Pregnancy and Lifting Heavy weights @

A long time member asks about lifting heavy weights during exercise.

This is a topic of great interest and I’d like to invite you to send me anything you have written or experienced and with your permission we will publish your thoughts here at


Forum Member Question

We are having a new addition to our family this upcoming spring. I would like to hear from any mom's who lifted heavy throughout their pregnancy. Her diet has been clean/healthy and strength-training plan hasn't changed at all. She hasn't experience any negative side effects that most expecting mom's go through. We are extremely happy and can't wait for the arrival...   Hope all is well with you guys....

Coach Ange’s Answer

Oh my goodness this is very exciting news. Congratulations on behalf of myself and everyone here at

Fatherhood is so very exciting as is motherhood. I love my job as a mom more than anything. It’s the most difficult work I have ever done but it’s also the most rewarding.

My thoughts, notes and experiences here are my own. In no way are any of these ideas meant to replace your own ideas which I trust will be guided by your medical provider (s).

According to what I have learned the former East German coaches were the early pioneers regarding training and pregnancy.

The general rule was it’s reasonable for the athletes to do as they always had but not more or different. This makes sense in the context of how physical stress and excess heat might negatively affect the fetus.


What are some of the implications to this statement?

One major implication of a statement like I have made is it’s important to note that others experiences do not make it true or scientific. For this reason   you may find the medical advice to be far more conservative than my statements listed here.

It’s reasonable to assume that any person will be able to continue within reason what they have already been trained to do assuming a training effect has taken place.

I do not feel it’s reasonable for a newly pregnant woman to engage in a series of training exercises or events she has never done or progressed into doing before.


Here is what I experienced.

Prior to my wanting or getting pregnant I had a calf injury that I had been rehabbing. The injury was in September of 1997. March of 1998 I decided to stop rehabbing, stop competing and my husband and I decided to have a baby. I got pregnant quickly. My training never stopped from September of 1997 until Feb of 1999. The intensity and duration of my training sessions changed. I worked and training through out my entire pregnancy. December of 1998 it was mild in Toronto and I was performing medicine ball drills and Running A’s outdoors without much trouble.

I know a world class 100 meter hurdler was doing a great deal of volume of work leading into her first pregnancy, during her pregnancy and after she had her first baby.

My only concern regarding lifting heavy weights during a pregnancy would be regarding the rules of how much heat is produced by high intensity work. Overheating the fetus is a well-known concern at certain pregnancy stages. Your doctor will give you the specific guidelines. The more fit you are before pregnancy the more you will be able to maintain that fitness. The body’s response regarding overheating will relate to the person’s training background which includes her ability perform intensity and volume of work.

Finally I believe the nutritional component will be the most helpful skill to be improved regardless of training.

Having a baby is an exciting experience. Learning the skills to maintain your health, during and after the pregnancy are worthy goals that increase your chances of feeling great once the baby arrives.




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