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Old 12-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #1
Jesse Newman-Barnhart
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Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

Just looking for some quick tips on getting my girlfriend started out on basic lifting with me this coming January. Her background is primarily soccer, but she had a hip injury so hasn't been able to push herself too much physically. She also suffers from pretty regular back pain/soreness that I'm hoping basic barbell lifting will alleviate. I was planning on just doing a pretty simple linear progression with the basic lifts (squats, deads, etc.) with some BW movements thrown in some days (pullups, chins, pushups, etc). Sound pretty good? Any advice on helping her have fun with it and not get burned out?

I also should mention I've been CrossFitting roughly two years, did Starting Strength for a few months in there, am CF LV1 and have some group training experience, but this is my first time doing one-on-one training. Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
Sean Dunston
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

Sure - it sounds good, but...

I'd recommend that you talk to some people who have coached their significant others, and see how that typically turns out.

That aside, I would caution you to be very aware of her injuries/physical limitations. Hip and back injuries are nothing to mess with for the novice trainer - especially when you plan to program heavy (LP) squats and deads.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
Aaron Gainer
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

I would get her doing mobility work mainly for the first month and incorporate bodyweight for lower body and possibly bench press and rowing for upper.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
Jesse Newman-Barnhart
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

For sure the hip was what I was most cautious about. She hasn't hurt her back its just sore from lifting things at work and her not being very strong. I definitely need to get more background on her hip. It was 4-5 years ago I know for sure, but I will ask her to send me (I'm stuck on duty) more info on what caused it, surgery, all that stuff.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:22 PM   #5
Jesse Newman-Barnhart
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

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Originally Posted by Aaron Gainer View Post
I would get her doing mobility work mainly for the first month and incorporate bodyweight for lower body and possibly bench press and rowing for upper.
Oh of course, daily mobility is a must and I've been doing it for a while now, forgot to mention that.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

Does she want to start lifting?

That should be the first question--if you try to force her into something she doesn't want to do, you'll probably be unsuccessful. And possibly single in the near future.

70s Big has done a series of posts discussing how to get women into lifting--check their Monday posts over the last few months.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
Jesse Newman-Barnhart
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

Yeah she before she moved to the same town I'm in she had a membership to the gym in her old town. She works crazy hours in December and told me as soon as January hits she wants to start going to the one down the street. Still need to check it out to see how well equipped they are. I suggested she gets away from machines and starts lifting to which she replied "make me strong!".
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:37 PM   #8
David Ramirez
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

Ditto on what Eric said.

Things will go a lot smoother if she is asking you to teach her as opposed to you telling her "this is how I think you should train"
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

Here is one program that comes to mind. It doesn't focus on heavy lifting but it focuses on deadlift volume (though it's volume over 4 days rather than per workout as it's only 2sets/workout). It also has some light other stuff as buy-ins and cash-outs. It does change it up, though.

Another thought is GSLP which I'm barely familiar with or the strength portion of CFFB mixed with some metconnish stuff of BW for her.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:57 AM   #10
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Getting the Girlfriend Started in Lifting

I say this over and over but I believe it is one of the keys to getting women strong. Get her a simple composition book to use as a training log. Record all workouts. Use simple linear progression in the beginning. Everyone loves to see progress. I think women love to see strength progress even more then men.

The 5 basic barbell lifts:bench, press, squat, deadlift and power clean

Keep it simple and quick. Want to be in and out of the gym in an hour or less. SS, GSLP or 70's Big can be options down the road. Right now good technique and simply lifting a barbell will get the ball rolling.

Also the body weight victories: push ups from toes, chin up and pull up are both good for building strength and a sense of accomplishment.

Your job is to keep it fun so she keeps doing it long enough to get excited about the results.
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