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Wife Started Training to Lose Weight, Exercises?


Ok, wife started coming to the gym with me. Her goal is to lose 60 pounds. Here's what I've been having her do so far.
Started for 4 weeks of weights, trying to focus on compound movements (bench, OHP, rows, squat variations that she can do and still walk the next day). She lost about 10 pounds but then gained a couple back.

Started this week with supersets (20 of first exercise, then 15 of second) - flyes + benching, split squats + squats, leg curls + RDL's.

Does that sound good? The only other thing and I didnt know this mattered but shes a nurse so she does: she had her gall bladder out about a year ago. She says sometimes that makes it hard to lose weight.

Recommend some workouts if you think I need to switch it up.


Diet > training


For diet, I helped her plan out a decent low carb diet and she also takes a thermogenic before we hit the gym.


go by the mirror...not the scale


First and foremost I would make sure that you let her take it at her own pace. Let her discover her love of training - be it weights or cardio, crossfit or body building. Do NOT foist it upon her or not only will she never like it, she will resent it and could end up resenting YOU for doing it to her.

Second - I would take it very slow in regards to the amount of weight being used and the effort you attempt to have her exert. Very few people get a kick out of being sore, much less so sore that even the thought of sitting down on the toilet is enough to make you give up training all together.

I dont know how (in)active your wife is, but for some people simply WALKING is "hard" exercise. I had a buddy one time that crapped out walking up an easy hill with me. He was very out of shape at the time, never exercised, piss poor diet... It hadn't even occurred to me it was possible not to walk up the hill. However, after a year or so he had lost 100 pounds and was eventually able to do 40-60 minutes on the elliptical at a very good level. He went at his own pace and accomplished a HUGE goal.

So just remember that the goal is to INCREASE her current level of activity, not to be at some arbitrary fitness level right away (Doing body weight squats and deadlifts, for example) - Maybe she needs to do "girly" push ups, 5lb shoulder presses, and body squats.

You will have to find that fine line between coaching her to do more and pushing her beyond the point where it is fun. Unfortunately, not every woman in the world is like the girls in the T-Nation videos and is willing to push a prowler until they can't move any more.

Other "Bullet Point" tips:

  • Focus on things like clothes fitting better and the mirror instead of her weight.

  • Simply eat MORE (steamed) veggies, this will lead to better nutritional habits for a number of reasons

  • For every week that she stays on track, do something nice for her.

  • BE ENCOURAGING at all times.


I def go slow and let her choose the weight. If we do squats she either does body weight or maybe 25 lbs on one of the machines. I think the heaviest dumb bell she's used is a 10 pounder.
She likes going to the gym though. It's an activity we can share. We used to work opposite shifts and never see each other. Now we hang out at the gym 3 or 4 days a week. It's pretty nice from that aspect.

She wasnt completely inactive. We have two kids and she walks a lot at work. Like I said, trying to do compound movements at low weight, high rep.


Can't add much to what Lonnie said... sixty pounds is a lot a lot of fat to lose. It will take time. It will not be linear! Have her take measurements. There will be weeks where the scale won't move but the measurements will go down. Is helpful to have both means to track progress.

When I was in the most intense fat loss phase my coach had me doing two metabolic style workouts a week... so fast paced circuit style lifting. EDIT: two metabolic fast circuit style workouts plus one heavy UB one heavy LB

Just a thought.

And it can't be said enough... ninety percent diet. You've helped her make a plan now just BE ENCOURAGING but let her do it herself.


Oh yeah! Have her start and keep her workout logbook and teach her progression. Always one more rep, or five more pounds lifted... honestlyy is the most intrinsically motivating things about lifting... in the beginning she will PR every single workout, awesome awesome motivation.


Shoot, can't believe I forgot that.

Keeping the log and teaching her to beat it will also force her to eventually be lifting quite a bit of weight. This is a "sneaky" way to eventually get her to lift lots of weight, and the best part is she will do it to herself :wink:

The best thing I did for my sister was put her on EDT (look it up on here, GREAT program), which has the log book built into it, and since she knows she has to beat her numbers every time she is having tons of fun getting stronger and is getting in better shape than ever.


I would suppose it would be OK if she kept an eye on it, and not the OP?


We told him to be supportive.
Time for him to prove it.

ON the galbladder lower carb/higher fat WOE thing... if it doesn't work without the galbaldder a standard calorie/portion control will work just fine. More traditional low fat way of "dieting"


I find this very relevant. My GF is trying to lose quite a bit of weight also and I found overwhelming her with too many specifics is just going to make her want to give up. I try to add a little something new each week, but even that can be too much. So I just gave her a RAW outline - the amount of kilojoules she needs to stay within. It works for her just fine - slow - but fine. When she has her 'screw up' days, it doesn't effect her because of the simplicity behind it.

Nutritionally she is far from ideal. However that is another thing for another day way down the track.


I know what your saying when it comes to people who need to be babied. But just reading what you wrote... it sounds so ridiculously wussified. If someone REALLY wants to do something then they WILL sacrafice. If they have to be babied and take it slow and are scared of calorie counting w/e then they usually just dont really want to lose weight. They may say they do, but they dont.

Sorry but reading your post just made me think of people who say they want to do things but arn't willing to put in the work.


For many people its a matter of degree. Honestly, I LIKE having my diet oulined, eating the same thing most days, going to the gym, tracking my weights, etc...

Most pople just want to "lose weight" and "tone up" - They are NOT interested in literally counting the calories that go into their mouth ( which they don't really need to do most of the time), they are NOT interested in bench pressing 405 pounds

I like to know how to change the tire/battery on my car, but I'm not going to go to mechanics school to learn the entire system. For the most part, I don't want to think about my car, I just want to use it to achieve my goals. Same thing with most people and the gym.