T Nation

Beginner Program for a Girl

Girl I know is around 5’2 maybe 135lbs and using calipers measured at 30% bodyfat. (in her Health class)

She wants me to help her lose weight, and design a program for her. She doesnt have any lifting background and is used to staying in shape by just playing softball and soccer.

I don’t think she’s got the gusto to just all out Velocity diet, but she is very adamant about getting back to her previous great body (around 102lbs) but with more muscle.

She wants to make the softball team at her university.

Idea of program I had for her is pretty basic… She doesn’t want any fluff in her workout so I’m giving her something I would pretty much give a male beginner.

Training Day 1:
Barbell Back Squat (15, 310)
a1: Dumbbell Bench press (10, 5x5)
a2: Dumbbell Bent Row (10, 5x5)
Hanging Leg raises (4
20-30 Min Walking/Running Stairs

Day 2: (Active Recovery)
Softball, take a walk, etc

Training Day 2:
–Bodyweight Conditioning

1: Every Minute do 15 burpees (for 5min)
2: 10 lunges, 5 pushups, 15 squats, 20 crunches for 3-5 cycles (total of 30 lunges, 15 pushups and 45 squats)
3: 3min worth of tabata with either burpess, versaclimber, sprinting, or jumprope

Day 4: (Active Recovery)
Softball, take a walk, etc.

Training Day 5:
Deadlifts (15, 310)
a1: Military Press (10, 5x5)
a2: Pullups/Lat Pulldown (10, 5x5)
Weighted Situps (5
20-30 Min Walking/Running Stairs

My question is what should I be considering because she is a female, are there any differences i need to take into account? Physiologically and mentally?

This is a REALLY tough girl, bronx type chick. I actually think I can get her clean and pressing dumbbells in a few months- she really likes strength sports (watches WSM with me).

I know I need to watch her form really closely, and just let her go through the motions for the first week or so to get used to the movements. But that’s typical newbie stuff…

Thanks in advanced for the help!

xen that is very similar to what i have my girlfriend doing for an in season softball workout her body can handle a little more volume than some others and it seems to be working great its helped her drop some fat and really start to get cut plus the squats and deads are doing wonders

i think women have lower intestity tolerance and a higher volume tolerance.

so she would benifit from a little higher reps with a little more sets.

im not completely sure of the volume recomendation though, sounds off but feels right in my head.

I’m going to see if I can get her to velocity diet… and then go hypocaloric after a while. I think if she starts out with a lot of discipline while her motivation is high then she won’t have any problem when adjusting to eating healthy in small portions.

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
I’m going to see if I can get her to Velocity Diet… and then go hypocaloric after a while. I think if she starts out with a lot of discipline while her motivation is high then she won’t have any problem when adjusting to eating healthy in small portions.[/quote]

the Velocity Diet is pretty rough for a newbie. i hope she is VERY motivated, and strong willed. because if not she will lose interest and that aint good.

plain old clean eating (strict) might be better than an extreme thing like the Velocity Diet.

my two cents

I think women have to do slightly more reps to activate their muscle fibres so i would change the dumbell press to 3 x 10. Hanging leg raises are a waste because most people don’t have sufficient strength and control to do them and end up using momentum. I would get rid of the hanging leg raise and use the planks instead so she learns how to use the transverse abdominus.

thanks for your opinion, I’m going to discuss it with her and see how she feels about it.

If she proves response enough then I’ll go for it… She’s been pursuing me about this for a while, but I get a lot of people who ask but she has shown a lot of perserverance- hopefully it will pay off in physical transformation!

xen, I would definitely up the reps on her so she doesn’t get too bulky!!

All in all I think that looks like a decent program. Her stats look similar to mine except my BF is lower. I agree about the hanging leg raises. I would replace it with one of the ab exercises from Christiane’s article, maybe a serratus crunch.

Regarding her nutrition, I would avoid the Velocity diet especially while she becomes accustomed to the routine. I find whenever I step up my physical activity after a long break my appetite immediately goes up. Psychologically, being hungry and not eating (ie drinking your nutrition) is really really tough. Is she following Berardi’s 7 nutrition rules? I’d start there so she can feel like she is “dieting” without feeling starved.

Are you putting together this plan just based on her appearance? I would recommend going through the routine with her a time or two and adjusting the weight and reps. Athletic women will invariably have really strong muscle groups and really weak muscle groups. It is a real bummer to be able to move through a routine successfully then hit a particular muscle and it shakes like Jell-o and refuses to move.

For example, when I first met with a trainer for the very first time ever, she was walking me through their beginner’s program. She was surprised at the volume I could move on most all the lifts until we hit the pects. Then nada, nothing, zilch. She went from having me bumped to the intermediate phase on most everything to limp noodle group. Had I been handed a piece of paper and told to follow it, it would have either been too easy (no progress) or too hard (injury city) and I would be really frustrated. IMHO women tend to not train or think about all their muscles and women who think of themselves as strong or athletic are subject to disappointment when they are introduced to a muscle they didn’t know was there and it’s weak.

  1. Eliminate all crunches and sit-ups - totally irrelavent to softball. Does she play softball laying on her back???
    Replace with landmines or full contact twists or lawnmowers.

  2. Make sure every workout has some exercises for the rotator cuff. Band pull aparts, bent-over “L” flys. super slow and strict.

  3. Make sure you incorporate unilateral work; lunges, step-ups, split squats. Forward lunge, zig-zag, and lateral lunge. You encounter all 3 positions in ball.

  4. During the season 1 arm DB hang snatch and 1 arm push press are great.
    Heavy and fast. Low reps

  5. Utilize alot of medicine ball work for the core and to learn how to generate power from the feet to the hands.

  6. If you incorporate any running. Remember, she only has to be fast for 60 feet. She should be under 2.00 sec at 30’ and under 3.00 at 60’. Most plays at 1st base are by one steo, which is about .25 -.3 sec. It should take her 12-13 steps to get to first.

  7. Just have her clean up her diet and eat at least 6 times a day. If it has a stem attached to it - EAT IT! If it came from something that had a heart - EAT IT! If it doesn’t meet those 2 criteria, don’t bother eating it.


LOL@ Memo

Thanks of for the advice 911girl I’ll adjust accordingly. It’s pretty hard for a college student to eat well, I was thinking Velocity diet because of simplicity. I think I might have her just start using a MRP because she tends to skip breakfast (says she doesn’t have time for it).

She was afraid of getting that freshman 15 and ending up blowing up because she only drank water for a few months, the times when she would eat she would close down a buffet. Really fucked up her metabolism she’s eating regularly now and lost some weight but she’s plateau’d and wants to get back on track, a healthy track.

TNT, I think she needs more of a base in the basics before moving onto other stuff, but I will be changing up the schedule every now and then, I’ll make sure to keep her interested by throwing in new stuff (rotational work, etc). But good call with the rotator cuff work, I’ll throw in some bilateral stuff when her strength adjusts. I want her to be able to train by herself and using her own research and vision soon.

I printed out the Ms Beast article and some stuff from stumptous I’m going to check around here for some more dieting stuff (which I never read cause i’m trying to get bigger haha).

Thanks a lot for your help everyone!