T Nation

New to All of This


I have been looking at the Figure Athlete site and TNation for awhile and have wanted to post pics of myself and get involved but was too nervous for some reason, but I bit the bullet and did it. I am new to this lifestyle of working out and eating healthy and could use all the tips, suggestions, and guideance that I can get. I bought a gym membership in Oct 2010 but actually started going to the gym around Jan 2011 bc my bf and I moved in together and hes huge into working out and eating clean.

Im still having a hard time eating totally clean, but I have noticed how awesome it is and how great I feel. I would really like to tone up my belly making it flatter. Any suggestions or tips on how to do that in the gym, at home, and with food?? THANKS!!! I will post a few photos of myself of the front view and the back view.


Back View


What does your training look like now?


I usually workout by lifting weights with my bf, which I love the feeling of. I don't do much cardio. The only bit of cardio I'm doing is the 5 to 10 min warmup on a stair climber, eliptical, treadmil, or bike to get the blood flowing. When I lift I lift certain body parts doing a lot of what my bf does. My favorite body part is lifitng legs. I'm not a consistant workout routine where I can say I'm workng out arms and chest on this day and legs on this day and cardio here.... but that's what I would like to lead up to is having more of a set routine. Where I can go in the gym with an idea of what I'm working on every week. I'm not sure what musle groups to pair on the same days. I do know that legs is a workout by itself. So any help from you would be awesome since your the only onwho wrote o here. Thank you!


I do know my max on some of the lifts I've been doing.
Straight leg dead lifts I maxed 135lbs for 2 reps
Box squad max was 135lbs for 3 reps
Dumbell press, where u lay flat on your back max was 30lbs each arm 2 reps

That's all I know for my maxes bc usually I don't pay attention to how much it is or what I'm putting on.


we've helped alot of women get into great shape

first step is foundation - lots of back/lots of legs

if your squat form is solid get at least 1 heavy & 1 medium day per week, we have a client that that is roughly your frame & she just knocked out out a set of 205 lb X 10 reps squatting - she has been training with us a little over a year & kicked her intensity up in Jan

learn to deadlift to the point that you can safely perform some max efforts every couple weeks or so, the girl i mentioned above can dead 225 for a few good reps (I'll try to post a pic of her back development when I get to another computer)

Chinups - probably too hard now but have your boyfriend assist you

my wife exclusivly strength trains & crries 11% bodyfat after having 4 kids.... & she is in amazing cardio shape due to her pace & intensity - I would say you are on the right track as far as that goes

simply put... Attack the basics with a vengance


Those are GREAT starting lifts for a girl SRSLY.

If you want to get serious you will want to get yourself a set workout routine. How many days a week can you committ to lifting?

Are you wanting to workout only with your boyfriend? If so what is his lifting schedule and which days can you committ to going with him?

You look great for a regular girl... um, LOL meaning non-training female.

As far as flattening the stomach that has to do with leanness and its done with diet... you CAN build up your abs and obliques also so they show more when you get whatever small layer of fat is over them off (you are clearly NOT FAT)


Regualar trap bar deadlifts are easiere for heavier weight but my grip seems to go first and I don't like using the over under kind of grip. I feel as if I could put more weight on but I feel the bar will slip right out of my fingertips. As for chinups... my bf assists me in pullups, makes me do all 3 different ways of holding the bar and doing them. My bf says i'm a natural at lifting and that my form for eveyrthing is great. I'm really wanting to get information from everyone before hitting it really really hard and giving my 100%. So your saying that I should do 2 leg days, one hard and one medium day?? Could you give me a rundown of what my week could or should look like for lifting?? Meaning what muscle groups on what days and off days along with cardio. Thanks for responding to my post.


