T Nation

Progressing from Novice Training


#1

I’m training my girlfriend, who had been lifting for a few months without much success before I started training her. I ran her on a modified version of GreySkull LP, with a 3 week volume-based progression.

For example:

Bench Press
Week 1: 2x5, 1x5+ @45lbs
Week 2: 3x5, 1 x5+ @45lbs
Week 3: 4x5, 1x5+ @45lbs
Week 4: 2x5, 1x5+ @50lbs

I’ve been using hips thrusts (recently changed to RFESS with forward lean) and lat pulldowns/assisted pull-ups (if she can find the right band in the gym) as assistance for her.

She has been training this way for a little over 4 months, and has seen wicked improvements (really good strength gains and visible improvement, especially butt), but recently is starting to have some trouble progressing on her OHP and deadlift. Currently, she is sick and is deloading (and will reset OHP and DL when she resumes). Realistically, though, she only has a few resets before moving beyond this basic programming becomes necessary. Any suggestions on where she should go from here? Any recommendations or good resources for women’s training/programming? I love programming, but am less familiar with programming for women.

Her relevant info:
Stats: 5’5", 130lbs
Goals:

  1. Look better (specifically getting leaner and bigger butt, but also general hypertrophy)
  2. Strength (long-term goals of 225/135/315), may try out a powerlifting meet at some point
  3. General health improvement
    Gym stuff:
    Bench: 55lbs x 8 or 9
    OHP: 50lbs x 5
    Oly squat: 105lbs x 9, can do 135lbs for at least one rep
    DL: 155lbs x 5
    She is consistent with training.
    Diet: She eats quite clean and high protein, but some issues. She is a celiac and also cannot have dairy products (as well as a few more minor food intolerances), so tends to have a very low carb diet. Consistency isn’t ideal, as she gets exposed to things that make her sick regularly, cutting into her ability to eat.
    Sleep: She sleeps a lot, but is still frequently tired. Hypothyroid, still in process of working with doctor to get proper Synthroid dose.

Thanks in advance!


#2

Slide her right into the Wendler 5’s Progression. Use the First set last for 5x5 for some back off sets.

You’ve accumulated volume, adding sets and reps with the Grey Skull plan. Now switch to intensification with ramping sets, and increasingly heavy back-offs. The 5’s Progression has the weights all laid out, so there is no guess work.

The sessions will even be laid out similar to your current set up.

Run this for 2-3 Three week cycles. Then use Wendler’s 5 forward, 3 back principle to resume the Grey Skull plan, right where you left off.

Repeat.