T Nation

Female Athlete Q&A


#181

I’ve had a great week of training so far. I haven’t touched 405 in a deadlift for a few months but now that I’m 6 weeks away from my next meet it’s time to get moving so I did a couple sets of doubles with 365 and then pulled 405 for a single.

Squats are also improving by the week, since switching over to a low bar squat I have experienced a big jump in my squat strength. Last week I lifted 300 for the first time and it was a little slow and HEAVY but this week I felt more comfortable under the bar and lifted 295 for 2 reps and then up to 300 for a strong single.

Bench press has been a struggle as usual but I used the slingshot and pressed 185 last week. Any progress is good progress!!


#182

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

Welcome!

Congratulations on your progress so far, that’s awesome. Your goals are definitely achievable and I don’t think you’re being too strict, it’s important to be very accurate and aware of what you are eating. However, the binging isn’t great but it happens to the best of us… I think that might have something to do with your macro breakdown and the total amount of food you’re eating each day because from what you mentioned your calories seem pretty low.

The supplements I’ve mentioned before are available in Australia as far as I know, you can order from the store here (click on ‘store’ up on the top left) and you can also read reviews and more information about the different supplements there. I am a huge fan of Indigo-3G and I can’t live without it! It’s amazing for body composition goals. You could also try Plazma intraworkout, it’s a superior carb source and it will give you the fuel for amazing workouts and has favorable effects on body composition as well. You mentioned a lot of fruits that you eat and that quickly adds up in your daily carbs, they do have a place in a diet but it needs to be timed correctly and if you eat too much it can leave you craving sugar a lot of times. A good way to make sure you get in all of your fruits and veggies is to add superfood to one of your protein shakes in the day.
[/quote]

Hi Bron,

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

I seem to be doing better and have gotten to a point where I’m quite lean I have stopped having these all out binges, but am still having a few treats on some days, with the odd higher ‘refeed’ day (I’m calling them) due to going out for dinners or breakfasts where I can’t totally count the macros, only estimate as best I can.

What sort of calories should I be aiming for? I have recently started semi-carb cycling again as I stopped for a few weeks. Doing the very low carb 2-3 days per week where my total calories I’m aiming for is about 1400 and then on higher carb day it’s about 1650.

I must admit, this is the ideal but on some days I am eating closer to 1800-2000 because I’m either hungry or craving a sugar fix! I’m not as strict as I probably should be. I tend to only eat fruit (banana or sometimes an apple) within 30 minutes of a workout, or the raspberries in my yoghurt which is usually within 3 hours of a workout. I will look further into those supps though, thanks. I am so scared of eating proper carbs again, regularly (I have the odd bread roll during the week, and a very small amount of oats/bran every second day, but I can’t remember the last time I ate pizza, pasta, rice etc!!).

My other question is guess, is, to maintain the low level of body fat I believe I’m now at (I’m sure I’m sub 15%, maybe even closer to 12%), do I need to eat at a mild calorie deficit combined with high levels of exercise, ongoing? Is that they only way to stay truely lean? I feel if I up my calories to a more maintenance level, then weight will just come back on!!


#183

[quote]kayelle wrote:

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

Welcome!

Congratulations on your progress so far, that’s awesome. Your goals are definitely achievable and I don’t think you’re being too strict, it’s important to be very accurate and aware of what you are eating. However, the binging isn’t great but it happens to the best of us… I think that might have something to do with your macro breakdown and the total amount of food you’re eating each day because from what you mentioned your calories seem pretty low.

The supplements I’ve mentioned before are available in Australia as far as I know, you can order from the store here (click on ‘store’ up on the top left) and you can also read reviews and more information about the different supplements there. I am a huge fan of Indigo-3G and I can’t live without it! It’s amazing for body composition goals. You could also try Plazma intraworkout, it’s a superior carb source and it will give you the fuel for amazing workouts and has favorable effects on body composition as well. You mentioned a lot of fruits that you eat and that quickly adds up in your daily carbs, they do have a place in a diet but it needs to be timed correctly and if you eat too much it can leave you craving sugar a lot of times. A good way to make sure you get in all of your fruits and veggies is to add superfood to one of your protein shakes in the day.
[/quote]

Hi Bron,

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

I seem to be doing better and have gotten to a point where I’m quite lean I have stopped having these all out binges, but am still having a few treats on some days, with the odd higher ‘refeed’ day (I’m calling them) due to going out for dinners or breakfasts where I can’t totally count the macros, only estimate as best I can.

What sort of calories should I be aiming for? I have recently started semi-carb cycling again as I stopped for a few weeks. Doing the very low carb 2-3 days per week where my total calories I’m aiming for is about 1400 and then on higher carb day it’s about 1650.

I must admit, this is the ideal but on some days I am eating closer to 1800-2000 because I’m either hungry or craving a sugar fix! I’m not as strict as I probably should be. I tend to only eat fruit (banana or sometimes an apple) within 30 minutes of a workout, or the raspberries in my yoghurt which is usually within 3 hours of a workout. I will look further into those supps though, thanks. I am so scared of eating proper carbs again, regularly (I have the odd bread roll during the week, and a very small amount of oats/bran every second day, but I can’t remember the last time I ate pizza, pasta, rice etc!!).

