T Nation

Women and heavy lifting

Hey everyone, any suggestions and ideas are welcome. I’ve been training my girlfriend and thus far she’s lost 50 pounds of fat. I’ve been doing several different series with her over the past 9 months including, T-Vixen training, EDT, supersetting, giant setting, etc. She’s been steadily gaining strength as well. Recently I’ve moved her toward heavier training to help break through the strength plateaus. I’ve had her doing 4-6 reps on various compound movements, and 6-8 reps on calves, abs, forearms, etc. She’s doing a 5 day split, not working the same muscle group more than one time per week. Although she’s been missing workouts recently due to work, and illness, she’s finally back in the gym and hitting it hard. However, it has been brought to my attention that several of the guys and some of the women around the gym are telling her that she shouldn’t be doing heavy lifting, despite her progress. They keep telling her she’d be better off doing more of the “3 sets of 10-15 reps” scheme with isolation movements and try to tell her to shy away from compound movements. In addition, these particular individuals have a different body type as my girlfriend.

She’s also been doing HIIT cardio 4-5 days per week. I’ve been watching over her diet, and I can assure all of you it is in check with Berardi’s articles about nutrient timing, and protein fat and protein carb meals, as I have followed them to a T and gotten much leaner and stronger. I wanted to know how other T-mag members feel about women and doing heavy lifting? All opinions are welcome, although a female perspective is definitely needed. Also, any T-mag staff ideas would be appreciated.

I would tell her to ignore the poeple in the gym and keep lifting heavy. I hope you have taught her WHY she’s lifting the compound lifts and why they are way more beneficial to the body. Personally, once i learned the reasons why i should do something, i don’t have any problem telling other people to nicely ‘stuff-it!’. Especially when they give unsolicited BAD advice. it doesn’t matter what your body type is. why would you want to do something stupid like they’re suggesting, they obviously have no clue. stick to your guns!! i don’t see a good reason to do what they want her to do. have her tell them when they can squat more, or do more pullups, then they can tell me what to do… :wink:

By the way, tell her great job on losing 50 pounds of fat! that’s awesome. obviously what you’re doing is working :wink:

This isn’t really a “female perspective” thing; it’s a “lifter perspective” thing. If she likes the way her looks and strength have been improving, then she can look the others in the eye and say “No, thanks! I like getting stronger and healthier.” Then, when she’s in her 50s and looks better than her contemporaries and has to have some operation (like Phill’s mom), she’ll bounce back faster than if she did 3x10.

Tell her we all agree that she should trust you; your guidance has been good so far. Keep us posted.


I agree with the other posters. If she likes the results she is getting there is no need to change anything, especially based on the unsolicited advice of someone who most likely knows less than she does. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Of course, that is just my opinion…:slight_smile:

I totally agree, my girlfriend, although not exactly knowing the reasoning behind what she does most of the time(I design her workouts, she claims she doen’t have time to read T-Mag all day like I do, lol)is great at heavy lifting. She’s only been squatting for a few months now, but she has made excellent progress and uses 135 for 4 sets of 6, not bad really. Congrats to your girlfriend for losing that amount of fat, quite a task.

She is getting fantastic results…have any of these people who are suggesting this getting these types of results with themselves or their clients?? Probably not if they train them with isolation movements and high reps. You are on the right track, stick with it. Remember that by following the advice given by coaches on this website your getting top notch info that is scientifcly sound and proven.

Hi! I am astdjm’s girlfriend. I really appreciate the advice. I feel like I don’t comletely understand why I am lifting and doing certian movements. I also feel like I am only setting myself back by not getting in the zone and focusing on the workout, which makes me want to give up at times. I want to succeed more than ever, I just need some motivation. I thought that maybe working out with another female would help me out, but it will only set me back. Dan has helped me achieve goals that I thought were never possible. Those are my thoughts! Thanks!