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Fiancee Wants to Train

So my fiancee has finally started lifting. Due to the virus, she obviously can’t start at the gym, so I’m having her do whatever she can in my basement (where I have dumbbells going up to 75lbs, but no barbells). I thought I’d post what she’s doing in case her program is missing anything.

Her primary goal: Get strong for wrestling, BJJ and possibly MMA (she plans to start learning combat sports in the near future)

Her secondary goal: Build muscle

The Program-

A:

  1. Push Ups
  2. DB Row
  3. DB Curl
  4. DB Squat
  5. DB Stiff Leg Deadlift

B:

  1. Standing DB Press
  2. DB Row
  3. Hammer Curl
  4. DB Squat
  5. Planks + other core stuff
  • There’s no pull up bar in my house, so she’s just doing DB Rows again here
  • She doesn’t have the balance and stability to do split squats, so she’s just doing squats again here until she has the strength needed for split squats

Typical A, B, A full body program done 2 - 4 x a week depending on her work schedule. Goal is for her to beat what she did the last workout, and so far she’s been doing that nearly every time.

Does anyone feel like anything is missing?

Get practising the split squats now. The balance doesn’t have much to do with strength, it’s more about practising and learning the balance. Use a dowel or something to help at first.

Try doing inverted rows lying under a table or something as well.

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Get practising the split squats now. The balance doesn’t have much to do with strength, it’s more about practising and learning the balance. Use a dowel or something to help at first

That’s what I was thinking of too. No need to delay it.

Try doing inverted rows lying under a table or something as well.

That’s a great idea. I’m pretty sure we have at least one table that’s high enough for the these. Thanks!

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I would say her diet would be the most key factor to take into consideration. Not just for now, but for the rest of her life.

As far as strength and muscle building go, I wouldn’t view it as the two being mutually exclusive of one another. As she gets stronger, decent muscle gains will follow.

The layout seems good to me, I would just get her to understand some fundamental principles of diet and training. Females do great with a bit higher amounts of fat in their diet. Conditioning work is also great, but I’d steer her clear of traditional or “popular” cardio methods.

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She started improving her diet three months ago and went from a chubby 159lbs to a noticeably leaner 146lbs since then. We’re taking her diet step by step since I want her to develop lifelong habits (instead of the typical yo-yo diet).

As far as strength and muscle building go, I wouldn’t view it as the two being mutually exclusive of one another. As she gets stronger, decent muscle gains will follow.

Luckily, she already knew this instinctively, that lifting progressively heavier weights for reps gives you muscle. I was just listing her specific goals in case anyone had anything to add specific to combat sports.

Females do great with a bit higher amounts of fat in their diet

I did not know this. From experience, she’s not someone who tolerates high carbs very well, so I wonder how she’d feel with more fats. She’s already been snacking on walnuts and pecans whenever she’s hungry (instead of the cookies and other treats she’d snack on before).

Conditioning work is also great, but I’d steer her clear of traditional or “popular” cardio methods.

Cardio is going to be the hardest thing to get her to do actually haha. She despises running, and would rather spar/fight for cardio. Jogging in particular is what she hates, and I imagine stuff like hill sprints would excite her more, but we don’t have any hills nearby. An idea she had was going to a nearby track and treating the running like weights, where she tries to beat what she did last time (either more laps in the same time, or the same laps in less time). Since beating the logbook is what’s gotten her addicted, I feel like this should work.

If goal is to get fit for fighting add walking lunges or loaded carries

2 curls arent necessary

Move the lowerbody work first on one of the day

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I think your running plan is on point - go to the track and get better.

For those sports, I would recommend she do some grip stuff. You can squeeze a tennis ball, do rice digs, lift/ hold dumbbells with fewer fingers, etc. It’s eye-opening how miserable it can be to have a weak grip by the end of one of those practices.

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Add in a form of met con.
Complex are great.
There is one called the “The Barstard”. Dead lift, bent over row (×2) clean, front squat push press, backsquat push press, down. 7 set of 7 reps. When you get good at that add weight.

But anything that gets her out if breath and uses strength is good.

2 more ideas,

I have used goblet squat and press up ladders to 1-10-1. Time it and then try an beat it.

Dumb bell clean and press hiit (if she’s got the movement nailed). Do 5 on the left them then 30 second later 5 on the right etc etc.

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Yeah as above do somethng for grip

Also maybe say every third workout do something that familiarises her with being totally gassed/ 6-7 mins of hell! prob best done as a finisher

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Of course with no barbell you can’t do this. But adjust it.
Deadlift, row, clean, front squat the push press, down.

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As mentioned, metcon, loaded carries and grip work (especially for BJJ) will help tremendously. Since you have dumbbells, farmer’s carries would serve well for all 3 of these.

Also, if you have room in your basement, get a heavy bag and a gymnastics mat (I got mine on Amazon for $85, and it’s sufficient for practicing breakfalls, takedowns, and slams).

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@jascarver2 @TrainForPain @RampantBadger @spiceweasel

She’s going to start farmer’s walks next week. Thanks for the advice! Loaded carries also sound great, but I can’t think of what to use that’s lying around in my house for them.

@carlbm

She’s still learning basic technique for the lifts, so I don’t know if complexes would be a good idea right now. Definitely a good idea for the future, though. Thanks!

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One of the best things about loaded carries is the endless supply of stuff to carry. Dumbbells can be used for overhead carries, goblet carries, etc. Look around the yard too: stones, logs, heavy metallic objects…

You could fill an old backpack with rocks/sand/heavy stuff and she can wear that while she does farmer’s carries. Look up Dan John’s slosh pipe. If you Google “loaded carries ideas” you’ll find plenty of ideas. Endless possibilities…

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Get her to carry you. Piggyback, bridal carry, fireman carry, whatever she can manage.

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Yeah, I’d replace the curl on the second day with another lower body exercise. You’ve got 3 total lower body movements and two for biceps. Put in something for the posterior chain which is big for women anyway. She could do some kind of hip thrusts, swings (kb would be preferable but DB can work too) or get the little sliders or a stability ball and do leg curls that way. Two rows and one curl will be plenty for biceps, and DB squats and SLDL work the flexion muscles of the arm pretty well too.

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