T Nation

5/3/1 While Pregnant


My husband and I have been on this program since July of 2014 and we are loving the results. We are planning for a second baby but I want to stay on this program as much as possible. What suggestions do you have so I can stick to 5/3/1 and maintain a safe pregnancy? What would be some necessary modifications?

Does anyone know of any resources from other power lifters where I can get appropriate information? The last thing I want to here is anyone tell me I can't lift anything.


My wife and I are in the same situation. She has had some rough days during her first trimester but still plans on training. I would advise against going for max reps, heavy doubles and singles, using a belt etc… But that does not mean you can’t train hard. Just listen to your body.
Check out some of Julia Ladewski’s writings on Elite FTS.
Also check out the book: Exercising through your pregnancy - Clapp/Cram. It has some great info.


Jim’s wife is very active and I believe used 5/3/1 through her pregnancy. I imagine he could share some stuff she did- some changes she made, etc., as well as valuable insight from his wife regarding easing back into the weight room after giving birth- if I recall correctly, this was more of a struggle for her than the lifting throughout.

And to the OP- THANK YOU for realizing you do not have to abandon your lifting simply because you are pregnant. Of course there can be complications during pregnancy which force one to limit or stop more active exercising, but simply “being pregnant” isn’t one of them.


My wife just trained hard throughout and used common sense. Like no depth jumps. She competed in snowshoe comps, ran hills and did most everything she ALREADY was doing. Thats the key.

She started doing body weight work the first week after she gave birth and was back to her old body in just a few weeks. She worked her ass off for 20+ years though and a testament to hard, consistent work. She didn’t eat like a pig during her pregnancy either and although she loosened up her guidelines, she used common sense and maintained 90+% consistency.

The key is being smart and using common sense. Good luck.


Thank you everyone. I appreciate your helpful advice and encouragement.


My wife trained damn near right up til delivery for all 3 pregnancies with no issues. She had to drop some things as her belly got bigger (mainly deadlifts) or modify her sessions due to hip laxity/soreness, but she went pretty hard the whole way through. I’d PM you links to some videos but I don’t think PMs work anymore.

All deliveries were natural with no complications, and she recovered sufficiently to resume training within 1-2 weeks. Got back to her fighting weight in a few months each time. I think if she’d had C-sections things would have been significantly tougher though.