T Nation

5 Feet of Fury


So I am brand new to T-Nation. Hubs left his page up all the time and after doing some lurking, I've become quite interested and decided to hop on board. I've been in and out of the gym since I was 16. But never was very serious about it til about a year ago.

I had always just did cardio and some free weights. No real weight/strength training. Now, I'm in the gym 5 days a week usually strength and weight training, doing things I never imagined myself doing.

height: 5'1"
weight: 136 lbs
body fat: too high...

deadlift: 135 lbs x 8
flat bench: 105 lbs x 4
squat: 155 lbs x 5
shoulder press: 40 lbs x 10

My thing is, I train alone most days. My boo is a personal trainer but works outta town all week. I was thinking some of you girls would have some advice on how to cut more body fat and continue to build muscle. I carry most of my body fat in my middle, seems it is BEYOND hard to get rid of.

Diet wise, I'm pretty clean. High lean protein, low carb 6 small meals a day.

If you wise, wonderful ladies (or men) have any advice or tips, I'd love it!


Welcome! You're pretty damned strong for a petite chick - you're in good company here.
Dietwise, low carb is the best way to get rid of fat but you may need to eat more fats, strange as that sounds. If it's not coming off as fast as you'd like, add in some higher intensity work - do more supersets and metabolic work such as sprints (foot, bike, row, whatever works for you) and kettlebell swings.



I'm with Cal nice and strong Bench Press there especiallY! That shoulder press... is that the 40LB DBs? Standing or sitting? If its the DBs damn HELLA STRONG.

Losing fat... well its diet. Solly! Its the worst news. Post a few days meals maybe track them in fitday and then post them here and we will have input. When I diet its cardio too. I suggest 2x a week HIIT intervals and 2 times steady state to start off. I meanif you want to do a big push and drop some bodyfat thats what I suggest.

I'll be back later :slightly_smiling:


Cal's right about the diet. Also, you might not be eating ENOUGH, which is pretty counter intuitive. I'm doing a low carb diet right now and my macro split is about 48% protein, 45% fat and 7% carbs. I don't include green vegetables in my carb value as they're pretty much all fiber and unusable by the body. How many calories are you eating in a day?

What do your workouts look like? As much as I hate steady-state cardio, I've found doing a few 30+ minute sessions really help to kick start the fat loss.


hey!!! welcome to the land of the lovelies!!

And...ugh..I have to concur, wt loss is all diet:{ Most effectively is low carb, high protein lots of leafy stuff.

But we can help with the strength stuff! I'd recommend just checking out the logs and see who you can get bit and pieces from.


Shoulder press is sitting 40lbs DB.... I surprised myself with that one... :slight_smile:

I love/hate cardio.... I find traditional cardio totally boring...

Any ideas on somewhat fun cardio?


YAY! Another shortstack! Welcome!

Strong lifting too - great work!

Like Hallie mentioned HIIT (interval training) is a great alternative to conventional cardio, also Tabata and BB or DB complexes (minimal rests b/w sets/reps). These make great finishers at the end of lifting sessions.

Also, I'm curious what kind of strength training do you do? What have you been doing in the past? Have you tried a different strength training routine lately? I know some of the girls here run a training cycle using metabolic circuits when they were looking to lean out.

Maybe you just need to try something different for a bit?


So...I kinda figured I may not be eating enough... But recently something happened that kinda messed me up in the head regarding eating more while dieting....

I had just finished up at the gym, hell of a workout. I decided to stop by the store to look at scrub tops for the holiday. I was at the register signing my receipt and the dumb bitch at the register says " I don't mean to be rude...But are you pregnant?" Now mind you I was in my gym clothes and still burning from my training... I told her that it was very rude to ask anyone that and when she said she was sorry, I said she should be and I left.

I explained all this to my bf who's been helping me through my journey, he kinda blew it off, but it really bugged me and still does... Is it just me, or do you ladies find that totally f@cked up too?

I know I have a pooch on my stomach, that's what I've been working on, but I'll be damned if i look pregnant.

Anyhow, bitching aside...

Training wise:

I train a different area(s) each day. I try to incorporate some metabolic weight training in there (i think?) and also work with resistance bands too
For legs yesterday:

warm-up 3 sets of pull ups dropped the amount of resistance/assistance to 55# at the end
-superset of hamstrings and glutes (3/3, 14 reps each)
-box sqauts on smith machine 1st: bar + 20#(16 reps) 2nd: bar + 35#(12 reps) 3rd: bar+50#(10 reps)
final set:bar+45# (6 reps)
-super set of abductors and adductors (110,125,135#) for 14 reps each
-walking lunges 3 sets 20,30,40# for 12 reps each

Cardio: 20" on elliptical 1.5' intervals between high and low resistance


Okay, yeah. That sales clerk should not have asked that. That would have messed me up a bit too. I understand that it's a bit messed up thinking you need to eat more to lose weight but sometimes that's the way it needs to be. I would suggest throwing your food into fitday or some other free calorie program just to get a baseline of how you're eating now. If you can show us a couple of days worth of eating it will help with any advice we can give.

