T Nation

My T-vixen

Ive read the installments of the Tvixen rountable and have some questions. My girlfriend is a former D1 volleyball player who stands 5"10 at 130. During college she was up to 165 of solid muscle. No joke, she is a genetic freak. If she even looks at a barbell her traps bust through the neckline of her shirt. The tvixens said that women shouldnt be afraid of getting to big, but Ive tried putting together a number of workouts and all of them leave her bulking up after two weeks. Does anyone have any workout suggestions. Right now she eats anything she wants and stays trim, but its a “soft-skinny”. We are looking to tone her up without her shoulders getting so big that she cant walk through a door.
Thanks for your help

First off, let’s evaluate your definition of bulky. Where exactly do you draw that line? Weighing in at 130lbs at 5’10 isn’t what I’d call hyooge.

Secondly, most people when they start training put muscle on very rapidly provided they’re getting enough calories. However, this rate of growth is simply not maintainable over the course of many years. If it were we’d all be enormous (not that there’s anything wrong with that). You might reassure your girlfriend that despite the initial explosion of muscle that this rate probably won’t keep up for long.

Another point too is that if she were to watch her diet closely she could probably drop some bodyfat and compensate for the muscle weight gain.

Hope that helps.

What is her BF% now? That’s important.

What did you have her do? You know, her training program? Was it very shoulder/trap specific?

Also, what’s her goals? What does she hope to accomplish from her training? Strength? If that’s the case, she should be able to gain strength w/out adding alot of mass.

But I’d like to see what you had her do in the past first.

3D not be overly simplistic but if she eats big and lifts heavy, as opposed to volume, she will develop size and muscle. Then cut. It’ll work, always has.

So does the “bulking” bother her? The idea of altering the diet is a good one if she’s putting on muscle too fast for her liking.

Good job on getting a volleyball player, though. They have some of the best legs. :slight_smile:

Sorry for leaving so much out in my initial post.

First, my comment about bulky referred to when she was 165. Right now she is quite thin at 130 and her bodyfat is low. If she lost more that 5 pounds it would look unhealthy. I think all of her weight comes from dense bones. Id kill for her frame. Overall, we are simply trying to tone her body which is a skinny but soft (we’re not talking fatty here, its soft muscle).

Second, she eats very little throughout the day, but its pretty much whatever she wants. Id be surprised if she eats 3 full meals a day.

Third, I understand the fact that muscle gain is not perpetual and usually will not continue, but the fact remains that after 4 years on a college lifting program (obviously for power and strength) she became progressively bigger and stronger…with no end in sight. She was literally a freak of nature in the gym when lifting hardcore.

I had her follow the Body for life program (sorry for those of you who hate it), but after two weeks she was five pounds heavier, veins everywhere, and the sleeves on her shirts were stretching. Since, she has all but abadoned working out.

Hope this helps. I appreciate your advice…keep it coming if you have time

Okay, I’m a little surprised that nobody has brought up your use of the word “tone” yet. Toning is a myth, well more specifically it comes from doing the exact opposite of what people who are searching for it do. Please see the following:

href=“http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/214rip.html” target=“new”>Joel Marion’s Ripped Rugged and Dense!

Read through that to get a better understanding of the whole “muscle tone” issue.

Second, your girlfriend is not a “freak” she’s probably just one of those people who’s body likes muscle. My girlfriend was 175lbs at 5’8" with a BF% of around 17% when she was training for the fire department (Mud Dog can cheerfully verify for any doubters, PM him) so I think you’re blowing things a little out of proportion there.

Third, in order to get the look you seem to be after what you need is some heavy and explosive training (westside for example) while ensuring that you’re maintaining an isocaloric diet. Remember, if she doesn’t eat more calories than she burns she won’t get any bigger. That’s my preferred method of controling muscle mass amongst my athletes, we just watch their diet to ensure they don’t have the spare calories to grow.

Hope that all helps.


You know, working out is not all about looks. It is also about health, or should be. She should be doing a combination of lifting and aerobic excercise regardless of what she winds up looking like. Furthermore, if she takes a moderate approach to lifting, i.e. not going for the max, I can’t believe she would grow too much.

Uh, that’s interesting I wonder what happened to my HTML tag ability. . .


