Wife starting to workout

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    Wife starting to workout


    Ok so I have finally convinced my wife to start working out but she thinks that anything I tell her will be from a mans perspective and would only help her if she was a guy. So I am looking for any advise from the women trainers out there. Specifically those who know how to put on lean mass. I can get her eating right and taking all the staples but I know she will not like the intensity that I would normally suggest someone do so if anyone has any suggestions on workout routines that would be good for getting a female acquainted with weight lifting without scaring her away, please let me know. Her big concern is that she thinks that she will lose weight if she starts working out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    Ok so I have finally convinced my wife to start working out but she thinks that anything I tell her will be from a mans perspective and would only help her if she was a guy. So I am looking for any advise from the women trainers out there. Specifically those who know how to put on lean mass. I can get her eating right and taking all the staples but I know she will not like the intensity that I would normally suggest someone do so if anyone has any suggestions on workout routines that would be good for getting a female acquainted with weight lifting without scaring her away, please let me know. Her big concern is that she thinks that she will lose weight if she starts working out.
    Anything would help her, regardless of whether she is a male or female. There is no 'different' ways that females should train from males.

    For a start, yes, the diet IS important. Actually, the MOST important aspect of gaining muscle mass. She must be eating ENOUGH (i.e. ABOVE Maintenance), otherwise she will NOT gain at all, PERIOD.

    Supplement-wise, if she's just starting, then the staples will be ADEQUATE:
    * Creatine
    * Multivitamin
    * Good Fats
    * Protein
    * BCAA's (although some protein powders have this in)

    As for training, she won't lose weight is she starts lifting weights. In fact, if she GAINS muscle mass, then she might INcrease weight, since muscle weighs MORE than fat (even if she loses some fat), or just maintain.

    Intensity is really up to the individual. I suggest that initially you select a weight that she can do for 10-12 reps but no MORE.

    For a beginner I suggest starting at 2 sessions per week, as it will be sufficient (Baechle, et al., 2000): 2 x Full-Body sessions or an Upper and a Lower Body session. You can increase to 3 sessions after ~4-6 weeks, and make include an Upper, Lower, and Full-Body session.

    Examples:

    Upper Body
    1. Close-Grip Pull-Ups (do as many as possible and then move to assisted pull-ups to finish) 3 x 6-10
    2. Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 x 10-12
    3. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 10-12
    4. Dips (do as many as possible and then move to doing Bench Dips) 3 x 10-12
    5. Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 x 10-12 (these can be taken out if desired)
    6. Abs - 100 reps in TOTAL of any exercise/mix of exercises

    Lower Body
    1. Barbell Front Squat 2-3 x 10
    2. Barbell Back Squat 2-3 x 10
    3. Barbell Romanian Deadlifts 3 x 10-12
    4. Standing Calf Raise 3 x 12-15
    5. Abs - 100 reps in TOTAL of any exercise/mix of exercises

    The programme should be written for 'conditioning' only, with the target of "strengthening and stabilizing those areas that give us greatest support, along with any areas that are at the highest risk for injury . . . along with any other individual weak links present" (Aaberg, 1999, p. 59). It is also the time to get your wife 'acquainted' with resistance training; and to establish good posture and technique with her lifts (Aaberg, 1999).

    Multiple sets of primarily compound exercises should been used, because it will a) the greater frequency per muscle group will boost your wife's growth hormone more than doing an single sets, which will build more muscle mass and thus increase strength more effectively; b) increase neural activity; c) recruit more motor units in a given session, and therefore train your wife's body to work more effectively as a whole; and d) increase your wife's bone density VERY important for a female) and bone strength more than isolation exercises would (Heyward, 2006). Rest periods between sets should start at ~2 minutes, to allow her to recover from each set, and as your wife's endurance increases, she can decrease rests down to 60-90 seconds (Baechle, et. al., 2000).

    I suggest that you look around and see what other females here do and possibly look at adapting some of their programmes, or creating your own for your wife from them, suited to her level and intensity.

    Because she is a beginner pretty much ANYthing she does will work for her, and she will see results fairly quickly. her resistance/training programme/s should be changed every 4-6 weeks, though (and I don't mean drastically, but changing the order of exercises, or sets/reps, or recovery periods will be enough), just for variation and so that her body does not adapt to what it's doing and stop making progress.

    And as for cardio, she doesn't need to do it, really. If she wants to for cardiovascular fitness, then 3 times per week for 30 minutes will be enough (ACSM, 2005).

