Mom is taking the plunge...

My mom is 51 years old and finally wants to take the plunge and loose some weight. I estimate she has to lose around 50-60 lbs. She currently weighs 185 lbs at 5’3". She wants to be around 120-130 lbs. I think she could do it by the end of the year.

She has limited time per session (1 hr tops) but can go very frequently per week and wants to. She likes weights as well as cardio…

I don’t have any experience training women, and I believe my style of training, cardio, etc. might be too extreme for her. So I turn to you for advice.

What type of training regimine would you reccommend in her case? Diet, etc?

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

I say thanks in advance for your help.

I actually have the same exact question. My boss has been looking to me for answers about exercise, and she’s 50, so I’ve been reluctant to tell her what exactly to do. She wants to do weights and cardio, and she’s already got an excellent diet (lost tons of weight just through diet alone). Suggestions are welcome.


A few months ago my mother also decidid to start working out and came to me for help. She is 52 and just six months removed from major cancer surgery. I used ABBH to lay out a program for her and the results have been amazing, and the workouts are 1/2 hr to 45 mins. I simply used the same guidlines for sets, reps etc. as ABBH calls for but just didnt use the 1rm max to figure the weights to be used. I simply had her start out at a weight that she could do comfortably to get the movements down and stay there for 2 weeks befor advancing. Then had her start adding weight and reps as the program calls for.

She is now a deadlifting, low squating, dumbell pressing momma. The transformation is incredible. She has drive like I cant beleive and is now addicted to it.

As far as diet she is now simply eating much cleaner and tries to get most High gi carbs post w/o and such. But mainly just following the foods in the & habits article and supplemets with Grow.

Anyway I would suggest ABBH or the like. Just pick a couple big compound movements and she can easily get a good total w/o is a short amount of time. Then for cardio she has been doing a lot of walking and I got her one of those little protable stair steppers for when the weather is bad.

Well I am rambling on. If you have any ?'s just ask and I will try and help.

Good luck,

Hey, there, Greekdawg. That’s really neat!

The thing that’s going to give your mom the biggest bang for the buck is getting her diet right. I’d recommend that you have her read “7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs” by John Berardi, Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION. From there, or in conjunction with that, I’m going to recommend that she take a look at T-Dawg 2.0, Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION.

In the beginning, it’s all about the basics, replacing bad habits with good ones. So focus on 6 small meals a day, protein every meal, good fats, green veggies, good PWO nutrition, and keeping a food log. And don’t forget the 6-hour cheat meal on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, with a weigh-in on Friday morning.

Let me know if you need help running the numbers.

Re working out and cardio, I have a few thoughts. My biggest concern is her lack of conditioning and the extra weight she carries. Supplementally, I’d like to see her start taking a good multi (one she takes 2 or 3 times a day) and some glucosamine HCl. The latter will be joint protective. Important if she’s going to start doing cardio and lifting weights.

Re cardio, have her start off with 10 minutes on the cardio machine of her choice and add one minute every session. Limit it to 3 times a week. Get a heart rate monitor, and have her exercise between 60-75% of her MHR. Tell her the time and making it a habit is more important than the higher levels of intensity, that that will come as she becomes more fit. Whatever you do, no HIIT until she becomes more fit and drops some weight.

Re a workout, once again, making it a habit is more important than the program she does or whether she does machines or weights. It’s also extremely important that she ENJOY her workout.

What is also extremely important is that she be taught correct form and that she follow a well-designed program that balances pushing and pulling, etc.

One thing I’m concerned about because I experienced it myself is muscular imbalances causing/aggravating injuries. If you read my ART Case Study thread, I just finished a round of ART to correct some chronic, nagging injuries and some muscular imbalances (some of which I didn’t even know I had). As a general rule, when dieting we recommend a lower volume and heavier weight. But I think she should focus on general conditioning and higher reps to strengthen tendons, ligaments and joints in the beginning. I’d like to see her start off in the 15-rep range and build some muscular endurance. From there she can travel into the 10- to 12-rep range and from there into the lower-rep strength work.

So my three recommendations are:

  • Start with higher-rep work and focus on general conditioning

  • Focus on form

  • Choose a well-designed program

Finally, read up on HST. It’s a total body workout that can be completed in an hour or less. It leaves the trainee pumped and energized. Great for people who have little time and a high stress level. It includes a two-week 15-rep cycle (for muscular endurance), a two-week 10-rep cycle (for hypertrophy) and a two-week 5-rep cycle (for strength).

Those are my thoughts. Hopefully, others will stop by with theirs and you can take the best of everything that’s offered up in creating a program your mom likes and can commit to.

Good luck to you and your mom. Keep us apprised. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! (grin)

That is the other thing I am not sure I stressed enough but TT touched on. Start slow and progress slowly. Like the cardio. When my mother started on the stepper she could only do 10 minutes. # weeks later she progressed to 1/2 hr. and now who knows how long she could go.

Just start slow, concentrate on compound movements with a STRESS on proper form and then worry later about progressing in the weight. Simply by hitting the weights @ any weight she will get results for a while.

See ya and good luck.