basically, I’ll know when I get to where I want to be. The numbers are just a rough guideline. 
  • Clean all the junk food out of my kitchen. My hubby doesn’t like this very much, but for me it’s necessary. If there is junk food in my kitchen I will eat it. My willpower is weak. If you too have a weak willpower, I suggest you do the same. Explain to your loved ones how important this is to you and assure them if they absolutely need junk food (who does, really?) that you’ll gladly run to the store for them and buy a single serving of chips or something for them (not you) to munch on when they’re having a craving.
  • Create an account on My Fitness Pal. This site allows you to log your meals, which is essential to making sure you’re following the plan. What’s awesome about this site is that it lets you connect with other members so that you can see what they’re eating and hold them accountable. Change your “Diary Settings” to “Public” or “Friends Only” sharing. While you are there, rename your meals to “Meal 1, Meal 2, etc…) instead of “Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snack” since you will be eating 6 small meals a day instead of the traditional 3. Also, under the “My Home” tab, go to “Goals” and select “Custom Settings” to fill in the right amount of calories and macronutrients you need according to this plan. 

Nutrition: Phase 1

One of my favorite mottos is GREAT ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN. I don’t care how much you exercise, unless genetics is in your favor (it’s definitely NOT in my case), you will NEVER have a lean body if you don’t eat right. Also notice how I say “lean” body. The goal here isn’t to be skinny. I know plenty of skinny girls who don’t have good bodies. Why? Because they’re squishy and shapeless. They have no tone, and you’d be surprised how much body fat they have. If you want to have a great body, your goal should be to build muscle. Muscle will make you firm. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. Starving yourself will not allow you to accomplish this goal. You need enough calories and, most importantly, protein.
I call this meal plan “Phase 1” because I will be changing it once I get into the swing of things. For now, I’m going to keep it simple and eat about the same amount of calories and macronutrients everyday, at a 40-40-20 ratio (40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat). Later, I will start “carb cycling,” which involves alternating high-carb days and low-carb days so that my body doesn’t get used to a set amount of carbs. To figure out how many calories you should be eating, visit this website. *Note: If you are breastfeeding, you should not significantly reduce the amount of calories you eat (click here for the breastfeeding calorie calculator).

If you want to take the guesswork out of how many calories you need throughout the day, I recommend buying a personal calorie monitor, such as the BodyMedia.

This will tell you exactly how many calories you need each day to maintain your weight, and you can reduce your calories based on that number.

Here is a great video I found on that sums up what your nutritional goals should be nicely. Basically you should eat a small meal every six hours that includes lean protein, complex carboyhdrates, and good fats.

My Food List
(This list is not exclusive… it just has the foods I typically eat. See a complete list of approved foods here.)
Chicken Breast
Egg Beaters Original Egg Whites
Mahi Mahi
Top Round

Brown Rice
Wasa Crisp Bread
Free Veggies (unlimited on this plan)
Olive Oil
Whole Eggs

My Sample Meal Plan

Meal 1 ~7am
1 Cup of Egg Beaters (120 calories, 24g protein, 4g carbs, 0g fat)
1 Packet of Quaker “Lower Sugar” Oatmeal (120 calories, 4g protein, 24g carbs, 2g fat)
Meal 2 ~10am
1 Scoop Optimum Platinum Hydrowhey Protein (140 calories, 30g protein, 2g carbs, 1g fat)
1 Large Apple (130 calories, 1g protein, 34g carbs, 0g fat)

Meal 3 ~12pm
1 5oz can of chunk light tuna in water (100 calories, 20g protein, 2g carbs, 2g fat)
Light Mayo (35 calories, 0g protein, 5g carbs, 4g fat)
Dill Relish (0 calories, 0g protein, 0g carbs, 0g fat)
2 pieces of Wasa Crispbread (70 calories, 2g protein, 16g carbs, 1g fat)

Meal 4 ~2pm
1 Scoop Optimum Platinum Hydrowhey Protein (140 calories, 30g protein, 2g carbs, 1g fat)
1 Pear (70 calories, 1g protein, 28g carbs, 0g fat)

