Today I had the privilege of training my club's first female lifter. I have made a few adjustments to what I would usually do for a stronger lifter, she is probably about 50-55kg, she said she was 5'4" and 38 y/o. She will be training twice a week.
Squat: Taught her air squats and then goblet squats which she learned with ease. Her hips were tucking under on a few reps but getting her to think about her lower back with a cue helped minimise it. Off to a good start so I showed her how to set up for the squat but she was struggling to replicate the technique with the barbell, I have seen this before but I was not sure if it was the weight of the bar that was messing up her technique. She also mentioned some soreness from some exercise the previous day so I didn't want to push the envelope. I have told her to do 20 or more air squats each day at home to practice technique and get her balance, in her next session I'll try using a broom stick to see if it was the 20kg weight that was throwing balance off.
Bench: After showing her how to grip the barbell, set the shoulders, arch her back, set her butt and feet she did pretty well for a few sets of 5 with the bar. Went up to 25kg but that was too heavy for a starting weight so 20kg will do for today. She seems to have about as much lower back flexibility as a man so it seems not all woman can arch like a contortionist.
Deadlift: Showed her how to set up and she started with 40kg (green bumper plates, would be good if they had technique plates) but she was cat backing it and it was too heavy to start with (she has a good bone structure for sumo but for now I had to sort out the lower back). To get her thinking about her lower back I showed her Romanian deadlifts. She has no issues with these (got this tip from 70s big). Got her doing some rack pulls at knee level so her spine was not as horizontal and so she could feel 20-30-40kg for sets of five reps. Also got her to pull the slack out of the bar and her back was under control. Went back for another try from the floor and she did 2 reps without cat backing but for the next few sessions I'll get her doing Romanian deadlifts to build up her strength and kinaesthetic awareness (the main issue with new lifters).
We had some time so I taught her how to press (did 3 reps with the bar) and rows (from hang easy with the bar), did a few more air squats and she was showing signs of fatigue so I ended the session. She seems really keen on Powerlifting which impressed me the most, it will be great to see her progress and compete in her first competition in the coming months. I am so happy to have a woman to be a role model for other woman.
Also for anyone that has trained a complete novice woman in the powerlifts how much did they progress in the first 6 months-1 year?
02-27-2012, 03:26 PM #1
First female session (training woman perspective appreciated)
02-27-2012, 03:40 PM #2
02-27-2012, 03:43 PM #3
Suggestion 1. Don't train her any differently than you would a weak guy. She will probably make gains just as fast as said weak guy, they'll just top out faster. How soon that will be will be about as varied as it would be with a guy, so I can't really make a good estimation.
Why is she only training twice a week?314/231/352/881@123
02-27-2012, 03:58 PM #4
02-27-2012, 07:19 PM #5
02-27-2012, 07:36 PM #6
02-27-2012, 08:53 PM #7
I train 3 women 2wice a week in a similar manner to what you speak of. I have trained these women for over a year.
The problem with paying clients is they aren't going to pay for 3 days a week of training. So your stuck at 2. With 2 days a week you will not get optimal progress but it can be quite good.
The biggest thing with women is usually the fear aspect with heavy weights. I'm not trying to stereotype here cause I had an exgirlfriend that was a beast and better at weightlifting than anyone I've ever seen. Sadly most women if they liftoff a heavy weight they'll get scared and hold back. This mental barrier stops them from ever handling the weights they truly could handle. I took my x in one year to a 155 bench 230 squat 240dl. She was 36 at the time. Fresh newbie.
The women I train now are all over 50. Of the 3 two squat, one very well she of course has back and hip issues. The 3rd uses the safety bar usually off a box because she is a quad squatter and were still addressing weaknesses built over 50 years of improper body mechanics.
Anyway ill shut up ; as far as progress I'd say you could see anywhere from 30-60lb on each lift in a year depending many factors.
My best advice is get to know her how to
motivate her. Performance wise I get my best results from a combination of getting them slightly pissed off then complimenting they're performance. It sort of helps bring
the beast out a little lol.
02-27-2012, 08:56 PM #8
I guess all our girls are young and so they are flexible and can arch like crazy and they have good enough strength to squat ~100 lbs at their first session. You might have to tell her to plan her other "exercising" some other time. Maybe she is doing a ton of cardio and weights and tiring herself out before the squat session. We have some girls who do that at first, then I tell them to stop and their numbers shoot up. We had a girl pause 99 lbs in comp in october and just paused 121 lbs in comp the other weak. And we had a new girl last year put 100 lbs on her total in 4 months, and I put on 100 lbs on my total as a newbie in that same time. So just like Becky said, expect her numbers to go up just as fast as a weak guy.1372 @ 205
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02-27-2012, 09:06 PM #9
Its ab flexibility that allows you to arch. a tight lower back would contribute to lordosis.
The only thing i can actually add to this is that girls seem to have a different ratio of 1rm strength and rep strength. They might be about to do 5 reps with 95% of 1rm ( possibly over exaggerated) at least when they're relatively new to the sport but ive also seen it in trained women.
03-01-2012, 05:19 PM #10
I had a talk to her about training three times a week and she will be able to start doing so next week. Also she has now become the first woman at the university gym in two years to have actually done a proper squat with a barbell, hopefully she will not be the last.
03-02-2012, 06:50 AM #11
03-02-2012, 06:57 AM #12
My wife is progressing fairly on SS. Almost up to the bar for bench and press. Getting her squat form down(started her off with a lighter bar). Her DL form is actually really good but she always claims after 3 or so reps that she is going to pass out.
Really don't have any advice for you, the girl you're training is initially a lot stronger than my wife.Best meet total 635 @ 81
03-02-2012, 07:52 AM #13
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03-02-2012, 08:43 AM #15
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