T Nation

Beginner Female Trying to Get Lean

I’m 17, a girl, 5’8 weighing 160lbs. I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life, been on and off diets. Now I just want to commit to it and lose those shitty body fat and get toned. I don’t want to get buff or anything but I’d like definition in my arms, legs, and stomach of course. Or just a flat stomach would be nice. I go to the gym a lot but to be honest I don’t know what I’m doing and I know I’m just waisting my time. So if anyone could help me out with a workout using the machines at the gym that would be nice.

And my diet, oh lord that’s a mess. Right now I’m trying to eat all protein but I splurge and go for the poptarts or pbj sandwich everyonce in a while. I’ve cooked my meals for today and tomorrow so tell me what u think:

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, glass of fat free milk with chocolate whey protein powder (2g carbs, 120g protein)

Lunch: Chicken salad (romaine lettuce, 1 chicken breast, 2/3 cup of peas)

Dinner: chicken stir fry (1 chicken breast, 1 cup assorted frozen veggies…23 calories 5g carbs)

I’ll probably have a banana at sometime for a snack.

Basics to nutrition: www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/7habits.htm

As far as a program goes, I’d give something like TBT a try or head over to the MWA site (www.musclewithattitude.com) and try out one of their programs.

Supplement wise add in a mulitvitamin and some fish oil for sure.

Thank you thank you thank you. I usually take 1 multivitamin in the morning and a fish oil capsul after my big meals but i ran out and havent gotten anymore at the store. And I usually drink green tea in the mornings but havent been doing that lately.

You need to create a plan you can sustain. Going completely clean right off the bad is not sustainable. You need snacks between meals and if you don’t plan what they are, you will reach for what’s convenient. If you go hard core low carb you will eventually binge on crap and get depressed and give up. Plan you cheat meals and keep looking forward. If you have a bad day, get over it and move on.

Read what you can and understand proper nutrition. The link you were just given is an ideal place to start.

You also have to realize that to get rid of your “shitty body fat” and to get “toned” you are going to need to lift some weights that elicit muscle growth. Yes, your muscles will have to grow. You can’t just lose fat and stay lean without the proper amounts of muscle.

Same thing applies to you that applies to the guys. Read the stickies at the top of the forum. Start reading and educating yourself. Pick a training protocol. Pick a diet that works for you (you may have to try several for weeks at a time to find out which work for YOU).

Do them until they stop working. Then switch to something else.

girls that squat, get hot. Repeat it five times.

Straight leg deadlifts will work your hammies and lower back and glutes iirc, conventional deads are great to. Try squatting in the 10-15 rep range. ANd deadlift 8-10 rep range split your food into 4-6 meals

For example
Breakfast:
2 eggs, slice of wheat toast, glass of fat free milk

Meal 2: scoop of protein+ veggie of choice

Meal 3: healthy lunch of choice?

Meal 4(postowrkout potentially) scoop of protein+any other pwo supplement

Meal 5(dinner): healthy dinner of choice, probably lean meat and veggies, even pasta once in a while if you don’t splurge. Keep most of your breads and pastas here and in the breakfast spot.

meal 6: eat something with protein and fat before bed.

If you don’t think squatting is for you, here’s the facts:

-machines are on a fixed plain ofmotion, little potential for burning calories or gaining muscle mass(the combonation of these is “tone”)

  • Squats and deadlifts- work sabilizing muscles, burn LARGE amounts of calories for a weightlifting movement, increases metabolism, and all that happy shit.

-Squats and deadlifts will make your legs “toned” in a far shorter amount of time, machines are almost a total waste of time for some people.

  • You will not get “bulky” It takes considerably more dedacation, and hard work, and large eating for women to get “buff” then it is for men. It’s simply how our bodies work.

Do 2-3x(always try to make 3) fullbody workouts a week as time allows, cardio 3x a week(always)

When you first start working out the first few weeks are the biggest hump to get over. Stick too it regaurdless, it will become habit after time.

I’ll check on this thread sometime in the next few days if you need more/advice///help///ect.

