T Nation

Small Lifter Hoping for Big Gains

I’m in the 105 weight class, and am 5’3". During my training cycles I weigh about 110, but have a hard time gaining anymore weight, in fact the last two years I haven’t gained any weight, but have gained a lot of strength. I am very lean, and very thin compared to the other ladies in my weight class.

I think my squats and deadlifts suffer because I am so thin- no belt fits as tightly as I would like around my middle, instead it over-laps my ribs and pelvis, so I have nothing to push against. I have worn my belt high, which adds a lot of compression which helps but it bruises my ribs which in turn makes it hard to get a full breath and is quite uncomfortable.

I am training hard, eating right, and if my bodyweight increases I’m happy to compete at a higher weight class. I eat everything in sight, don’t condition, but because my training is frequent, I use all the calories. I have tried training only three days a week, I gain a little weight but I don’t gain strength.

All that to say- I am extremely motivated to be a great lifter. I want to put 40lbs on my squat, 50lbs on my deadlift, and 15-20lbs on my bench by April. I would love any and all input or critiques. Thank you for taking the time. I am very appreciative.

As a small lifter myself, I had the same problem of not having enough space between the hip bones and ribs to accommodate a full-sized belt. A tapered belt solved this problem for me.

I have no advice for weight gain. You obviously have a super fast metabolism. While you may become appreciably stronger if you gain weight, you may find that your strength-to-weight ratio is strongest right where you are now. Only a little experimentation can answer that. Good luck to you.

I have the same problem! I have a very fast metabolism, and even eating A LOT i have a very hard time putting on weight! Very frustrating. I carry all my weight in my hips and butt. My upper body is so skinny. ahh. Glad I am not alone!

How wide of a belt do you currently have? I would assume 4 inches but as Kpsnap suggested a tapered belt would probably work well or there is a 3" belt from bestbelts or a 2 inch from texas powerlifting.