T Nation

Female Athlete Q&A


#161

I have like a million questions for you actually since you’re basically like my hero/inspiration for everything…

Do you see any benefit to doing both kind of deadlifts?
I am very short and have long arms (so we’re the opposite) and all I do is pull conventional. I honestly don’t even know if I have a clue how to pull sumo. Would it be helpful to mix it up or should I stick with what I know?
Also, I started pulling hook grip because of an article on here and it’s making me hate DL days because my thumbs bleed like crazy and my grip sucks because I have super tiny little hands.
I went back to mixed grip, but it bugs me because my body seems super imbalanced and I think its because I have been mixed gripping for like 10 years, ha. I also feel like I sorta pull crooked with mix grip now, but that could just be because I’m paranoid about it…Ignorance is bliss I suppose…
So that wasn’t really a question, uh, so any recommendations on grip issues?

ANd I am curious if you do front squats at all? I haven’t noticed any videos of you doing them, but everyone rants and raves about them building squat and DL strength, etc…

ANdddd what do you feel are the most important accessory lifts for building strength in the big 3 ?

THANKS for any info/thank you for posting your stuff on here.
You’re a fountain of information and I appreciate everything you post even though all I do is lurk it :=)


#162

[quote]Spock81 wrote:
I have like a million questions for you actually since you’re basically like my hero/inspiration for everything…

Do you see any benefit to doing both kind of deadlifts?
I am very short and have long arms (so we’re the opposite) and all I do is pull conventional. I honestly don’t even know if I have a clue how to pull sumo. Would it be helpful to mix it up or should I stick with what I know?
Also, I started pulling hook grip because of an article on here and it’s making me hate DL days because my thumbs bleed like crazy and my grip sucks because I have super tiny little hands.
I went back to mixed grip, but it bugs me because my body seems super imbalanced and I think its because I have been mixed gripping for like 10 years, ha. I also feel like I sorta pull crooked with mix grip now, but that could just be because I’m paranoid about it…Ignorance is bliss I suppose…
So that wasn’t really a question, uh, so any recommendations on grip issues?

ANd I am curious if you do front squats at all? I haven’t noticed any videos of you doing them, but everyone rants and raves about them building squat and DL strength, etc…

ANdddd what do you feel are the most important accessory lifts for building strength in the big 3 ?

THANKS for any info/thank you for posting your stuff on here.
You’re a fountain of information and I appreciate everything you post even though all I do is lurk it :=)[/quote]

Thank you for posting!

It really depends what you feel comfortable with and what your goals are. You could try to add sumo pulls into your program and switch back and forth between the two styles and you’ll find that with the sumo deadlift you’ll experience more glute and hamstring activation. When I first tried it I remember it was very awkward until I found my sweet spot in the lift, when my feet were too wide there was a lot of pressure on my hips so I do a fairly narrow sumo stance and start with my hips a bit higher and it’s a very comfortable starting position for me. The sumo deadlift can cut down your vertical bar distance significantly which is quite noticeable for me because makes it easier to hold my upright position and grip for the duration of the lift.

Are you using a deadlift bar? I would imagine doing hook grip would be painful on the thumbs for heavy deadlifts, I have pretty big hands and I’ve only ever used hook grip for Olympic lifts maybe up to a max of 150lbs and that hurt my thumbs but over time I got used to it. You can try to put a piece of tape over the tip of your thumb and it might help you. I’m assuming you’re using chalk but I’ll mention it anyways just incase.
For grip work you can do all sort of different exercises to help build strength. Dumbbell or plate pinches (holding a dumbbell from the side using just your fingertips), 1 arm hangs (or 2 arm until your strong enough for 1), grip crushers, barbell holds (at the end of a deadlift set or set the pins high in the cage and do rack deadlift holds). Also, you do pull-ups try doing them without straps and on a fat bar if possible.

I do front squats!! Right now I’m doing them as an accessory exercise every 2nd leg day after squats. I will make a video this week and post it here. It’s a great exercise for the quads and really helps you concentrate on holding your upper body tight during your lifts.

