T Nation

How Does Girlfriend's Routine Look?


With some input from me and her own experience of on-and-off lifting from the past few years, my girlfriend has come up with this:

Day 1: Hams & Glutes
RDL: 4 x 6-8, increasing weight once 8 reps are reached on all sets and form stays good
Hip Thrust: 4 x 10 w/ 3 squeeze at the top of each rep to ensure max glute involvement
Back Extensions: 2 x 20

Day 2: Back & Biceps
Barbell (Pendlay) Row: 4 x 6-8 (same progression as RDL ^^)
DB Curl: 3 x 12-15 (focus is less on weight increase, but just feeling the muscle)
Rear Delt Raise: 3 x 20 w/ short pause at the top of each rep (same as curls ^^)

Day 3: Quads
Front Squat: 8 x 4-6 (same progression method as RDL ^^)
Walking Lunges: 2 x 20/leg (add 5 reps or so each week)

Day 4: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
Press: 3 x 6-8 (same progression as RDL ^^)
Pushup: 3 x 10 (add 1-3 reps or so each week, as long as form stays strict)
Band Pushdowns: 4 x 20 w/ short tricep flex at the bottom of each rep

Day 5: Choose a weak point, and possibly do 8x8 or something similar of a movement with short rest periods. Won’t choose big barbell movements, nor super light DB movements - maybe BW stuff or machine stuff. Something moderate in terms of difficulty.

When desired, superset weighted planks or ab wheel rollouts with the last 2-4 sets of stuff on upper body days, and do some conditioning found in this article:

after lifting on lower body days.

She wanted to make her own thing rather than follow someone else’s program as she felt it would keep her more interested and passionate about it. Her goals aren’t extreme fat loss, muscle growth, or strength gains; she just wants to look good and be athletic. She will probably choose hams/glutes on her weak point day most of the time, as she does want to develop this area well.

Thoughts or suggestions?


None of the days have much volume but the back day volume is so low I don’t think it counts as a back day. There’s one back exercise. I think all women should train to be able to do pull-ups. Add some pull downs or assisted pull-ups.


I’d rearrange everything according to strength she already has. Don’t know her stats and whatever else, but, it doesn’t hurt for her to get stronger. Uniquely stronger=uniquely sexier, in my humble opinion. I say unique sense her results will be dependent of her individual factors. (Genetics, how well her body partitions nutrients, diet, height, age, etc.)

Give her a simple PPL, 5/3/1, or any tried and true progression program.

Keep volume modest, make the weights proportional to her strength so she can progress, and cycle in cardio as needed.

Up the volume on upper body work since she’s a lady, and we need a bit of a boost in the upper body department. Presses, pull ups, and pushups good to go, can’t go wrong there.

Squats, deadlift variations, and core work in the form of compound movements should cover most of the muscle groups needed for overall strength.

Drop the iso work. Including curls, just…she doesn’t need to focus on that at the moment.

Get a base for her macro and micronutrient intake. If she’s wanting to gain muscle and get stronger in general, aim for a .5-1lb increase in weight each week or 2lb increase every two weeks if she wants to go the slow and steady route.

I take it she’s young enough to still have monthly cycles. Ramp up the training the first week and half before ovulation, focus on endurance during ovulation, go easy a bit during menstruation, repeat.

I’m not an expert, but this is a general guideline I’d suggest. You or she can tweak it to yalls liking.


@flappinit and @planetcybertron both have valid points. I know she’s your gal, but has she thought of asking us herself? She wants to generate her own plan, but isn’t asking herself, youre asking for her. Isn’t that hypocritical or are you asking without her consent? Send her on over :wink:.



Was going to begin incorporating chinups at some point, but I’ll tell her it’d be good now.

She said the bench press & the pull down station are the only two spots routinely occupied, so she just skipped those movements due to not wanting to wait on others when she’s doing her thing.

Volume overall is low, yes, that’s just due to her being short on time and wanting to not spend much time in the gym. Maybe she could skip the rear dealt raises and just do more face pulls (which I forgot to mention, she does daily) or something…gives her a few sets more to do chinups or more rows or something.


Don’t remember her exact stats, but right now she’s at 145 lbs, after starting two years ago around 135 lbs. Not all the weight gain is muscle but I don’t think it’s all fat either. (Oh, and she’s 5’4". And 18 years old.)

Has a long history of involvement in XC and track (not anymore), and as I said, a couple years of on-and-off lifting.

I believe she has squatted 165 lbs, deadlifted 185 lbs, benched…90 lbs? and pressed 65 lbs or something like that. That was all done when she was more in the 135-140 lbs range. And done using a 5/3/1 progression method.

She really dislikes benching, back squatting, and conventional deadlifting, and I don’t believe that any of those movements are 100% necessary unless you’re a powerlifter, so she chose to press, front squat, and RDL, since she enjoys doing those movements much more. (She wants to learn how to clean and begin doing that, so that may get added in soon.)

I see another recommendation for chinups so those will be added in. Looks like we’ll probably go back to 5/3/1, or at least sort of. I need to buy the book soon to see all the templates he has in there, but I know she’d like to stick her current compounds over the Big 3. That’s fine though.

And haha ok about the curls. What about iso work for the posterior chain? That’s usually the only area I use it for, myself, with GHR’s and hip thrusts. I feel like my knees and lower back feel better when I do. Or just skip any iso work all together?

Food may be slightly trickier, as she’s forced to pay in her school’s meal plan. Isn’t forced to eat it, but if you’re paying thousands of dollars, you might as well. She tries to get her fruit & veggies and protein in, and stay away from sugar and fast food as often as she can, so we’ll discuss food later. I don’t think she’s against weight gain as long as it “looks good” but I know she hadn’t really planned on that or anything. Not that she can’t do it! But we’ll have to go over that. Will most definitely refer her to some articles on here.

Yes, she still has monthly cycles. You think something like 5/3/1 (if that’s what we go with) would be good by trying to place the deload during menstruation or around there? (If possible to line up closely - know it won’t be exact every single month.)

Thanks a lot for the suggestions though! That was helpful.


I don’t even know if she knows about the forums. She’s read a few articles on here before but isn’t really a fan of “learning” about lifting haha. Prefers just to go do something and see if it works. Which isn’t always that bad of an idea.

I hadn’t considered it asking “without her consent” but no, I didn’t check with her. Just thought I’d put it up and see what people thought.

I’ll let her know she can and should make an account. Maybe you’ll start seeing her around.


Lifting, wait I thought this was a umm, just joking, no, really, there is much more here than just testerone talk :wink:. Let her loose, she might learn something because I do whenever I log in. Best of luck to you both.