This article from T-Nation is aimed at guys, who want their girlfriends to start training. We loved the article and think that a lot of the arguments made can be directly transferred to CrossFit.
(picture: CrossFit athlete Christmas Abbot featured in Inked magazine)
Highlights from the article
Every guy wants a sexy, confident, in-shape woman on his arm. If you want to help your girlfriend or wife effectively change her body but don’t know where to start, then look no further.
Step one is knowing what you’re up against. Virtually everything ever written in mainstream media about exercising “for women” sticks them in the cardio room with ankle weights, ready to pump-n-tone.
This can lead to considerable conflict for your lady, especially on day one when you usher her towards the scary squat rack and start adding weight. So since we’re dealing with women, let’s start with these “emotional” considerations.
1. Make a plan and be supportive
Good support is a blend of the practical and emotional. At first it will be hard for your gal to commit to training and create the habit, so set her up for long term success by helping take care of the practical considerations.
2. Give her some external motivation so she can build her internal motivation
There are two types of motivation to consider. Controlled or external motivation comes from external sources. This kind of motivation is best for jump-starting the process.
On the other hand, autonomous or internal motivation comes from personal conviction, the “I do it for me” kind of motivation. That’s the kind we’re aiming for in the long run, but it takes time to develop.
The best way is to add the intrinsic stuff as she progresses, to give her something to work for by using “reward” strategies.
3. Emphasize Weight Training
This will have huge overall benefits, especially if she’s skinny fat. Getting women to weight train properly while ignoring all the misinformation is a big step. So, she’s got the time scheduled and you’ve convinced her not to be scared of the weights, what’s next? (…)
Stick to slightly higher rep ranges in the beginning, even for the bigger compound movements. She won’t be lifting heavy enough to benefit from anything fewer than 5 reps anyway. The key here is practicing the movements and getting in enough reps to stimulate her neuromuscular system and induce growth.
The focus should be on strength first. Only after a strength base is built can training be manipulated to suit more specific personal goals. You can’t sculpt muscle if you don’t have any to work with.
To that end, focus on increasing strength through progressive overload to develop a base that will benefit whatever type of training style she ends up liking best, and any body parts she wants to focus on changing even more later on.
Finishing off with some short metabolic style workouts 1-2 times a week like Tabata, HITT, or intervals will get her sweating a bit and make her feel like she “worked more” (one of the reasons women love spin classes and cardio boot camps).
(read the full version here: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/3_steps_to_getting_your_girl_to_train)