I can committ for sure 4 days a week lifting and maybe 5 or 6 days here n there. No i'm not only wanting to workout with my bf, thats kindof why i joined this to get opinions and thought from other people and advise. My bf is a paramedic and he has a very weird schedual, where his "weekend" could be a tues wed thurs. He works shifts of 5 on 3 off or 4 on 4 off. And I work as a bartender every thurs fri and sat from 4pm to 3am. Thasts where it becomes hard to eat. But with both of our work scheduals sometimes we end up working out togetehr 3 or 4 days a week, but if it ends up being opposite of eachotehr then I might not even have 1 days where we are able to workout together. So I kind of would like advice to do this stuff on my own. Yeah i'm not fat but i'm not as muscular as I was when I played hockey throughout high school. Thats the kind of bod I want to get back to. I want a semi lean, not skinny, but still muscular look. All the help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for helping me out!! By the way your avatar is pricelss, so awesome!


I personally would do an upper lower split two days upper body (HEAVY) two days lower body (HEAVY). I would structure it push pull so one pulling one pushing exercise for each of the main muscles in that body part. One of the heavy LB days should be your heavy squat day I'm talking like five sets 8-12 reps plus the rest of the LB including Romanian Deadlifts. The other LB day should be your DEADLIFT DAY followed by the rest of the LB. One UB Day should be your BP day starting with your heavy BP sets (dumbell or barbell) the other UB Day should start with heavy Shoulder Press (DB) and Lat Pulldown followed by the rest of your UB.

I do abs on LB days you can do this and even add an abs circuit day as your fifth workout day since you focus on that area.

Food - COOK YOUR FOOD there isn't anything available late at night I've bartended I know that schedule is killer on the diet. Get used to cooking ahead and having your own food with you. Small changes make a big difference at the beginning so don't beat yourself up too hard.

NOW, You're gonna get diff opinions on the split and thats totally cool a traditional bodybuilding split will work great for you also... I would really say my number one recommend is to make sure you have a HEAVY SQUAT DAY really push HEAVY WEIGHT (for you) five sets 8-12 reps and make sure you have a HEAVY DEADLIFT DAY. I would do four sets fewer reps say 6-8 reps.

OH YEAH REGARDING YOUR GRIP This is how it is for us girls at the beginning. Keep pushing your grip WILL catch up and keep up eventually. WEAR GLOVES... don't let your hands hold you back more than they need to. Think about straps. I bought some but never had to use them my grip caught up to my strength fast enough. PLEASE USE THE OVER UNDER GRIP in the long run this will help you pull more weight. ONE KEY TO IMPROVING YOUR GRIP is to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS hold your weight with PURPOSE. I mean even if you are warming up with two ten pound DUMBELLS GRIP THEM HARD AND TIGHT. ALWAYS HOLD YOUR DB/BB Hard and Tight. When you approach your bar to DEADLIFT Wrap your ENTIRE HAND AROUND THE BAR really focus on holding it TIGHT. Your grip will improve pretty quickly trust me. My hands were like fucking geisha girl flowers when I started... now they keep up with my strength increases just fine.

Oh and thanks for the compliment :slightly_smiling:

I will keep checking this thread not too many ladies in the beginners forum. Oh and good call starting in here. You will definately want to head into Powerful Women at some point but I personally think its good to have a grip on what you're doing before you brave the Lioness Den.


4 day concept could look like this

1 - Heavy Squat seeking new best set as often as possible combined with glute-ham Raises
heavy deads seeking new best set every other week combined with reverse hyper or similar

2 - PHA format emphasizing back

3 - PHA format emphasizing your "medium" squat effort combined with shoulders & arms

4 - Flat & incline style presses combined with an oly-style muscle complex workout

fyi read below on PHA training, its an excerpt from some of our training propoganda

