Weight Training During Pregnancy
By Lisa Stone, ACE
Q. I'm 10.5 weeks pregnant and a very fit person. I do weight training 4-5 days a week (two body parts per day) and I do 30-45 minutes of some kind of cardio 4-5 days a week. Can you continue to increase weights while pregnant? I've read different opinions on this. I have heard that you should not increase because you are now just maintaining....BUT....in the last issue of Fit Pregnancy I read that you can do some weight increases after your 10th-12th week of pregnancy. The most weight that I do is 55 lb - depending on the exercise (and I've also read that is OK). I don't plan on going really heavy, but for my biceps/triceps and shoulders I'd like to continue increasing a little, if it's safe.
A. You should be able continue weight training, with your caregiver's approval, throughout your pregnancy. Let comfort be your guide as far as the amount of weight is concerned. As you get further into your pregnancy, you may find that your joints and connective tissue become loosened due to hormones your body is secreting. At that point, lifting heavy weights may become uncomfortable and difficult.
While I haven't read the article in Fit Pregnancy, I'm assuming it's referring to people just starting out on a strength training program so that increasing the weight from 3 pounds to 5 pounds, for example, wouldn't be a big deal. But, for someone like you who is an experienced weight trainer, increasing from 55 pounds to 75 pounds could be a very big deal and put too much stress on your joints. Again, let comfort and common sense be your guide.