T Nation

Beginner Woman Needs Training Program


#1


Hello,
I am a 33 year old woman who has 39% BF. I have never been fat, but I've always had high BF and issues with getting it down. Everyone asks me where in the world I store it because it is evenly distributed apparently? I was at 31% for forever and then I had a baby and shot up to 39%. I have had a lot of problems losing any BF after the initial weight loss about 1 month after having her.

Anyway, I really would like to get my BF down to 25% at first, then see if I can go further. But, I never stick with working out because I am the type of person who if made to think about what she is going to have to do before she works out gets exhausted just thinking about it and ends up screwing around for about 20 minutes feeling like she's done nothing. I really want to be consistent for at least a year and see where it takes me. So, I need some help on a basic training program to stick with for the next year. Any help would be appreciated.


#2

Congrats on the baby girl!! Coming back from a pregnancy can be a challenge, but you can certainly make amazing progress in a year.

About training -
When you say you are a beginner, have you lifted before?
Do you have access to a gym with machines?
Are you experienced/ comfortable with barbell training?
How many times per week do you have time for weight training?
Can you get out and walk with the stroller for 30 minutes once or twice a day?

Nutrition is KEY to fat loss. Do you know where your trouble spots are with diet (It’s different for everybody).
Do you have a plan for nutrition yet? Are you doing a program with an eating plan?


#3

read pretty much any 10 articles here on diet and pick one strategy and stick with it for 6 months. Meltdown training and Waterbury full body templates good workout strategies


#4

I hope I didn’t intimidate or discourage you by asking questions. I always wonder why people start a thread but then don’t respond. It’s just not helpful for people to start in on programming without understanding what you have to work with in terms of time and access to equipment.

Diet really is king for fat loss. For some people it’s really simple stuff like eliminating soda or beer, the morning fru-fru coffee drink that’s loaded with calories, cutting back on heavy restaurant meals, or the evening ice cream habit. Start looking for the low-hanging fruit first. If you are nursing, you don’t need to “eat for two.” It’s really only about 500 calories, so you can probably just try to eat healthfully and go ahead and start ratcheting back to create a moderate calorie deficit. Drinking lots of water is really the key thing with maintaining a milk supply. Your body should be happy to use nursing as a nice natural “fat burner.” I’ve seen some women stop earlier than they had planned so they can take “fat burners” and other supplements. It’s not necessary, and the research really supports nursing for both mother and baby health, particularly reducing your breast cancer risk and being better for baby brain development, so I wouldn’t go there.

I’m not sure when you had your baby, but I wouldn’t give a whole lot of thought to estimated BF percentages. Measuring your waist, or getting back into your pre-baby clothes is probably a better way to measure progress.

If you’re a beginner, I’d start brisk walking everyday for 30 minutes to an hour, especially if you’ve been sedentary. And I’d start lifting 3-5 times per week if you have the time. It can be body weight movements, free weights and barbell lifts, it can be machines, or a combination.

If you respond with more information about where you are at, people will be able to be more specific about programming, but remember, any beginner program that the men are using can be adapted for women. There are lots of video tutorials on this site.

Best of luck! You can be in great shape a year from now. And you got a beautiful baby out of this deal. Totally worth it!


#5

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
I hope I didn’t intimidate or discourage you by asking questions. I always wonder why people start a thread but then don’t respond. It’s just not helpful for people to start in on programming without understanding what you have to work with in terms of time and access to equipment.

Diet really is king for fat loss. For some people it’s really simple stuff like eliminating soda or beer, the morning fru-fru coffee drink that’s loaded with calories, cutting back on heavy restaurant meals, or the evening ice cream habit. Start looking for the low-hanging fruit first. If you are nursing, you don’t need to “eat for two.” It’s really only about 500 calories, so you can probably just try to eat healthfully and go ahead and start ratcheting back to create a moderate calorie deficit. Drinking lots of water is really the key thing with maintaining a milk supply. Your body should be happy to use nursing as a nice natural “fat burner.” I’ve seen some women stop earlier than they had planned so they can take “fat burners” and other supplements. It’s not necessary, and the research really supports nursing for both mother and baby health, particularly reducing your breast cancer risk and being better for baby brain development, so I wouldn’t go there.