P.S. A good portion of hte female lifters, where I lift, are partial to powercleans, and frontsquats. youtube them, and try to learn the form.

Zephead is right you should squat just like the rest of us. If you learn the form it’ll be great and it will make you sexy. Plus it’ll impress all the guys b/c you actually know what your doing.

I jacked the photo from another thread but anyway you get the idea.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
girls that squat, get hot. Repeat it five times.

Straight leg deadlifts will work your hammies and lower back and glutes iirc, conventional deads are great to. Try squatting in the 10-15 rep range. ANd deadlift 8-10 rep range split your food into 4-6 meals

For example
Breakfast:
2 eggs, slice of wheat toast, glass of fat free milk

Meal 2: scoop of protein+ veggie of choice

Meal 3: healthy lunch of choice?

Meal 4(postowrkout potentially) scoop of protein+any other pwo supplement

Meal 5(dinner): healthy dinner of choice, probably lean meat and veggies, even pasta once in a while if you don’t splurge. Keep most of your breads and pastas here and in the breakfast spot.

meal 6: eat something with protein and fat before bed.

If you don’t think squatting is for you, here’s the facts:

-machines are on a fixed plain ofmotion, little potential for burning calories or gaining muscle mass(the combonation of these is “tone”)

  • Squats and deadlifts- work sabilizing muscles, burn LARGE amounts of calories for a weightlifting movement, increases metabolism, and all that happy shit.

-Squats and deadlifts will make your legs “toned” in a far shorter amount of time, machines are almost a total waste of time for some people.

  • You will not get “bulky” It takes considerably more dedacation, and hard work, and large eating for women to get “buff” then it is for men. It’s simply how our bodies work.

Do 2-3x(always try to make 3) fullbody workouts a week as time allows, cardio 3x a week(always)

When you first start working out the first few weeks are the biggest hump to get over. Stick too it regaurdless, it will become habit after time.

I’ll check on this thread sometime in the next few days if you need more/advice///help///ect.

[/quote]
Amazing posts zep…couldn’t of said it better myself. Listen to this man, that’s some solid advice. And I might as well add this. Don’t rely on the scale. You may not move or may even gain weight at some point. The mirror is your best friend. Those pant sizes will begin to get smaller and smaller so be prepared to spend some money on those new clothes!

I actually enjoy doing squats I usually do them every time I go to the gym. So squatting shouldn’t be a problem I just have to up the weights so I actually push myself.

One problem I have is knowing which workouts to do on which days…and also good workouts…such as if i bench press (chest) what is a good back workout? if i should even do a back work out on that same day??

You are at the right place if you want to get in shape. Take the advice already given and start to use it. Also jump into the MWA site the link is at the stop of the website. Also the women of the site all post in the Muscle Sorority forum and I’m sure they are more than willing to give you a hand and they seem to give a lot of moral support to each other. At least more support that us guys seem to give each other.

It isn’t easy to get “buff” in the first place so I don’t think you need to worry about that. BUT with that attitude I think you may have a hard time working hard enough to accomplish any change.

You can get definition with low body fat look at any anorexic.

Build the muscle and eat clean, then you can have definition and a healthy looking body.

You have to get your diet in control that is 80% of the battle and you cannot out-train a bad diet. One bad meal can undo one week of good eating.

Log your food and cut out the sugar.

scratch that i didnt mean to say buff…what i was trying to say is im not looking to enter any competitions in the future (meaning years). however i do wantto lift weights and get a hell of a lot stronger and lots of muscle. i want to get fit is that a better word?? and feel healthy. im already pretty healthy ive been in sports my whole life.

i picked up some flax seed and fish oil today oh and celery and more chicken and veggies and lettuce. so my diet should be sustainable.

Weights have to be challenging in order to build muscle. Building muscle is a fundemental part of fitness.