PHA (Peripheral Heart Action) Training Concept:
Peripheral Heart Action, better known as PHA is a ?system? that we use to construct training templates for the majority of our clientele. It was developed by Dr. Arthur Steinhaus and brought to the forefront of the fitness world by 1960?s legendary body builder and Mr. America/Mr. Universe title holder, Bob Gajda. The PHA method was specifically designed to keep the blood circulating throughout the body during an entire workout. PHA sounds curiously similar to circuit training or even GPP (General Physical Preparedness) but differs in that PHA?s emphasis is not in bringing a localized pump to single muscle group. The basic approach requires choosing exercises that will demand blood to pump to extreme ends of the body. This is specifically so blood doesn?t localize and develop a lactic acid build up. This is where PHA differs in comparison to most traditional training methods.
The typical DIVISION ONE PHA workout requires an individual to use a handful of exercises that stress the lower, upper, and, then, centralized musculature with the intention of moving seamlessly between exercises.
?Wave? ? A PHA Wave is the term used to describe the three exercise combination types that conform to the following format.
1 ? A ?Push? from the lower body. Example: Leg Press
2 ? A ?Pull? from the upper body. Example: Upright Row
3 ? A ?Centralized? movement at the core. Example: Crunch
?Cycle? ? A PHA Cycle is the continuum of exercises used prior to a rest period. It is important to note that one complete Wave may or may not be a complete cycle. To put this in different terms, ?A PHA Cycle must be comprised of at least one complete Wave?.
A PHA Cycle may contain more than one complete Wave and may end at any point during a Wave. The example below is of one PHA Cycle with an ?incomplete? Wave:
1 ? Box Jumps (Push-lower)
2 ? Pull-ups (Pull-upper)
3 ? Incline sit-ups (Pull-central)
4 ? Squats (Push-lower)
5 ? Dumbbell Rows (Pull-upper)
A ?typical? DIVISION ONE PHA workout would use three to six cycles of ?Wave Continuums? with an appropriate change in demand used for each completed cycle.
The applications of PHA are endless. Variations with jumping, medicine balls, kettle bells, sprinting (running, biking, climbing) and body weight applications are a fun mixture that can facilitate great workouts that also enables one to train the entire body in a single workout while achieving cardiovascular and strength benefits in a relatively short period of time.
More on PHA Training:
Keep in mind the importance of developing both a general and specific energy system base is the aim of PHA training. PHA makes it possible for clients to train general, general-specific, and specific movements within an environment that is reflective of current energy system needs.
With appropriate PHA trainingone can learn: 1) multiple movements while, 2) developing a general conditioning base.
The fatigue induced from PHA workouts, in this respect is systematic, or cumulative rather than localized.
Athletes can reap the benefits of PHA in twofold manner. First, movements of both a general and specific means may be used concurrently to create an atmosphere that is geared toward specific strengths and motor abilities as it relates to higher intensity (CNS stimulation) or general purposes (for recovery and/or general strength development). Secondly, the merging of general and specific movements within a PHA series of specified time, load, and speed parameters can mimic the energy system/ movement demands of a contest. For example, a football athlete may engage in a series that will tax his explosive ability, strength-speed, and postural strength for a given amount of work/time (in this case maximum exertion in the aforementioned abilities will last about 4-8 seconds with a 25-45 sec. rest interval). In both cases a properly trained DIVISION ONE trainer should have the ability to manipulate one or several variables in order to elicit the desired result.

In either case strict adherence to the safe movement principles of executing with proper technique/form will dictate: the degree of movement difficulty, external load, speed, range, and the termination of a series if the capability of optimal mechanics (and efficiency of above criteria) ceases. Essentially, it is the goal of both the trainer and athlete to push beyond current bounds and limitations during advanced PHA sessions. Many variables can be manipulated here to measure ?gains? depending on what ability needs to improve. For example, if work capacity improvements are a priority then amount of work in a given/fixed amount of time should be tracked (training density). If strength development is lacking then the manipulation of intensity of load and volume is in order.
Now that you have the ?know?, let?s go.


Here's a program worth reading over http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/destroying_fat_war_room_strategies_to_maximize_fat_loss

I think you'll like it in that you get to lift heavy twice a week, while the other two days are focused on higher rep circuit training. You have a great base. I look forward to seeing your progress.

