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Old 08-23-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default Female improvement in powerlifting

My wife has decided to take up powerlifting. I'm excited, because her build is perfect for it at 5', 114lb, and she's only 24. I'm going to be training her, and I've got her using 531, which I plan to keep her on for at least the next year. She'll also be doing a couple explosive conditioning days a week, mostly pulling a sled, but nothing to heavy/taxing. She has been training on and off for a couple years, but never seriously. Currently she can bench and squat 105, and I estimate she can dead lift around 165 (she did 135 for 5 reps before her grip gave out).

I know some of you guys have experience in competitive powerlifting, so I'm wondering if anyone can help me develop some realistic goals for her both in the short and long term. It's tough to figure out because I know what's reasonable for a guy, but I have very little experience with serious female lifters.

How much can a fairly new female trainee expect to increase her lifts without gaining bodyweight? I've looked around and to be at the elite level in the 114lb class it looks like she'd need to bench 150+, squat 250+, and dead 300+, which would obviously be very long term goals.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #2
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Although i've advised females on training before, I've never gone as specific as Powelifting training for them - so I just wanted to say I think this is an excellent activity to do with your wife, I really do.

Have fun, both of you!
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Soldier View Post

How much can a fairly new female trainee expect to increase her lifts without gaining bodyweight? I've looked around and to be at the elite level in the 114lb class it looks like she'd need to bench 150+, squat 250+, and dead 300+, which would obviously be very long term goals.
I've only trained my wife. When she was consistent she made pretty good progression each month.

I think my wife is on the weaker side of the spectrum but she was able to max around 100, 140-150 and 175 after only 4-5 months of work. And her training was far from dedicated. I don't know how this compares, but I think if your wife trains hard I think 125, 175 and 200-225 will come faster than she thinks. Bench might be the exception.

My wife did tend to do better with higher rep work. It was easier moving from 6 to 7 reps or 10 to 11 reps than it was from 3 to 4, if that makes sense.

My wife weighs about 145-150 but has chicken arms and legs.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I've only trained my wife. When she was consistent she made pretty good progression each month.

I think my wife is on the weaker side of the spectrum but she was able to max around 100, 140-150 and 175 after only 4-5 months of work. And her training was far from dedicated. I don't know how this compares, but I think if your wife trains hard I think 125, 175 and 200-225 will come faster than she thinks. Bench might be the exception.

My wife did tend to do better with higher rep work. It was easier moving from 6 to 7 reps or 10 to 11 reps than it was from 3 to 4, if that makes sense.

My wife weighs about 145-150 but has chicken arms and legs.
I actually think she'll gain fairly quickly too, which is why I'm so excited. She's got thicker arms and legs, which of course she hates, but they're perfect for this. It's also like cheating when she dead lifts. She has to barely reach down at all to grab the bar. Every dead lift is a rack pull for her. I guess I'm just curious as to what her newbie gains will be in the coming year.

We're also currently trying to get pregnant which, believe it or not, doesn't really get in the way of her powerlifting goals. She just won't be able to do flat bench while she's pregnant. Everything else she'll be able to keep going.

It should be interesting once she starts competing, because in the results of most of the local meets I've looked up there weren't any 114 girls at all. It looks like you have to get up to the regional level to really start finding good competition.

FAZC, thanks! I'm looking forward to sharing this with her.
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