T Nation

Female Athlete Q&A


I've been reading a lot of articles and posts on social media lately about the best type of shoes for lifting so I thought I'd let you know what has worked for me.

When I started lifting I wore Oly weightlifting shoes, it allowed me to feel stable in the lifts and helped me understand the concept of pushing from my heels. Over the years I have changed to a flat sole because it's much more comfortable for me and I can "feel" the weight better and I experience no aches and pains in my knees as I did with the Olympic shoes.

Otomix were my favorite choice until my weights started increasing and then I found my feet would be rolling when I tried to spread the floor so I bought a pair of Converse to see what all of the hype is about... AND... They are AWESOME! The perfect shoes for squats and deadlifts, the stability is unmatched by any other shoe I've tried.

Any other opinions for great lifting shoes?


You look great. The true model of fitness, in my opinion. Perfect amount of hypertrophy and very feminine.

Great PLing numbers. Really great.


Thank you very much! I appreciate the positive feedback and I hope your training is going well :slightly_smiling:

I've been following your training log, looks like you are getting back into the swing of things. What powerlifting meet do you have in mind?


Actually, I just bailed on the meet. Just don't have the strength to put in a respectable showing. I compete USAPL and have strong ties to that organization.


I've heard great things about that organization and they always have so many meets so you can pick another one to work towards :slightly_smiling: There's an affiliate of the usapl in canada now called the CPL but they've only had one meet so I haven't competed there yet.

Good luck with your training... I look forward to following your progress!


USAPL is the US affiliate of the IPF. The Canadian affiliate is the Canadian Powerlifting Union. They are very active and offer many meets across the country.


Right!! I was thinking about the USPA, my mistake.


Leg Day

Box Squats (3 second pause on 12" box)
8 sets x 3 reps @ 205lbs

Bulgarian Squats
4 sets x 10 reps @ 135lbs

Glute-ham raise
3 sets x 15 reps

Banded hyperextension
4 sets x 12 reps
* first 6 reps with a 5 second pause at the top

Lying hamstring curls
4 sets x 12 reps

I have a heavy leg day coming up on Monday, I'm excited! :)))


Hey Bron,

I really appreciate you making this thread. I was wondering if I could ask you a few basic questions.
I am a young guy, 22, and I have a very fast metabolism, so I have never had to work hard to maintain a low level of body fat. I mostly lift hard and eat a lot and things work out for me.

My girlfriend on the other hand has been working her butt off for a while in the gym (8+ months) and can't seem to lose much weight at all, in either inches or pounds.

Wondering if you have some advice for where she should start both in terms of training and nutrition.

We actually got the basic nutrition plan from @Dani a month or two ago, but we will probably do the 4 week plan once she has availability in November.

I think the issue has to lie in her nutrition because she was working with a personal trainer doing pretty solid HIIT and olympic lifting style of workouts, and eating pretty well and made very little progress: moderate strength gains, 5 pound fat loss and maybe a percentage or two of body fat.

Not working with the trainer anymore. She has been doing two-a-days at the gym for 3 weeks or so because she is getting frustrated with the lack of progress. First time at the gym is lifting and second time is interval cardio on the stair stepper or eliptical.

In terms of current nutrition. She stuck to this plan pretty strictly for 2 or 3 weeks, got frustrated from lack of progress and started cheating. Even the Indigo3G didn't seem to do much for her.

Breakfast: Eggs and some fruit
Indigo3G 30 minutes prior to the gym
Lunch: Protein Shake or Quest Bar with some fruit and veggies
Dinner: Protein (usually Chicken) with vegetables and sometimes a little rice

21 years old
5 foot 7 inches
Weight: 160-165 pounds
BF: probably 25% or so?

Any help on nutrition and training that you could give us would be awesome! I hate to see her frustrated. She just wants to lose around 20 pounds and look good in a bikini. That kind of thing.

Thanks so much!!


Hello Ladies! I am so happy to have found this group! Bron, you are amazing! I'd like some advice on a few areas if you please...