Also, know that to get the look you are going for you will need to put on some lean mass, back, legs, arms, everywhere.


Great post!


You honestly think this is appropriate for someone who is an admitted beginner and who is going to be training alone most of the time?

This is exactly the kind of stuff that turns people OFF from lifting in my experience. Not to say it doesn't WORK, but we need to start with BASICS, and not "PHA format emphasizing your "medium" squat effort combined with shoulders & arms" - Most beginners do not even know WHAT TO DO at the gym, much less how to separate body parts, and what a "medium squat" is.

I would read what Hallowed wrote, take it to heart, and put it into action. Just focus on working everything throughout the training week and getting stronger week to week. Do that for a decade and get back to us :wink:


So I just got back from the gym...
Regualar deadlifts max 165 at 1 rep
Incline DB bench press max at 30 at 4 reps.


When you say my UB day i should be doing my "BP" what does BP stand for?? My grip ended up working well for me today with my regular deadlift maxing at 165. I feel it'll only get better because I love deadlifts. I will have to start making chicken breasts and trailmix and bringing it to work bc from 9 to 2am there isn't a time to take breaks, so i'll have to use my bathroom break as my excuse to slam my chicken breast lol and maybe a meal replacement protein shake. I think that the pull press is a good idea, thats kind of what my bf and i have been doing a bit, but i've only been doing legs once a week. Can you give me an example of workouts taht you'd do on your hard leg day vs your medium leg day... Thanks


I really liked this article. I played hockey my whole life and still play hockey about 1 to 2 times every 2 weeks and try for more if i can!!


BP = Bench press

Good job on the dead lifts, keep it up and you'll get there


Hey girl yes BP is bench press but I think I also stupidly used it for bodypart. confusing! My bad

I don't do a medium LB day. I do two hard and heavy LB days. One starts with many sets of squats then moves to single leg hamstring work, walking lungesm romanian deadlifts, hamstring press, calves, abs its a long day!

Other LB day starts with heavy DLs follow that with body weight squats high reps leg press leg extensions calves abs.

For your UB when I say push pull body part you start with chest push alternate with pull then back push alt pull then shoulders push alt pull or then bicep alt tricep. One of my UB days starts with heavy chest flat push alt flat pull. I start my other day back vertical push alt vertical pull first then do single arm chest and back then bicep tricep throw in some pushups alt cable rows.. I bet your bf could write you a good simple program.


I think I like the idea of 2 hard leg days. I don't like doing legs unless its all or nothing kind of thing. I like to do higher weights, I like legs the best bc I think thats my strongest and best thing i'm good at so I like to do it lol. But I couldn't imagine going to the gym and doing a half throttle leg day.... As for abs, what kind of ab workouts do you do?? I think cardio and abs are one thing that I lack. Cardio I absolutely hate and get so bored with and abs I don't do bc I really dont know what to do that will actually pay off.

Yeah he probably could write me up something simple to follow and all, but I liked joining T-Nation for the reason of getting opinions and sugggestions from other people too, especially women. I posted a forum on figureathlete.com and no one wrote on it so I came to this instead. I am so glad that I started a post here on T-Nation, and can't wait to see progress and all.

Ok so for supplements and eating... I use a preworkout (inertia) then BCAA's during my workout then a postworkout (gold standard whey). I take a digestive enzyme and fish oil (Flameout) with every meal and take B vitamins.

Today I ate:
1pm 2 overeasy eggs and a slice of banana bread
4pm 1 smart chicken aundoulie sausage 15g protein per sausage
5pm preworkout drink (inertia)
545 to 7 workout (chest and back) drinking BCAA's during workout
720pm 1 chicken breast w 10 almonds w half cup cottage cheese
9pm to 3am work (bartend)
11pm to 230am ate half baggie of dried fruit w almonds pistaccios and walnuts
230am drank a meal replacement protein (strawberry metabloic drive)

I alrady know I need to add more green veggies and eat more frequently.