T Nation

trying to help a friend

Hi all. I have a friend who I am trying to help lose some body fat. She has never done a lot as far as lifting but does run periodically for exercise. As things stand right now, she is getting her body fat % checked this week and she has agreed to let me work out with her starting this week. Because of limited time, lifting will consist of 2x/week and then I am also going to have her do fasted cardio (running) 2 alternating mornings from our lifting days. She is not interested in muscle bulk only “tone” to use her words. We have about 3 months to work with. Ideas for a 2 day lifting routine that would fit this situation?? Sets, reps, split??
PS-- we have already made some dietary adjustments in food choices and timing of meals-- once I find out lbm, I will be able to fine tune that aspect of her training. Thanks!!


The only way your lady friend will “bulk” up is by injecting testerone into her system. I would just do total body workout each time every 3 days. Stick to compound exercises, don’t waste on those isolate exercises like kickback triceps, bicep curls, you get the idea. Read Joe Franco’s article on economy training. If you had read them and other articles, did some searches in the forum where this topic was already discussed, you wouldn’t be asking this silly question. Also read Beradi’s 7 highly effective eating habits to start with for her nutirtion program if your lady or sex buddy is looking to clean up her diet.

All women say they want “tone”. Maybe that was a hasty generalization. Women who look at fem BB’s say they want tone. They don’t want to look like the beastly (wo)men of the pros. Try to teach her that the best way to burn fat is to have a higher LBM. Does she read T-mag? If she doesn’t, show her some articles that will tell her the only way she will get “big” is from overuse of steroids.

i would def work on a upper and then lower day. Mostly for strength for the first 4 weeks. Just to get aquainted with weight training for your friend. BEgginners only need to lift about 65% of 1RM to get results where exp.lifters 2yrs+ need to lift 80% or more i beileve. There was a study out ill cite the link if i find it. Also gradually building up volume is a good way to go. even with the running. I personally think as long as the diet is lined up, the lifting and running will take care of the rest. As far as a particular workout 2 day splits are hard but there are a few articles floating around T-mag put a search in. 2 and 3 days splits that looked pretty good when i read them.

She has a lifetime to work with, or shall I assume a special event is coming up? Are there any long-term goals or is she going to trim up and then quit?

Sorry Tung. Didn’t mean to waste your time. I’ll try and do a little more of my own research next time. On a side note though, ever just post because you want some confirmation from others that your ideas aren’t way off base? Guess that is what I was looking for. Thanks for the help.

i did something similar for one of my lady friends some time ago, and i found out that stairs, running and abs work best because she only believed in this. as far as with weights, yeah, nothing too heavy. ask her what part of her she wants to lose. im guesing its either the glutes, thighs and stomach area that women tend to bitch about the most, so yeah, running, stairs and ab work. and it will probably be lower abs, so you should research articles for those. what i made my friend do is where she would lie on the floor, and then slowly lift up her legs together about 10-12 inches(not too high), then slowly spread her legs, not too much, and then close and go down, but dont touch the ground. always keep legs straight. works good for the lower abs and the legs. make her do about 25, 4 sets. hope that helped.

Since she’s willing to lift 2X per week but is relatively new at it, I would first design a total-body workout based on the big, compound exercises like squats, bench press, and pullups. If she has any postural issues, design the workout to correct those. For example, if she has any anterior pelvic tilt, just by correcting this, she will look 10-20 pounds slimmer in the hips and thigh area. I kid you not.

After 3-4 weeks of these total-body workouts, I would split them into upper body and lower body and increase the intensity. Hopefully, after another 8 weeks or so on the upper/lower split lifting 2X per week, she’ll see such great results that she’ll fall in love with lifting and be more than willing to work out 3-4X per week. That’s what happened to me.