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My Wife/Question for the Ladies

I got my wife into weight lifting when we were going out; before this she had never touched a weight before in her life. She overlooked the other women in the commercial gym that we used to go to who usually spent their time curling pink dumbbells and doing cardio to do the routine that I designed for her, which was more like a power lifting routine, with the exception that she loved doing heavy leg presses.

Anyway, before the baby, she went from barely being able to benching a 45 lb. bar to benching a little over 100 lbs.

After the baby, neither of us got a decent nights sleep and both of our lifts went to shit; then she stopped working out for awhile.

We moved and bought a house. I started working at a gym and my lifts came back, but we had no weights in the house so she stopped working out for a long time; then lo and behold the gym went out of business (too many sedentary fatasses here who are too lazy or apathetic towards working out.) Meanwhile my wife had gained weight from the baby and was feeling depressed about it.

So I bought myself a power rack, a flat weight bench and over 500 pounds of weights and we were back into business.

I designed programs for her that revolved around what we had: barbells and a power rack; there could be nothing fancy here.

Her bench went down, but it was still stronger than it was before the first time. I think when we first started this working out together in the basement business that her lifts looked like this 80 lb. bench, 120 lb. squat and 135 lb. dead.

Recently we tested everything and her numbers look like this: 95,165,230 and she just missed a 235 lb. deadlift; as an added bonus, her legs and whole body look very nice too :slight_smile:

I also have her doing my diet (the AD diet_

I actually think that she would do really well on a pure WSB program, but the problem with putting her on this program, or anyone for that matter, is that around “that time of the month” she doesn’t feel like working out, especially the legs because it makes her feel worse and gush blood.

Do you have any suggestions for me in this regard?

I’m obviously not a lady, but we have similar situations, so I’ll give you what has worked well for me/us in the past. We’ve had good success with Westside for Skinny Bastards, but that was because she was in a dance class 1 day a week. If your wife doesn’t do any other cardio/conditioning type work then I’m not sure that’s your best option. I would just drop the Max effort movements and just have her do some assistance work. If you have her on a 4 day split, just have her do 2 days of lower body assistance. If she hits it hard the other 3 weeks youse shouldn’t notice any ill effects.

Side note: I know you didn’t bring this up in your post, but make sure she is really pushing her knees out when she does any kind of lower body movement. Because of their anatomy, this is even more important than it is for you an me. You don’t want her ACL to go bye bye do you? There is a video on youtube by Karl Tillman/Donnie Thompson about squatting, it is very good about explaining the knees out concept and is applictable to squating and every other leg movement.

Use the 10 or so days as deload or just for active recovery (walks etc.) If she is doing ME work and DE work plus all the hypertrophy she will need the break.

Westside for Skinny Bastards III would be good for her. It is aimed at 3 week “cycles” where she can time them to end when her period is due.

I’d say use the program but tweak it for your own needs. That is actually the point I think, of any good program. Sawadeekrob is definitely right on with the deloading/active recovery advice. Your wife should make better gains by including these weeks in her program. In addition to this, and though everyone is different, I find that some of my clients (most of whom are women) actually do want to move around when they have their periods, at least a little bit (i.e. walking, foam rolling, dynamic stretches, light bodyweight circuits).

On another note completely, I’m not sure if any other women can vouch for me here but I’ve also known a lot of women who have been able to minimize the intensity and duration (ha, sounds like I’m talking about lifting) of their periods by becoming active again and eating cleanly. So she may have that going for her eventually.

Best of luck.

I agree with RenegadeRose. Despite the severe cramping, bloating, and lack of desire to do anything, I have always found that I feel better if I stay active.

The deloading idea is great though. Everyone needs to back off once in a while and allow their body to not only take a breather but switch things up a bit to keep it guessing.

Definitely agree with the previous posts. Have her do something, even if it is recovery or assistance work.

Normally I can’t wait to get to the gym, but I hate lifting around that time. But I too have found that staying active and eating right makes everything a bit easier.

Thanks for the responses. We pretty much do 3 week minicycles as it is simply because she never feels like working out when she has her period as it is. Although she claims that cardio makes her gush even more than weightlifting does.

My advice: lose the period. Not sure what your family planning situation is but if possible I HIGHLY recommend a birth control regime such as Seasonale (or the generic Quasense) that allows women to have just 4 periods per year. It works the same way normal birth control works but instead of having a week of placebo pills every 21 days, there is a week of placebo pills only every 91 days. It fantastic. Have her talk with her doctor. This can also be done with normal birth control packages, just skipping the week of placebos and proceeding immediately to the next package, usually a cheaper option.