T Nation

Girlfriend's Routine



My girlfriend does the following 5x5 M-W-F routine ABA, BAB, ABA etc:
Barbell hip thusts

OH press
Romanian deadlift
Box step-ups

So, the question is - how much weight should she be adding each time? The row/bench/press now are already starting to get quite heavy for her and she is only lifting 44lb/20kg (she has been adding 5.5lb/2.5kg per session to everything). She weighs 110lb/50kg.

She has also been having trouble with, what I think is, overtraining. A lack of motivation etc. This is, again IMO, because she doesn’t eat correctly so isn’t recovering quickly enough. Tonight I suggested she could either try changing to doing Monday and Thurs with weights and Tues and Fri with HIIT and core work OR doing three times a week still but light-heavy-medium on M-W-F respectively. Any thoughts on which would be best (and why)? I know changing the diet is the best thing but this isn’t going to happen overnight sadly and will take time to break habits.

Finally, does anybody know of a Spanish speaking forum similar to this one?

Thanks for the help



I don’t think it’s an issue with overtraining but you’re correct about the diet. I know it’s not something she can change overnight but if she wants to continue to get stronger and speed up her recovery she’ll have to start making little steps to make that happen.

As for the amount of weight she should add each workout it’s really going to depend on her as an individual and how’s she’s progressing. It could be anywhere from .5-5lbs each week depending on the exercise and her particular strengths and weaknesses.

Is she a beginner? I don’t think she needs to cut back the training to 2 days a week because it’s not going to be enough overall training volume especially if she’s just beginning.

What is her overall goal with this training program? Does she want to just get stronger or does she want to lose fat, gain muscle, do a show…?



Complete beginner and has never really exercised in her life. She is by no means fat but wants to “firm up” and lose a little bit on her stomach and, as seems to be the common theme on this part of the forum, get a better backside and legs i.e. look better naked. This isn’t what I think, it is what she said when she asked me to help her. Typical “normal” female goals.

What would you recommend then? More protein? Our diets are already very clean because we live in West Africa and the food here is ideal; seafood, veg, yuca, fruits, rice, eggs etc. I just don’t think she eats properly at the right times.


Definitely make sure she’s getting enough protein and the timing of the carbs are particularly important.
Every meal she should be having protein and try and put most of her daily carbs around her workout time that way she’ll be getting the most out of them for training. Intraworkout carbs are extremely helpful… Products like Plazma (found on the biotest website) is a mix of highly branched cyclic dextrin and casein hydrolysate which will help her recovery and give her the energy and nutrients she needs during training so she can push harder.

If she’s eating fruit I would say to keep it for post workout. Also, cut out any kind high calorie beverages… No juice, soda, alcohol etc. Make sure daily water consumption is kept high so she’s always properly hydrated.

The main thing is going to be consistency. If she really wants results she needs to stick with the program and keep at it… The results will come. As a beginner it’s easy to get discouraged when the results aren’t coming rapidly so keep encouraging her :slight_smile:

Hope this helped you a bit.


Thinking about a female beginner with her goals, who isn’t falling in love with BB training.

She could pull back and try something like Chad Waterbury’s plan. I will say, this article got a fair amount of hate from women who lift heavy. For anyone who wants to flame me for putting it up, “Come at me bro.” Haha. Honestly, it’s not a bad place to start for women who aren’t enjoying BB training, or who aren’t particularly motivated by strength goals, and just want to be a little more firm and look pretty in a swimsuit/ pencil skirt.


Thanks for this. Yes, that is pretty much what I do to be honest so there shouldn’t be too much difference. I think it is more the amount and timing of the meals as opposed to the content i.e. she has been to the gym a few times without having eaten anything since lunch time that day (a good 6-7 hours later) and, unsurprisingly, complained of low energy levels. Her form and commitment etc. are all good but the diet I think is taking its toll.

Would you change the above routine to anything in terms of exercise selection or keep it as is?


Hahah I have read this article before. The gyms here in Africa don’t have enough of the equipment in the article to do the routine. She does like lifting weights but her eating habits are causing her to not have enough energy for the training sessions. I will try and continue to help her diet-wise and we will see what happens. Thanks again.