I think most important accessory lifts to improve the big 3 are really depending on where your weaknesses are in the specific lift. For example in the deadlift, my weakest point is in the lockout therefore I find heavy rack deadlifts beneficial but someone who is weak from the floor might choose deficit deadlifts as a priority. For squats, my favorite accessory exercise is a pause squat (usually for 3 seconds) because my weakness is out of the hole so it helps me practice explosiveness and gain strength from the bottom. To be honest my bench press is really lacking and I have shoulder issues so it makes it difficult! The pause on my chest is the most difficult for me and I really like to use a Swiss bar floor press as an accessory because it helps me work on stability and it gives my shoulder a bit of relief because of the neutral grip. Another accessory exercise I really like is a reverse band press because it allows me to feel heavier weights for the lockout and gives me assistance in the bottom, you can also do this with a slingshot if you don’t have the appropriate equipment at your gym.


#163

Thanks so much for the reply, it was very helpful.

I am going to try taping my thumbs tomorrow to see if that helps any, if not, I might just go back to hook grip and stop worrying about looking crooked, haha.

I forgot one more thing I wanted to ask you, what sort of shoulder exercises do you do? Do you do military press at all?

A front squat video would be awesome.

Thanks again for all your help!


#164

[quote]Spock81 wrote:
Thanks so much for the reply, it was very helpful.

I am going to try taping my thumbs tomorrow to see if that helps any, if not, I might just go back to hook grip and stop worrying about looking crooked, haha.

I forgot one more thing I wanted to ask you, what sort of shoulder exercises do you do? Do you do military press at all?

A front squat video would be awesome.

Thanks again for all your help! [/quote]
Hi Spocky. Glad to see you again.
Now back to our regularly scheduled thread.


#165

Sorry it took me a while to get this video up! Here is one set of my front squats from yesterday. I did it as a third exercise after squats and pause squats. I have been busy moving in the last week so I wasn’t able to train very much and I spent the weekend building our gym. Now I have a gym downstairs in my home so it will be much easier to workout now because the kids don’t need to go to the babysitter everytime. Yesterday I was doing squats and my 3 year old was saying, “Goooood job Mama!!!”. What a great way to get motivated!


#166

[quote]Spock81 wrote:
Thanks so much for the reply, it was very helpful.

I am going to try taping my thumbs tomorrow to see if that helps any, if not, I might just go back to hook grip and stop worrying about looking crooked, haha.

I forgot one more thing I wanted to ask you, what sort of shoulder exercises do you do? Do you do military press at all?

A front squat video would be awesome.

Thanks again for all your help! [/quote]

I do standing military press! I do a lot of different exercises but because of the issues with my right shoulder I find I’m always trying to compensate and have to use lighter weight than I’d like for most exercises.

Here are a few exercises I like for shoulders: push press, snatch (dumbbell or barbell), lateral&front dumbbell raise and for rear delts I like rope facepulls, rear delt laterals facing down on a 45 degree bench, elitefts grenade reverse cable flies. I do standing or sitting shoulder press and I usually use a barbell because it bothers my shoulder to swing the dumbbells into place and I switch back and forth pressing from in front and behind my neck,


#167

Thanks for posting the squat video. It’s the first time I’ve been able to see the difference between a high-bar and low-bar squat.


#168

Overhead squat - warm up


#169

[quote]Furin wrote:
Thanks for posting the squat video. It’s the first time I’ve been able to see the difference between a high-bar and low-bar squat.[/quote]

You’re welcome! If there’s anything else that you’d like to see just let me know.


#170

Hi there!
I’m new to the forums, came across it while looking for some carb cycling information and here I am! I would love some feedback/suggestions on my diet and training program to help achieve my goals.

I’m 31 yrs old, 173cms and weigh 63kg or so (about 139-140lbs). I used to weigh over 106kg about 4yrs ago (234lbs) so I’ve done ok! I live in Australia too, so a lot of the supps you guys talk about, I haven’t looked into if we have them here.

My last DEXA scan back in January showed 17%BF (down from 21% the previous August). I have lost some weight since then, and I’m aiming for 15%. Planning on have another DEXA mid April to see how I’m progressing. I want those visible abs dammit!! The problem is I have loose skin from previously being overweight so not sure if I’ll ever achieve the physique I want. I don’t want to actually ever compete in a physique comp, just want a long lean strong body.

My cuurent training regime is:
Mon - Metabolic conditioning (almost crossfit) style class with my PT
Tues - Whole body strength workout A or B
Weds - HIIT cardio session
Thurs - Whole body strength workout B or A
Fri - Metabolic conditioning (almost crossfit) style class with my PT
Sat - Whole body strength workout A or B
Sun - Rest day/light cardio/lacrosse match during lacrosse season

My whole body sessions consist of two various workouts which I alternate.
But they incorporate back squats, deadlifts, walking lunges, seated rows, chest press, barbell hip thrusts, sled push, lat pull downs and then some iso walk (calves, triceps, biceps, back extensions etc).

