Helping My Sister

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    Helping My Sister


    Hello!

    My sister is overweight, she is pretty shy about telling me the actual number, but I'd say she is around 280-300lbs. She'll eventually tell me, but since this is day 1 I'm not going to force it out of her. Anyways, she has asked me to help her get into shape. The diet portion I find pretty easy since good foods are good foods, but i'm having a hard time with the workout portion. We did a back workout yesterday, but I wasnt sure where to start her off weight wise and how many rep/sets. I personally do a high volume routine, but I don't think that is optimal for a beginner. I was thinking of a TBT 3 times a week, but I don't know if teaching her how to squat or deadlift off the back is a good idea.

    So to sum things up, can anyone offer advice on a beginner female routine and how do I decide what weights are good for her to start out with?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Inc View Post
    Hello!

    My sister is overweight, she is pretty shy about telling me the actual number, but I'd say she is around 280-300lbs. She'll eventually tell me, but since this is day 1 I'm not going to force it out of her. Anyways, she has asked me to help her get into shape. The diet portion I find pretty easy since good foods are good foods, but i'm having a hard time with the workout portion. We did a back workout yesterday, but I wasnt sure where to start her off weight wise and how many rep/sets. I personally do a high volume routine, but I don't think that is optimal for a beginner. I was thinking of a TBT 3 times a week, but I don't know if teaching her how to squat or deadlift off the back is a good idea.

    So to sum things up, can anyone offer advice on a beginner female routine and how do I decide what weights are good for her to start out with?

    Thanks!
    Being a big girl, because of the issue of flexibility and the exercises themselves, I wouldn't recommend certain exercises like squats WITH weight, unless she does bodyweight/swissball/wall/DB squats.

    However, doing any calisthenic exercises should be fine. Almost anything re BB/DB would be ok for Chest, Back (except deadlifts; I would do romanian deadlifts), Shoulders, and Arms, as long as she's not having to bend down or squat too much (this will be ok once she loses some weight). Abs exercises get her doing planks, and things like that.

    As a beginner, I would start her off at one set of one exercise per body-part, and do that 2-3 times a week.

    Re weights, get her to use something she can do for 10-12 reps, but no more (and if she can't get to 10 reps, then decrease the weight).

    Progress exercises, sets, reps, etc., when she can.
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    Woot, glad you responded!

    The problem I have with the weights is that I don't know if its truely too heavy. For example, yesterday we were doing seated rows and I started it at 50lbs and she did 12 easy. Moved it to 70 and she hit 12 again, but said it was really heavy. So I kept it at 70 and she blew threw another 12 without a problem. Then comes 90 and she does that for 12 no prob. Is there any signs that I can use to tell if it is truely too light?

    I know eventually as she progresses she'll get to the point where her #s will grow and she'll get to her limit, but I'm hoping we don't have to wait that long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Inc View Post
    Woot, glad you responded!

    The problem I have with the weights is that I don't know if its truely too heavy. For example, yesterday we were doing seated rows and I started it at 50lbs and she did 12 easy. Moved it to 70 and she hit 12 again, but said it was really heavy. So I kept it at 70 and she blew threw another 12 without a problem. Then comes 90 and she does that for 12 no prob. Is there any signs that I can use to tell if it is truely too light?

    I know eventually as she progresses she'll get to the point where her #s will grow and she'll get to her limit, but I'm hoping we don't have to wait that long.
    If she can do 12 reps easy, regardless of what she says, it is too LIGHT (especially if you're only going to do ONE set of it). Otherwise, make her do 15 reps.

    Watch her face. Regardless of the words coming out of her mouth, her face will tell you how she really feels (unless she can hide effort and pain very well). MOST females will say something is "too heavy" if they think that they are lifting heavy, because they have the misconception that if they lift heavy then they'll start looking like Miss Olympia (NOT going to happen).

    If you're going to do MORE than one set, and she says the weight is "hard", then decrease her recovery time (she should start to feel it then).
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    Thanks!

    So start off with 1 set for each body part and gradually build it up? Do I build up sets each week? or months? Just to add some info I remembered, she was working out with a trainer a year ago for a month or two and when she was she was basically doing a 3 day split.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Inc View Post
    Thanks!

    So start off with 1 set for each body part and gradually build it up? Do I build up sets each week? or months? Just to add some info I remembered, she was working out with a trainer a year ago for a month or two and when she was she was basically doing a 3 day split.
    Unless she is severely out of condition, 3 sets should be attainable for each body part.

    However as her new trainer you'll need to go with what she can manage at that particular session, you may have '1' set in your head, when in actual fact with a little persuasion and some careful monitoring, she could manage more.

    Keep a tight record of what she's achieving and ask her whether she could perform more, using some intuition here and there if you feel she could lift more or train a bit harder in safe manner. Use her performance and feedback as a guide to your training.

    Exercise for obese clients is often a new and uncomfortable experience so their initial reaction is to shy away at the first sign of the training becoming 'difficult'.

    Give her the positive encouragement she needs at every set and rep, show her how much she's progressing and how the additional weight lifted and/or sets and reps performed relates to her fitness and body composition, in this way, she's more likely to stick to the routine and look forward to training rather than dreading it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Inc View Post
    Thanks!

    So start off with 1 set for each body part and gradually build it up? Do I build up sets each week? or months? Just to add some info I remembered, she was working out with a trainer a year ago for a month or two and when she was she was basically doing a 3 day split.
    If you were to start with one set, then you would build up over a few weeks, depending on well she progresses re form and weight lifted. Week 1 - 1 set, weeks 2-3 - 2 sets, from week 3 on - 3 sets.

    A year is a long time if she hasn't been doing anything since then. However, the body has great muscle memory, so going back to a 3-day split (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday) could be a good thing. I would recommend doing a Lower Body, Upper Body, Full-Body 3-day split. That way, select an exercise for each body-part and do 3 x 10-15 reps for it. You might like to do the Full-Body as more of a circuit session, and use mostly compound exercises (although you should be using as many compound, multijoint exercises as you can anyways for the lower and upper body days, as it means more muscles are targeted for less exercises) for this.
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    compound exercises are critical
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