First, I've been a Crossfitter for about 2 years but recently purchased a program from Ashley Horner which is more of a traditional style of lifting. I find myself missing the big lifts on a daily basis but feel that crossfit offers that most days. I struggle with ways to combine the two programs since I really enjoy both. The only cardio I do is through the Met-Cons or AMRAPS. Do you think I need to just pick one program?

Currently, I'm doing a week of Crossfit and a week of isolation (Monday: chest and back, etc)...will this produce the results I'm seeking? I'm looking for overall strength gain but I feel as though I still have some "fluff" around the middle. I'm 38 years old, 5'4", 115 at 20% bf but still don't have that "cut" appearance that I desire. I'm currently eating around 1800 calories with a 40p/40c/20f split or 182g of protein and carbs, and 41g of fat.

I'm currently trying to eat my carbs around my workouts. I have tried Indigo but didn't see any results. Should I pair it with something? I'm not currently taking a fat burner because I've never found one that seems to work.

What suggestions would you have for my nutrition and workout plan? What supplements should I be taking? Thanks in advance for your time and for starting this forum!



First of all she's going to have to try to stick with a plan for longer! Try to keep encouraging her and just because she doesn't see results immediately doesn't mean she should give up, we all get frustrated sometimes but just need to push through. Take progress pictures with her every 2 weeks in the same place, same time and same lighting then she'll be more likely to notice small changes.

You're absolutely right, the problem is most likely in her diet but it can also be due to her training. Is she following any kind of training program at the moment or just floating through her workouts with no direction since going without her trainer? Twice a day isn't always the best option especially if she doesn't have any kind of structure in her workouts. If she is going to the gym a separate time just for cardio you can try having her do it in the same session immediately following the weights.

As for her diet... I see a list of food but no amounts? Is she measuring food or just eating whatever?

I don't see a lot of carbohydrates here and you mentioned that she didn't see results from the Indigo-3G. Indigo is a nutrient partitioning supplement and it works great for people who don't normally respond well to carbohydrates but they HAVE to eat in order to see these benefits. After 2-3 weeks she would start noticing a difference from using it but for optimal results I would suggest staying on it long term for a minimum of 6 weeks and tell her not to be fooled by the number on the scale because it's not an indication of body composition.
"You can't repartition something you don't consume. So, if you don't consume ample supplies of nutrients, especially extra carbs in peri-workout nutrition, you'll greatly diminish muscle mass gains." (As stated in the product details)
If she's taking the indigo 30min prior to training she should be drinking Plazma throughout the workout for her intraworkout nutrition and it will give her the energy needed for the workout and allow the indigo to work efficiently with the nutrients given.

Give me little more info about the diet and what exactly she's doing in the gym and I'll be able to give some better suggestions. You can also post a photo if she's comfortable with that.

Thanks for posting :slight_smile:


You don't have to pick one or the other but it really depends on your goal because training programs should be built around your individual needs. I am not familiar with her style of training but if you mean traditional like bodybuilding/physique type training then you can definitely do a combination of both types of training. For example some of the training programs that have worked successfully for me in the past begin with a variation of an Olympic lift and 1-2 compound exercises followed by some isolation exercises with dumbbells, machines or cables etc. This type of training can work well for those who wants to be "functional" and improve their physique at the same time.

Based on your goals I think a combination of Micro-PA, Indigo-3G and Plazma would work well for strength gains and fat loss. If you add the Plazma and Micro-PA to the Indigo-3G you're currently using then you will notice great improvements in your quality of workouts and a more rapid change in body composition. These are 3 supplements that I personally use religiously and they have helped me come a long way in a short period of time.
Micro-PA: increase strength, decrease bodyfat
Indigo-3G: absorb nutrients efficiently, burn fat, prevent fat storage
Plazma: faster recovery, superwoman energy during workout, great pumps, superior nutrient source

As for your diet...
How many meals each day?
What are your food sources?
You mentioned that you are trying to eat your carbs around your workout. What are you eating for carbs and what is the timing of them around your workout?



