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15 Yr Old New to T-Nation


Hi everyone, I recently joined T-Nation for some good advice from all the lifters here. I have some questions about WS4SB. (Goal is to increase my strength/relative strength and gain some muscle mass (160lbs @ 5'9") bit too light from a height to weight perspective and the lack of muscle mass is probably holding my strength progression back)).

At first I played football then I powerlifted during the powerlifting season(loved it) and now I'm currently wrestling in high school, the coach usually has us do a high rep conditioning and occasional strength style training in the weight room three times a week on Mon, Wed, Fri and wrestle on Tues, Thurs. I was wondering if WS4SB is a good program for me to follow regarding my goals. And I was wondering if I could do some brief cleans/snatches on the non workout days like low reps and sets because I am really interested in olympic lifting. Sorry for long post and life story.

Here is some info to help.

Age:15 5'9" 160lbs
Squat(parallel)=225 for 10 reps and 255 for 5 reps
Sumo Deadlift=350
Overhead Press=100 for 5 reps

Hope to be hearing some awesome advice from everyone and thank you for taking the time to read my post.


Do a squat/bench/oly split. OR try this:

A day:
Squat 3x5
Snatch 6x2
Kroc rows 2x20
skullcrushers 3x10

B day:
Squat 3x5
Clean 6x2
high inclines 4x12
Lat pulldown 3x12
Curls 3x10


Welcome to T-Nation; I'll do my best to give you "some awsome advice" :slight_smile:

1) Focus on a goal, and do what it takes to reach it;

2) Be careful not to set confictual goal: ex. increasing mass and getting a higher total on PL are not conflictual; increasing mass and doing "high rep conditioning" COULD be conflictual;

3) Seen your current strength level, WS4SB looks fine for you, but I don't know where you could throw some C&J and snatch...maybe the best way would be to do C&J before DL and snatches before squat (as a warm-up to awake your CNS); it won't lead to a great total on OL, but you'll be learning form and not taxing your recovery;

Wrap-up: set an actual mass/strength goal (#, not just "wanna be bigger/stronger"), focus on WS4SB until you reach your goal, then see if you want to "specialise" in something (PL, OL, BB...).

I don't want to tell you your goals, but something like: 200 lbs bw, 10% bf, 1,5xbw BP, 2xbw squat, 2,5xbw DL (don't take it litterally, it' just an example).



As far as WS4SB goes, that's a great program and you'd be just fine doing it. And yeah the C&J/Snatch addition could be done before a squat (as fabiop mentioned) or you could even put it on an off day if you feel fresh and don't do too much to tax yourself. Those lifts require solid form so make sure you're being smart about that--don't push anything you don't feel comfortable with especially when it comes to too much weight at your age.

Also, don't worry about your "too light height to weight ratio". You're 15, that's a good height/weight combo. Keep working out and the size will come in time. Get in good habits, work on your strength/speed, eat enough, and you'll be leaps and bounds ahead of the game.


Thanks for the advice guys. I'll be starting WS4SB this coming week and ill throw in the olympic lifts before squats or deadlifts and keep it light on the off day if I feel fresh. And I will work on getting stronger, faster, and eating enough while making good habits of it like Douglas said.


A 15 year old that can type and spell better than most of the 20+ year olds here.

Welcome to T-Nation Ed123! Stick around and become a regular.


Ha thanks, I will be posting results of my max lifts from WS4SB after giving it a good couple of months or so.


He says "thank you", posts lift #'s and what he plans on doing, too.

But yeah, be consistent and work hard while trying to learn as much as you can. Always stick with the basics though, that's 99% of the battle. Once the lifting and eating is second nature, you'll have people commenting on your size/strength.

Again, welcome kid.


He looks like a very focused guy...unless he's a very smart troll :slightly_smiling: ! ! ! [just kidding]


Does this mean your school has a powerlifting team?

What's this type of workout look like?

WS4SB is a solid program, and DeFranco produces some serious beasts. So if you follow it to the letter, you could do well. But...

Those two goals are contradictory (increasing relative strength and gaining muscle). Prioritize one for now, and then work on the other, depending on when you'd be able to switch weight classes. WS4SB would be great for building strength and muscle, but for improving relative strength, there are better plans.

Another thing I didn't really see mentioned yet, is the importance of jacking up your calories if you want to add size. Training five days a week is a drain, and you've got to e-a-t to see major results. What, specifically, did you eat yesterday?

Rather than doing even more work on the off days, I'd probably add them into your general warm-up/first exercise on your weight training days. Though, I'd have to review WS4SB to see where/how this could fit best.


Another question, just to check: Can you squat, without added weight and while keeping both feet flat on the floor, to the depth in the picture above for 15+ reps? If so, cool beans. If not, that's a pretty big deal I'd want to address.


Yes but the new head football coach this year fired the powerlifting/strength coach so i am not sure if we will have a powerlifting team next year.

