By Rebecca Drew
MEET the super fit new mum who was powerlifting until the day before she went into labour and despite experiencing a blackout while training she never gave up her passion and now has a beautiful and healthy new-born baby boy.
Army wife and veteran, Kristi Sives (25) from Madison Heights, Michigan, USA, has been powerlifting for a year-and-a-half to keep fit after leaving the military, but would not recommend new lifters to take up the sport when pregnant.
A few days before giving birth just last week, Kristi could deadlift 124kg, squat with 93kg and bench 56kg. Kristi’s doctor advised her that powerlifting was safe during her pregnancy, but she did have problems with her low blood pressure initially.
“During my first trimester of pregnancy I experienced a drop in blood pressure. After squatting what for me was a small amount of weight, my blood pressure bottomed out and I fainted, but woke up with people over me telling me I’d had a seizure,” she said.
“While that wasn’t true, I suffered a concussion that was very hard to heal from given the pregnancy and I was absolutely petrified of lifting weights.
“After taking several weeks off, my doctor convinced me that I needed to go back to the gym. I would go and just stare at the weights.
“It took quite a while for me to be comfortable again, but by listening to my body and the advice of my doctor I never had any sort of incident again.
“The dangers and risks are going to be close to the same as powerlifting any other time. There is always risk of injuring yourself.
“Throughout my pregnancy my focus has been listening to my body, if something didn’t feel right that day, I would skip it all together, never compromising form, slow and controlled repetitions and breathing.
“I would not recommend powerlifting during pregnancy to anyone who wasn’t already powerlifting prior to becoming pregnant.”
Powerlifting promotes skeletal strength, fat burning and helps build muscle.
Kristi’s husband is setting up a gym in their garage so that their son can watch them work out as he is growing. Most people’s reactions to her powerlifting whilst pregnant have been positive but Kristi said she did receive some negative comments.
“Most of the feedback I get is extremely positive. I will have strangers cheer me on in the gym or approach myself and my husband telling us how awesome and inspiring they think I am,” she added.
“However, I’ve also had a lot of uninformed people tell me that it wasn’t okay, that I was going to ‘suffocate my baby’ or hurt him in some other way and have definitely gotten my fair share of dirty looks.
“If you want to get into powerlifting, find a community and ask questions.
“For the longest time I was focused on getting strong, but didn’t know anything about the rules of powerlifting or how to go about competing.
“Use your resources, and if possible hire a coach! Even if it’s just to get you on your way.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/kristisives/