So my girlfriend has become pretty dedicated to getting stronger and has made some great progress. Started doing some lifting about a year ago, got progressively more interested and dedicated over the past year. In the last 2-3 months starting transitioning to barbell lifts, went from squatting 55 lbs for 12 reps to 85 for 10 and 90 lbs for 8, doing 2 push ups to 4 sets of 10-12, and got to the point she can do a few sets of 5 BW chins which is pretty awesome progress. Just started barbell benching last week and hit 50 for 12 reps. Shes 24, just under 120 lbs and roughly 5 ft 7.
Problem is, the past 10 days she’s tried squatting 3 times (doing Greyskull LP basically with some calf and ab work added in) and her reps are just dropping on the squat at the same weight. Went from 90x8 to 90x7 to 90x6. Pretty hard 6 too. She was really upset, and I don’t have much of an answer. Can anyone explain why this is happening? Usually if she had a bad day in the gym she’ll repeat the weight next time and her reps jump back up to her original no problem. We could reset the weight like the book says to do when you can’t get 5 reps anymore, but since she got 8 a week and a half ago it seemed like she was still a couple workouts from needing that.
Other relevant info:
- Has recently (month of February basically) been doing yoga 4-5 times a week. Really wants to increase hamstring flexibility.
- Hasn’t gained any weight really in the last year or so (she eats normal, actually pretty good now that we share most meals but she just gets full quick). Plan is to try to have her continue eating as she has but just add a 300 or so calorie protein shake every day. Maybe shoot for 1 lb or less a month? Unsure about this.
A. First off, is there anything I should be aware of that’s much different for women training than men? Focus more on lower reps, higher reps? Rippetoe just had an article out recently stating women should use lower reps (like 5x3 instead of 3x5) and gave a bunch of reasoning for it. First I’ve heard of that but interesting.
B. Can someone explain why reps are just dropping at the same weight?
C. Anyone know where I can find more info about women’s strength levels? Or general rule for weight gain rate? Like realistic expectations to shoot for. Right now the goal is to squat her bodyweight for a few reps by summer (early June).
D. Any general tips for helping a woman train? Or about increasing hamstring flexibility?