It looks like this: 40 pullups, 3x8 power clean & jerk or hang clean & jerk, 40 or 50 each of DB rows, back extensions, tricep extensions, curls, shoulder presses, med ball throws, grip work, 100 bodyweight squats with chains around necks, lap around whole school, and a mile run. This is an example of some of the workouts we do each week so far (not in one whole workout). Even though the emphasis is to use light weight, I try and use a moderately heavy weight while maintaining good form so that i do not lose any strength.

Oh so if I were interested in moving all the way up to the 180-200 lbs with WSFSB, would the amount of weight I could lift for my bodyweight be affected positively or negatively with a height of 5'9"?

Yesterday I did not feel well at all during school and ended up vommitting after the first few minutes of working out in the gym lol. So I doubt anything I ate was absorbed and I am having trouble keeping food down today. But this is what i normally eat when I am feeling fine:

Breakfast-cup of oatmeal or rice, can of tuna with veggies, and 1 fish oil capsule.
Lunch-cup of rice with a chicken breast or beef with veggies.
Snack-banana or apple and an omega 3 egg
PWO-scoop of whey with a cup of milk and 3/4 cup of oatmeal.
Dinner-whatever my mom makes usually something with fish or beef and rice. I also take 2 fish oil capsules.
Snack-1/2 cup cottage cheese with some walnuts.

I'm unaware of how many calories this is, I will try and see how many calories are in each meal and put into the next post. I have read some articles from Dr. Lowery and Berardi and I try to follow their advices of not eating too many carbs later in the day with the exception of PWO and also not eating meals that are high in fat and carbs. But even more additional nutritional advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


I will see how this affects my lifts and work from there. Possibly could power cleans be considered a dynamic effort movement for lower body DE days instead of doing say box jumps for example.


Ha ha yes I can squat to the depth of the person in that picture for more than 15 reps.


Putting on 20-40 solid, athletic pounds will be a task, but you'll definitely get stronger as you're doing it. WS4SB will build strength along the way, turning you from a "strong 160" into a "strong 190." Once you hit your goal weight (whatever class you're moving up into), then you can concentrate on becoming the strongest 190 (or whatever). Make sense?

Relative strength is, well, relative to your current bodyweight. So if you're gaining strength while also gaining weight, your "relative" strength doesn't improve much. It's once you settle on a weight, that you'd want to focus on becoming the strongest motor-scooter on the mat relative to the other kids your weight.

I come up with about 1,800 calories, not counting the random dinner. If you're looking to put on that much more size, I'd increase your calories especially earlier in the day (try to have a breakfast that's about as big as you're dinner will be.) Also, consider eating something right before the workouts, or drinking a protein-carb drink during, to prevent any unwanted calorie burnage.

Wait, what? WS4SB (Westside for Skinny Bastards) has no DE lower body day. Have we been talking about different programs?

You could use either the hang clean or hang snatch (starting from about waist height) on the ME upper body day, or I'd probably do the full lift (not from the hang) at the very beginning of the workout, keep the sets/reps low (9 or 10 total reps) and the weight light (95 or less).

Remember that O-lifting is a sport to itself, to this type of technique work would be a good way of learning the movements without distracting too much from your other goals.


Hey, coach! Not to be a jerk, but the latest version of WS4SB does have a DE lower body... just check this: http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/38-articles/65-westside-for-skinny-bastards-part3.html . Maybe the OP is referring to this version; I wonder, however, if it's good for him to have a DE lower body when trying to bulk/get stronger. My first guess would be to avoid it.


That's not being a jerk, no worries, bud. However, if kiddo was referring to Westside for Skinny Bastards Part 3, it should've been clarified from the beginning. It's like we were talking the best scenes in The Godfather, and then he mentions when Joey Zasa got shot. It's like, "Oh... dude... part 3? Really?!?"

In any case, DeFranco even said (in Part 3):
"My original Skinny Bastard template consisted of three strength training days with an optional fourth day. Although a 3-day template is sufficient for building size and strength, I quickly realized that most people want to train more."

With this in mind, I'd stick with the original program (Part 1). When size is the goal, an extra training session, in addition to sport practice, isn't the best idea.

Meh, Part 3 is still a solid program for size/strength, but I'd have to wonder the actual benefit of lower body plyometric work (for a wrestler) compared to the energy cost of an extra day's training. A DE day wouldn't be a "bad" thing, but I don't think it's a "necessary" thing right now.

(And seeing DeFranco's description and logic behind it, I'd say that cleans or snatches would not be acceptable exercise alternatives for that day.)


Unless he has a coach who can teach him how to properly do Olympic lifts. I wouldn't do them. Most people have shit form on simple pressing movements and squats and to try and get them to learn oly lifts with out an educated coach takes a lot more practice IMO. Energy better used training what is prescribed first in WS4SB.

I'd have to agree with Colucci though also if you do choose to do oly lifts get technique down yet priortize more on the other training and eating enough to get size/strength.