T Nation

Need Tips

I am starting a serious training program on monday and even doing a proper diet. I was a chubby little young’un and my road to fitness was paved by loads of aerobics classes. Now I am skinny but not in the toned way I wanted. I want to look more like a fitness model. I was wondering what advice anyone here would be willing to offer regarding training for women as well as nutrition. I also need to know what I can do to stay motivated when everyone around me hates the idea of me getting into shape. Truth be told I am almost afraid of success. I am giving it 8 weeks at full dedication and effort. After that if I have made any progress I will see if I want to keep going.

Hi tiffy,

I dont have much time, but he main thing is to be selfish in what you hope to achieve, if you need everyones blessing to succeed then you are doing it for the wrong reasons.

In terms of training no one would be able to give you specific advice without knowing more, but all the info is great on this site, use the search engine to find something that interests you, you will make progress in the first 8 weeks no matter what you do.

Good Luck

Well, it’s been gone over here and elsewhere that women should train the same way men do, so any program on here that fits your goals should be fine.

You might wanna check out the Neanderthal No More series. I read the forth installment while I was taking a week off from the gym and decided to try it for a change before I got back to “real” training. Anyway, it’s a challenging and interesting program with a lot of variety, and I think I’m already starting to see some improvements in my posture. If you take the time to take some pictures and examine yourself the way Eric and Mike suggest, I think you will be surprised and humbled by how much room for improvement there is. Giving yourself a structural/postural overhaul could be a great way to get started and give you time to think about what program to do next.


At this stage in your development just about any intelligently designed program should yield results for you. What you should be looking for is one that is straightforward and easy to follow, uses basic movements and loading parameters, and that represents an overall workload you are capable of recovering from; so that you can train consistently and with adequate intensity every time. If you select a program that is too complicated to use properly, or too demanding for your present skill level and work capacity, you will not be able to focus on the business of training and/or will lack intensity of effort.

Just select a basic program that you feel comfortable you fully understand and go to work with it. As long as you know your program, are focused on productive exercise technique, and are training with decent intensity on a consistent basis, you will see progress. Aside from those factors already mentioned, I suggest that your prime consideration in choosing your program should pertain to usability. Specifically, that the movements you are called upon to perform are within your ability to execute properly, and that you have the resources on hand to use them effectively. For example, if you haven’t yet learned to squat or deadlift well, and don’t have access to someone who can teach you, then you will probably spend the bulk of the eight weeks you have given yourself just to learn the movements. Additionally, if the program calls for a lot of pressing work with free weights, and you can’t be sure you will always have a reliable spotter; your intensity may suffer because it is not safe for you to push yourself alone.

Above all, don’t get caught up in trying to find the perfect program; there is no such thing. Your needs right now call for a program that is basic, useable and that allows you to work all the major muscle systems of your body; so that your body has a reason to improve along the lines that you wish. Essentially, now that you have reduced your bodyfat and are “skinny” as you put it, you need to start to fill out your musculature to create the proportion and shape you seek. If I were you I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to focus on developing specific muscle groups at this point either (unless you have glaring weaknesses in particular muscle groups - something nobody can advise you on without actually seeing what you look like). Instead just focus on overall development; areas that require priority will become apparent as you progress.

In terms of gender specific considerations, although there are some issues relevant when training and preparing competitive athletes, given your current experience level and objectives you needn’t concern yourself with any of those in terms of your training program. With regard to nutrition, the only thing you may have to tweak in your diet is carbohydrate and fat content. Simply from my experiences in training people, I have found that more women than men seem to have difficultly staying relatively lean and controlling body water (avoiding bloating) with a higher carbohydrate intake. That does not mean that I recommend restricting carbohydrates, but simply that you may have to tinker with the amount you ingest and the sources you use to get it right for you. Keep in mind as well that if you find yourself having to go with a lower carbohydrate plan, you may have to increase fat content to ensure you are getting enough overall food energy to train and progress.

Motivation is something you will need to find within yourself. No one can give that to you. What I suggest you do is think long and hard about why this is so important to you. Try to identify exactly what you are working for, and remind yourself of that when you feel your resolve slipping, or when people in your life try to drag you down. Figure out what you want and why it is worth the price to you, and then commit yourself to process. Try to remember that what you are doing sets you apart from other people; that you are doing something with your life that others do not have the courage or strength of character to pursue, and take pride in that; but also remember that many will resent you because your success will serve to emphasize what they may see as their failure. Your decision to establish a clear and definite time frame for this particular stage of your training is a very good way to help maintain focus, because you have a goal that you can aim for; one that is within sight.

When all else fails, remember that vast majority of people will go to their grave without ever once having explored the limits of their potential to do or be anything; but it is within your power to choose not to be one of them.

wowy! Thanks trainer bill for the f-ing awesome post!

You’re welcome. I hope you can take something useful from it; and I look forward to reading about your success eight weeks from now.