Meal 5 ~5pm
5oz grilled chicken breast (160 calories, 30g protein, 0g carbs, 4g fat)
1 cup broccoli (30 calories, 3g protein, 2g carbs, 0g fat)
.5 cup brown rice (110 calories, 3g protein, 22g carbs, 1g fat)

Meal 6 ~7pm
2 boiled eggs (140 calories, 12g protein, 0g carbs, 10g fat)

TIP: Prepare your meals in advance! Cook a bunch of chicken and broccoli (or whatever) and separate individual serving sizes into tupperware. This will prevent you from overeating or eating something unhealthy but “convenient” in the future. Also, if you want to cook something else for your hubby or family to eat (which I do all the time), you’ll have a healthy meal for you!

Workouts: Phase 1

Like your diet, your workouts should constantly change so that your body doesn’t get used to doing the same thing. I like to change up my routine every 2-4 weeks. For Phase 1 of my program, I’m going to keep it simple and work on building my muscle back up. I will be lifting heavyish weights with low to medium reps. For each exercise, I will lift to failure. This means that if I’m lifting 10 reps, I should barely be able to finish those 10 reps. If I can complete more reps after 10, I should increase the amount of weight I’m lifting. I will rest for 60 seconds between sets. Phase 1 will consist of 4 days of lifting per week, 5 days of cardio, 1 day of active rest, and 1 day of rest. Cardio will be done AFTER your lifting sessions, unless you can split your workouts into two (Before I had my baby I’d go for a run in the AM and go to the gym and lift in the PM, but I doubt I’ll be able to do this anymore). Contrary to popular belief, cardio is not more important than lifting weights and it can actually be counterproductive to fat loss if done incorrectly. You need to save most of your energy for lifting. My workout plan requires the use of a gym. I personally find much more motivation when in the gym and I find it easier to vary my workouts with the different equipment available. I cannot attest to the effectiveness of home workouts, but here is a link to some different ones from Also, if you click on the exercises below and scroll down there is a list of alternative exercises.

Day 1 – Legs & Abs & Cardio

Squat (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Deadlift (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Leg Press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Stiff-Leg Deadlift (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Lying Hamstring Curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Leg Extensions (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Thigh Adductor (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Standing Calf Raises (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Seated Calf Raises (3 sets, 8-10 reps)

Core Circuit:
You will do one set of each of these without any rest between exercises, then you will repeat it three times. (You’ll end up doing 3 sets of each when you’re finished with the circuit.) Click on the exercise and see alternative exercises if this circuit doesn’t work well in your gym.

1. Hanging Knee Raise– 30 reps (10 to the front, 10 to the left side, 10 to the right side)
2. Back Extension– 20 reps
3. Side Extension- (Use back extension machine but position yourself on your side so that you work your obliques.) 15 reps on each side.
4. Reverse Crunches (Do this on a decline bench to make it harder.) 15 reps
5. Cable Crunch 15 reps

HIIT – It is important that you read about this here if you don’t know what it is so you know what to do. We’ll do a 5 minute warm up, 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training, 5 minute steady-state burn out, 5 minute cool down (30 minutes total). I do this with jogging/sprinting at 1minute:30 second  intervals but you can do walking/running, elliptical, stair-master, stationary bike, or whatever you choose.

Make sure you drink your protein shake and eat some fast-digesting carbs (such as a piece of fruit) immediately after you finish your workout!

Day 2 – Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps & Cardio
Barbell Incline Bench Press (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Dumbell Flyes (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Cable Cross-Over (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Barbell Press (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Lateral Raises (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Lying Rear Delt Raise (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Dips (3 sets to failure… Use a Dip Machine if you are unable to complete these on your own)
Overhead Cable Extension (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Triceps Pushdown (3 sets, 8-10 reps)

30 minutes of steady-state cardio at around 75% of your maximum heart rate. Again, I like to run but that’s not necessarily the best form of cardio. I just happen to be addicted to it. You can do any machine that gets your heart rate up, or you can take one of the classes offered at your gym. 