I’m not sure when you had your baby, but I wouldn’t give a whole lot of thought to estimated BF percentages. Measuring your waist, or getting back into your pre-baby clothes is probably a better way to measure progress.

If you’re a beginner, I’d start brisk walking everyday for 30 minutes to an hour, especially if you’ve been sedentary. And I’d start lifting 3-5 times per week if you have the time. It can be body weight movements, free weights and barbell lifts, it can be machines, or a combination.

If you respond with more information about where you are at, people will be able to be more specific about programming, but remember, any beginner program that the men are using can be adapted for women. There are lots of video tutorials on this site.

Best of luck! You can be in great shape a year from now. And you got a beautiful baby out of this deal. Totally worth it!

[/quote]

OP, ^this is pure gold. Take heed.

What does your current diet look like ?


#6

I don’t want to make things any more confusing with extra advice, so I’ll just suggest that you shift your perspective away from actually tracking bodyfat percentage.

If you’re 39%, 33%, 31%, or 25%, it’s just too hard to accurately calculate (those handles you hold or scales you step on that give you a number are pretty much always incorrect) and there’s simply no real world translation to the number.

Track progress by taking actual measurements (inches around the waist, thighs, and arms, for example), how clothes fit, and how you look in progress pics.


#7

Powerpuff
(sorry guys, I didn’t realize I was responding incorrectly)
When you say you are a beginner, have you lifted before?
Yes, before baby I was in great shape. I did crossfit 3x’s a week, had a PT 2 times a week and did hot yoga 2 times a week for recovery

Do you have access to a gym with machines?
I currently do not, but am working on getting into a gym twice a week. It is a 45 min drive, but I am currently in nursing school there twice a week so I will do lifting before class. I also have some access to weights in my own backyard because my husband lifts daily.

Are you experienced/ comfortable with barbell training?
I am somewhat comfortable, but not experienced or confident that I am experienced. I did crossfit solid for 3 years and never quite felt “confident” with barbell training.

How many times per week do you have time for weight training?
I want to do weight training 3-4 times a week as I see that would work best for me beginning.

Can you get out and walk with the stroller for 30 minutes once or twice a day?
I do get out and walk a lot, as well as take my daughter to the park and chase her.

Nutrition is KEY to fat loss. Do you know where your trouble spots are with diet (It’s different for everybody).
THIS is where I struggle. I am a comfort eater. If I have a bad day I want to eat, if I have a good day I am happy and want to eat more. I tend to go toward the typical meat and potato with very little veggies “diet”. I am working on the veggies thing. They are hard for me to swallow sometimes because I am super picky about texture/taste etc (not in a good way, I tend to like “bad” food). I love making home made bread and baking, which I’ve cut back on a lot. But, that is usually my idea of “down time”. It is relaxing to me. Then I hate myself for having cake readily available for the rest of the week that I have to eat because my hubby doesn’t eat these things…he’s also in shape haha
Do you have a plan for nutrition yet? Are you doing a program with an eating plan?
I have no nutrition plan except to literally grill a steak, make a potato and some veggies on the side until I get too sick to eat any more. Bad plan, I know. I do a lot of back and forth with recipes, but I often get discouraged and tired of trying to modify this and that. I end up giving up.


#8

Powerpuff

You did not intimidate me, sorry for taking so long to reply…I am still new to these forums and had my notifications on expecting they’d tell me when someone replied.


#9

RampantBadger

Thanks, I will definitely look into these.


#10

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
Congrats on the baby girl!! Coming back from a pregnancy can be a challenge, but you can certainly make amazing progress in a year.

