I was wondering if I could get some advice on my relatively newbie girlfriend as far as her next training cycle goes. For the first 4 months of training she has done relatively high-volume, high-rep (3-4 sets of 10 reps) workout, and now she is doing 4 week of meltdown training and dieting for fat loss. I think a strength phase is in drastic order. However, I’m not sure if I should have her do a simple 5 x 5 routine with cycling assistance work, Staley’s Convergent Phase Training, or a whole body workout, or perhaps even a standard Bench, Squat, Deadlift powerlifting routine. Hehe, if she was ready for westside training, WS for SB looks good. Anyways, any advice would be great.
Since she is new to weight training and only have done high rep work I think it would be best to, sort of, easy her into getting used to the feel of heavier weights.
Why not do pyramiding for a month to 6 weeks? That way she get time to get used to lower rep work instead being “thrown headfirst” into a 5x5 or WS.
I say go for the ABBH program. This will continue to give her the higher rep work she is used to as well as easing her into lifting heavy.
It is a great program.
Just my 2cc
Does she actually wanna get stronger? To you and me, that's a dumbshit question, but I'm continually amazed by women who are TERRIFIED that gaining any strength or muscle--ANY AT ALL--will make them "masculine." In most cases, I'm unable to disabuse them of that notion. (I'm can coach, but I'm NOT a salesman.) Lotsa lean, athletic, very-damn-sexy women DEMAND a diet and workout routine that will force them to lose 20 lbs!! (The conversation usually goes downhill, after I ask them to point to the limb that we're gonna amputate, to make them 20# lighter....)
If she is already fairly lean and eating clean, she will look better and better as her training progresses. Her measurements may remain static or even decrease slightly, but her muscles–especially her quads & glutes–will get more dense. Slowly, she will gain a little weight, and everything in her background tells her that all weight gain is evil. If she isn’t prepared to see a slightly larger number on the scale, she may panic and quit lifting forever. So, to answer your question, almost any change in her workout routine will enable a novice trainee to continue making progress, if you supply the right psychology. (Good luck!)
Strength & courage,
Amazingly enough, she does love to go up on the weight she lifts, I think it’s a pride issue of “coming closer to what the guys lift.” Whatever it may be, I’m going to use that to her advantage. I was also thinking about the ABBH program Phill, thanks for the recommendation, and pyramiding is something that hadn’t crossed my mind Mr. Moose, which is just as viable an option. I don’t think she’s afraid of gaining muscle Coach, as long as she can SEE the results of the muscle gain. For instance, if she appears leaner and weighs more, than that is fine with her, but if she gains muscle with no fat loss(she gains muscle really easily, when she first started to lift weights she went from 120 to 138 in a matter of a few months), then the scale will begin to scare her a little. So for her right now, I think it will be a toss-up between ABBH, John Berardi’s strength phase listed in his Creation article with a few tweaks, or a whole body workout of my own ingenuity :). Thanks for the help guys, any more comments are welcome.
i made one up for my gal, 3/wk. was tryin to help out her bench on the routine. she got amazing results. thought her max out at the start would be around 95lbs. . . nope. . . couldn’t get the bar off her chest. after about a month on the routine i gave her, she was doing sets of 5 with that same 95lbs. i don’t have it on me, but she has it in her training log, if you want me to post it i’ll ask her for it.
other than that, maybe just switch her routine to lower reps, 5-8 range to switch things up.