T Nation

14 Year Old Beginning


I have been in Kung-Fu for approximately a year, and I just discovered resistance training/weight training. I used to do basic stuff like push-ups and sit ups, but now that I'm in high-school I have the opportunity to go to the gym everyday at lunch.

I'm 127 pounds, 5'6 - 5'7 inches tall, and my BF% is roughly 9%. Oh, and before I forget, I will probably be getting subtractable weights for Christmas too :smiley:

I'm pretty new to all the equipment and what it's purpose is, but I'm gaining the knowledge slowly. I'm fairly strong for my age, actually, I can lift more than people much bigger and taller that visit the gym daily (not that it matters).

I've been reading a lot of articles about gaining weight and building muscle, eating properly, and such...but does any of that really apply to someone my age?


Hey there! Welcome to the site!

Yes, what is written in the articles very much applies to you. However, most of the workouts and concerns presented in the articles are more important to advanced/intermediate trainees than beginners like yourself.

Go search for and read the Are You a Beginner thread by Vroom. Loads of great info for you.

Keep in mind that your progress will largely be controlled by what you eat.



Welcome aboard. The article are you a beginner is a good read for you :slight_smile:


First thing, I wouldn't plan on being in there every day. Enthusiasm is great, but burning out too quick isn't something we want to do. Keep learning whatever you can, that's a great start. But I will say, don't give up on the push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups (you do do some pull-ups, right?) Those are classics and will definitely be important.

Gosh!! Luckyyyy.

Only if you want to become stronger, faster, and better looking than other dudes your age. :slightly_smiling:


Hey, I don't really have that much advice to offer since I'm pretty new to this myself, but I just thought I'd offer some encouragement. I'm 14 too and have been working out for about 4 months. Deciding to start lifting weights was one of the best decisions I ever made and I hope you stick with it.
Good luck xxx


Here's my daily schedule:

Monday - upper body, no abdominals
Tuesday - lower body + cardio + abs
Wednesday - rest day
Thursday - upper body, no abdominals
Friday - lower body + cardio + abs
Saturday - light workouts + easy cardio
Sunday - rest day

Not to mention I have Kung-fu class Tuesday and Thursday which includes all those basic workouts. I also trick on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Well that's my schedule for right now. In a few months I'll be fine tuning it so that those days will have more specific work outs (back, arms, shoulders, ect) once I get more knowledge on it all.

Also, I read that doing very heavy weights, with about 5 sets and 5 reps is best for strength, and doing lighter weights with more reps and less sets is best for muscle. Is that true? If so should I work muscle building one day and strength the next day...or possibly weekly instead?


I just realised that working my back, one day, shoulders the next day, and arms after that would require biceps and triceps for all three and I wouldn't have time to recover.

This is conflicting, what's the best way to break up your work-outs daily?


What kind of kung fu do you do?


Shaolin Kung-Fu, why? And don't forget I'm a full time tricker :smiley:


I wouldn'y worry about any of that jibba jabba. You're a little biddy devil and I wouldn't even worry about doing specific work for various body parts yet. You need your whole body to grown, and especially if you care about performance I'd work the body in one piece, big movements and whole body workouts.

As far as heavy vs light, lifting heavy will make you strong, but lifting light doesn't neccesarily make you big. If you want to be big, use a wide variety of set and rep ranges. Variety in training stimulus is good for hypertrophy.

Read everything by Chad Waterbury and read this article:


Good luck.



The guy is 14! He should wait up with heavy lifting that CW advocates.


That's why I suggested he read Smart From the Start where Eric Cressey explains the merit of higher rep ranges for someone like him. He might as well know how to use those higher loads, even if they're not appropriate for him right away,


hey man,i started at 14 and it is great.What i would advise is to do a low-high weight scheme,and and high to low rep shceme,example

bench:10 reps-100lbs,10 reps-100lbs,8 reps-120,8 reps-120,6 reps-130lbs,6 reps-130lbs

thats just like an example,its how i started it WLing class and what i still do in WLing plus w/e im doing after school in the gym.but having arms that are cleary bigger then seniors when you're a freshman gets you LOTS of free booty


i also practice martial arts, okinawan karate, to be specific... man, just have fun with your training, do some stretching, bodyweight training and high rep schemes when using weights... this will improve your strength and u won't loose ur flexibility, I also reckon ur a fan of Bruce Lee, do a google search on his training LOL, he might be some inspiration to your martial arts/weightlifting approach.


Stuff i wish i'd known when i started weightlifting.

Do not buy commercially available training magazines. eg men's fitness, flex etc.

Do not mess about with bodypart splits, isolation exercises, cables, etc. Keep it simple to start off with.

Do not try to progress too quickly. Slow and steady is better.

Do start with a broad foundation. Full body workouts with squats, deadlifts, bench, dips, pull ups, military presses. Big compound exercises.

Do eat a healthy diet. No need to fuss on specifics, just good quality non-processed food.

If you're unaccustomed to lifting, then for the first few months start of slowly. Tendon strength lags behind muscle strength and prgressing too quickly could lead to injuries.

In fact if i could go right back, i would spend my first few months doing only pushups, dips, all pullups/chinups, and deadlifts.