Day 3 – Cardio & Abs
Today you will do interval training that mixes both speed intervals and intensity intervals. This can be done on any cardio machine. See the workout below:

1. 0-5 minutes – warm-up at moderate pace
2. 5-7 minutes – Set the resistance (or incline) where you can barely move. You will be moving slowly and burning your muscles. Your muscles should be on fire, but keep going.
3. 7-10 minutes – Set the resistance (or incline) super low and go super fast.
4. 10-12 minutes – Repeat #2
5. 13-15 minutes – Repeat #3

6. 15-17 minutes – Repeat #2
7. 17-20 minutes – Repeat #3
8. 20-22 minutes – Repeat #2
9. 22-25 minutes – Repeat #3
10. 25-30 minutes – cool-down at moderate pace
Core Circuit:
You will do one set of each of these without any rest between exercises, then you will repeat it three times. (You’ll end up doing 3 sets of each when you’re finished with the circuit.) Click on the exercise and see alternative exercises if this circuit doesn’t work well in your gym.

1. Hanging Knee Raise– 30 reps (10 to the front, 10 to the left side, 10 to the right side)
2. Back Extension– 20 reps
3. Side Extension- (Use back extension machine but position yourself on your side so that you work your obliques.) 15 reps on each side. 
4. Reverse Crunches (Do this on a decline bench to make it harder.) 15 reps
5. Cable Crunch 15 reps  

Day 4 – Back & Biceps & Cardio
Pull-ups to Failure (use an assisted pull-up machine if necessary)
Lat Pull Down (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Dumbell Rows (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Straight Arm Pulldowns (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Back Extensions (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Barbell Curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Preacher Curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Concentration Curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)

HIIT (same as Day 1)

Day 5 – Butt Blaster Day (My Favorite!) & Cardio & Abs
Smith Machine LOW Squats (Think “Ass to Grass!”) (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Narrow Stance Leg Press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
Stationary Split Stance Lunge (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Cable Kickbacks (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Donkey Kicks (3 sets, 25 reps) I like to do these on a bosu ball.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curls (3 sets, 15 reps)
Thigh Abductor (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
Flutter Kicks (3 sets, 25 reps) 
See this video for Glute Day Tips:
Core Circuit:
You will do one set of each of these without any rest between exercises, then you will repeat it three times. (You’ll end up doing 3 sets of each when you’re finished with the circuit.) Click on the exercise and see alternative exercises if this circuit doesn’t work well in your gym.

1. Hanging Knee Raise– 30 reps (10 to the front, 10 to the left side, 10 to the right side)
2. Back Extension– 20 reps
3. Side Extension- (Use back extension machine but position yourself on your side so that you work your obliques.) 15 reps on each side. 
4. Reverse Crunches (Do this on a decline bench to make it harder.) 15 reps

5. Cable Crunch 15 reps

Steady-State Incline Day. Ex: slow walk at a 10% incline for 45 minutes, or jog at a slightly lesser incline for 30 minutes. Burn out those glutes!

Day 6 – Active Rest
Get moving doing something you love!

Day 7 – Rest

Click Here to go to Phase 2


  1. says

    Wow sounds intense…. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you. I can’t wait to get back to my pre pregnancy body. I wasn’t super fit before pregnancy but I hope to be more fit after pregnancy. =)

  2. says

    You go girl!
    I’m signed up for the BJ Penn gym too! I was hoping they’d open like they were supposed to, then end of April. Grr. Oh well.
    Have you done their DUTs on Saturday?
    You should look at getting a training job with them; I know they’re looking.

  3. says

    Hey Erica!

    I saw you’re following my blog now and I have to admit, you are actually what got me into blogging. I originally came across your blog because I was looking for other pregnant women who exercised and was ecstatic to find your site (by the way…I got the maternity belt you recommended and it has been a life-saver for my SI joint during my runs. Thanks!) I also think it is awesome how you are going out and doing things with your new addition in tow.

    Hopefully things are going well for you as you finish out law school. I’m sure once you are done that will be a huge stress off your plate.

