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Thread: Coaching Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Canton, GA
    Posts
    19

    Default Coaching Help

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    Asking for some help with coaching my wife. She's seen the progress I've made the past 8 months, and wanted me to coach her. It's my first real foray into coaching the program. She's 36, 5' 7", and around 130. She has a very slight build with tiny wrists, and smaller ankles. No experience in lifting, but very athletic growing up. She's been following a Keto diet for over a year and lost quite a bit of weight. I've suggested to start inviting some more carbs, at a minimum on training days, but that's been met with resistance.

    We started a few weeks back and began with a empty 45 bar for 2x5 Squats and Bench, and 95lbs on Deadlift. Setting up the Deadlift was slightly problematic since I don't have bumpers in smaller weights. I ended up getting the bar to an appropriate height with a couple 45lb bumpers, but it wasn't ideal. After that session, I knew she wouldn't be able to press 45, on top of the deadlift setup issues, so I ordered a 15lb training bar.

    First session with the training bar, she benches 45x5x3. Go to Deadlift, where we're going to 105, since 95 looked like zero issues. Warms up fine, and then can't break 105 off the floor. Go thru the 5 steps again, and she gets 1 rep, but that's it.

    Next workout, squat goes up 5, and she presses 35x5x3. No grind on the press.

    Next bench workout, squat goes up 5, and shooting for 50x5x3 on bench, and she can't get it off her chest. Rest a couple minutes, go back to 45lbs and she fails the 4th rep. Rest a couple more minutes, and she fails the 3rd rep. Ended up going back to 35 to get what was left of the 15 reps.

    Last night was a press workout, and was going to start microloading it right away based on the issues with bench. Loaded 37lbs, and she failed the 3rd rep. Worked on staying tight at the bottom, and keeping elbows in front of the bar to keep the bar path close to the face. Waited a few minutes, and then she failed the 3rd rep again.

    I read thru Practical Programming again looking for some insight, and saw that microloading can come into play pretty quickly for the upper body lifts, but she's failing weights she's done before. I thought I might've started to heavy, but at lower weights, it looks like an air movement.

    There are some technique issues, but I'm kinda stumped as to what's going on. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,673

    Default

    Lots of things wrong here, but the biggest problem is that YOU CANNOT COACH YOUR WIFE. This is essentially a truism in S&C, and in every other coaching situation. Get her another coach with better experience, someone who won't take a 10-pound jump on her first deadlift workout.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Canton, GA
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I understand the dynamic is less than ideal, but I'm looking to gain some experience with coaching. Can you shed some light on what is wrong, so I can learn from it? I expected her diet to impede progress at some point, but not immediately.

    The deadlift jump was based on the equipment we have. I see now that we have a need for lighter bumpers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Hi Justin, I can relate to your situation because the first person that I have coached 2 years ago was my wife, and she still trains with me. We have both started with a home gym, and we have quickly realized that we need to train with proper equipment in a good gym environment. My wife's advice to your partner is get the right equipment like, squat shoes (we both bought adidas powerlifting shoes, in sale for 65 Euroes), micro plates (very, very important, I have found 0.25 kg plate 8 of them for 30 euro online), lifting belt (I use the cheapest 10cm belt I could find and it works for me, my wife has a bit more expensive one). Also if your partner is not as much into training as you are, like my wife, than she can only train 2 times a week and still make a good progress, just do the basics like squat, deadlift, press, bench and chin ups when she cant do the deadlift every day anymore, and this should be enough. Motivation is also very important, my wife wanted to lose weight, and she managed to loose over 20 kg in 8 months and become the strongest woman in the gym, her squat and deadlift surpasses that of most bro gym goers. You can teach each other how to perform lifts correctly, and check each others form. You can watch videos together, read books and articles and learn and correct each other.
    If you have more questions feel free to ask here or you can pm me if you want, good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Posts
    904

    Default

    You need to start her lighter across the board, Justin. Especially if you're new to coaching, you are both learning and there's no need to rush the weight on the bar with her. She's underweight and won't make progress quickly.

    Do you have a power rack? You can set up her deadlift inside the rack on low pins. Go slow, take your time, and be patient. She won't listen to you the way a paying client will.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Canton, GA
    Posts
    19

    Default

    starting strength nutrition camp
    Thanks for the replies. We're making a little bit of progress now. We'll see if it's enough to keep her interested in training. Her appetite is starting to increase, and it's like pulling teeth to get her to eat more.

    Nick, I have a Squat stand, but the spotter arms won't go low enough. We did some RDLs for a few sessions while waiting on the training bar, but have moved back using bumpers as blocks to elevate the bar.

    You're oh so right about the listening...but I'm learning a lot trying to clear up misconceptions and attempt to solve other problems outside of my own training.

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