    And if she doesn't like what you do for her, then take her to a personal trainer for a few sessions, or get her to browse the forums for the "female perspective".
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    Ahhh Rosie beat me to it, now I don't have to type..lol
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    Thanks for the info she will be reassured that this came from a woman. I appreciate it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    Thanks for the info she will be reassured that this came from a woman. I appreciate it.
    No worries. And if she doubts you get her to look at either mine or Christine's logs.
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    I agree with all that was said previously. She will not lose weight if she adds lean muscle. Diet is key in any program whether losing weight, gaining muscle and strength. The right food choices and supplements are key areas as well.
    I use BCAA, glutamine,protein, and some type of arginine product as my usual supplements. Creatine is another good choice. My body does not do well on creatine but it works very well for others.
    Training can be the same for men and women you can gradually up her intensity.
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    I'm not a woman..... but I do have quite a bit of experience in working with women in the gym (certified every which way as a trainer, but not as career) as well as having a grad degree in Nutrition. So, I'll BITE!


    Guejsn..... I agree with ALMOST all of your advice, as it is really, really great info. Nice to see you can back it up with publications. As most hear just throw up on people, telling them what they do and assume that it will work for others.

    OK..... now for the part I don't fully agree with. First off to recommend creatine to a female newbie to the gym is a bit over the top. Unless she is an athlete like you or crader it's just going to be a waste. She will probably lack the intensity to even utilize supplement, and it will probably just give her a creatine bloat that at least half the users experience. I know I don't have to school you on how creatine is a great cell volumizer and will increase intracellular and extracellular fluid within the muscle, as I know you are quite informed in this area. However, recommending creatine supplementation right off the bat is a little bit over board and will add some unwanted weight on the scale (I know weight is very subjective) and slightly increased measurments. Below is a study (Journal of Athletic Training) suggesting this in both men and women. I don't care if its mono, gluconate, CEE, Tricreatine malate, or other (I've personall taken them all, including Neovar which I like) and they will all add some weight and size in the first 5-8 days of use. Not something I'd bet a new female to the gym would like to see happen in the first couple weeks of training. I usually pick up about 8lbs personally.

    J Athl Train. 2003 Mar;38(1):44-50.
    Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water Without Altering Fluid Distribution.Powers ME, Arnold BL, Weltman AL, Perrin DH, Mistry D, Kahler DM, Kraemer W, Volek J. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

    The other bone I have to pick is the workout that you suggested.

    Upper Body
    1. Close-Grip Pull-Ups (do as many as possible and then move to assisted pull-ups to finish) 3 x 6-10
    2. Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 x 10-12
    3. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 10-12
    4. Dips (do as many as possible and then move to doing Bench Dips) 3 x 10-12
    5. Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 x 10-12 (these can be taken out if desired)
    6. Abs - 100 reps in TOTAL of any exercise/mix of exercises

    Lower Body
    1. Barbell Front Squat 2-3 x 10
    2. Barbell Back Squat 2-3 x 10
    3. Barbell Romanian Deadlifts 3 x 10-12
    4. Standing Calf Raise 3 x 12-15
    5. Abs - 100 reps in TOTAL of any exercise/mix of exercises



    Don't you think this would be a little advanced for a noobie to resistance training. This might send her running for the hills. Let's make sure she has some experience before throwing all of these free weight squats and deads at her on the first day. If she has bad form on any of these, the back and knees might be screamming in the morning. If you scare her away she might never come back. Same goes for the upper body workout with all of the free weights in there, just not a good idea for someone who has never really lifted before. Once again I think this is great advice, JUST NOT FOR AN INEXPERIENCED LIFTER! Following this she wouldn't make it past the first week.

    Mjolnir....... if you want her to stick with it, start her slow and teach her the proper and set small attainable and long term challenging goals for her to work towards. Teach the proper technique with machines (Squat machines for learning squat technique, Military machine for shoulder press, and so on) and plyometics free movements like walking lunges and/or stepups, then work up from there to the free weight. As any of the old school lifters will tell you, you must build a good foundation based on technique and then move to more advance movements (i.e. Freeweight compound moves). Progressing someone too fast will only frustrate that person and increase the incidence of injury. All the diet info that Guejsn gave was spot on, EXCEPT for the creatine. If she becomes a sponsored or competing athlete, then consider the creatine. Good Luck! Let me know if you have any questions.

    Guejsn.... didn't mean to pick on you as I honestly value your opinion as an experienced lifter. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree...... nothing personal or course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFish80 View Post
    OK..... now for the part I don't fully agree with. First off to recommend creatine to a female newbie to the gym is a bit over the top. Unless she is an athlete like you or crader it's just going to be a waste. She will probably lack the intensity to even utilize supplement, and it will probably just give her a creatine bloat that at least half the users experience. I know I don't have to school you on how creatine is a great cell volumizer and will increase intracellular and extracellular fluid within the muscle, as I know you are quite informed in this area. However, recommending creatine supplementation right off the bat is a little bit over board and will add some unwanted weight on the scale (I know weight is very subjective) and slightly increased measurments. Below is a study (Journal of Athletic Training) suggesting this in both men and women. I don't care if its mono, gluconate, CEE, Tricreatine malate, or other (I've personall taken them all, including Neovar which I like) and they will all add some weight and size in the first 5-8 days of use. Not something I'd bet a new female to the gym would like to see happen in the first couple weeks of training. I usually pick up about 8lbs personally.
    You don't always gain water weight (i.e. 'creatine bloat') with creatine depends on what you use (i.e. Cre-02, NeoVar Recomped, and Kre-Alkalyn are 3 creatine products that do not have such effects). There ARE products out there that do not cause it...However, if she's going to the gym to work hard, then it would be beneficial to her. If she's just going to be another cardio bunny r female lifting pathetic weights and never challenging herself, then no, she wouldn't need it...Also, f she DID put on a small amount of weight it would not matter, since it IS only water weight, and Mjolnir said that his wife was not concerned about weight GAIN (she didn't want to LOSE any).


