T Nation

Training My Grl

hi all,

I’m not a beginner, and this post isn’t about me but it is about a beginner routine so this seemed the sensible place to post it.

The background is: my girlfriend is very skinny and wants to do something about it. I finally managed to convince her to get off the treadmill and lift some weights. She’s gotten right into it and even drinks protein shakes for breakfast! I’m very proud. The routine I’ve got her doing is:

Lunges (5 sets)
Dumbell Bench/Row (3 sets)
Step Ups (3 sets)
Dumbell Shoulder Press/Pull Down (3 sets)
Planks
Face Pulls/Swiss Ball Leg Curls

exercises separated by a “/” are done as a superset. There’s no squats because her flexibility is terrible and she can’t get anywhere near proper squat depth. I’ve given her some stretches to try and remedy this. There’s no deadlifts for pretty much the same reason.

rest periods are kept at 90 seconds. I wouldn’t time my own rest periods but I figured this way it keeps her heart rate up a bit higher and it’ll feel more like exercise, if you see what I mean. The routine takes her a little under an hour to complete.

If the addition of face pulls seems a little unusual, it’s because she is a little self-conscious about her shoulder blades (she’s so skinny they really stick out) and I figured they’d go towards fixing that. I’m considering dropping the dumbell shoulder press because she struggles to keep her posture good during the sets (hyperextends her lower back as the weights get heavier). I may just drop them for lateral raises.

Obviously this isn’t the only routine she’ll ever do, but I was planning on giving it 12 weeks or so before we re-evaluate it and start changing things. She is training purely for cosmetic purposes.

If anyone can see any glaring mistakes or anything that could be added/subtracted (although I’d be a little hesitant to add any more exercises…) then please let me know.

Thanks

I’m in a very similar situation, trying to set up training for my girlfriend.
Ive currently got a similar routine, with the inclusion of squats/ deads. Your set up looks good to me, I definitely like the idea of supersetting and timing rest periods to keep the heart rate up/ make it feel more like her ole elliptical. Consistency and slow progressive overload are what im trying to get her to focus on, still can’t get her to go for protein shakes though, good work lol

My girlfriend has been on the following training routine, she already has gotten her Triceps Long head to pop out with it, something she apparently hasn’t been able to get after a few years of her own type of training.

Try out something like this and see if she likes it?

  1. Incline Bench
  2. Flat Bench (Close Grip if you desire for more tricep/delt emphasis)
  3. Back Squat
  4. Barbell Row
  5. Chin Ups
  6. Deadlift (any variation, sumo/stiff/romanian would be better for hamstrings)
  7. Bicep or Tricep Curl; either or , alternated

Some hyperextensions/abs and facepulls are done at the end.

3x a week, 4 sets of 10-6 reps each exercise

(EDIT: THE POINT… is to train full body 3x a week, focusing on the big compounds, with ab/lower back/rear+side delt+rotator cuff work to stay healthy and get those developed)

I’ll train your girl

[quote]irkweintraub wrote:
I’m in a very similar situation, trying to set up training for my girlfriend.
Ive currently got a similar routine, with the inclusion of squats/ deads. Your set up looks good to me, I definitely like the idea of supersetting and timing rest periods to keep the heart rate up/ make it feel more like her ole elliptical. Consistency and slow progressive overload are what im trying to get her to focus on, still can’t get her to go for protein shakes though, good work lol[/quote]

yeah I figured the supersets made it sufficiently like cardio for her to feel like she was getting a good workout.

I am pretty proud of the protein shakes! Have to buy expensive, nice tasting ones, but she’s been really diligent when it comes to hitting her protein macro

[quote]Ethan7X wrote:
My girlfriend has been on the following training routine, she already has gotten her Triceps Long head to pop out with it, something she apparently hasn’t been able to get after a few years of her own type of training.

Try out something like this and see if she likes it?

  1. Incline Bench
  2. Flat Bench (Close Grip if you desire for more tricep/delt emphasis)
  3. Back Squat
  4. Barbell Row
  5. Chin Ups
  6. Deadlift (any variation, sumo/stiff/romanian would be better for hamstrings)
  7. Bicep or Tricep Curl; either or , alternated

Some hyperextensions/abs and facepulls are done at the end.

3x a week, 4 sets of 10-6 reps each exercise

(EDIT: THE POINT… is to train full body 3x a week, focusing on the big compounds, with ab/lower back/rear+side delt+rotator cuff work to stay healthy and get those developed)[/quote]

that’s cool, our programmes are pretty similar so I’m glad to see we’re on the same page

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
I’ll train your girl[/quote]

I’ve read your log, if you trained her she’d end up stronger than me! I don’t think my fragile ego could handle it

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
I’ll train your girl[/quote]

I’ve read your log, if you trained her she’d end up stronger than me! I don’t think my fragile ego could handle it[/quote]
Seriously though. IME girls are a lot less argumentative and stubborn than guys are provided you know how to approach the girl. Does she have specific goals or simply wants to get bigger/stronger?

^ My g/f has proven to be the opposite until recently.

Brb, I need to do 20 sets for triceps, 20 sets for back, 40 sets for shoulders, 1 hour of cardio everyday, zero carbs, and more running.

Brb, compounds are bad.

Brb, I dont like squats, I dont like benching, leg press is better.

Brb you have to have HIGH reps, low weight, low rest, supersets / make it burn with 20 sets of abs

Brb

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]Ethan7X wrote:
My girlfriend has been on the following training routine, she already has gotten her Triceps Long head to pop out with it, something she apparently hasn’t been able to get after a few years of her own type of training.

Try out something like this and see if she likes it?

