T Nation

Girlfriend getting too big

My girlfriend has been training with me for the last couple of months and following pretty much my same routine. She used to do a lot of cardio but she’s been skipping classes to lift with me. Here’s the problem: She has gained some extra muscle (about 6-10#) mostly in her upper body. I think she looks great. She’s 5’4", 133#, 15-18%bf. She’s a real T-Vixen. She was ok with how she looked until recently. She had noticed the weight gain and some size increase in her arms and shoulders but when people (other guys) started commenting harshly about her looking ‘too big’ (and blaming me) she started getting upset. She suddenly doesn’t feel feminine anymore and even thinks she’s fat (which she isn’t). She won’t listen to me so I’ve decided to try to reverse the process. I plan on having her stop lifting altogether and go back to heavy aerobics. Also have her drop the protein shakes. She’s already on T2 and MD6. Any other ideas on intentionally becoming catabolic?

Lipo, have her do high rep calisthenics and follow the warrior diet for a while. This will help her lean out and lose the bulk. Check out my article on Combat training in the previous issues of t-mag!

Maybe she should just focus on losing some fat and keeping the muscle she has. Once she got down to say around 12% bf those muscles would be more shapely and probably wouldn’t look near as big and once she found out what that muscle actually does to her metabolic rate and ability to eat and stay lean she’d probably decide to hold onto it. Afterall, it was her that did the training that built the muscle so she must like it…even if her friends give her a hard time.

This is a touchy one. If you help her lose some muscle are you truly helping her improve her situation or just enabling a less healthy lifestyle? Ultimately, her body is hers to evaluate but I say don’t go out of your way to help her do something unhealthy. Don’t sandbag her if that’s her choice (to slim down), just don’t go out of your way to support the choice. What happens if she suddenly decides that she’d look better with 10lbs of fat on her to give her more boob and hip curves? Do you help her eat like shit and laze around to help put on 10lbs? Follow the logic? Good luck w/it.

Lipo: It really PISSES ME OFF the double standards we have for groups of people, especailly women. Here we have a young woman, pumping the iron, getting herself stong and healthy then some jerk-offs crush all of her enthusiasm and self-image. Any wonder that eating disorders among young women is at epidemic proportions? (The Lion now turns off the rant button…)

Don’t have her stop lifting; that will only serve to alter her ratios of LBM/FAT (BF perentages). For the same reason, don’t drop her protein. 1) Increase aerobics 2) Decrease cals slightly (by about 3-500 cals and watch her response and 2) Lift, but lighter. (I still have mixed feelings about “circuit” training; any thoughts? Seems merely aerobic.)3) Follow one of many programs out there by the Fitness Competitors; they are continuously fighting this battle of “muscle” vs. “femininity” (The Lion bites his lip to keep from turning the rant button back on…)

Please don’t do this. She sounds like shes at a perfect size. Women should be encouraged to keep their muscle. The benefits far exceed the alternative. Encourage her to forget what those “men” say. Most likely they are jealous! Muscle help give a women shape–ever so much nicer than fat. I’m 43, 5’6,128 lbs at 11% and would not want to lose an ounce of this muscle. Believe me ,I get guys looking as well as women and no one has made such a comment. If they did I 'd probably get rude and comment on how fat they are. Excessive cardio is a total waste of time and energy. If she is that concerned have her train as an allaround type athlete. Lifting, intreval training, etc. I own a sports supplement business and constantly battle againist these stupid, arcane ideas. Support her in how good she looks and feels. Fuck the idiots and believe me there is no shortage of them!

AMEN, VALERIE!!! I guess I was “wussing out” a little because it really seemed like this young woman was hurting and having it hard…I’ve seen it much too often…but you’re right; she should do whats best for her and forget the idiots…

Oh for god’s sake! don’t have her stop lifting! Who gives a shit what these other guys are saying, you like it , she likes it, tell them to F**k off! they are probably just jealous. I know a woman who was working out hard and looking very fit, her french boyfriend came in rarely, pale, skinny. Anyway they were in the gym, and this guy complimented her on her progress. Her boyfriend chimes in “I think she is getting too big” and her face just fell, so the guy replies “Honey you’re not too big, you just need a bigger boyfriend !” It was great! I nearly fell off the bench. It doesn’t sound like you are like that, but those other guys might be.

Okay, here's my advice, she is feeling big cause she finally has some muscle under the fat, so lets cut some fat and show that muscle off! For 6 weeks, diet (low carb,about 1200 cal 1 cheat day per week), up her reps to 10-15 4 sets and increase cardio but no more than 30 min 3x per week- do interval training, sprints, or program the elipitical/stairmaster and increase your speed during the peaks.

Have her pick a role model that has her build, the fitness chicks are NOT just doing aerobics. You can see if they post their workouts, but I’d take it with a grain of salt. Help her work on the parts she wants to improve. Search this site for specific diets and excercises. Look, it takes women a bit of getting used to, having muscles. When I first noticed my lats I thought I had some sort of lymph cancer. She can’t get grossly huge naturally, but she can get healthy and srtong. YOU wouldn’t tell your BUDDY to go CATABOLIC, you’d tell him to CUT FAT!

