T Nation

Pregnant and Powerlifting


I just found out I am pregnant. Barely... 4-5 weeks. I am wondering if anyone here has lifted while pregnant or knows someone who has. I plan to continue to run 2-3 days per week plus try to fit in more walking/elliptical the entire pregnancy since that has been great for me during previous pregnancies. I also plan to lift the first two trimesters or longer if possible, depending on how I am holding up and feeling.

Obviously I will be really focusing on healthy eating, hydration, adequate sleep and continuing activity my body is familiar with. I am curious to hear anyone share personal experiences in this area, especially how long you were able to lift and how heavy etc.


Looks like your bench will be going up.

I'm sorry, I had to. :slight_smile:


awwww, CONGRATS!!!!!

First and foremost find a Dr. you trust/respect for there opinion/advice.

you won't be lifting competitively and you won't be lifting heavy enough to strain. I don't have experience training the 'big lifts,' while I was pg but I did continue training, just not in the same way.

Every woman is different but I was so fatigued and achy, that a lot of weight lifting became harder and harder to keep up with. Especially as your body changes/grows, etc.

I think squats are the best to keep with pregnancy..DLs, not sure..and once you get past 3 months or so flat bench pressing will be out.

Training with weights for me was just a form of maintaining what I had..I stuck to a lot of machines towards the end.


I will PM you a name.


congrats :slightly_smiling:


Yes, congratulations indeed. Although being a non-mother I have no useful advice to give.


Thank you for the warm wishes!

I am supposed to compete in a RAW powerlifting meet in November (almost 11 weeks preg). The fetus will be so tiny at this time I am intending to train as usual and compete at this meet (however, no weight cutting and very unlikely I'll be after a meet or personal record). I then will be on a vacation with my family for a week. Big question for me is how much can I do after we return, I will be close to the second trimester and it has been my experience that I change early and totally look and feel pregnant by the time I begin the second trimester.

I have heard before that benching is dangerous when it becomes recommended not sleep on the back- pressure can reduce oxygen flow to the baby. I guess incline might be alright, but maybe still only for short sets and there is always the sitting bench machine.



I am going to use a midwife I have used before who I adore and she is really low key and straight forward. The doc she works under who will be our back up is a marathon runner... and he works out at the same gym as me (even did my laporoscopies for endometriosis) so I am feeling pretty confident they will support my effort to continue exercise for as long as I can. And they both will tell me if they find reason I should slow down.

I get super fatigued too, I am hoping to tell myself that exercise will make it better on those days that all I want to do is SLEEP! :slightly_smiling:

How did machines work out for maintenance for you? And do you remember how long you rested postpartum?


Congratulations! I'm not a mommy but I'd probably stop lifting heavy during pregnany. But I'm really ignorant when it comes to the subject. Good luck!


Now I don't have kids yet but this woman ran marathons through out her pregnancy, even one right before she delivered.


I would think that if your body tolerates and react well to what you are doing you should be fine.


Love it, thank you for the link :slightly_smiling: Good to watch before heading in to dead lift!


I wasn't as heavily involved with weight training when I was pg with my son(11 years ago, OMG!!!!!)

Not sure how the machines would work for maintaining strength. I was more concerned with just working out in general and trying not to gain too much. ( I had lost over 50 lbs before I got pg, lol)

I was back to it, 2 weeks after.


First, congratulations! When I was pregnant I was not doing heavy weights, but I was doing a cardio/weight lifting program. My doctor told me it was fine to continue with my regular routine, but to avoid exercises that were performed flat on my back or high impact/jarring. I also worked on adjusting the way I stretched and warmed up according to how far along I was and what my body felt comfortable doing.

Since I was not deadlifting at the time, that was not an issue, but from the muscles and strain used for deadlifting, I would avoid it. You may have to reduce the weight in your other exercises as you get further along, and you may have balance/coordination issues as your body changes. I had fatigue issues (mainly later in the day) during my first trimesster, and my last month, but I loved continuing my exercise routine. I continued through my eighth month, and then during the last month just stuck to walking and some stretching.
Good luck to you.


MiM: Thank you - so glad to hear you were in the gym so soon after. My first 3 deliveries went well so hopefully as much as I work out this one will be even easier and so will recovery. My hope is to not get derailed from the habit of training! And... it would be nice to avoid gaining a truckload of weight, I am already looking and feeling fluffy (grr)! ...seriously, my work out tanks are snug in the pec/armpit already and my reflection appears "insulated"

R,827: thank you! I realized deadlifting this morning that it will be the first exercise to go most likely, or at least reduce. I hadn't thought about the balance coordination. No matter how light I go, I'm really gonna have to focus on leaning back on my squats with my weighted belly sitting out in front of me! (gotta chuckle at the image)

Yesterday I wanted to sleep so bad but I went to the gym for my squat workout anyway - and truly had more energy when I took my girls to gymnastics after lifting than I had before. I am going to try to make it through the tired days by reminding myself how good I'll feel if I just do it (that being said I am doubting I'll be tackling any evening workouts).


I miscarried. It sucks, but I am okay. I was pretty sick for a couple days so I did a lot of resting. And now I am back to it, planning to hit it hard until the RAW PL meet in November. Regardless... guess I am done posting here (and I was about to start only posting my work outs here to track my pregnant progression, or lack thereof hehe under a specific link... maybe another time)


I am sorry to hear your news but I am glad to hear you are ok.


Sorry to hear that.


Oh man. I'm really sorry to hear that. Sounds like you're staying positive though. :frowning:


oh no!!

I'm so sorry..