My other question is guess, is, to maintain the low level of body fat I believe I’m now at (I’m sure I’m sub 15%, maybe even closer to 12%), do I need to eat at a mild calorie deficit combined with high levels of exercise, ongoing? Is that they only way to stay truely lean? I feel if I up my calories to a more maintenance level, then weight will just come back on!!
[/quote]

Glad to hear you’ve been making progress.

It’s hard to say exactly because it really depends on the person. But if you keep up with your high levels of exercise and stay in a mild calorie deficit then you should be able to maintain your current condition. If you are very accurate with your measurements you can always change things around and try to increase your calories a bit (keeping exercise levels the same) and see how your body reacts.

Keep in mind the scale isn’t always the best way to track you progress because it’s also likely that you may gain weight but have improved body composition and as females we tend to have a lot more fluctuation in weight.


#184

A fun little way to end my workout. Some “dancing” pull-ups!! This works wonders for grip strength and excellent for abdominal work. :wink:


#185

Shai’s mixing the Plazma for my workout today :slight_smile:


#186

Squat session from yesterday went well. Worked up to 3 sets of 3 @ 275. Here is a video of 255 & 275


#187

Meet Prep Update:

Deadlifts have been going great, I hit a rep PR last week and pulled 405 for 2 reps (video attached) and this week I did my last heavy deadlift session before the meet and worked up to a heavy single with 410.

Bench Press has been improving. I’ve been training once a week with a slingshot for my second exercise just to feel some heavier weights and worked with some doubles at 215 last week.

For opening lifts I’m thinking of 407/175/297


#188

My squat buddy!


#189

Had an awesome squat session today. 2 weeks out from the meet and I hit a huge PR, 325lbs. I’ve had a goal of 315 since last year and been working hard to get there so I’ve exceeded my expectations with this lift. Thanks to my awesome husband for all of his help and support!


#190

Hi Bron! I was so relieved when I read your form posts and responses. Well, I recently came off of a calorie deficit macro plan. (in the course of 4 months I steadily and slowly reached my goal weight: 146–13 pounds down) a little background: I have found a love for olympic lifting and crossfit! I’ve been training for about almost 1.5 years but haven’t quite progressed strebg th wise as much as I’d hoped. I’ve definitely progressed in my conditioning though. (I assume that this can be a result of not eating sufficiently for street gains)

Okidoke so: I am now at eating at a maintainance of 1,906 (134 protein/193 carbs/67 fat) I do train approx 5-6 days a week with about 4 heavy lifting days, HIIT 5 days with some of the HIITS involving barbell work. It’s my goal to increase strength and performance, but I don’t want (how do I say this) …“fluff”? I do consume complex carbs and starches around my workouts (2 hours before and then immediately after and a meal following) well, my question lies here: if the macros I provided are my maintenance macros, am I supposed to increase my cals by a certain percentage on training days and just eat at maintainance on off days? Or do I just eat at maintenance both on training and off days while watching which carbs I consume?

Now that we speak of carbs (and if the answer for above ? Is no) lol my next question would be: on my off days should I decrease my carb intake, if so by how much? Does this require more fat grams to come into play on off day?
Geez I’m so sorry, I feel like I’ve written a novel :frowning: I appreciate your time and can’t wait for your response! :slight_smile:


#191

[quote]vleal1432 wrote:
Hi Bron! I was so relieved when I read your form posts and responses. Well, I recently came off of a calorie deficit macro plan. (in the course of 4 months I steadily and slowly reached my goal weight: 146–13 pounds down) a little background: I have found a love for olympic lifting and crossfit! I’ve been training for about almost 1.5 years but haven’t quite progressed strebg th wise as much as I’d hoped. I’ve definitely progressed in my conditioning though. (I assume that this can be a result of not eating sufficiently for street gains)

Okidoke so: I am now at eating at a maintainance of 1,906 (134 protein/193 carbs/67 fat) I do train approx 5-6 days a week with about 4 heavy lifting days, HIIT 5 days with some of the HIITS involving barbell work. It’s my goal to increase strength and performance, but I don’t want (how do I say this) …“fluff”? I do consume complex carbs and starches around my workouts (2 hours before and then immediately after and a meal following) well, my question lies here: if the macros I provided are my maintenance macros, am I supposed to increase my cals by a certain percentage on training days and just eat at maintainance on off days? Or do I just eat at maintenance both on training and off days while watching which carbs I consume?

Now that we speak of carbs (and if the answer for above ? Is no) lol my next question would be: on my off days should I decrease my carb intake, if so by how much? Does this require more fat grams to come into play on off day?
Geez I’m so sorry, I feel like I’ve written a novel :frowning: I appreciate your time and can’t wait for your response! :)[/quote]

Congratulations on your progress so far, you’re doing great! I wouldn’t assume that your lack of strength gains is only due to your nutritiont, it’s most likely a combination of your nutrition and training program together. If you aren’t making the necessary steps of progression and doing the correct exercises with appropriate weight/sets/reps then it can be almost impossible to progress.