About training -
When you say you are a beginner, have you lifted before?
Do you have access to a gym with machines?
Are you experienced/ comfortable with barbell training?
How many times per week do you have time for weight training?
Can you get out and walk with the stroller for 30 minutes once or twice a day?

Nutrition is KEY to fat loss. Do you know where your trouble spots are with diet (It’s different for everybody).
Do you have a plan for nutrition yet? Are you doing a program with an eating plan?
[/quote]

I replied (incorrectly) below :slight_smile:


#11

[quote]Japwhican wrote:
Powerpuff
(sorry guys, I didn’t realize I was responding incorrectly)
When you say you are a beginner, have you lifted before?
Yes, before baby I was in great shape. I did crossfit 3x’s a week, had a PT 2 times a week and did hot yoga 2 times a week for recovery

Do you have access to a gym with machines?
I currently do not, but am working on getting into a gym twice a week. It is a 45 min drive, but I am currently in nursing school there twice a week so I will do lifting before class. I also have some access to weights in my own backyard because my husband lifts daily.

Are you experienced/ comfortable with barbell training?
I am somewhat comfortable, but not experienced or confident that I am experienced. I did crossfit solid for 3 years and never quite felt “confident” with barbell training.

How many times per week do you have time for weight training?
I want to do weight training 3-4 times a week as I see that would work best for me beginning.

Can you get out and walk with the stroller for 30 minutes once or twice a day?
I do get out and walk a lot, as well as take my daughter to the park and chase her.

Nutrition is KEY to fat loss. Do you know where your trouble spots are with diet (It’s different for everybody).
THIS is where I struggle. I am a comfort eater. If I have a bad day I want to eat, if I have a good day I am happy and want to eat more. I tend to go toward the typical meat and potato with very little veggies “diet”. I am working on the veggies thing. They are hard for me to swallow sometimes because I am super picky about texture/taste etc (not in a good way, I tend to like “bad” food). I love making home made bread and baking, which I’ve cut back on a lot. But, that is usually my idea of “down time”. It is relaxing to me. Then I hate myself for having cake readily available for the rest of the week that I have to eat because my hubby doesn’t eat these things…he’s also in shape haha
Do you have a plan for nutrition yet? Are you doing a program with an eating plan?
I have no nutrition plan except to literally grill a steak, make a potato and some veggies on the side until I get too sick to eat any more. Bad plan, I know. I do a lot of back and forth with recipes, but I often get discouraged and tired of trying to modify this and that. I end up giving up. [/quote]

Lately there have been a lot of threads from people saying “I’ve tried everything, and nothing works.” Or “I’m training like crazy and have my nutrition dialed in but I’m still fat.” Your thread is WAY better. :slight_smile:

You already have a history of success with working out regularly and being in shape before the baby. BUENO!!

With a toddler and nursing school - BUSY!! - I’d fit in a short workout at the university gym before class a couple of times per week if you can, but otherwise I’d walk and run around at the park with your daughter, do step-ups to the park bench, chins on the bars, pushup variations… WALK with stroller, and train at home with the hubs so you can tag team the baby between sets. Since you are familiar with Crossfit, you could do something similar at home with him, or maybe do a short full body routine at home? Twice a week lifting at home, if you’re finding the time to get to the school gym a couple of times, would be fabulous.

That said, the part that NONE of us really enjoy is modifying diet, but that’s where it’s at, unfortunately. :frowning: No matter what you do at the gym, you will “eat your results” really easily. You will have to find a calming and enjoyable, and celebratory substitute for food. ERG. I can totally relate. My downfall is chocolate, and lots and lots of chips and salsa.

Honestly, I had my three kids before I started lifting and I lost my baby weight mostly by being mindful about eating. I did a lot of walking, and had a morning jogging routine. Wish I’d known about lifting then. My BFF just lost all her baby weight coming back from her third pregnancy by taking Zumba classes and using weight machines at the gym after class, but the MAIN thing was she stopped the high calorie mocha drinks in the morning, and stopped eating cookies and ice cream in the evening. She loves taking Zumba classes, so that’s her thing and she’s doing really well with it in terms of fat loss goals.

