T Nation

Need Next Stage Program



Hi! New to the forums, but been reading t-nation a long time (I want Dani Shugart to be my sister so bad!)

I’ve been lifting about two years, and I love, love, LOVE it. I was combining weight training and fat loss in a kinda dangerous way for a while though, eating DEFINITELY not enough, getting dizzy during workouts, verging on passing out, starting to get depressed, etc.

I took a break. End of May, my husband basically said cool it with the weights, let yourself recover (tough love is good love; I was pretty rage-filled at the time, looking back now though it was absolutely necessary.)

I gave it about a month, and started easing in gently; the big four every workout (four days a week), plus some accessories to target some weak/unhealthy spots. At the same time, started to reverse diet my way out of the ridiculous calorie deficit I was in. Since then, gone from ~1300 cals a day to 2100 now. I’ve put on about 10 pounds, but I no longer sob at literally every minor bad thing.

It’s time to consider the best way to utilize my new found calorie abundance. My program right now is (numbers from last week; they go up every week still since I’m working up from baby recovery weights):

Day 1
Deadlift 5x5 (heavy; 235)
OHP 4x10 (light; 55)
Squats 4x10 (light; 95)
Bench 4x10 (light; 85)
back extensions, thrusters, lat pull downs, abductor/adductor work

Day 2:
OHP 5x5 (heavy; 80)
Squats 4x10 (light; 95)
Bench 4x10 (light; 85)
Deadlift 4x10 (light; 145)
Facepulls, tricep overhead, curls, dumb bell pullovers

Day 3:
Squats 5x5 (heavy; 155)
Bench 4x10 (light; 85)
Deadlift 4x10 (light; 145)
OHP 4x10 (light; 55)
leg extensions, romanians, adductor/abductor, pullups/pull up negatives

Day 4:
Bench 5x5 (heavy; 140)
Deadlift 4x10 (light; 145)
OHP 4x10 (light; 55)
Squats 4x10 (light; 95)
facepulls, incline press, leg pullthroughs, chest flies

I actually like doing the big lifts every day; I have problems with my hips, shoulders, and quads, and the consistent work keeps me from getting just the worst DOMS.

I’ve done Wendler’s 531 before, plus an old program that my husband had from early t-nation days, but I’m wondering if there’s something more targeted for women. I read a t-nation piece by Rippetoe (https://www.t-nation.com/training/strength-training-for-women) about women being able to utilize 5 sets of 3 to good advantage. Now that I’m not so worried about bursting into tears mid set, or throwing plates across the gym, I’d like to go back to really heavy. Before my break, I was so damn close to that 300 deadlift, and I want it!


Hi there.

Good news. I think a lot of women do this at least once, trying to drive calories too low. Glad you’ve back out of that and are feeling better.

There are a few programs for women. This one came to my mind.

@ your training. I’m not sure how to answer your question. I’ve never run something like what you’re doing.

Maybe this is your answer. If your goal is to get heavy with PLing again, you may want to run 5/3/1 again or look for another strength program. Search around the PLing forum, or talk to more of the PLers here. Since it’s a strength question, I will tag @bulldog9899.


Thank you so much, @powerpuff ! Tuesday night I got my 300# deadlift, and had more in the tank. More food is AMAZING!!

I’m taking a work trip next week, thinking I’m going to read through Beyond 5/3/1, see if anything jumps out at me. Love to hear from others, though! I don’t know any other women that lift (I assembled a really good weight room in my house; great for killing excuses AND potential gym friendships!), so any feedback at all is gold!


Oh, congratulations. WHOOT!! @ Your 300# goal. Very nice!

Yep, there are a lot of PLers here. You may want to put up a training log. If you tag people specifically, they’ll see you. Like this @partsbinspecial. Hope that’s helpful.

I sometimes lift for strength goals, but I mostly enjoy training in higher rep ranges and running a body part split.