Thursday, February 28, 2013

First Time Lifting While Pregnant

So today I finally made it to the gym after weeks of missing it. Life has been hectic and exhausting with the pregnancy, buying the house, and my girl friends wedding! It has calmed down and I took advantage.

One of my biggest concerns when I got pregnant was that my fit life would have to be put on hold....I could not have been more wrong! My OB recommends remaining active throughout my entire pregnancy so long as I feel up to it. But to be honest I was afraid to lift. He told me as far as cardio to keep a heart rate lower than 140 to burn fat and keep my blood flow safe for baby, but with weights I was told to keep it 45 pounds and under. He also says that losing a little weight in the first trimester (I am overweight..this is not recommended for women at normal or under weight stats) is okay so long as I am not eating at a huge deficit. I eat anywhere from 1800-2000 calories a day and I have lost 5 pounds this month without trying. He feels that at my weight I should aim to gain 15-20 pounds during my whole pregnancy and calorie counting will help me maintain my weight and kick start my loss after birth. Back to lifting...

Many women lift heavy way into their pregnancy which is great, but with my first pregnancy I threw my back out, and he says I don't need to press my luck. I completely agree. But he also feels I can benefit emensely from lifting.

Lifting weights while pregnant helps to maintain muscle mass, bone density, and strengthens your core for an easier delivery. It also helps with a much quicker post partum recovery and helps your body return to normal. But with the hormone changes your ligaments are loose and easily damaged and your center of balance is off, which can lead to falls...never a good thing when expecting! So as I said earlier...I went in this morning very nervous but determined!

(Stretched first) I started with a 30 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) session on the treadmill. When I was running I watched my heart rate and aimed to keep it under 150. I burned 235 calories in 30 minutes and never broke a sweat...but it was trying nonetheless. It was difficult having to keep such a watchful eye on my heart rate. (Stretched again) I then moved towards the weight machines. It is recommended that you use machines when pregnant if you are not an experienced lifter to prevent injury since machines help you maintain a fluid movement. Instead of high weights low rep my doctor said to do low weights(around 30-40 pounds) with high reps. (Stretched one last time) After a 30 minute session I felt just as sore as I would lifting normally, and I felt so accomplished. I am proud to admit that I am going to be one FIT MOMMA!

So for those of you ladies who are pregnant, working to get pregnant, or just nervous about lifting...just do it! Don't be intimidated or discouraged...if I can do it so can you!


  1. One week after your post, I got my pregnant self up and started exercising and lifting weights. Thanks Elizabeth. I was really scared at first but reading your experiences you shared with us is encouraging.

    How is your HIIT going? Any tips on when to progress?

  2. How wonderful! I love knowing I helped you overcome your fear as well!

    I still do HIIT and maintain the level I am at. I run at a 6mph speed for 2 minutes and walk at a 4 mph speed for 3 minutes, and do this for 30.

    I have also found jillian micheals 30 Day Shred to be an awesome full body workout that includes cardio and weight resistance...highly recommend checking it out!