As for what execises to do on what day, as a beginner, hit all the major movements each workout. As a beginner you haven’t the strength to stress the body more than you can recover from in 2 days.

each second day do the following:

10 minutes warmup (bodyweight circuit)
1 quad-dominant exercise (Squat)
1 hamstring dominant execise (Deadlift)
1 upperbody push (Bench press)
1 upperbody pull (Bent BB Row)
10 minutes accesory work (Abs)

On the alternate days do cardio (Long walks alternated with HIIT)

If you do that each time with challenging weights you will get strong and fit.

My examples are only examples. Rotate among different variation of each basic exercise.

For example, upperbody pull options:
Bent BB Rows
Machine or cable rows
Pull ups
Power Cleans
DB Rows

Stu

wow that was extremely helpful thank you

Like others have said, try to find a premade routine on this forum or MWA.

As for exercise selection, the main key is to focus on MOVEMENTS instead of BODY PARTS, as others have said (example: upper pull = chin ups, lat pull down).

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html
Is a great resource for exercise selection, contains a lot of information and sample videos.

rubberducky, exrx is a terrific site, one of my favorites but notice that the directory is organized by body part, not movements.

The following may be telling you how to suck eggs, but anyway:

For the upper body push, look at the Chest and Shoulders, for the upperbody pull, look at tha back and power exercises:
http://www.exrx.net/Lists/PowerExercises.html

For Quad-dominant look at Thighs-Quad and Hip-Flexors. For hip dominant look at Thighs-Hamstrings and Hip-Gluteus Maximus.

Try to stay with the basic compound exercises that use barbells, dumbbells, cables or bodyweight.

[quote]stuward wrote:
rubberducky, exrx is a terrific site, one of my favorites but notice that the directory is organized by body part, not movements.
[/quote]

Yeah, sorry. I forgot to explain the setup.

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
I don’t want to get buff or anything but I’d like definition in my arms, legs, and stomach of course.

It isn’t easy to get “buff” in the first place so I don’t think you need to worry about that. BUT with that attitude I think you may have a hard time working hard enough to accomplish any change.

You can get definition with low body fat look at any anorexic.

Build the muscle and eat clean, then you can have definition and a healthy looking body.

You have to get your diet in control that is 80% of the battle and you cannot out-train a bad diet. One bad meal can undo one week of good eating.

Log your food and cut out the sugar.[/quote]

This is soooooo true, and like a dumb @$$ it’s taken me a year to finally figure out just how true this is!

Focus on your new eating habits. Make sure you keep lots of healthy recipes and use them so your taste buds dont get bored.

Try cooking all your weekly meals in one day. You can get it down to about 2-4hrs and that’s including prep and clean up time. Put the food in tupperware bowls, throw in the freezer, and nuke when youre ready to eat them.

Best of luck and keep us posted!!! You will learn so much here.

B-3

Alright so I’ve already caught on to the pre-making meals thing since previously diets failed so badly. I made my meals tuesday which lasted me to today (thursday). And tomorrow I’ll make more for about the same amount of days. And I swear I have gone to walmart twice to look for tupperware and they were all out. cuz i’m running out of containers to store all my food.

anyways…heres what i ate todaya dn my WO…tell what u think and any constructive criticisms:

meal 1: green tea, banana, milk, whey protein powder, 2 boiled eggs, 1 nultivitamin

WO: Hammies [glute ham raises 50lbs r/l 3x5]
Chest [bench press 60lbs 3x5]
Back [seated row 85lbs 3x5]
Biceps [dumbbell curls 20lbs l/r 3x5]
Lower back [deadlifts 70lbs 3x5]
Quads [squats 85lbs 3x5]

meal 2: Post WO drink {10 oz water 1 scoop whey protein powder} oh and a fish oil vitamin

meal 3: chicken salad (chicken, peas, romaine lettuce, olive oil, blasamic vinegar

meal 4: KFC large side salad (whoa before u go crazy, I work at KFC and eat dinner on my break) so i had grilled chicken with lettuce and very little maybe 1 tbsp ranch dressing

meal 5: turkey

as u can see im using the TBT program for my workout. i need to add more weights because i def. didnt push myself 110% with 3 sets of five. except on bench. it’s pathetic how weak i am.