About diet - There’s a lot of information on this site. Personally, I like The Zone, and a lot of people who lift can do pretty well with Zone macros (30% Pro, 40% Carb, 30% fats). I like to eat small meals 4-5 times per day, but other people do really well with other diet plans. The trick is finding what is sustainable for YOU.

If you follow Jamie Eason on FB, she has some nice daily workouts, complete with videos. Some machines, and some with free weights you might have at home. I have a friend at the gym who just follows her programs and loves it. She also has an eating plan, and recommended food list. I just finished reading the Christmas Abbott book, The Badass Body Diet. You might like her since she’s a Crossfit person and so that would be familiar, but her book has a healthy foods list, eating plan (which I haven’t done), as well as a lot of BW exercises in the back that you could use at home. Nice stuff for conditioning, and the whole book is written for women specifically. I checked it out from the library.


#12

[quote]butcherman7 wrote:

OP, ^this is pure gold. Take heed.

[/quote]

Hey, thank you. I love threads like this.


#13

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:

[quote]Japwhican wrote:
Powerpuff
(sorry guys, I didn’t realize I was responding incorrectly)
When you say you are a beginner, have you lifted before?
Yes, before baby I was in great shape. I did crossfit 3x’s a week, had a PT 2 times a week and did hot yoga 2 times a week for recovery

Do you have access to a gym with machines?
I currently do not, but am working on getting into a gym twice a week. It is a 45 min drive, but I am currently in nursing school there twice a week so I will do lifting before class. I also have some access to weights in my own backyard because my husband lifts daily.

Are you experienced/ comfortable with barbell training?
I am somewhat comfortable, but not experienced or confident that I am experienced. I did crossfit solid for 3 years and never quite felt “confident” with barbell training.

How many times per week do you have time for weight training?
I want to do weight training 3-4 times a week as I see that would work best for me beginning.

Can you get out and walk with the stroller for 30 minutes once or twice a day?
I do get out and walk a lot, as well as take my daughter to the park and chase her.

Nutrition is KEY to fat loss. Do you know where your trouble spots are with diet (It’s different for everybody).
THIS is where I struggle. I am a comfort eater. If I have a bad day I want to eat, if I have a good day I am happy and want to eat more. I tend to go toward the typical meat and potato with very little veggies “diet”. I am working on the veggies thing. They are hard for me to swallow sometimes because I am super picky about texture/taste etc (not in a good way, I tend to like “bad” food). I love making home made bread and baking, which I’ve cut back on a lot. But, that is usually my idea of “down time”. It is relaxing to me. Then I hate myself for having cake readily available for the rest of the week that I have to eat because my hubby doesn’t eat these things…he’s also in shape haha
Do you have a plan for nutrition yet? Are you doing a program with an eating plan?
I have no nutrition plan except to literally grill a steak, make a potato and some veggies on the side until I get too sick to eat any more. Bad plan, I know. I do a lot of back and forth with recipes, but I often get discouraged and tired of trying to modify this and that. I end up giving up. [/quote]

Lately there have been a lot of threads from people saying “I’ve tried everything, and nothing works.” Or “I’m training like crazy and have my nutrition dialed in but I’m still fat.” Your thread is WAY better. :slight_smile:

You already have a history of success with working out regularly and being in shape before the baby. BUENO!!

With a toddler and nursing school - BUSY!! - I’d fit in a short workout at the university gym before class a couple of times per week if you can, but otherwise I’d walk and run around at the park with your daughter, do step-ups to the park bench, chins on the bars, pushup variations… WALK with stroller, and train at home with the hubs so you can tag team the baby between sets. Since you are familiar with Crossfit, you could do something similar at home with him, or maybe do a short full body routine at home? Twice a week lifting at home, if you’re finding the time to get to the school gym a couple of times, would be fabulous.

