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  1. #1
    Registered User Maddymadeline's Avatar
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    Asian female who likes to lift

    Hi I'm new here so this will be an introductory post. I often hangout at reddit xxfitness and some ladies over there pointed me to this forum which I have in the past read before as well. Looking to get advice here as well as I would classify myself to be a novice as I only started lifting about a year ago. Currently I can DL at 59kg, squat 55kg, OHP and bench at 32kg only. I find OHP and bench to be the hardest to improve because of the increase in weight each time is 2.5kg.

    I only truly became interested in exercising roughly only about 1.5 years ago because the constant weight gain was troubling me. I'm also diagnosed with insulin resistance PCOS and that explains why my weight has been on a rollercoaster ride since I hit puberty. The pill helped me with my symptoms but not with weight. I started losing weight using a ketogenic diet which I am still on. I started out at 50kg with a height of 1.49m, keto helped me lose weight to 42kg but my body was without any tone or definition. Just flat. I then took up muay thai initially and enjoyed it greatly. I'm still boxing about 2-3 times a week. Planning to enter amateur competition at the end of this year if its possible.

    Along the way I took up lifting because my husband who lifts told me that it can increase my strength, allowing me to punch harder on top of giving my body a toner look. Pics are in my profile.

    Unfortunately my husband is my only gym buddy I have because not many asian ladies lift as the strong tone figure is not what most are going for as it is considered unfeminine. I get it from my own mother as well that it is not a good look for asian ladies but I seriously don't care. I do me.

    Any other asian ladies who lift out there? And tips on how to improve my OHP and bench presses? Was told to try more sets less reps. Currently I'm lifting 5 sets of 7-8 reps.
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  2. #2
    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maddymadeline View Post
    And tips on how to improve my OHP and bench presses? Was told to try more sets less reps. Currently I'm lifting 5 sets of 7-8 reps.
    Microplates would be the pricey choice, but they are handy.
    When they said more sets, less reps, I'm sure they meant more weight. Do heavy 3-5rep sets to build strength, and save the high rep ranges for your accessories.
    PRs: 95lbs/126lbs/212lbs
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  3. #3
    Registered User Maddymadeline's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LunaLifts View Post
    Microplates would be the pricey choice, but they are handy.
    When they said more sets, less reps, I'm sure they meant more weight. Do heavy 3-5rep sets to build strength, and save the high rep ranges for your accessories.
    Yep that was what they meant. More sets less reps. But the problem is with an additional 2.5kg, I can at best do 4 sets before I give up. My upper body seems to be incredibly weak.
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    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maddymadeline View Post
    Yep that was what they meant. More sets less reps. But the problem is with an additional 2.5kg, I can at best do 4 sets before I give up. My upper body seems to be incredibly weak.
    They're hard lifts to progress on, it's not just you. If four sets is all you have in you then that's fine, as long as you're pushing yourself.
    I do heavy OHPs 3-5 sets at no more than 5 reps one upper day, the other I do DB lighter (3 x 8-10rep) shoulder presses to make sure each arm has to work individually (with a bar, the dominant arm can take over). The same can be done with heavy benching and lighter DB press.

    Give something like that a try, to see if the combination of mixed weight/rep ranges, and unilateral work helps. If not, either grab some microplates online, or embrace the grind, and you'll get there.
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    Could different ways you can approach it. You can periodize it, where you gradually decrease reps and increase weight each week. So for example, you're doing 5x7-8 now, so next week you might do 6 reps instead at a higher weight, followed by 5 reps, etc.

    Or you could do ramping sets. This is the way I like to approach military press, personally. So I might end up doing:
    45x5 75x5 95x5 105x5 110x5 115x3 120x2 125x1 or until I work up to a daily max or daily however many number I decide is appropriate.
    Bench I kind of hit similarly, although I tend to do a lot of variations (which are probably not necessary nor beneficial for you at this point).
    Last edited by VO2Maxima; 07-19-2017 at 09:13 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Maddymadeline's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies! I will try those out and the ramping sounds like something I can work on.

    Another question though, is possible to gain strength but not bigger mass? I find myself growing mass at a pretty slow pace. Haven't seen anything for the pass two months. Could it be the muay thai since i also train that 2-3 times a week. Or maybe its just a female problem.
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    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Yes, you can gain strength without gaining mass, it does slow down over time, most people don't hit a complete wall though. Also make sure you're running a strength centered program. Something like Stronglifts 5x5, or 5/3/1 if you want to build your main lifts, etc. A program that has all, or mostly all your lifts in a 8-12rep range can work, but it won't be as efficient as a program geared toward strength building.

    If you want some specific stuff, to help the muay thai, try asking Partyrocking. She's a member on here who's great with programming, and may be able to help you with a more goal oriented routine.
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    RE1GN in Blood VO2Maxima's Avatar
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    What's your primary goal, anyway? Getting stronger as a supplement to muay thai, or strength as an end goal? If the latter, then a strength oriented program like the ones listed above would be great. But if muay thai is your primary goal, then a program like that can potentially divert too much energy away from muay thai, and they'll start interfering with each other's recovery. In which case you'd want a program specifically tailored towards becoming strong for your sport without using up too much energy that could be spent elsewhere.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Maddymadeline's Avatar
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    Actually I like both strength training and muay thai can't decide which one I like better that is why I do both. For now due to upcoming competition I would say the primary goal is muay thai ( just a friendly amatuer fight) but after the competition would be to improve my strength. Yep as a supplement to muay thai. And of course to look aesthetically better.
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    Registered User chellzzz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maddymadeline View Post

    Any other asian ladies who lift out there? .

    Hiiii, another asian girl here I don't have much advice as I am a beginner and just started lifting this year (Jan). I just wanted to say hello and wish you the best of luck in the amateur competition. What a great goal!
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    Asian lady here too. I get the same thing too when I ask my female friends to join me in lifting. The first thing that comes out of their mouth is that they don't want to look like a man. I think my friends are just lazy. Their only form of exercise is walking. LOL.. but I love them. I have been lifting for 2 years but since my back surgery last year I had to give up my favorite compound exercises. Do what you makes you happy. Don't listen to other Asian women that tell you not to lift. Good luck!
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    Yes, My wife likes it too.
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