T Nation

sister needs help

hello all,
i am writing to gain some knowledge on how to help my sister get involved with a freeweight training program that will help her to lose weight.she currently belongs to a gym but finds herself using the cardio machines since she is too intimidated to go into the freeweight area.
after talking with her over christmas dinner i think i have managed to convince her that a freeweight style workout will provide her with better results than a cardio workout three times a week for an hour.her situation is as follows:she is 32 (i think),she is heaviest in the lower part of her body(thighs,huge calves,big butt.)apx 5’6" and i would have to guess about 160-170lbs.sadly too is she has very poor strength for someone of her size.whatever muscle lies beneath the fat is weak.as for her diet,we are working on that as well.she eats good food but finds herself binge eating bad foods all too often.carbs are an absolute killer for her and her body .
so,as a new years agenda i would like to get her involved with a freeweight program that she can eventually do at her gym.i have a home gym setup with the basic freeweight stuff:rack,dumbbells,barbells,pec deck,hi and low pulley set up,vkr and some plyometric stuff.my question is…does anyone have a basic lifting program that i can help her get started with.i need to be able to get her familiar with freeweights at my home.i think a three day a week program is going to be best for her and maybe a little cardio if need be.i am looking for the proper exercises for her needs and the recommended rep range.i may be crazy but i would swear that squatting would be a huge help for her whole body.what i am not sure about is the weight and reps and what other exercises to do.so ,for all you knowledgable types,please help.i am eager to help her and i want to strike whilel the iron is hot.new years is always a great time to talk people into making changes for the better.your guidance will be greatly appreciated.i think she is a great guinea pig for this and will be very dedicated to it once she gets over the initial learning process.thanx from a concerned and loving brother!

Russ, you’re a good guy helping your sister out. And your instict to get her started with free weights is right on target. You might want to read “Making of a T-Vixen”. Just do a search in the past articles. Print her a copy and let her read it. Then let her see Patricia in “Real People; Real Muscle”. Your sister will be dying to hit the weights! Re: squats, let her warm up with the bar initially and let her get familiar with the form first. Add weight as she can handle it–but keep an eagle eye on her form. No point in having her wank her back and cuss you out. Good luck and let us know how she does.

hey thanx.what a good article.i definetly would have made a few of teh mistakes that were listed in the article.tahts why i wantde to get some info from the board.that info you mentioned in tyour reply is a great help.thanx.

The first thing I would suggest is to keep it simple. The last thing you want to do is present some sort of secret mad scientist program for her to follow. the basics are and should always be the foundation of any training program.


One thing though. Spot reducing is so entrenched in the lay public’s brain, you may want to include some “isolation exercise” placebo’s with a solid foundation so that her foundationless and public fed misinformation hunger is assuaged, yet she will reap the benefits of a sound approach. Set reasonable goals with her. Celebrate small successes. Some things simply don’t work for some people, so be prepared to amend when necessary. Teach her to fish. Cheers.

ok thanx for the advice.will try to keep it simple and functional.happy new years to you and yours,russ

One other thing to think about, I would start VERY light on the weights. She is new at this and crippling her with soreness for days will turn her off very quickly. You can always increase the weights quickly which will show good progress and help with motivation, and will help with her getting used to it. Also be extremely strict with her form, she could get hurt easily at this stage. Good work getting her interested, now keep her there!

yes,very good points.i will definetly have to make sure i watch out for that.keep the weight real low and form real good.i am really hopeful taht i can get her started on the right track.thanx to you and everyone,happy holidays