Get Swole, Sister: Strength, Conditioning, and Nutrition for Women
EDITOR'S NOTE: Christy Baroni and Jenna Torres, collectively known as the Swole Sisters, coach at Conviction Training Facility on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Their Swole Sisters program was created to help women break out of boring, ineffective weight loss routines and get strong, confident, and, in a word, swole.
To learn more about Christy and Jenna and for more information, read (and watch) our introduction to the Swole Sisters and their nutrition and training philosophy.
A Message to Women Wanting Something Better for Their Body
What you are about to embark on is a six-week strength and conditioning program designed by women, for women, with the specific purpose of building lean muscle mass, losing fat, and becoming a Swole Sister.
The Swole Sister program is actually two programs - a nutrition program and a strength and conditioning program - that coincide with each other. One does not exist without the other.
The Strength and Conditioning Program
This program is set up by week and by day. Your rest days are on Wednesday and Sunday. Block out sixty to 75 minutes for the Monday and Saturday workouts. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday should take no more than an hour. Monday and Saturday workouts take priority over the other days. Make sure these workouts get done.
Monday and Saturday focus on the clean and jerk, which is one of the Olympic lifts. The idea behind Swole Sisters is to use Olympic weightlifting to build lean muscle mass and lose fat. With that in mind, we want you to spend as much time under the barbell as possible to become confident and comfortable moving weight. For this reason, we focus only on the clean and jerk during this six-week series.
When looking at this program it is important to take it one day and one piece at a time. Programs can seem overwhelming and confusing when looked at as a whole. When we take it piece by piece, it is more easily managed.
If there is a movement you do not understand, don't worry. There are links to movements and technique tips throughout the program.
If you are worried about how much weight you will have to lift in this program, you can relax. The weight is scaled for you using percentages. Conditioning is scalable as well. If you are unable to safely perform a movement with the weight suggested, do not hesitate to drop the weight. You will see scaling suggestions throughout the program.
The Shankle Complex is used as a test at the beginning and end of the program. Although we do not believe in any one specific way of coaching weightlifting, Donny Shankle is the person who helped us understand how these movements should feel.
Why We Use the Shankle Complex
We highly respect Donny Shankle as an athlete and coach (and he is very swole).
For building lean muscle, performing higher reps at a medium load is most effective.
Before you start any of your workouts get your body ready. Suggestions for mobilizing and warming up are listed in the program. Spend about ten minutes on this.
Lastly - don't forget to have fun! This program is a commitment. It will take time, and it will take effort. If it is not fun, though, you are missing a piece of this program.
Start this program with a friend (preferably one with the same availability as you) Train together as often as possible. This will help not only with accountability, but also with keeping the program fun!
Downloads for this program
Swole Sisters Suggested Mobility
- 10 wrist circles in each direction (both wrists)
- 10 ankle circles in each direction (both ankles)
- 10 high kicks per leg
- 10 side kicks per leg
- Hips from Plank
- Samson stretch
- 10 arm circles forward (both arms at the same time)
- 10 arm circles backwards (both arms at the same time)
- Tricep stretch
- 5 torso twist (each direction)
- 3 4-point squat
Suggested Warm Up
- 5 behind-the-neck strict press
- 3 hang power cleans (empty barbell)
- 3 front squats (empty barbell)
- 3 clean deadlift (empty barbell)
- 3 cleans (empty barbell)
- 5 strict pull ups or ring rows
- 500m row, 400m run, or 3 minutes of jump rope
Week 4: The Fruits of Your Labor
This is the best week of the whole program. You will enjoy visible results in the next seven days. I’m assuming you have been dialed in to your daily nutrition habits and you got through week three without punching anyone? Or maybe you did punch someone. No judgment either way.
There is a whole movement starting that runs counter to what you see in magazines and on TV. She’s the confident girl. Not perfect by any stretch, but so in love with her contributions to this world that her imperfections are celebrated right along with her accomplishments. This is the Swole Movement, and you are part of it.
So go post your pics to Instagram, #swolesisters! Show us your best. We want to see you having fun, food prepping, and enjoying your new found swoledom.
While you are out there posting away, check out this power lunch - kale salad with bacon and veggies. So easy, and you can have this as a meal or as a side to your favorite protein.
Week 4 Training Sessions
Be sure to scroll down for instructional videos at the end of each week's programming.
EMOM clean and jerk. Go off your 1RM from Saturday of week 1.
- 1 rep @70% for 5 Minutes
- 1 rep @75% for 5 Minutes
- 1 rep @80% for 5 Minutes
ADD 5% each minute thereafter until you miss (you should get 16-21 reps)
There is no rest between percentages. This ends up being a 15-21 minute EMOM. Do not exceed 21 Minutes.
4x200m sprints, rest :30 between efforts
If your time drops more than 3 seconds, then 1:00 before the next sprint.
5 rounds for QUALITY
- 12 weighted good mornings with 5lbs more than last week
- 16 leg lifts
Take 15-20 minutes to complete:
Strict press: 8-8-8-8
Warm up to 70% of your 1RM strict press then start your first set of strict presses. Try to move up in weight each set. Each set should be challenging, but done with great technique.
8 Tabata rounds of each movement:
- pull ups
- 5 front squat to press with 65lbs
- double unders
- sit ups
*Record your total reps of each movement
Scaling options for pull ups
- ring rows
- negative pull ups
Scaling options for double unders
- 10 double unders or double under attempts
- 50 single jump rope jumps
Rest and mobilize ankles, calves, hips, hamstrings, T-spine, and shoulders
Take 15-20 minutes to complete:
Push press: 8-8-8-8
Warm up to 70% of your 1RM push press then start your first set of push presses. Try to move up in weight each set. Each set should be challenging, but done with great technique.
- 500m row
- rest 1:00
- 20 dumbbell bench press (10-25lbs)
- rest :30
- 10 over-the-bench burpees
- rest 1:00
Scaling options for over the bench burpees
- Jump on the bench and then step over
- Step on to the bench and then step over
- Jump or step over your dumbbells
Take 15-20 minutes to complete:
Back squat: 8-8-8-8
Warm up to 70% of your 1RM back squat, then start your first set of squats. Try to move up in weight each set. Each set should be challenging, but done with great technique.
5 rounds for time and reps:
- :30 max overhead walking lunges with 25lbs
- 200m sprint
- Rest 1:00
Scale weight is needed or hold a PVC pipe overhead.
15 minutes to build up to a heavy hang power clean to overhead
1 clean deadlift+3 hang clean pull]
- 3 sets @ 93%
- 2 sets @ 97%
- 1 set @ 102%
Percentages are based on your best clean.
10 minutes to a heavy single: behind-the-neck push press
3 x12@59% of the day’s heavy single behind-the-neck push press
Prowler push - 10x30m (35lbs on each side)
Rest :60 between rounds
Options if you don't have a prowler:
1. Push a car. You MUST do this with a friend. Put the car in neutral. One person has to be in the driver seat steering the car and braking when needed while the other person pushes.
2. 10 rounds
- :30 row sprint
- :60 Rest
3. 6 rounds
- :30 Jump Rope
- :30 Rest
4 rounds for QUALITY, not time
- 25 sit ups
- 15 super womans
Swole Demonstration Videos