T Nation

help me make this woman hot

Ok, this friend of mine (no she’s not my girlfriend, we’re just friends) wants to get really hot. I know a lot about making a guy bulk up and lose fat, but I have a feeling a girl would want to do something different. She’s got the goods already, she just has a little fat all over and could certainly benefit from some more muscle tone. She’s got plenty of fitness expertise, she actually use to be an aerobics instructor back in the day, so she can handle a pretty complex and advanced routine. Anybody got any ideas?


Check the back issues of T-mag. A program for a girl/woman should not be much different if at all than for a man. Diet is key.

You should just drink a lot.

I know that T2 gives me a warming effect. I wouldn’t say it made me “hot” though.

Fix her diet.

Then teach her to squat, lunge, deadlift, bench press, barbell row, chin & dip. This is what I show every female that asks me for help. I’ve also noticed that many women enjoy power clean type movements (I think most people do though once they learn to do them correctly). You’ll probably hear the same thing from many people here. Women don’t need to train differently.

In fact, C. Thibaudeau has stated that women can handle more volume than men.

In consulting with my esteemed colleague Derek, we have brought to light what we feel are several key prerequisites to consider prior to answering your questions:

  1. You said: “She’s got plenty of fitness expertise, she actually use to be an aerobics instructor back in the day, so she can handle a pretty complex and advanced routine.” Last time I checked, most aerobics instructors were grossly misinformed fatasses who were afraid of weight training: not exactly an ideal setup for an advanced program. I can only hope that she is a convert.

  2. In your initial plea, you ask us to help make her “hot.” As such, one can only logically assume that she is not hot presently. Proper training and diet can give you a great body, but they cannot make you “hot.” You can, however, make her “hot” by a) putting a bag over her head and pretending, b) getting extremely intoxicated before you look at her, or c) changing your definition of the word “hot.” Just for the record, some men consider hairy moles, cankles, and hunchbacks “hot,” so you’ll need to be a bit more specific.

  3. There are hundreds of programs here; I’m sure that one of them will assist you in your efforts (assuming you are willing to use the search engine).

All joking aside, women mustn’t train any differently than men when the goal is the same. Best of luck.

muscle tone?

try fat to fire for 3-4 weeks. Good stuff. It should help alot. You may also add in some 400m sprints 1-2x/week (search CT’s forum for info). These should get you going.

Hey, there, ngorevic. Actually, the game isn’t played any differently whether you’re male or female. The iron game (i.e., choice of exercises and program selection) and the diet and aerobics game are played exactly the same.

There’s plenty of information here on T-Mag. Your friend may know a lot about what she knows (aerobics), but I’m sure you could help her a lot with a nice selection of exercises. Myself, I love and am extremely partial to the basic, compound multi-joint exercises. I also tend to like a strength protocol when cutting.

As far as diet goes, take a look at T-Dawg. Re the cardio, if her goal is to cut the fat an put on a little muscle, I’d cut the cardio to something that is reasonable (no more than 3 or 4 30-minute HIIT sessions per week) and complementary to the goals stated above. More cardio is not necessarily better. More, many times (on a hypocaloric diet) is catabolic.

Good luck to you, and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Thanks guys, great stuff. Just so you know, she is hot now, but she wants to be hotter, ya know? She’s 37 now, and most people thinks she’s 3. She’s 5’9", and I would guess she weighs around 125-130, so her bf% is pretty low I would guess. She just wants to look better than she does now. And as far as being an aerobics instructor, all I was trying to get across is that she’s not a total novice at exercise, some fat slob, she’s done plenty of weights in the past, so it’s not like we have to worry about her hurting herself by doing too much too quickly. Thanks for all the advice!


If her BF is low already, it’s all in where you put the curves and valleys. Go for a strength plan (5x5 is great) to build muscle density, and so she won’t fret about bulk. Here are some staple exercises:

Deadlift from floor
BB hack squat
DB bent row (better than a BB row, for women)
Weighted back extension
DB bench press, incline or flat on alternate days.
Dips (the closer grip; use an assist until she outgrows it)
Single calf raises
Reverse crunch on an incline

With 5x5 split it up over 3 or 4 days (ham dominant/chest/quad dominant/back, or group back and chest together). Grip will give out (esp. on deadlifts) otherwise. Don’t let her use straps; let her grow into the big weights.

10 min of 1:1 HIIT on a real staircase 2 or 3 days a week is fine for cardio and will also build leg strength/definition.

And convince her to keep her diet clean, or she’ll be cheating herself out of results.


I see you’ve gotten plenty of solid advice here, but figured I’d add my two cents as I’ve made a great change in myself over the past year by following the Zone diet and settling into some serious workouts.

I, too, am 37 and regularly get mistaken for someone ten+ years younger. The combination of strength training and clean eating is my fountain of youth.

TTerry is right on the money regarding choice of exercises and cutting down on the cardio, etc. Here are a few more specifics I’d make clear to your friend:

  1. Put her mind at ease about “bulking up.” Women need not worry about that, and to paraphrase a quotation by Patricia Smith in a “Real People, Real Muscles” feature: muscles are sexy and sleek; body fat is bulky and shapeless.

  2. Keep her away from Nautilus machines, etc. I saw dramatic changes once I switched to free weights.

  3. Help her find an appropriate starting weight for each move; women can lift far more than they think they can and it’s a waste of time and effort to speed through endless reps of isolation moves with those god-awful colored dumbbells.

  4. Get her into some basic compound moves for each muscle group.

  5. When you see her “getting hotter,” TELL HER SO! Nothing motivates like positive feedback.