If you were in a calorie deficit this may have had some conflict on training but it really depends on what you were eating. Even while I’m in a calorie deficit I manage to keep strength levels high by timing my nutrients properly throughout the day, the majority of my carbs are always eating intraworkout from Plazma and this allows me to keep energy and intensity high.

From the breakdown you gave me I will suggest to decrease your fat a bit and increase both carbs and protein. Its hard to give you exact numbers without knowing you but I will give you an example based on the numbers you have given me so you can understand the direction of my thinking for on/off training days.
Training Days - 165/210/45 (keeping your “maintenance” calories on this day, I would do about 1/2 of the carbs from Plazma. A preload with 1 serving and sip on 1-1.5 servings during your workout)
Off Days - this will really depend on how your body responds but I would take away 1/3 to 1/2 of the carbs this day and increase the fat a little. The calories should be lower this day.

Always watch what kind of carbs you consume, when you are looking at gaining strength and making improvements in your body composition it’s important to use sources that will give you the most benefit to fuel your goals.

Great questions, feel free to ask anything else. Hope this helped you out a bit.


#192

I had a great weekend at the CPL Western Canadian powerlifting meet. I finished first in my weight class (75kg), 1st overall raw female lifter, “sickest deadlift” award and came home with 3 national titles in all of my lifts. I made meet PR’s in all of my lifts and put almost 50lbs on my total since my last meet.
Squat: 314lbs
Bench Press: 176lbs
Deadlift: 424lbs
Total: 914lbs


#193

Here’s a few videos from the meet…

314lb Squat:


#194

Bench Press: 176lbs


#195

Deadlift 424lbs:


#196

Now I’m getting back to my regular training. I have another meet at the Vancouver Pro/Am on July 25th. I might just do a push-pull meet here or deadlift only but I haven’t decided yet.

Deadlift session:
3 sets x 5 reps @ 315lb

Deficit Deads:
3 sets x 5 reps @275lbs

Barbell Rows:
4 sets x 8 @ 135lbs

Glute Ham raise:
3 sets x 12-15

My legs are still killing me from my squat session a few days ago, I did some work with higher reps for squats with 235lbs and then some 200lb pause squats… It’s been a good week!!

Video of my last set of 315 x 5

Here’s a video of me messing around in the warm up (gotta keep things interestingð???)


#197

Advice on my diet and training please! I’m a 32year old female 143lb approx 24.8%BF (measured on machine in gym.
I currently eat 1550-1600 cals (121C 143P 57F)
I train 5 days a week - combination of heavy compound lifts and moderate weight high rep isolation lifts. Structure of my week is: Monday rest/tues lower/ wed upper/ Thursday rest/ fri lower/ sat upper/ Sunday HIIT or crossfit or complex style training. I also do steady state cardio for 25-30 mins 4 times a week.

I want to reduce body fat - does this plan sound like Im On the right lines? Few people have told me I’m not eating enough.mi want to get it right. Progress is happening but very slowly.

Any advice would be great!


#198

[quote]Hepburn0710 wrote:
Advice on my diet and training please! I’m a 32year old female 143lb approx 24.8%BF (measured on machine in gym.
I currently eat 1550-1600 cals (121C 143P 57F)
I train 5 days a week - combination of heavy compound lifts and moderate weight high rep isolation lifts. Structure of my week is: Monday rest/tues lower/ wed upper/ Thursday rest/ fri lower/ sat upper/ Sunday HIIT or crossfit or complex style training. I also do steady state cardio for 25-30 mins 4 times a week.

I want to reduce body fat - does this plan sound like Im On the right lines? Few people have told me I’m not eating enough.mi want to get it right. Progress is happening but very slowly.

Any advice would be great! [/quote]

I wouldn’t say your calories are necessarily too low as diet is very individual. It sounds like a good place to start and you can make small adjustments to see what works for you. For now I’d recommend to drop the fat a little bit and increase your carbs intraworkout (from Plazma if you have it) The best supplement for body composition would be indigo3G so you might want to consider giving that a try and it will allow you to keep your calories higher while during the process.

Slow progress isn’t a bad thing either. Anything you do that’s steady and gradual will most likely lead to results that are long lasting unlike extreme dieting techniques.

You can also try to increase your cardio a bit(use both HIIT and LISS) Add an extra day or two or increase the duration of the sessions. And as for training a good idea would be to do the high frequency big compound movements. You should be doing these more than 1 day a week… Squat, deadlift, pressing, pullups, dips.

Keep consistent and remember that any progress is good! Hope this helped you a bit :slight_smile:

Bron


#199

I jumped into another powerlifting meet at the Vancouver Pro this weekend. I had originally planned on just doing a push/pull meet there but showed up in the morning and felt good so I decided to squat.

I ended up breaking my own national record in the squat and did 319lbs and same with my deadlift, I pulled 430lbs. On my 3rd attempt I tried 440 and couldn’t finish the lockout!! I’ll get it next time. Bench press wasn’t so good, my shoulder was bothering me and I only made my opener @ 165lbs.


#200

Jesus, that’s a beauteous pull! Great job on the meet. Hope you get your shoulder squared away.