    Congratulations on your beautiful daughter. She is absolutely precious. Thanks again for being such a great inspiration and for having a blog that is so fun to read. Best wishes from Oregon!

  4. says

    Awesome! I’m on the same mission right now just a lot later. Getting it done none the less. Just wondering if that protein is good? I took muscle tech and it was okay just felt super bloated. I need to add it in just need to find something that does the job :)

  5. says

    **Yay!! I can comment!! LOL!**

    I love this post. I’ll be taking some of this advice and putting it to use. But in all seriousness, you should move back to Texas so I can pay you to kick my ass back into shape. :) Just a thought.

  6. says

    This is Awesome! I’m been trying to get back into exercising, but failing :( and i’m always wondering what i should actually be doing as a post-partum routine. Thanks for posting this….great inspiration! and i like the step-by-step instructions and meal ideas!

  7. says

    OK! That’s it! you’ve inspired me! I just printed out this post and now I’m gonna highlight it up and Brint and I are gonna get our BUTTS into shape!!! I am one of those “skinny” girls with probably a ton of body fat! It’s time to tone and lean up! Thanks girly! I might be texting you with questions! :)

  8. says

    Hey Erica! I am so inspired by you! I have been going to the gym 3x a week at 5:30am before I go to work for 7am. Ive been doing that for about 3 weeks now and I am ready to start some kind of stuctured program and I am totally into the one you have created! I will be starting this on monday and I am very excited! My only problem is that I am vegan and wont be able to follow the eating part. Any suggestions for me? Love your blog girl! Beautiful baby too! xoxo fhdlfjd

    • says

      Thanks! I would follow the food plan as closely as possible and substitute the non-vegan stuff with “clean” vegan stuff. I would try to get as much protein as possible, which might mean you have to eat some sort of tofu or soy dish with every meal rather than just veggies and carbs. I looked for some sample vegan meal plans that I would approve of and here is what I found:

      Hope it helps! :)

  9. says

    Hi Erica,
    I came across your blog the other day and am a new mom trying to get back into shape. I realize this was written a while ago, but I was hoping you could help me out. Unfortunately I, like many other woman, was blessed with getting diastasis recti and it’s been really hard to get my abdominal muscles back together and flat again. I was wondering if you have any advise or if there are any moves that you recommend I stay away from until everything isback to where they should be?

  10. Jenn F. says

    I couldn’t find you on Myfitness Pal, but I appreciate all of your advice here! 6 meals is a great idea. I’ve been doing 3 plus 2 snacks, but I think doing equal parts each time would work a lot better. Thanks!

  11. says

    I’m curious to know if you did this plan while breastfeeding. I’m due with my third any day now and I want to have a plan in place for getting back into shape but I don’t want to sacrifice my milk supply. Would you recommend this plan while breastfeeding?

    • says

      Hi again, I answered this protein question myself, is a great website, thank you! But, don’t laugh, I’m trying to put together meal plans for me and my husband using the link of foods from, it gives portions and several sample meals, but it doesn’t tell me what I need each day to make my own meal plans. Do you know what I mean? Like it doesn’t tell me what I can supplement or trade out or what I need for each meal each day. What different food groups can I have for each meal? Are fruits and veggies unlimited? Stuff like that, I’ve been searching the website, but I can’t find anything to help me. How many lean-protein should I plan for a day, how many meatless proteins, starches, ect. I hope my rambling makes sense to you. :)

  12. Stephanie L. says

    Is there a reason you choose to use hydrowhey protein instead of whey protein? And is there a better one if breastfeeding? I read the link of changes to make while breastfeeding but didn’t see a reference to the protein powder.

  13. says

    I’m a pretty picky eater, and I was wondering if you had any recommendations for substitution for things like broccoli, almonds, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes…and most fruits. I only like bananas, kiwis, green apples. I like pineapple, but since havingymy daughter I get instant wicked heartburn with citrus. Also, we can’t really afford a gym membership right now, can you recommend a good home workout?

  14. Erin says

    Hi! Is there any issue with doing this workout/nutrition plan while you’re pregnant? I work out moderately 2-3 times per week so not starting from nothing.

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