Thank you “A Girl”…no flame to everyone else, but you think all the devoted T readers would learn something every once in a while!
DO NOT have her stop working out - that will only make her get fatter, and
DO NOT stop the protein shakes.
It’s all about DIET and NUTRITION!!!
If anything, have her eat more…not necesarilly more food, but definitely more often…you know the drill: 5-6 small, high protein meals a day, throw in some MD6 and T2, and do a full body workout 3x a week, some cardio on the off days wouldn’t hurt.

Dude! You gotta double time the emotional stroking and build her up (emotionally that is). There’s a great relationship book out there titled “The 5 Love Languages”. Find hers and use it BIG TIME! Why is she listening to other guys and not you? Maybe because you’re not fulfilling an emotional need. She started working out with you for a reason – don’t let her lose sight of that reason.

Ive dealt with this a few times in the past. First, have her evaluate (written or in a discussion) why she started weight lifting. Then, if it was to increase muscle mass, to look better, to feel better, and to be stronger and more able to perform daily activities (and not just to please you), have her reaffirm this. If she’s lifting for her, then have her try to cut back on calories (some carbs and some fat - protein stays the same) and slightly increase aerobic work (while still weight training-dont alter that). Promise her that she will lose weight and slim down (which she will if she diets well and does the extra cardio). This should help. And BTW, youve gotta make her feel feminine! I know that you may TRY but if she doesnt feel feminine, youre not doing your job. Try to go over the top to let her know that this look is beautiful and while not mainstream, it is healthy and attractive. BUT IF SHE DOESNT WANT TO CONTINUE weights because it’s not what she really wanted to do in the first place, then cool. Put her back on the cardio.

At least the weight is muscle. My wife has ballooned up into a big fat sweat hog. Last night I told her to drop the cheetos and get her fat ass up off the couch. No wonder I have a mistress, the thought of touching this whale of a wife makes me want to vomit.

Thad, thats my biggest fear about getting married. Im sure i would still love my wife but it blows my mind how someone could not care if they were attractive or not. I would never fatten up and expect my wife to still wanna sleep with me. so shouldnt expect the same outa me.

I hear ya Goldberg! Hey Ironbroad or A-gal, could you maybe post something to get this lardass wife of mine to stop packing on weight like she’s getting ready for an artic winter. Maybe say something about diet. Right the fatass gets doesn’t even bother with a bowl or spoon for icecream. She just grabs a box of Bluebell and sits there and eats it with the icecream scooper. By the time springer is over she’s done ate the whole damn thing. Any suggestions you could make would be a big help to her.

Id say over 90% of people dont realise how much of their size is fat, intramuscular or otherwise but look at all the “bigger than you” 220 pounders at 20% get down to the 180s when they diet. She should (a) Dont Diet to enable her to keep a good program (b) lift much lower reps never to failure and do alot more cardio for fat loss and countless other recovery, workout intensity and between set ATP recovery. She can work on her strength (and hardness) which is much more important health and functionality wise than size. If she is still lacking asthetics, she should do some proporion/sculpting work cause size for the sake of it is bullshit.

Sounds like she’s hella hot. So why try to get smaller? She’s finally seeing the muscle show through. I’d tell her to keep doing what she’s doing. And definitely check out role models her size who are built like her or even better. A friend of mine is 5’2" about 115lbs. She was 95lbs in her last competition. She looks awesome. She has cuts and plenty of muscle. And she still looks feminine. I personally think she looks better when she’s not near competition and she’s a little softer. Probably built like your girl. So there is no reason for your girl to change a damn thing! At the most, she may want to go to lower reps and heavier weights so she just packs on dense mass rather than get bigger. But I wouldn’t give up the weight training. And more cardio is only going to make her leaner. And the leaner she is, the more the muscle will show. And then she may not like it! So let her keep doing what she’s doing!

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

First off let me state that I LOVE the way she looks in addition to the T-Vixen build. She’s ultra hot with long blond hair (natural), great tan, big puffies, green eyes, perfect ass and legs. She’s the hottest babe in the gym and used to be (is) a big flirt. Loves the attention. Part of the problem is after our relationship became public (lots of public displays of affection) the other guys have either become distant or outright jealous. I don’t mind her flirting. Hell, she left her husband for me and lives with me now. She just doesn’t have the constant stream of complements and attention she’s used to.

This problem is going to work itself out. She’s smart and knows that she can ask me for help if she wants. She didn’t lift with me last night but did about 1 1/2 hours of cardio (treadmill, stairmaster, abs, drills, and kickboxing). I was doing arms in another part of the gym and caught sight of her doing some tricep pushdowns on her own. I think she really likes the muscle and the strength despite what she says.