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Thread: programming press for females

  1. #1
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    Default programming press for females

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    There is a woman friend of mine that I put on the SS workout. She is 39 and about 145 pounds at 5'9". She definitely doesn't really want to gain weight and I think if she maintains she will be happy so this is a constraint in strength gain.

    Anyway, she really struggles with the press even though her strength on them is probably decent for a woman. I'm thinking about switching the press to a texas method type progression or just adding back off sets.

    Looking for other peoples experience programming the press for females as I'm guessing they all stall out on this pretty fast.

    First time through on presses, we started at 45 pounds (bar) and worked up to 60. Went to 2.5 pound increases after 55 pounds. Then we reset back to 50 or 55 pounds and worked up in 2.5 pound increments from there and she got 62.5 for 3 sets of 5 and then yesterday went to 65 but only got 5,5,4.

    As I type this, I'm thinking we should just reset back to 55 pounds again, add a single back off set and take 2.5 pound jumps for a while and I should probably figure out how to take only 1 pound jumps. People probably will wonder why the back off set already and I don't know for sure other than my intuition tells me it will be helpful given the light weights and tendency to stall and that she can tolerate it. Seems like a compromise between switching to intermediate programming on the press and still adding more work as I can't believe recovery is an issue yet.

  2. #2
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    Either smaller jumps (seriously), more food, or different programming.

  3. #3
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    My girlfriend is 4'11" and about 130lbs. When we started she couldn't even press the bar. Our crummy YMCA didn't have any lighter bars, so we worked up to it with dumbbells, then push presses, and finally real presses with the bar. At first 2-3 reps was all she could manage at a time, so we'd do 5 sets of 3. She's doing the CFWF program, so we are just loading by 1lb. increments and repeating weights if she stalls.

  4. #4
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    bootie pics?


    Quote Originally Posted by zepled37 View Post
    There is a woman friend of mine that I put on the SS workout. She is 39 and about 145 pounds at 5'9". She definitely doesn't really want to gain weight and I think if she maintains she will be happy so this is a constraint in strength gain.

    Anyway, she really struggles with the press even though her strength on them is probably decent for a woman. I'm thinking about switching the press to a texas method type progression or just adding back off sets.

    Looking for other peoples experience programming the press for females as I'm guessing they all stall out on this pretty fast.

    First time through on presses, we started at 45 pounds (bar) and worked up to 60. Went to 2.5 pound increases after 55 pounds. Then we reset back to 50 or 55 pounds and worked up in 2.5 pound increments from there and she got 62.5 for 3 sets of 5 and then yesterday went to 65 but only got 5,5,4.

    As I type this, I'm thinking we should just reset back to 55 pounds again, add a single back off set and take 2.5 pound jumps for a while and I should probably figure out how to take only 1 pound jumps. People probably will wonder why the back off set already and I don't know for sure other than my intuition tells me it will be helpful given the light weights and tendency to stall and that she can tolerate it. Seems like a compromise between switching to intermediate programming on the press and still adding more work as I can't believe recovery is an issue yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Platus View Post
    My girlfriend is 4'11" and about 130lbs. When we started she couldn't even press the bar. Our crummy YMCA didn't have any lighter bars, so we worked up to it with dumbbells, then push presses, and finally real presses with the bar. At first 2-3 reps was all she could manage at a time, so we'd do 5 sets of 3. She's doing the CFWF program, so we are just loading by 1lb. increments and repeating weights if she stalls.

  5. #5
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    I'd try the 65 again before resetting. After that be prepared for 1 pound and 1/2 pound jumps.

  6. #6
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    Default Smaller jumrps.

    Get some micro plates. You can't really progress any further without them on the press, especially here.

  7. #7
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    If she doesn't want to eat more, she will cap out on strength gains relatively quickly. Sounds like this has happened. If she wants to continue her strength gains, you may have to have "the talk" with her about the relationship between a caloric surplus and muscle gain.

    For what it is worth, my wife opted to cap her strength gains vs. eating more to gain muscle. Persuasiveness fail on my part.

  8. #8
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    You can continue to get stronger even without gaining weight, but you need to change the programming to a more advanced level. People who lift is the lower weight classes do this all the time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie J. Skibicki View Post
    You can continue to get stronger even without gaining weight, but you need to change the programming to a more advanced level. People who lift is the lower weight classes do this all the time.
    That depends on how much she wants to eat. It's possible to gain strength slowly without gaining weight by using more advanced programming, but that might take more food than she's willing to eat.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    You do need to eat more while training, but I'm assuming her limit on eating isn't the absolute amount, but the effect (weight gain) of how much she is eating.

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