T Nation

Lifting vs. Getting Pregnant (Ladies, Please Help Me)


So, I wanna be a personal trainer.
Of course, I'll have every (human who doesn't have severe orthopedic issues) man/woman/boy/girl squat and DL at at least 80% 1 RM...and chin and dip and do real push-ups, not the crappy "knee push-ups"...and sprint and run hills for fat loss etc.

And these days, as I was searching for the legal requirements and other info on being a PT...I talk with a very well known woman PT...and when I ask her about how much do her women clients squat and DL, she tells me that a woman will have big issues getting pregnant/keeping a pregnancy if she is strong in squats and DLs... I assume that she means that if a woman has a very strong core / abs+obliques+TvA she'll have issues with pregnancy. (since the legs have nothing to do with pregnancy)

Please, could you tell me if you know how/if a strong core might cause any problems for a woman who wants to have children?
(no, "common sense" tells me nothing. Couldn't a two or three times stronger that average -and still maybe twice as strong than the average working woman's of days past - rectus abdominis etc. create, in one way or another, problems with keeping a pregnancy?)

Thank you ever so much,


That's absolutely retarded. Strength will never hurt you. Does she actually think flexing muscles will squish your uterus out onto the floor? That's what my mom thinks...but she doesn't exactly train.

My friend Ali pulled 225 off someone who failed benching, incline benched bodyweight, and then drove herself to the hospital for her scheduled delivery the next day.

As for legal; "Make sure to consult with a doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program."

Pregnant women should not flat bench, I understand. I think the position can cut off blood to the baby.


Is that woman even fucking serious?...

Strong core, big squats/heavy deadlift = complications with pregnancy?? Is she for real? Does she have any Science background or does she only think that way 'cos she wanna think that way?

Damn, I gotta brace myself... won't be able to have babies cause my core is as strong as cement.

I just hate female PTs with this kind of mentality. I bet her clients only squat or deads with 10kg barbell and so does she.

I've got friends and acquaintances, powerlifters, who have been lifting most of their life, heavy deadlifts and squats, some perform at strong women meets, pulling cars, lifting tires and stones etc...and they are happy mothers.

The only thing they used to complain about when preggers was not being able to lift as heavy as usual. And yes, they were still lifting during their pregnancy and all of them gave birth to healthy babies.

Damn! I just shake my head at this kinda bullshit.


i only see lifting DURING pregnancy as a potential risk.

and i know nothing really, just seems best to put lifting seriously aside while your mind, body, and soul is taxed and quite excitedly in baby making time :stuck_out_tongue: nine months isn't that long to wait.

before or after pregnancy i would imagine its totally fine to go all out. get one of those crazy nursing bras and rock out.


lol@crazy nursing bras!!!


Some lifting during pregnancy can be okay, lying on the back is a bad idea generally due to blood pressure risks. Also movements that heavily recruit the abdmoninals can be dangerous once in to the last 6 months or so of pregnancy as by this point the abdominal wall will have separated (diastasis recti) and injuries can occur more easily, including the risk of the wall remaining partially separated. Outside of pregnancy there is no reason not to train any lifts to my knowledge, having a strong core has shown to be helpful in pregnancy and i know two women who found there pregnancies less painful as a result of good condition.


I read something somewhere about how during later stages of pregnancy the there can be an increased risk of injury with squats / deadlifts because relaxin (I think) increases to help the pelvis partially dislocate during the labor.

Aside from later stages of pregnancy... Heavy weight training for women is good. Improves bone density (preventing osteoporosis) etc etc etc. Good core strength can help labor run more smoothly and help things return back to normal after labor. Kegal exercises are particularly important - if you want good bladder control and to avoid uterine prolapse etc etc.

I never quite know whether it is worth trying to inform people with such beliefs. Rarely people seem to profit. Mostly people seem keen to cling onto any excuse not to lift heavy shit that they can find. I'm starting to get a lot of 'you are a weightlifter? but you don't look...' Those same people would rather dismiss me as an anomaly than use it as inspiration for themselves.

I do think that quite a few personal trainers start out with aspirations to work with athletes and / or people who have motivation and work ethic to become genuinely athletic. Unfortunately those people are fairly hard to come by and quite a few find themselves in the position of needing to sell out in order to market to the masses. That being said, one needs to do what one needs to do. Luck.


just one more reason for me to not have kids. (outside of vanity and selfishness)


Those are awesome :slightly_smiling:


Thank you very much for your answers.

Ha ha ha. Flat benching more dangerous than deadlifting. Good to know.

So not-that-heavy DLs and squats are okay?




So long as form is good, strain is low and it is in no way uncomfortable for them, should be okay.


Don't women sometimes use a squatting technique while giving birth?! Seems to me that it would be a good idea to practice ahead of time.

Seriously, lifting within reason can only be a benefit unless contraindicated because of a specific condition.


This always seemed more reasonable to me than that lying on your back with your legs up in the air like a stripper on stage bullshit. Seems like you might want gravity's help for this one....


yes, Bre! lol

and its encouraged to do modified ab work/squats and yoga while pg..better to push that baby out.
I only pushed 10 minutes each w/mine. And a lot of women still RUN while pg gasp

As long as you had an active lifestyle before you got pg, theres nothing saying everything stops when you become pg..your not supposed to strain yourself of course..but I've never ever heard of the above info.

weight training utilizing somewhat lighter weights than normal is suitable. In later months Dumbbell and body weight exercises utilizing a fitness ball is ideal when center of gravity is compromised due to baby belly.

Ink- and you know all about those nursing bras, don't you? haha


I had read somewhere that moderate exercise/light running would help to induce labor. By the end, I was thoroughly done being pregnant and would "sprint" down hills in my neighborhood in a desperate attempt to jar the kid loose. (pregnancy also makes you retarded.)

It didn't work, though my labor only took 6 hours from soup to nuts so maybe it helped out on that end. Any research on that? Might be an outstanding selling point for exercise during pregnancy.


lol, your nuts!

There's all sorts of wives tales and 'natural,' tricks to jump start labor..

just like walking a lot towards the end is supposed to. As well as having lots of S-E-X..but really thats the last thing most women are thinking of.


LMAO!! :smiley: If it ever happens to me, I've decided I'm going to go find a river and squat it out. ...Hopefully there's a hill nearby for me to run down :wink: hhaahahah. soup to nuts. You're so funny!!


Of course! They might not be the sexiest things around, but clip and TADAA!


^Ink is so funny. TADAA! Porn star boobs!

Disclaimer: I'm 5'2" and proportionally longer in the leg and shorter in the waist so your mileage may vary. I did run in the first months of pregnancy, but didn't lift back then.

Mim's mentioned that your center of gravity is different. Amen. It felt pretty awkward. I can't imagine doing heavy squats or DLs after about month four.

In the last months, the hormones that allow the ligaments of your pelvis to separate are also going to make all of your ligaments more flexible. More prone to injury?

Last, core strength is going to be effected, due to separation of the abdominals. My experience might be extreme because I'm small, but I literally felt my abs tearing sometimes.

Granted, I was so focused on not doing anything that would harm my baby, I wouldn't take over-the-counter allergy meds. Pregnancy tends to bring out the maternal instinct. If I thought lifting heavy would induce a premature labor, I wouldn't have taken the risk. I'd think MIMs suggestion of DBs and BW stuff in late pregnancy is wise for most women.