Why Don’t We Perform Lifts To Failure During Pregnancy

If you’ve followed any of the BIRTHFIT online programming, specifically the Prenatal Program, you might have asked yourself, “Why don’t we perform lifts to failure during pregnancy?”

The short answer?

Because you have a baby in you.

The long answer is that birth is one of the single most athletic events of your life, so why wouldn’t you train for it as such? You have a specific window (9-ish months), in which you are in season for birth.

When you can understand this process and train intentionally for birth as the end goal, you can set yourself up for a better pregnancy and the birth that you desire.

When you lift to failure, it is likely that you’re entering weight ranges where you are unable to maintain proper core stability. When we lose our core stability, we compensate in order to find stability elsewhere. Compensation typically leads to injury, and pregnancy is not a time for musculoskeletal injury because, let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that.

We also know that muscle memory is real! Pregnancy is a great time to focus on fundamentals.  When you move with intention, hit appropriate positions, and build strength from a place of stability, it allows for the mind and body to pick these movements back up in a more streamlined, natural way in the postpartum period.

With all of this said, we definitely aren’t saying to greatly limit yourself either. We fully believe that you are the most superhuman version of yourself during pregnancy. There will be days that you feel great and the weight feels great – on those days, we say GO FOR IT! A couple of general rules we use to ensure safety and the most optimal strength training in this period of time are:

  1. Never lift above what feels like an 8/10 scale or 80% for that day.
  2. Only take lifts that you KNOW you will make.

How you train is how you perform. If you train missed lifts now, you will miss these lifts when it matters. Pregnancy is a beautiful window of opportunity to connect with your body and move in a way that not only enhances your overall strength and well-being, but also the well-being of the beautiful baby inside of you.


Leah Barto


BIRTHFIT Online Programming Director

BIRTHFIT Coach -Houston, Tx.




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