T Nation

11 Yr Old w/ Limited Time: 2 Lift 531, 5x5, or What?

Hi all, Good Suggestions and much appreciated:

Got my newbie lifter 11 year old boy on 531 for a month now. Because of age and limited time he is only doing a bench day, and a squat day. Bench day currently has no “real” assistance work, but after his 531 sets he’s doing some rows, military presses, and upright rows for giggles. Squat day has no real assistance work either, but after his 531 sets he’s doing some RDLs. Two weekly workouts take about 30 minutes each.

Started light. Think it’s working because his AMRAPs are now in the medium teens in just the first cycle. Plan on bumping training weights a few percent If he gets over 20 reps. Even though his maxes are a tiny 70# & 120#, I plan on using the full 5#/10# monthly training jump since he’s enjoying newbie gains.

Yes, 5x5 would be easier and maybe better, but my idea is to get him used to 531 which he should be able to use basically forever.

Any suggestions?

I dunno dude, perhaps sprints, plyos/jumps and bodyweight stuff until he has some decent testosterone flowing through his veins?

Keep it light like you’re doing and keep it fun for him

pullups and dips for assistance

I agree with tsantos on the bodyweight work. I would prefer anyone to be able to do a good amount of push ups and pull ups with their shoulder blades depressed to show a decent amount of body control and shoulder stability before jumping into bench. That will pay off in the long run. The squats are fine but throwing in goblet squats to teach him how to control his hips is also important. With him being so young, focus more on body control over weight added on the bar and it will pay off long term.

Also, read today’s article on how to do pull ups by Lee Boyce. Teach him to use his back, abs and hips; not just his arms and legs. This is a prime opportunity to set up a solid foundation.

I’ve written a bunch of stuff for training younger kids. Get them strong with some “non” traditional movements (sleds, hills, ropes and stairs) and like people said above, make sure they have great relative strength. This includes fat man rows, push-ups, dips, back raises, sit-ups, leg raises, etc. (all done to scale).

I am baffled how few people can do 25 perfect hanging leg raises; people that worry about their “weakness” can’t even do a simple movement. Standards people!!!

Use common sense and be an example - and don’t complain/rely on our school/govt to make your kid physically fit. They have demonstrated a total disregard for the health of our children so take it upon yourself to instill PHYSICAL CULTURE in your child. Make it habit. There is no detriment to being a strong person other than instilling in them the confidence, physically and mentally, to not be part of a Kneeling Culture.