My diet hasn’t been too bad. My trainer has recently started carb cycling with me but I’ve been naughty lately and struggled with it! Got to refocus!!
So we are going to do ‘high carbs’ (150g) on 4 days per week (M/Tu/Th/Sat) and low carb (50g) Wed/Fri/Sun.
I am for 150g protein each day and then 45g or 65g fat on high or low carb days.
I take a WPI/casein blend protein shake post training and occasionally another one if I need to up my protein for the day without upping other macros. Otherwise I have started taking Aceytl Carnetine and a general ‘Fat Burner’ tablet most days. I don’t take pre-workout or do any other type of nutrition timing.

My diet consists of a lot of: chicken, lean steak, lean mince, some cheese, low fat natural yoghurt with berries and touch of fresh honey, home made granola with oats and nuts, lots of veggies (brocolli, zucchini, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, carrots, snow peas, etc). Fruit such as bananas, apples, pears on ‘high carb’ day. I cook with olive oil or add to steamed veggies on low carb day. Occasionally eat potatoes/sweet potato. Have been steering clear of bread/pasta for a while which helped me drop a lot of body fat but I miss it, so have been adding it in a few serves per week on high carb day…

Any suggestions!!!?? Supps I should add? Diet changes? Am I too strict? Dreaming too much of my goals?

I worry I’m over analysing everything - food and meal planning is a bad obsession for me now. I count to the last calorie and gram of carb/fat/protein, and then have these big binges when I go on chocolate/icecream rampages!

Nice to meet everyone anyway :slight_smile:


#171

[quote]kayelle wrote:
Hi there!
I’m new to the forums, came across it while looking for some carb cycling information and here I am! I would love some feedback/suggestions on my diet and training program to help achieve my goals.

I’m 31 yrs old, 173cms and weigh 63kg or so (about 139-140lbs). I used to weigh over 106kg about 4yrs ago (234lbs) so I’ve done ok! I live in Australia too, so a lot of the supps you guys talk about, I haven’t looked into if we have them here.

My last DEXA scan back in January showed 17%BF (down from 21% the previous August). I have lost some weight since then, and I’m aiming for 15%. Planning on have another DEXA mid April to see how I’m progressing. I want those visible abs dammit!! The problem is I have loose skin from previously being overweight so not sure if I’ll ever achieve the physique I want. I don’t want to actually ever compete in a physique comp, just want a long lean strong body.

My cuurent training regime is:
Mon - Metabolic conditioning (almost crossfit) style class with my PT
Tues - Whole body strength workout A or B
Weds - HIIT cardio session
Thurs - Whole body strength workout B or A
Fri - Metabolic conditioning (almost crossfit) style class with my PT
Sat - Whole body strength workout A or B
Sun - Rest day/light cardio/lacrosse match during lacrosse season

My whole body sessions consist of two various workouts which I alternate.
But they incorporate back squats, deadlifts, walking lunges, seated rows, chest press, barbell hip thrusts, sled push, lat pull downs and then some iso walk (calves, triceps, biceps, back extensions etc).

My diet hasn’t been too bad. My trainer has recently started carb cycling with me but I’ve been naughty lately and struggled with it! Got to refocus!!
So we are going to do ‘high carbs’ (150g) on 4 days per week (M/Tu/Th/Sat) and low carb (50g) Wed/Fri/Sun.
I am for 150g protein each day and then 45g or 65g fat on high or low carb days.
I take a WPI/casein blend protein shake post training and occasionally another one if I need to up my protein for the day without upping other macros. Otherwise I have started taking Aceytl Carnetine and a general ‘Fat Burner’ tablet most days. I don’t take pre-workout or do any other type of nutrition timing.

My diet consists of a lot of: chicken, lean steak, lean mince, some cheese, low fat natural yoghurt with berries and touch of fresh honey, home made granola with oats and nuts, lots of veggies (brocolli, zucchini, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, carrots, snow peas, etc). Fruit such as bananas, apples, pears on ‘high carb’ day. I cook with olive oil or add to steamed veggies on low carb day. Occasionally eat potatoes/sweet potato. Have been steering clear of bread/pasta for a while which helped me drop a lot of body fat but I miss it, so have been adding it in a few serves per week on high carb day…

Any suggestions!!!?? Supps I should add? Diet changes? Am I too strict? Dreaming too much of my goals?

