T Nation

My Friend (Female) Weighs 84 lbs.


#1

Does anyone have any good female mass-adding programs?

I got a female friend who works out at a Y 2-3 times a week (basic program that they give to all girls, which consists mostly of glute and abs work...), eats 50% crap (chips) and 50% super healthy, is 5'1" and 84 lbs, with BF easily below 12%.

Doctor told her to gain 10 lbs of muscle/fat.

How should she be eating/training? I don't think Ice Cream sandwiches are a good idea for breakfast, for example, because, well diabeetus. I think she can get there with training, proper nutrition and discipline.

Anyone have advice or resources? Her legs are reasonably strong due to formerly being a ballerina, but her upper body is extremely weak - no pull-ups, she can do maybe 6 girl push-ups, she can't even bench press 20 pounds because her shoulders/chest are so undeveloped! I don't even know where to begin.

She eats 6-7 times a day already, usually 50% carbohydrates of all sorts (refined, not refined, polysaccharides, monosaccharides, etc.).

I feel like putting her on one of those super-heavy lifting programs with nothing but low reps, high weights (relatively speaking), and endless ingestion of protein. And of course, zero cardio.


#2

Clean the diet

Lift heavy

Watch her grow.


#3

Isn't that weight normal for someone at 5'1"?


#4

Is she hot?


#5

pics!


#6

To gain mass you need to eat. Up the calories.

To gain muscle mass you need to eat protein, more particularly.

What does she want for herself? Does she want to gain mass? Does she want to get stronger?

Sometimes I get the feeling that quite a lot of girls will kind of say that they do... To humor others, but really they aren't motivated to change. Girls, in particular, can often have either a motivating desire or an inclination that they would prefer to lose weight. They might positively aspire to an anorexic / incapable / frail look.

If this is the case...

Then the first step is getting her interested in things...

Maybe finding some vids of tiny female powerlifters. Pics of figure athletes. Some of the smaller crossfit women. It will help things along if she has role models of healthy capable women who she aspires to be like. Then support and encouragement (e.g., from you) that she can indeed do the tiny progressions that will have her move towards those goals.

I recommend the website stumptuous - it has a lot of great stuff about women lifting and a few of the women over on the PW forums said that this was one of the things that got them started.


#7

No that weight is not normal.

Five feet one hundred pounds is super tiny like probably a size zero.

She is GROSSLY underweight. I would not clean up her diet at all at least there's fat and calories in ice cream sandwiches. I would just have her add to what she is eating. And then, heavy lifting any hypertrophy program she needs to eat MORE MORE MORE FATS AND CARBS AND PROTEIN. Dude add a weighgainer shake or something.

Maybe I'm wrong but I am picturing fucking super super anorexic scrawny unattractive bodyy.


#8

Bodyfat below twelve percent... um does this woman happen to have an eating disorder? If so she needs professional mental health assistance.


#9


Runner Angie Miyashiro

Is five one eighty four pounds.

This is BEST CASE SCENARIO because Angie is all muscle...


#10

I'd say that this 12% body fat is an approximation...having men's body fat in mind, ignoring that women have much higher body fat by default.


#11

alexus - thanks for the advice on the mental game. I had totally ignored that aspect of it.

hallowed - I attached her pic so you can get an idea of how skinny she is. She does not have anorexia nor bulimia, she has what I would call a outlier bone structure in terms of small size (hence the ballerina...)


#12

yikes


#13

With her dance background she might like o-lifting. The extra challenge of learning the movements might keep her more interested and motivated than more basic lifting would.

Also nothing goes better with icecream sandwiches than bacon.


#14

That's some great advice! My gf isn't weight challenged, but I can't seem to get her off the stupid stair mill and treadmills at the gym. Some big monkey also intimidated her while she was doing some dumbbell work, so since then she's been afraid of the free weights area.

I'm gonna use your advice to help her get re-motivated to try weights again..oh, and I also figure finding out who this monkey is and clubbing his face.


#15

uh, dude, she's skinny (not a compliment) and she seriously needs to eat. She looks like she is about 9. Which, um, for a lot of girls is kind of the point.

yeah, i know, i know, all the skinny supermodels eat and stuff it is just that they got the weird genetics. like all those hard gaining guys out there that simply can't gain mass so matter what they do!

ballet is about as hard on bodyimage as gymnastics is.

i'd say that the mental game is the biggest part of the battle.

personally, the thing i found the most liberating about the weights was a sense of progress on strength goals. for me, obsessing about my body and what my body looks like really isn't the way forwards... taking delight from progressing on strength goals has resulted in better body composition and i'm happier about it, though. and nothing quite fuels PR's like bacon and eggs.


#16

This is what got me into Oly Lifting:

But it is true that those women don't look skinny and a lot of girls actually do fear that they might come to look like them. Weird, I know.


#17

Uv-Death (sorry no underscore on my phone) it can be really intimidating to go into the lions den as a novice female lifter. Peraonally I spent three months on the machines before I braved the free weights room. No reason your GF can't start out on the machhines. She can build somme strength and experience.

OP, I hope I'm not being a total bitch. Your friend, that weight that height that physique that is WAY at the far outside of the bellcurbe. With the ballet background I think the chances of her not having an eating disorder are about one in a thousand. The reason I'm harping on this is because it is so easy to make a disorder WORSE when you're trying to help. You are obviously coming from such a good place with great intentions... just please be careful and gentle with her and really think about what you're doing as ypu get involved. If disordered eating does become aparent to you through closer involvement... I'm going to encourage you to push her towards professional help. Unfortunately I have personally experienced someone close to me just destroyed by ED (uh that's EATING DISORDER not erectile dysfinction) so maybe I'm hyper aware.

Any increase in protein intake accompanied by lifting should help her.

BUT I've also seen ED translated into exercise purging too. Damn I'm sorry her physique is scary to me.


#18

Ok noted on the sensitivity aspect of it. She is aware that she needs to eat more/gain weight. However, you're probably right in that no girl likes to be reminded of it. The truth is, she asked me for help, but I'm used to fat people asking me how to lean out since that's how I got started in fitness and that's what all my friends saw me do.

Going the other way is kind of an interesting project for me.

So far, I've observed a huge problem is that she forgets to eat. She gets so engrossed in what she is doing that she won't eat for, like, 11 hours. Combined with her metabolism, that's murder! We're gonna address that with something called a fixed schedule.


#19

Lol she doesn't have a fast metabolism, first and foremost. Obviously she's convinced herself she does, so she has an excuse, in her mind, for weighing so little. I've known plenty of girls with similar issues, and the common factor is DENIAL. They've gotten so used to seeing how skinny they are, they think that is "normal" (Similar to any extreme body type).

Get her used to seeing very fit women, and hopefully that'll eventually make her realize her weight is NOT normal, give her plenty of positive reinforcement, and figure out a creative way to remind her to eat more, and more consistently.


#20

Stay away from that. Those kind of chicks have no intention to change anything. They assume that they are better than the average one walking around, and complain that they will become one of the fat ones if they gain 0.01 lb. IMO, much easier to bring about a change in a willing fatty shoving down cupcakes by the dozen every day. Sorry, just my 0.02$