T Nation

Female Strength Goals?

Hi ladies, I have a question for all of you.

Ive been training my girlfriend, and having her do Rippetoe’s starting strength. She’s only been on it for a couple of weeks but is already getting fairly strong.

I would like to progress her to some circuit training like EDT, to help her increase muscle mass a bit, and decrease fat.

But I think its important to have a good strength base, and know the form well before making this switch.

For a guy, I would say its a good idea that he be able to squat and/or deadlift 1.5x his BW, and bench his BW, and do at least 5-10 strict pullups.

Currently she is 5’4" @ 125lbs.

Here’s her lifts for 3-4 sets of 5.

Deadlift 95lbs
DB bench 30’s
Seated Row 60
1-leg squats 3x5 (near paralell)

I was thinking getting her deadlift to her BW, DB bench to 40’s, and her rows to 80.

What do you ladies think?

Hey, dankid.

  1. Awesome that she lifts.
  2. Are you actually looking to increase muscle MASS? Is that what she wants?
  3. She and I have similar starting stats…Getting her to DL 125 will take time but it’ll happen easily. I’d shoot for that and then 1 1/2x.
  4. Benching her BW will also happen, but how is her pushup?
  5. Why a seated row? Why not a pullup yet? Women can definitely get 1, and then 5, and then 10 deadhang…and it’s great for protecting their rotator cuff (which is usually weaker than a man’s).
  6. Glad she’s 1 leg squatting, that’s a beautiful movement. How’s her front squat? I’d be aiming for atg BW there. It’s a harder goal to worker for in IMHO than a 1.5xBW DL, but transfers over well to producing superior core strength and stability…not to mention simple strength in the legs.
  7. How’s her OH pressing strength? (strict press #s?)

She’ll probably get so strong it’ll scare you. :o) I think most women’s potential is grossly underestimated.

I started with Riptoe as well. It worked well for me in terms of focus on compound movements. What is frustrating as a woman is that we can’t progress as quickly as a man. The standards that they set for goals i.e. 1.5 bw squat, 2xbw deadlift take longer to achieve for women so it can be frustrating and a bit disheartening. I wish they had a separate scale for women :frowning:

I would stick with the movements Riptoe has for self evaluation at any rate. i.e. add in overhead press and pullups. I love pull ups and they give you a killer back.

I don’t think it really matters what standard of measurement (i.e. 1x bw squat or 1.5bw squat) you use just as long as she progresses and she’s doing it because she wants to. If she isn’t totally into it, it won’t really matter.

I hope she loves it. I know I do.

Thanks for the replies ladies.

Her goal IS NOT to add muscle mass, but instead to tone, but I know if she’s going lose fat, she’s going to need to add some muscle, because she’s already pretty light. But she’s definately not bulking.

As for the front squats, i dont have her doing any squats, for a couple of reasons. First, she’s only working out two days a week, and second im not great at teaching the form on squats. Deadlifts she picked up really fast, so i figured I would start her out on them.

Also, she’s not doing any vertical pushing or pulling, but I was thinking of starting her on that pretty soon. Its just hard with only two days a week.

Thanks for the advice again. I guess i’ll have to just let her try EDT and see how she does.

OH man…if you can figure out how to teach the squat…check out Dan John’s squat vid? …the squat is the KING of exercises as far as I’m concerned…it does absolutely everything.

I agree about the squat, but Ive never had as much luck with it as with deadlifts.

I agree everyone should try to learn to squat, but I myself have put it aside. Between deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, snatch grip deadlifts, and 1-leg squats, my leg strength is doing very well.

I will probably try to teach my Gf after she gets more into it, but as of now, im gonna keep her off of squats.

Hey everyone, I decided to start her on some EDT circuits this week, and she’s progressing really well. Also, she started working toward pullups this week as well.

I was freaking pissed though, because a stupid personal trainer came up to me and said they have a policy against “training” and if I continue to train her i’ll be kicked out. I guess assisting my GF on pullups, and spotting her on bench is considered “training”. So from now on, when im “training” her, I gotta make it look more like im just working out with her. I guess i’ll practice my O-lifts in between her sets, but they’ll probably then tell me that isn’t allowed.

Well anyways, heres what she did today.

3x5 Pullups, assisted at the legs.

DB bench 22.5’s sets of 5
Deadlift 70lbs sets of 5

Alternated between the two for ten minutes, and got 6 sets. Next time she’ll go for the full fifteen minutes, and shoot for 10 sets of 5.

Thanks again for all the advice ladies.