I worry I’m over analysing everything - food and meal planning is a bad obsession for me now. I count to the last calorie and gram of carb/fat/protein, and then have these big binges when I go on chocolate/icecream rampages!

Nice to meet everyone anyway :slight_smile:

[/quote]

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.


#172

What’s your favorite kind of cardio???

I really dislike doing cardio on the machines at the gym… It’s wayyyyyy too boring. I prefer to get outside and hike or sprint hills/stairs. Cardio doesn’t have to be boring & there’s a lot of ways to have fun while doing it so you don’t have to sit and count down the minutes on the treadmill. Summer is almost here so get outside and try something new!


#173

This is my way of multitasking… Aerobics, strength training and making the kids happy all at the same time :wink:

Too many serious videos so I thought it was time to change it up a bit LOL

I had a lot of energy from my SPIKE energy drink. If you’re looking for a good energy boost try the Spike double shot, the orange is my favorite!


#174

Landmine Floor Press

I usually do a floor press with a Swiss bar as an accessory exercise for bench press but I don’t have one here so here is an idea for a single arm variation of the exercise. Give it a try!


#175

300lb squat! It was my 5th wedding anniversary yesterday… Could you imagine a better way to celebrate!?

My plan was to compete in a figure competition in June but the competition I planned on doing was pushed ahead to May this year so I have a change of plans. I’ll be competing in a powerlifting meet with my husband on June 6th and then I’ll switch gears and get ready for a figure show in August (10 weeks after the meet)


#176

Back Day - No heavy deadlifts this week… I’ll be trying to pull 405 next week and hopefully more!

Barbell Rows
4 sets x 8 reps @ 175lbs

Meadows Rows
4 sets x 10-12 reps

Weighted Pull ups - wide grip fat bar
12 reps with 10lbs
8 reps with 25lbs
10 reps with 45lbs
25reps bodyweight (all out set to failure)

Bodyweight Reverse Fat Bar Pull Ups
3 sets x 10 reps

Superset:
Single Arm Cable Side Pulldowns
3 sets x 12-15 reps
&
Single Arm Cable Rows
3 sets x 12-15reps

Barbell Bicep Curls
3 sets x 10-12 reps

Dumbbell Concentration Curls
3 sets x 12 reps


#177

Prior to my wife to be having a baby she was able to drop some weight from 212 down to 182. After baby came 4 months ago she weighed 187 and 2 months ago got down to 182 and stalled for 2 weeks. She was eating 1800 cals and reduced it down to 1500 and started weight training. She will do a total body workout with antagonist supersets for 12-15 reps for 3-5 sets plus a finisher at the end of her workout eg) tabata thrusters or a five excersize complex.

Although she seems to have trimmed up a little her weight has increased a few pounds to 187 today. She did however travel for 3 days which caused her to miss some meals. Asking if there is something in our methods, calories too low? Just temporary weight gain? Too many missed meals? It’s been about 2 weeks and a little frustrated with the results so far.

This is the start of her third week and goes to the gym 4-5 days a week. She would like to lose optimally for a wedding dress fitting in 8 weeks and further drop weight down to 150 or less by her end of October wedding. Any advice, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


#178

[quote]bb1960 wrote:
Prior to my wife to be having a baby she was able to drop some weight from 212 down to 182. After baby came 4 months ago she weighed 187 and 2 months ago got down to 182 and stalled for 2 weeks. She was eating 1800 cals and reduced it down to 1500 and started weight training. She will do a total body workout with antagonist supersets for 12-15 reps for 3-5 sets plus a finisher at the end of her workout eg) tabata thrusters or a five excersize complex.

Although she seems to have trimmed up a little her weight has increased a few pounds to 187 today. She did however travel for 3 days which caused her to miss some meals. Asking if there is something in our methods, calories too low? Just temporary weight gain? Too many missed meals? It’s been about 2 weeks and a little frustrated with the results so far.

This is the start of her third week and goes to the gym 4-5 days a week. She would like to lose optimally for a wedding dress fitting in 8 weeks and further drop weight down to 150 or less by her end of October wedding. Any advice, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

She only had the baby 4 months ago so she’s made some amazing progress so far, good for her! Remember after pregnancy it takes several months for the hormones in her body to adjust back to their normal state and there are A LOT of physical changes that were made naturally in order to accommodate the birth of your little one so her body is going through some major adjustments still.