That said, the part that NONE of us really enjoy is modifying diet, but that’s where it’s at, unfortunately. :frowning: No matter what you do at the gym, you will “eat your results” really easily. You will have to find a calming and enjoyable, and celebratory substitute for food. ERG. I can totally relate. My downfall is chocolate, and lots and lots of chips and salsa.

Honestly, I had my three kids before I started lifting and I lost my baby weight mostly by being mindful about eating. I did a lot of walking, and had a morning jogging routine. Wish I’d known about lifting then. My BFF just lost all her baby weight coming back from her third pregnancy by taking Zumba classes and using weight machines at the gym after class, but the MAIN thing was she stopped the high calorie mocha drinks in the morning, and stopped eating cookies and ice cream in the evening. She loves taking Zumba classes, so that’s her thing and she’s doing really well with it in terms of fat loss goals.

About diet - There’s a lot of information on this site. Personally, I like The Zone, and a lot of people who lift can do pretty well with Zone macros (30% Pro, 40% Carb, 30% fats). I like to eat small meals 4-5 times per day, but other people do really well with other diet plans. The trick is finding what is sustainable for YOU.

If you follow Jamie Eason on FB, she has some nice daily workouts, complete with videos. Some machines, and some with free weights you might have at home. I have a friend at the gym who just follows her programs and loves it. She also has an eating plan, and recommended food list. I just finished reading the Christmas Abbott book, The Badass Body Diet. You might like her since she’s a Crossfit person and so that would be familiar, but her book has a healthy foods list, eating plan (which I haven’t done), as well as a lot of BW exercises in the back that you could use at home. Nice stuff for conditioning, and the whole book is written for women specifically. I checked it out from the library.
[/quote]

Thanks, I actually just signed up for a gym that is near my school so I can go the 2 days a week I am in “town” (we live in a town with a population of 3000 and nothing around for 45 miles). I HATE waking up early, but I’m going to have to do it before class because I know after I’m going to be like “screw working out I want to go home”. Then, the other 2 days when I’m not in town I am going to do running (quick 30 min jog to warm up at 5:30am), then lifting at home in the backyard once the little one is awake (6’ish).

Nutrition is going to be the hardest for me. I LOVE to bake and I love warm yummy drinks (especially when winter comes). I will definitely look into Jamie Eason. I did read some forum on here about people who have very little time to work out and have made somewhat of a plan I think:
Lower body
Pull
Push
A: Heavy Lowerbody
Medium Pull
Light Push
B: Heavy Push
Medium Lowerbody
Light Pull
C: Heavy Pull
Medium Push
Light lowerbody
alternating with 1 day of rest inbetween
Heavy reps 3-6
Medium 6-9
Light 10-15
3 sets of each
paired sets

I believe this will be a good start, but let me know what you think.


#14

^ I’m reading that to be 3 days, full-body, with a rest day in between. You’re cycling heavy/strength focused lift days between legs/push/pull repeat. I see no problem with that. Let us know how things go. If you ever want to talk to me, I keep a log in the Training Logs section called Ballet and Barbells.

About diet and your baking habit - Yeah. It kind of depends on how fast you want to see the weight come off. You can probably have a reasonable treat once a week, or have a very small treat everyday. You may not want to go at this in a really restrictive way, like you’re on a contest prep diet all the time, but if you are baking a lot, it will be very easy for you to eat an extra 500 calories everyday without even noticing it, and that will likely completely put the brakes on fat loss. The men have it a little easier because they tend to be so much bigger and more metabolic than we are. Erg… I think it was Nards who said he could fit in a Snickers Bar everyday if he wanted to, but for his girlfriend, it’s a much bigger percentage of her total daily calories. Bummer to be us. :wink:

Best of luck!
Puff


#15

Cut down calories…