T Nation

Help From Women

This isn’t a “hey, tell me what women like post.” Ha… I had to say it.

But I had a question for the ladies on here about training. My gf just began training with more free weights and is still a newbie. I’m proud of her progress so far, but she’s been having problems with triceps.

She was telling me that she wasn’t able to lift as much in over head tricep extensions as she can in curls. My logic says that 2/3 of the arm is made up of triceps so would be stronger than the bicep. But she said not only she but other women from the gym have that problem.

Does she just need to train triceps more or does she not have the arm potential that men have? I’m just confused as to why biceps are different than triceps.

[quote]Tank53 wrote:
This isn’t a “hey, tell me what women like post.” Ha… I had to say it.

But I had a question for the ladies on here about training. My gf just began training with more free weights and is still a newbie. I’m proud of her progress so far, but she’s been having problems with triceps.

She was telling me that she wasn’t able to lift as much in over head tricep extensions as she can in curls. My logic says that 2/3 of the arm is made up of triceps so would be stronger than the bicep. But she said not only she but other women from the gym have that problem.

Does she just need to train triceps more or does she not have the arm potential that men have? I’m just confused as to why biceps are different than triceps. [/quote]

She needs to train triceps more. It really is a case of just doing it.

If she needs motivation, remind her that better triceps mean avoiding that flabby upper arm issue that women tend to get.

[quote]thirstygirl wrote:
Tank53 wrote:
This isn’t a “hey, tell me what women like post.” Ha… I had to say it.

But I had a question for the ladies on here about training. My gf just began training with more free weights and is still a newbie. I’m proud of her progress so far, but she’s been having problems with triceps.

She was telling me that she wasn’t able to lift as much in over head tricep extensions as she can in curls. My logic says that 2/3 of the arm is made up of triceps so would be stronger than the bicep. But she said not only she but other women from the gym have that problem.

Does she just need to train triceps more or does she not have the arm potential that men have? I’m just confused as to why biceps are different than triceps.

She needs to train triceps more. It really is a case of just doing it.

If she needs motivation, remind her that better triceps mean avoiding that flabby upper arm issue that women tend to get.
[/quote]

I will see what I can do with the subject. It doesnt help that I have her and her sister with the so-called “trainer’s advice” from the gym. Pick up a weight and do it as many times are you can. Let’s just say the same trainer for her sister has her working on the 8 lbers only because its a “struggle.” Argh. Fighting the family almost and cause well…that guy is a trainer and I’m not.

I always want to say “who do you want to take advice from? That skinny guy or me with the 18” guns?" Though they would probably say, “I dont want to get too big.”

Aaaargggghhh… that’s always the deal with trainers. And a lot of them are skinny too.

As for myself: my arms are my weakest part (especially biceps), but I made the best gains with no direct arm work on Waterbury’s programs (did ABBH1 and 2).

What she can try is the 100 reps approach for example, for lagging body parts.
I believe in hypertrophy so maybe that’s what she can try.

Not female but I’m going to answer anyways. 80% of my clientele is female with similar issues. Everyone has weak points all over the body. You need to have her work the tricep. I wouldn’t use overhead exercises on tricep for a newbie female anyway. Try this for 4 weeks and see what happens,

2-3 Sets Tricep Pressdown w/ Curved Bar
aim for 10 - 15 reps with good squeeze at the bottom

2 sets of Rope Pulldowns 8 - 12 reps w/ full squeeze at the bottom

2 sets of DB kickbacks (maybe 8 - 10 lbs) on each arm for 15 reps or failure.

Take no more than 1 minute between sets. With most women I have them on a full body 2x a week program with arms at the end.

[quote]MR1 wrote:
Aaaargggghhh… that’s always the deal with trainers. And a lot of them are skinny too.
[/quote]

We’re not all bad…

I used to be a trainer in a commercial gym, and noticed the same thing. But it just seems to make sense to me from this perspective:
How often does the average female do elbow extensions against resistance in daily life? Think of 2 activities that would require real effort (besides pushing open a heavy door).
Now how often does the average female do elbow flexion in daily life? Think of all the times you pull something or pick something up, or just hold something in your hand.

For men this triceps imbalance is often offset by pressing exercises (if the guy works out at all, he probably benches regularly). Since most women aren’t known to worry about how much they can bench when they start working out, they don’t get that aspect to balance things out (if a girl works out at all, she probably does some form of leg exercise regularly).

Therefore, weak triceps compared to biceps. And also, saggy triceps as you get older b/c of lack of muscle tone and fat accumulation.

Another interesting note: women that have young kids often have surprisingly strong biceps (some are as strong as the average man). Often, they have imbalances though (holding the child in one arm more than the other).