Thanks so much for the response! She isn't really into posting a picture.

Quick question for you. How do you determine the proper number of calories to eat per training day and non-training day? I don't think she is eating enough calories in either case.

She will do interval sprints on the eliptical or leg swinger
Then in terms of lifting she does some olympic lifts, clean and press, push press, squat, and some machines, leg press, etc. Basically she is doing an upper body split.

She trained with a personal trainer for 2-3 months for 3 times a week. So in terms of training she has had times of very structured training.

I don't have exact amounts, but she doesn't eat much honestly. She doesn't enjoy most "healthy" foods.

The main question I have is regarding nutrition. How should we determine the number of calories to eat on training/non-training days? Do you have a nutrition plan from T-Nation you recommend?


Thanks for the reply!

I currently eat 5-6 meals per day, mostly chicken, ground turkey, veggies, eggs. I eat oatmeal at breakfast and sweet potatoes at my meal after my workout in the evening. I drink a protein shake and carb drink both pre and post workout. Then I have my dinner with the sweet potatoes. I workout 4-5 days a week.

I just purchased Fahrenheit and Se7en. Should I return those or try them for a few weeks? I feel like I've tried so many things my head is spinning!


Nutrition plans are very individual and there's no set number of calories that will work for everyone. All factors should be considered when building a diet including overall activity level,age, height, weight, genetic advantages/disadvantages, training intensity and so on.

As a general rule she should eat less carbs on non-training days and the exact numbers and how much to drop will depend on her diet.

Most important thing is to find someone to help her that has the time to get to know her body in order to build something that will work. You mentioned that she might be starting with Dani in the near future so she'll surely set her on the right track.

I would love to give you a more useful answer but it's a lot more complex than people think, I monitor my clients every week and make changes based on how their body responds.


Yes, I've been there before and it sucks when you seem to try everything and get no where but don't stress out it'll only make it worse!!! We will find a solution :slightly_smiling:

Food choices sound good! Are you using the Plazma as your carb drink already? The supplements I suggested are the staple products that I always use but there are plenty of other good choices to stack with those as well.

Fahrenheit and Se7en are great!! I use them as well on top of the other products I mentioned, I am addicted to my Biotest supplements and can never choose one over another haha. I actually made a recent post about Fahrenheit, I tried it for the first time about a month ago and I know it's making my metabolism through the roof because I've increased my calories (AGAIN! I eat a lot.) and I'm still maintaining the same weight and staying lean. I find the Se7en most useful for working on stubborn areas... I could never seem to get rid of the fat on my ass and thighs until I tried it. So my answer is NO don't return them because you can benefit from adding these into your program.

On your days off are you eating less than training days?


I'm currently using Whey Better Protein and Fortify (a Waxy Maize Carb drink). On rest days, I am lowering carbs but keeping protein the same. Should I add Plazma on top of all that?


Heavy squat day! I used knee sleeves for 295lbs, first time I've ever tried them. I'm getting closer to my goal!!! Now back to work on my sticking point out of the hole :slightly_smiling:


When you are finished the product you have replace the waxy maize with Plazma during your workout. Start with 1-2 servings depending on what your diet allows for, you can add more Plazma during the workout and eliminate the carbs from somewhere else in the day.

If you want to try a different protein I'd also recommend switching the whey for MAG-10, it's a superior protein source and it makes your body more responsive to protein absorption. It's perfect for post workout to give you a protein pulse after training and then you can eat your next solid meal 60-90min after the shake.



I also looked back and read your original post, I missed the part about 182g of protein and carbs each day. Considering your height and weight this sounds pretty high to me. Even if you take 1.2x your bodyweight as a measure you'd get around 140g/day... Therefore, I think if you try lowering your carbs and protein you'll see some good results, even if you lower both of them to 140 each and keep fat at 41g then you'll be sitting around 1500cal/day.

Just a thought and something that you can try, you can always play around with the numbers after but just see how your body responds after a few weeks like this.