How long have you been on this diet? It could be that your body just needs a little breather to re-adjust and you can start again. I would suggest reading some Chris Thib or John Berardi for diet ideas.

Training wise:
I'm not a big fan of the smith machine. It teaches improper form and you lose part of the stabilizing work your body should be doing naturally. I would suggest doing goblet squats if you're uncomfortable with using the squat rack. They're basically bw squats but you hold a dumb bell to add extra weight. It teaches you to keep your chest up and push your knees out. Good starter for actual squats.

Be careful with the walking lunges that your knees aren't going beyond your toes. Quick way to screw up your knees. I'm working my way through rehabbing my knees and so are a couple of the other girls on here. Learn from our mistakes!!

I guess once we see your entire workout schedule we can give more suggestions.


Hey Pixie! Thanks so much for your input!

I usually try to jump on the squat rack for squats, but it was tied up during my last work out! Good tip on the lunges too! I'm definitely going to look into fitday or something of the sort.

so far today:

breakfast 0830
3 scrambled egg whites
1/2 c greek yogurt
2 pieces wheat toast with smart balance "butter"
1 c coffee splenda/ff creamer

protein shake (1 scoop whey 1/2c ff milk 1/2cup water)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
work out supplement

Im training arms/shoulders/abs today

-seated DB shoulder press (25/30/35#)
-lateral DB raises alter. with front DB raises (10/15/17.5#) supersetted with DB hammercurls
-BB preacher curls (20/20/30) supersetted with cable overhead tricep extensions (15/20/22.5)
-BB skullcrushers (20/20/30)

-planks/side bridges
-hanging leg raises 3 set 12 reps

any input/advice?

Thanks :slight_smile:


Take a look at what Mark Rippetoe has to say about bicep and tricep work. I tried the tricep extension he suggests and it did a heck of a lot more than skullcrushers and cable work for my triceps. It's easier on the elbows too.

Love DB work as it takes a lot more stability work. Good on you for being able to use that kind of weight on the DB shoulder press :slight_smile:

I would also suggest palloff presses and McGill crunches for ab work. I do love me some planks and side bridges.

As far as what you've had to eat today, I did a rough estimate and put it into fitday. I don't know what kind of work out supplement you have so I didn't include it but here's your breakdown so far:

Calories: 636
Fat: 2.9g (4%)
Carbs: 54.9g (35%)
Protein: 92.3g (61%)

NOT ENOUGH!!! Your macros are messed up too, if you're trying to low carb it. Your body has to get energy from somewhere and if it can't get it from carbs it needs to get it from fat. I can see why you can't lose anything right now if this is a typical day for you so far. You're not feeding your body enough. Unless you're having a super high calorie post-workout meal and supper. I really suggest you go look at what CT has to say about low carb diets. You need to be eating 1600 calories or more a day. Not enough green veggies in there, either! They make you feel full with the benefit of all the other minerals and nutrients.


I'll definitely look into everything you suggested! Thank you!


Pixie's at the helm! Nothing more to add :slight_smile:

I'll keep following along though. Nice work!


anterior pelvic tilt?

i'm saying that because i'm starting to think it might be a bit of a culpret for me, too. my belly can go from very pregnant looking indeed to flat as a board depending on how i hold myself. can look like i have a nice tapered waist sometimes and look like a poster child for not working your obliques othertimes.

i think it is about the anterior pelvic tilt.

maybe. but maybe not.


I've heard that the way to non scientific way to determine that you have this is if you stand against a wall and you can slide your hand or fist behind the small of your back, then your anterior pelvic tilt is greater than "normal"

Any truth to that from what you've heard/ read?


Hmm...I guess you can do it like that, but if you have a big ass then of course this method wouldn't work.

I have an anterior pelvic tilt, and aside from it being visible (I also can look totally preggos), I diagnosed mine vis-a-vis hip flexor pain. Anterior pelvic tilts are most likely caused by short hip flexors, short hip flexors are caused by repeated activities that make your flexors forget how long their supposed to be, like sitting or squatting.

Either way, you should stretch out your hip flexors as part of your stretching routine. It certainly can't hurt!


Masch- I totally agree! I'm short with a big high tight ass.... Of course I can fit my hand back there! Even tried it for myself. I'm thinking is just a case of belly fat. Which means diet and cardio. Right?


Hey neighbor!
just wanted to say hi. Hope you stick around..


Hi Merry! I'm late to say welcome. Yay another petite woman in PW!

About the weight thing, as Pixie mentioned, I'd enter everything in fitday for awhile to see where you're at. I think fat in the midsection is often associated with too much sugar/ simple carbs. I know it's partly genetic where we put fat, but frequently people with blood sugar problems will store it there, anyway.

Good luck with your goals and Happy New Year!


I'm always amazed by women who squat more than they DL. Impressed as well. Would love to see some vid.

Regarding the curve of your spine, have you ever been diagnosed with lordosis?

And about the pregnant comment . . . some people are very insensitive. I was shopping with my daughter at a mall a year or so ago and was asked "So you're out shopping with your granddaughter?" I was shocked as I always think I look younger than I am (46). But I consoled myself with the fact that so many mall-goers are teenagers with a baby in tow.