  1. Incline Bench
  2. Flat Bench (Close Grip if you desire for more tricep/delt emphasis)
  3. Back Squat
  4. Barbell Row
  5. Chin Ups
  6. Deadlift (any variation, sumo/stiff/romanian would be better for hamstrings)
  7. Bicep or Tricep Curl; either or , alternated

Some hyperextensions/abs and facepulls are done at the end.

3x a week, 4 sets of 10-6 reps each exercise

(EDIT: THE POINT… is to train full body 3x a week, focusing on the big compounds, with ab/lower back/rear+side delt+rotator cuff work to stay healthy and get those developed)[/quote]

that’s cool, our programmes are pretty similar so I’m glad to see we’re on the same page[/quote]

I went full body too, somewhat like starting strength with

  1. Squats and Deadlifts alternated ea workout 4x6
  2. db bench and db overhead press alternated ea workout 4x6
  3. inverted rows and pullups alternated ea workout 4x10
    After this its free time for her, arms, abs, whatever makes her happy as long as she’s out of the gym within an hour 3-4x10-12, 20 for some abs.

I got her to agree to some GNC fancy protein, but so far she’s had maybe 5 shakes this month :confused: she loves milk though, that keeps protein up

[quote]Ethan7X wrote:
^ My g/f has proven to be the opposite until recently.

Brb, I need to do 20 sets for triceps, 20 sets for back, 40 sets for shoulders, 1 hour of cardio everyday, zero carbs, and more running.

Brb, compounds are bad.

Brb, I dont like squats, I dont like benching, leg press is better.

Brb you have to have HIGH reps, low weight, low rest, supersets / make it burn with 20 sets of abs

Brb [/quote]
Like I said, it’s all in the approach brah

Starting strength or stronglifts

I got my girlfriend to start strenght training like 4months ago, but she dont want to train with barbells and I where not able to convince her otherwise, so I put her on this and its not the best ever, but its okay I guess.

Upper day:
chestpress: 3x10 ( ramped )
chest supported row: 3x10 ( ramped )
shoulderpress in machine: 3x10 ( ramped )
pulldowns: 3x10 ( ramped )

Lower day:
Legpress: 3x10. ( ramped )
DB lunges: 3x10 pr leg.
Barbell RDL: 3x10. ( only barbell excercise she wants to do )
Legcurl: 3x10.

She does each session 1-2 times a week aka she trains 2-4 times a week.

btw she has been thinking of doing some of the excercises with free weights some time in the future.

[quote]spar4tee wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
I’ll train your girl[/quote]

I’ve read your log, if you trained her she’d end up stronger than me! I don’t think my fragile ego could handle it[/quote]
Seriously though. IME girls are a lot less argumentative and stubborn than guys are provided you know how to approach the girl. Does she have specific goals or simply wants to get bigger/stronger?[/quote]

I agree, she was actually really fun to train; was careful of her form and listened to every word I said. She’s even gone out and bought herself a cute little notebook to log her workouts and written all the form cues in the margin. Brought a tear to my eye.

I know loads of people that say girls are easier to train than guys. My guess is it’s because they’re not so worried about looking strong in front of their bros (brahs, brehs etc) that they don’t just pile weight on the bar and sacrifice form. She’s the only person I’ve ever actually trained though, so maybe I’m just a really good coach, haha.

Her specific goal is just to add bodyweight. At 5’ 8" and 110lbs she is very skinny (she has a very small frame) and is a little self conscious about how bony she is. If she keeps at it she’ll do fine, she’s really thrown herself into it and has gone from eating frustratingly tiny little salads for dinner and special K for breakfast, to steaks for dinner and protein shakes for breakfast!

@ irk - so you went full body too, it seems like that’s the accepted practice for a beginner routine for girls (or guys too I guess…)

@ flo - I considered an upper/lower doing pretty much the same as you suggested, but she likes the Mon/Wed/Fri schedule. I think as she gets more into it I’ll be able to convince her to add an extra day.

@ RB - that’s a good suggestion and I did actually consider one of those two at first, but because she can’t get anywhere near a decent squat depth I figured she wouldn’t really get the most out of those programs

I got my wife to do Starting Strength for a little while and she loved it. Women like to lift heavy, it’s just a matter of getting them to understand that they won’t look like Vera DeMilo overnight.

I showed her some pics and vids of Pauline Nordin and told her “that’s the biggest you’ll possibly get without any kind of chemical assistance, and look how much weight she’s moving”. Once she realized that she could move heavy weight without looking like an ox, she was all in.

BE HER COACH! That means making her do shit she doesn’t want to do. If she misses depth on a rep, make her do another. If she says she doesn’t want to do a lift 'cause it sucks, tell her “well that’s what we’re doing, princess, so suck it up”. If she flat-out refuses, then she doesn’t respect you and you’re fucking doomed anyway.

If she does respect you, and you flex some authority, there will be a reward for that later. Women melt for a commanding man.

lol, Jay mate, if I told my girlfriend to “suck it up, princess” I’d have one very pissed off female on my hands.

my main issue with getting her to do things like Starting Strength isn’t the heavy lifting aspect, it’s the fact that she can’t get anywhere near a decent squat position. We’re working on that, but in the meantime it’s lunges and step ups.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
lol, Jay mate, if I told my girlfriend to “suck it up, princess” I’d have one very pissed off female on my hands.
[/quote]
Lol. If I reacted by backing off every time she got pissed at me, my balls would be in her purse and my dick would be in my hand.

haha, touché

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Women melt for a commanding man.[/quote]
This made me smile.

And I’m a competitive powerlifter. You can see my beastly size.