I wouldn’t worry about the 2lb weight gain, after 3 days of travel and inconsistency with meals it’s very normal to have some extra water retention. It’s also hard to say if her calories are appropriate for her individual needs without knowing more about her.

Her goal is definitely possible and I think slow and steady progress is the best way to go so consistency is going to be the key over the next few months. Taking progress pictures every 1-2 weeks is a great way to see physical changes in addition to the scale.

I can completely relate to her as I have 2 kids as well but as long as she’s consistent with her nutrition & training she will be fine… Obviously she’ll have some little bumps in the road along the way but it sounds like she’s motivated and on the right track so far.

Is she breastfeeding?
Any supplements she’s currently taking?
Can you give me her macro breakdown? And her usual food choices?


#179

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

[quote]bb1960 wrote:
Prior to my wife to be having a baby she was able to drop some weight from 212 down to 182. After baby came 4 months ago she weighed 187 and 2 months ago got down to 182 and stalled for 2 weeks. She was eating 1800 cals and reduced it down to 1500 and started weight training. She will do a total body workout with antagonist supersets for 12-15 reps for 3-5 sets plus a finisher at the end of her workout eg) tabata thrusters or a five excersize complex.

Although she seems to have trimmed up a little her weight has increased a few pounds to 187 today. She did however travel for 3 days which caused her to miss some meals. Asking if there is something in our methods, calories too low? Just temporary weight gain? Too many missed meals? It’s been about 2 weeks and a little frustrated with the results so far.

This is the start of her third week and goes to the gym 4-5 days a week. She would like to lose optimally for a wedding dress fitting in 8 weeks and further drop weight down to 150 or less by her end of October wedding. Any advice, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

She only had the baby 4 months ago so she’s made some amazing progress so far, good for her! Remember after pregnancy it takes several months for the hormones in her body to adjust back to their normal state and there are A LOT of physical changes that were made naturally in order to accommodate the birth of your little one so her body is going through some major adjustments still.

I wouldn’t worry about the 2lb weight gain, after 3 days of travel and inconsistency with meals it’s very normal to have some extra water retention. It’s also hard to say if her calories are appropriate for her individual needs without knowing more about her.

Her goal is definitely possible and I think slow and steady progress is the best way to go so consistency is going to be the key over the next few months. Taking progress pictures every 1-2 weeks is a great way to see physical changes in addition to the scale.

I can completely relate to her as I have 2 kids as well but as long as she’s consistent with her nutrition & training she will be fine… Obviously she’ll have some little bumps in the road along the way but it sounds like she’s motivated and on the right track so far.

Is she breastfeeding?
Any supplements she’s currently taking?
Can you give me her macro breakdown? And her usual food choices?[/quote

She was not able to breast feed so she doesn’t have that calorie demand on her which would have helped with her weight loss. She is eating .8-1 gr/lb body weight of protein, usually chicken breast, protein shakes, lean beef and eggs occasionally. Her carbs are around 120 grams/day from rice, banana, and lots of veggies and whole wheat bread. She likes almond milk in her protein shakes. No extra fat added other than what comes with the meat and olive or coconut oil when cooking. No other supplements at this point. She’s not discouraged but a little frustrated. Being male myself getting a females perspective can help me help her. The hormonal thing I didn’t consider. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated and I/we thank you for your comments thus far


#180

Food sources sound good and make sure the fat is calculated, a few grams here and there really add up especially if she’s adding olive oil and coconut oil to cooking without measuring. It might be an idea to add up all of fat from everything during the day to get a better idea for the calculation. Another thing she may want to do is replace the whole wheat bread with another source such as oats, rice or potatoes. Ezekiel bread is even a better option if she really enjoys bread.

Another thing you can take into consideration is her meal timing. If she eats the majority of her daily carbs around her workout then her body will be able to use them more efficiently and have the fuel for energy when it’s needed the most. There is an excellent product called Plazma that you might want to look into for her, it’s a mixture of protein and carbs that she would consume during her workout and it can easily be worked into her daily macros by switching a few things around. She’ll experience more energy during her workouts, increased strength and faster body composition results by using this. If I had to pick my favorite supplement for dieting I’d have to say Indigo, it was the main reason I was able to get in shape and back on stage so fast after having my kids. Also a good multivitamin, multiminerals and fish oil are very beneficial.