Has your client recently shared the news of their pregnancy with you?

TrueCoach’s partner, FIT4MOM,  the industry leader in pre and postnatal fitness education,  shares the essential tips you need to know about training clients during each trimester, in their new series, “Training by Trimester.”


Do you know that most women do not know they are pregnant until the end of their 1st Trimester? Major ‘construction’ is underway during all stages of pregnancy; While some women barely notice significant body changes, others will be hyper-aware and deeply affected. No matter when they find out about their pregnancy, little must change to a woman’s fitness routine during her 1st Trimester. 

We know that some women will feel intimidated or scared of exercising while pregnant – whether they were active prior to pregnancy or not. As her coach, your goal should be to help reframe the focus of exercise during this precious time. Maintaining strength, easing the physical challenges of pregnancy, and preparing the body for birth and subsequent recovery should be the theme of exercise for the expecting mother. 

If she was exercising regularly before getting pregnant, she should be able to continue most of the normal, preferred activities during the 1st Trimester – including intensity, impact, duration, and chosen style of movement. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, some contraindications and considerations can stop a woman from continuing in fitness while pregnant. There are also Urgent Maternal Warning Signs that should encourage a pregnant woman to seek immediate medical attention. 

Exercise should not exceed pre-pregnancy intensity levels. If your client exercised at a moderate pace for the majority of her workouts prior to pregnancy, she can continue. If she was not practicing high-intensity interval training prior to pregnancy, she should not start now. 

Although your client may not look pregnant in her 1st Trimester, her body is going through many hormonal and physical changes. She may also be feeling exhilarated, nervous, exhausted, and stressed. Although pregnancy news can be exciting, it can also be emotionally stressful. It’s natural for her to worry about her health, the baby’s health, the financial burden of raising a child, and the transition to the next stage of parenthood. All of these emotions are normal and natural. If these emotions rise to a level that makes her or you worry, please advise her to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. 

Remember that the physical and hormonal changes she is experiencing may cause mood swings, tender breasts, nausea, constipation, and more. You may need to adjust her training regimen to continue doing the movements she loves safely and effectively. 

Let’s dive into our Start, Stop, and Continue for fitness in the 1st Trimester. 


At FIT4MOM, we encourage training moms for the next step in their motherhood journeys. Her belly and breasts are going to grow and pull her forward. This is why you should focus on strengthening her glutes and hips – or what we call the foundation of the body. This foundation will support the canister’s growth as the pregnancy develops.  

Every day of pregnancy will be different due to the physical changes occurring. We recommend the expectant mother perform a body scan before starting her fitness practice. This way, she is aware of how she feels emotionally and physically and she can determine if this will affect your daily movement choices. Advise her to listen to her body and honor it each day. She can still participate in activities, but they may need to be adjusted to complement how she feels each day.


Due to pregnancy’s hormonal and cardiovascular changes, she may feel dizzy or easily breathless in your 1st Trimester. Stop activities that make her feel weak, nauseous, light-headed, or uncomfortable. At this time, please stop pushing her to breathless – even if she worked at that intensity before pregnancy. Due to the increase in progesterone, she may be experiencing breathlessness already, without much intensity or effort. 

As a quick reminder, she should not continue any activities where she risks impact with another object, tripping, or falling.  When a woman learns she is pregnant, it is highly advised to stop practicing sports that risk the impact of a ball, object, or person, such as MMA, softball, and horseback riding. For the purpose of this blog, we are only speaking to generalized fitness and not sports practices.

The heart rate recommendations for prenatal fitness have been discarded. Instead, you should use the Rate of Perceived Exertion numbers and the talk test to assess your intensity levels. Becoming a certified pre and postnatal fitness coach will help you understand these recommendations.


Yes, she can continue what she was doing at the same duration, intensity, and impact levels as prior to finding out she is pregnant. This means all positions, fitness activities, modalities, and equipment. 

However, she may feel weaker during this time. You may need to adjust some of the movements to make them feel more appropriate for her current stage of pregnancy.


Do you want more information and guidance? Motherhood is a transformative journey filled with joy, challenges, and the need for incredible strength. Since 2001, FIT4MOM has been the leader of prenatal and postnatal fitness, supporting moms nationwide through our network of franchise owners and dedicated instructors. To further support our mission of helping all moms find their Strength in Motherhood®, we are thrilled to announce our first-ever certification course available to all fitness professionals: FIT4MOM’s Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Certification.

Let’s empower moms to find their Strength in Motherhood® and unlock their full potential for everyday life as a new parent. Motherhood is an extraordinary experience; with FIT4MOM, you can make it even more empowering for your clients. Fit4Mom recommends using TrueCoach to program fitness for prenatal and postnatal clients. 

Join Fit4Mom now through TrueCoach Partner Perks for an exclusive 30% off: https://app.truecoach.co/coach/perks

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Article by TrueCoach

First published: October 25 2023

Last updated: January 11 2024