T Nation

Help Building A T-Vixen

My girlfriend and I often work out together and I would like to help her achieve her fitness goals of slimming down and losing some of that “baby got back.” She does a decent job of working her upperbody, but I think she relies too much on cardio machines to work her lower body. For weight loss purposes, should I be shifting her focus towards squats and lunges in addition to her aerobic workout? Also, she does enjoy the group classes like Body Pump, should I encourage her to continue with these classes? Lastly, as far as diet is concerned, what type of diet should I recommend she follow? I’m familiar with the T-dawg diet and some of the other diets listed on this site, but are those appropriate for women, or should there be any modifications? Thanks for your help. -BA

Funny you should ask. I was looking for ideas for a female trainee of mine when I stumbled across this. I have her doing dumbell swings for her lower body. She has never done them before, didn’t know how to squat, so I have her doing these now. It’s a great way to get her (anyone) to learn how to push off their heels, how to get low, how to explode. It is a mutha for the CV system, heart rate skyrockets, breathing like a freight train. Best thing is how quickly she is responding, her strength levels continue to climb. the classes, if she enjoys them, why stop? Diet? lean protein. the rest, common sense.

There is no such thing as a “woman only” diet or “woman only” training routine. Individual needs determine diet and training. With that said, have you read Beginners Blast Off Program (Dawg School article)? I would start there. But yes, have her do squats. Basically I’m for showing newbies the big compound lifts: squats, deads and bench. Build their routine around those exercises. Hell, that’s all she would need to do first. That would be two days of weight training per week. That way, she can continue with her classes since she enjoys those. That’s what, 2-3 days a week? That would be plenty for her now.

Thanks for your comments. Training wise she isn’t a newbie, but she definitely feels she has stalled out in the gym. This morning we had a “discussion” about why she isn’t seeing results. She is a former high school athlete and has been consistently working out. She is long past newbie gains and is definitely feeling plateaud. My diagnose, as mentioned earlier, was that she wasn’t working her legs enough. Overall, I would say she is “in shape,” but she has a bit extra on her lower body that she wants to lose. Her frustration stems from not being able to lose those 10 lbs that she wants. I would like to offer better advice, but besides encouraging to work her lower body more often, I am at a loss. Her diet consists of the good stuff, protein shakes, fish, chicken, veggies, no sodas or fast food. At this point I don’t know what else to recommend. I appreciate the earlier comments and if anyone has any other ideas I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

if she wants to lose that last few pounds and she’s never done any serious resistance training for her legs then shes got a fantastic opportunity to do it. explain to her that more fat loss will occur from increasing the amount of lean muscle in the legs than from anywhere else. think about it this way, where else in the body do you have so a large mass of voluntary muscle other tha from the glutes downward. nowhere. a dietician friend of mine told me that an untrained individual will devote 18% of his overall energy intake to one leg!! and thats only from the knee downward! so your looking at about 40%( dont quote me on that) of your bodies energy going to the legs. if you explain this to her it might encourage her to do some squats and dead lifts.

Might help for her to start a nutrition log, if she hasn’t already. Nothing like it to see where to tighten up the diet…