    Quote Originally Posted by BigFish80 View Post
    The other bone I have to pick is the workout that you suggested.

    ...

    Don't you think this would be a little advanced for a noobie to resistance training. This might send her running for the hills. Let's make sure she has some experience before throwing all of these free weight squats and deads at her on the first day. If she has bad form on any of these, the back and knees might be screamming in the morning. If you scare her away she might never come back. Same goes for the upper body workout with all of the free weights in there, just not a good idea for someone who has never really lifted before. Once again I think this is great advice, JUST NOT FOR AN INEXPERIENCED LIFTER! Following this she wouldn't make it past the first week.
    It doesn't matter WHAT weight she lifts to begin with; she would be more concerned with FORM/TECHNIQUE (i.e. concentrate on technique, and she shouldn't have any pain from 'bad' form. If she can't do them, then select an exercise similar that she CAN do). So, no, I do NOT think that this is too advanced; when I had my first ever session in the gym I was doing these exercises. Yes, it is important to build a solid base/foundation first, but you can do that using such exercises, and increase intensity (i.e. weight, change base of support, etc.) over time. And done at the right intensity for her for the first session she WILL experience DOMS (regardless of WHAT she does), which is natural. I personally believe that free weights are MORE beneficial in terms of building core stability/strength than machines, etc., and they are more functional (AND the technique required for a machine exercise, say a smith machine squat as opposed to a freeweight barbell squat, although the same exercise, is DIFFERENT and allows much more easily for 'cheating'). She could do bodyweight exercises as well (i.e. push-ups, instead of bench press, etc.), but they can be just as hard. Regardless of the lifter, I believe that they should start off RIGHT (none of this ****e that most females do; this is part of the problem in why so many people have misconceptions about females and weight training)...Also, Mjolnir's wife is looking to gain MUSCLE MASS, so the multijoint, compound exercises are the best exercises for that.

    But, we all have our difference of opinion (that's fine). We just provide information and Mjolnir can take (or not take) what he likes and do with it as he will.
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    In regards to the creatine, I guess its just a difference in opinion. My biggest point is that someone new to the gym should go as far as they can naturally before introducing proformance inhancing supplements such as creatine. To me this would be like telling someone new to exercise who is trying to lose weight to just take a stimulant fatburner, without first addressing their diet and workouts at the begining cut. I know you addressed this and gave advice on both diet and exercise in your post, but in my opinion, creatine isn't something that should not be recommended right from the begining. Later down the line maybe, but not from the beginning.

    In reference to the training advice, I think we are pretty much thinking the same thing as far as intensity and variety of movement. However, something as simple as a free weight squats can be quite damaging to the body if done incorrectly over periods of time. Just putting your weight on your toes instead of your heels during a squat can cause quite a bit of stress on the knee and lower leg. Also sticking with the squat example, I'm sure you've seen people new to proper parallel squats losing their balance in a late set....... this could cause some low back muscular issues or worse. My thing is to play it safe and make sure that the working muscles can handle some of these free weight exercises with out that unexpected failure that tends to happen to newbies in a strong resistance program. Unless she has someone to teach her the proper form and spot he from the jump, I would suggest sticking with some thing like a smith machine or squat machine to start with.

    Once again I am basing my "opinions" on if she has no prior weight experience and her muscles are not conditioned for resistance training. Guejsn, I have very much enjoyed the chat, as their has been a multitude of great info provided. Its so refreshing to debate a topic with someone who is qualified to do so.

    Mjolnir...... the answers are in this thread as any of them would be a step in the RIGHT direction for your wife. Now its just a matter of applying them. Let us know how it goes. Good Luck.
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    Thanks for all the advise from both of you. She wants to gain weight overall so creatine would be a plus even if it is just water weight, although I def see your point BigFish about gaining as much as possible before adding something. I do think that Guejsn's workout plan would work for her. Perfect form at this point is most important not how much she can do. The only thing I may alter is more sets possibly because I am expecting her body to produce some crazy fatigue toxins due to the fact that she has never lifted weights before and has not been in sports. I dont want her to do much of any cardio at all right now because I dont want her to turn into one of those cardio bunnys. Thanks again for all your advise. I will let you know how she does.
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