T Nation

My Wife's Training


Hello all,

I'm new to the forums, but I have a quick question for you. My wife has been hitting the weights recently (Which is great!)and she's made great progress in the few months she's been at it. She is 5'1 and about 107lbs soaking wet, but she muscled up a 205 lb deadlift this week, and she did it 7 times. (not in a row, but breathers in between) I'm not very knowledgeable about training for power and strength, but that seems pretty strong to me.

I feel she is capable of lifting 225. What type of reps and sets should we do to increase her poundage? She isn't training for powerlifting per se', she wants the V shape that bodybuilders have, so she's trying to build muscle. She still wants to hit 225 on the deads though. She squatted 185 on the smith machine for about 5 reps, and she benched 75lbs. Her numbers are pretty good considering her size, weight, and the fact that she's only been lifting seriously for two, or three months. I've attached an image of her traps.

She has very well developed traps, maybe that's why she can deadlift so much, so quickly. I'm very proud of her progress so far. Any tips, or suggestions will be welcome.



I can say that some of the biggest bodybuilders in past and present trained like a powerlifter in order to pack on the size and strength. The Smith Machine, in my opinion, is a waste of space in the gym. Sure, it has its practical uses, but if she wants to hit 225, then she needs to hit the squats in the power rack. Squating and DL incorporates the same muscle group. So, in order to increase both, she has to squat without assistance. Besides, the plane of motion is not natural on the smith machine.

In summary, the V comes from diet; loss of love-handles. However, for a female, it may be harder since females are prone to have wider hips; vey possible to achieve though. To build muscle, I would suggest to her to leave the isolation exercises alone and focus on compound movements for a year. This will give her a good base and this will allow her to pack on muscle the fastest. Oh, don't forget about her diet. I would suggest going to the nutrition thread for advise there; a lot of good information.

Hopes this helps and good luck. My wife is trying to lift also and it's a challenge!!!!


You could get her to stop using the smith machine for squats.


Mannnnnn, this thread disappoints! What a crappy picture! I want booty shots, I want leg shot with booty shorts on! I wanna see some hotness.

NOT HERE I WONT. This thread gets a thumbs down....a one


Sarge, and Joe,

Thanks for the tips guys. I've been telling her that we need to do free squats (in the power rack) and not smith machine, so that helps my argument lol. I always figured they work more stabilizer muscles better than the smith machine as well. We'll also stick to the heavy compound movements for a while. She wanted to look the best ever for her 40th birthday in July, but i told her to give it a good year of lifting, and she'll be pleasantly surprised at the results for next summer. As for the poster that wanted booty shots, sorry about that, I'm sure there are other threads that you can find to indulge yourself in.


If you are interested in a good program, I loved Maximum Strength by Eric Cressey. It's where I got started in serious training. I packed on lots of muscle and strength and it's a great base to start from for either a bodybuilder look or powelifting. It's a great book/program for people who have a background lifting in the gym but want to go the next step. Plus there is a lot of focus on injury prevention. Good luck to you and your wife. After finishing this book she will deadlift 225 easy.


So let's say hypothetically you deadlifted 325lbs for 7 singles in one training session. But you REALLY wanted to deadlift 350 just once. What would you do? She can do the same.

If she pulled 205lbs 7 times in one session, she can pull 225 now if she warmed up to attempt it as a max and didn't dink around with all the weights in between. As long as she believed in herself and kept pulling. It wouldn't move off the floor very quickly but I'd bet she could do it.


Thanks for the tips ladies. We will try it on our next back day, and I'll let you know how it goes. She's tiny (5'1 and 107 lbs) but she's strong, so i have all the faith in the world that she'll do it, and then some lol.

One quick question. What is the difference in the standard deadlift, and the sumo deadlift? (other than stance) Is there a difference in the muscle groups worked? We thought about trying those as well.