Joel Marion’s Ripped Rugged and Dense!

Try that one.


Stu: I was actually about ready to comment on the use of “tone”. But I had to first get over my hissing and sneering at the sight of that word.

What Sturat said is correct. Also, keep in mind that even for a woman, 165lbs at 5’10" is not HYOOGE.

I’m 5’4" and currently sitting at 127-128lbs. And I’m not fat either. BUT, I still wear size 0-2 clothing. Muscle is sleek. AND I"m working on gaining a few more pounds of LBM (goal: 138lbs).

Next time, take her to a magazine rack, have her point out to you her ideal female physique. If she points to any of the rack thin cover models featured on SHAPE or any of the female focused mags: you’re dealing with someone with a skewered body image. That’s all it is.

Muscle ain’t bad. It’s what provides men and woman shape. Fat is shapeless and bulky.

She’s going to have to make a decision right here and now; does she want to be forever eating less than 3-meals a day, and have to struggle with fat gain as she ages and to not ever be satisfied with her body. OR does she want to just go ahead and unleash her full physical potential and to be completely happy with her body? AND with the added LBM not have to worry about excessive fat gains?

Send me nude pictures of your girlfriend, and I’ll give you some one-on-one personal training and advice.

Nate, what are you thinking? The girl’s out of college? Can we say “over the hill”? :slight_smile:


I must have been confused when I saw “T-vixen”, “college” and “volleyball” in the post.

Yep, if she’s over 25, she may be over the hill for me. I better stick to cultivating the ones out of high school.

I’m going to have to agree with Patrica here. Even 165 on a frame of 5’10 isn’t huge making the assumption that most of it is muscle. And two weeks of body-for-life made her massive? Again…I question your definition of size.

That said, there is no such thing as soft muscle. Now don’t anyone get bent out of shape about this. I realize that muscle has varied degrees of tone (not used in the sense of “toning up”), but in general if it isn’t solid when you flex it ain’t muscle.

Perhaps you could do as mentioned and determine exactly what her expectations are. If she wants to look like a girl on SHAPE then you’ll have to gear her program that way (i.e., starve herself and lift rinky-dink weights). If her goal is to establish a leaner, sexier physique then she’s going to have to lift. AND…more importantly she’s going to have to change her eating habits. I’m sure that most people would agree that as far as making physique and health changes diet is number 1. Period. If she’s not ready to make that change then she can’t expect much from her training.

Maybe I’m abnormal or gay, but picturing this happening to a female was a bit of a turn-on.

Heh, “soft muscle”


What this guy is probably dealing with here is a GF who gets freaked out at the thought of starting to “look like Arnold”. You know how it is, guys. We’ve all been there. Only difference is that this time, there might be a little truth to the claim.

Most women I know wouldn’t want to have veins popping out, well-developed traps and so on. So that sems to me to be the issue here. Nevertheless, what Patricia said was absolutely spot-on. You should print out that last paragraph and show it to your GF. Then get her to log on here and take a look at Patricia’s pics. Might get her to change her attitude a bit.

Regardless, I think that 130 at 5’10" is a bit too thin. At that height, your GF could put on another 10-15 pounds without any problem at all - assuming it’s muscle.

It sounds to me that your girlfriend is not really the T-vixen type.

You said that YOU read all the installments of the t-vixen roundtable, but did SHE? And if she did, what were her thoughts?

And since most women have role models, who are hers? Does she head straight for the Cosmopolitan magazines at the grocery store? Or does she like checking out MD or M & F?

She apparently has great genetics for becoming a very muscular and strong woman. Hell, if I could put on 5 pounds of pure muscle on BFL in two weeks, then I would be a very happy woman.

Can you please give an example of how she eats during the day? You say she can eat basically anything she wants. But, do those calories consist of mainly carbohydrate and junk (McD’s, chips, pop, candy bars?) If she changed the way she ate while implementing a proper training program, she may see different results. Now, I realize that BFL does advocate balance in each meal, but perhaps the wise people here at t-forums could offer her some new insight into a proposed dietary regime.

I’m still waiting for the nudes.

For research and comparison purposes only. I swear.

So what do you all consider HYOOGE? 5’3" 165, 20%BF, medium frame, does that rank?