T Nation

Help for Girlfriend


My girlfriend wants to lose some weight (5-10lbs) and achieve a leaner look. She's not afraid of gaining some muscle, but mainly, she's just interested in getting lean[er].

I'm considering HIIT, though that's a bit hard right now because it's winter in Canada and we don't have any tracks nearby. So I'm guessing I'll just have her jog a few times during the week.

Now, I have absolutely no clue how I should approach the weighttraining aspect. I considered putting her on a full-body workout routine, but then I realized that muscle isn't really her #1 priority. Yes, muscle is metabolically active, but it isn't her main goal.

So, what kind of routine would be most conducive for both fat loss and 'some' muscle gain?

BTW, her diet's fine. Lots of vegetables and fruit, a few complex carbs, not too much fat, alas, but tons of protein.


full body weight workouts burn more calories and build muscle. Bottom line is that if she's burning more calories and her diet doesn't change, she'll lose some weight. I'd suggest a basic full body routine 3x a week (with an emphasis on compound movements and larger muscle groups, not BS isolation crap), plus cardio after her weights, and some other cardio worked in. A combination of HIIT and slower, longer sessions would be good. Does she have a gym membership?


Of course she does. :slight_smile:

I've already had her in the gym with me a few times doing full body workouts, but I was just wondering whether I should change anything.


HIIT...do I hear concept ii rower? oh well, I like them a lot (for cardio machines)


Thank you for replying to this. Nice to hear women talking about what works for them on this board. Incrediable abs if thats you in the pic!


thanks for the compliment - I've been on a clean bulk this winter, and gained some decent muscle. That pic was taken a few weeks ago after I'd trimmed off a pound or two. I have another 3 - 4 weeks of bulking and then it's time to really cut. I can't wait! Last time I cut, I realized how pathetic my lower body actually was. I think this time will be different :slight_smile:

(sorry if I'm hijacking)....

Oh yeah, and one other thing for the GF. I've heard good things about forskolin (main ingredient in Carbolin 19). She might find it helpful, in addition to diet/exercise changes.

Also, I know you said she eats healthy, but I've always eaten healthy, and yet when I wanted to lose a few pounds, I found some ways to cut calories back. Healthy food can still be high in calories. Maybe she could just reduce her olive oil a bit, eat one fewer pieces of fruit, remove the yolk from her eggs, that sort of thing - small changes like that, coupled with exercise, will make a real difference.

When I cut calories from my diet, I hardly noticed at all, because I still ate very flavourful foods and lots of veggies. Just be sure she keeps her protein up so that she can recover from workouts and increase metabolism.


Attack it on two fronts. Diet and exercise.

Get her to eat 1800cals a day for a few wks, whilst working hard. If she's a small girl, that might be too much.

Work should be a mix of 1) walking every morning at an easy pace for at least 40mins. 2) Full body workouts at gym at least ever 2nd day followed by HIIT.

After a week or two of eating 1800cals, she'll have a good idea of what's involved. Then get her record her weight, stomach circumference (around the belly button) and take a photo of herself, front, side and behind. Then cut 200cals. Do the measurements every week. If fat loss isn't really happening (which we can see by comparing photos/weight change etc), decrease cals/increase work intensity.

Remember to tell her that losing weight IS NOT the goal. Looking good is the goal. If she's not used to lifting weights and eating right, she's probably going to add some muscle weight no matter what. This is why the photos and waist circum. are taken as the scales don't tell us the whole picture. It's visual difference you should be after, not just weighing less on the scales.

As other posters said, full body workouts are the way to go. They're more taxing (and hence burn more energy) than bodypart type splits.

It's better to go harder with exercise than diet. Starving herself will cause her to lose weight, but skinny fat is not sexy. You want her to lose only fat whilst keeping as much muscle as possible.