T Nation

16, No Confidence At the Gym

I just joined a gym and have been there for a few days now. When I look around I see people about my age or older who are the same size as me, and they are benching atleast 110+. Im 5"11 and 145lbs. I can only bench 70-75lbs 3x8-10.

When im working out I kind of feel embarrassed about the low weight compared to other people.
What is the normal bench weight for my age/height/weight, or how can i find out?
Does my weight have a lot to do with it?
Will my bench go up with time?

Yes your bench will go up with time as will all your other lifts and then (as long as you’re eating enough) your bodyweight will increase too.

Be patient, its hard I know but building muscle takes time. Read the ‘Are you a beginner’ post and pick a good basic programme with lots of compound lifts, if you haven’t already. Stick with it, eat LOTS of good food and make sure you get adequate rest.

You are entering a time when your body is the most responsive to growing and is flooded with natural testosterone. Work hard, be consistent and the muscle will come.

In the meantime try not to compare yourself too much to others, everyone develops at different rates and whatever level you’re at there’s always someone who can lift more than you! Just try and concentrate on good technique and gradually increasing the weight you lift.

Read around the forum and the beginners articles and come back with questions for any stuff you don’t understand.

You have to start somewhere. The important part is sticking around.

How would you feel if you just quit? Where would your confidence be then?

You will get stronger.

If you can only lift one pound, spend enough time lifting it and you will be able to lift two pounds. Don’t worry about anyone else, there is no need to compare or compete with them at your stage now. Go there for you and go there to leave better than you arrived.

There will always be someone bigger, someone stronger and if a time comes when that is not the case, well then you’ll be setting the example and hopefully you’ll remember how you feel now and you can make others feel comfortable on their path to size and strength.

Cheesy response for sure, but it is true. This pursuit is a personal one, no matter if you are alone in the gym, on a team or working out with friends, the only person going to get you bigger or stronger is you. So embrace who you are now and work hard to better yourself, the rest will fall into place as you work at it.

Will your bench go up with time? Most definitely yes. I’m a high school sophomore that’s been into the lifestyle since early middle school, and believe me, once you get the feel for going to the gym you may want to look into this:

www.optimum-anabolics.com

It’s a very complex program, and I can’t say I like doing it at the gym, but it sure gave me an edge when I felt plateaued.

there is no such thing as a normal bench weight for your age. When i first started working out i was around 17 6ft and 130 and was only benching 65lbs. Now im 19 and 170 benching 175. Your weight has nothing to do with it. and yes of course your bench will go up over time if you are dedicated and EAT.

Dont feel bad. the reason you feel self conscious is not because they are judging you, it’s because you are judging you!

As you are 16 the range of normal strength will be much higher as development is spread out.

basically get the good food into you and train like you mean it wihout going crazy and injuring yourself. Go for the reps and when you get to say 15 with 75lbs on that first set you can complete the other 2 sets with whatever you get and then next time (leave a couple of days rest) try 80 or 85lbs - you’ll get somewhere from 6-10 reps with it, and more the next time etc until you get 15 again and up the weight again by 5-10lbs. After some weeks like this you’ll be up around 100 and it will carry on, slowly but surely.

you just need to stick at it. Youre doing more than just benching though right? Think squat and chins too, in good form, 2-3 times a week at most, good food, plenty of rest.

You have no reason to lose confidence. Those guys probably started out like you. Heck, I started out 45x15 in benching, but now I can do 135x15 after just over a year. Since you’re a noob, I’d expect your gains to be very quick. Just give it time.

Who cares? I can assure they don’t care what you lift, leave the ego at the door, just work on your lifts. Your day will come, trust me, I was in your shoes not too long ago, but I focused on my lifts, and they rose. Do some crictical thinking, and bust ass dude!

[quote]FreedomFighterXL wrote:
Will your bench go up with time? Most definitely yes. I’m a high school sophomore that’s been into the lifestyle since early middle school, and believe me, once you get the feel for going to the gym you may want to look into this:

www.optimum-anabolics.com

It’s a very complex program, and I can’t say I like doing it at the gym, but it sure gave me an edge when I felt plateaued. [/quote]

Any one of you older guys want to see if that website is real or not, I doubt it…just in case people buy stuff from it and don’t get huge gains rotfl.

bro you just started dont let other bother you just keep at it, do better then you did last time thats all that matters even when your pressing 4000 thats all that will matter it. knowing and seeing what others do isnt going to raise your loads.

It takes time

Phill

Who cares about what other people are doing. You aren’t there to impress them. Yes, it may be intimidating, but stick through it. I remember the first 4 months I went to the gym I only used machines so people would be less likely to see what I lifted. Then, I woke the hell up and realized that I can lift more if I at least START to do all my lifts, and that’s what I did.

You’re 16 years old, if you keep committed you have no idea the size and strength you will be at when, say, you are 21 years old.

You don’t need confidence to lift weights, Lifting weights will give you confidence though.

I’d recommend reading any of Professor X’s posts about nutrition. And train, every time you look at someone doing a set, you’re taking it away from your own time, you could be squatting in the middle of your deadlift set.

Most everyone starts at low weight. Everyone has been saying don’t worry about it, focus, and they’re right. But that’s hard - I remember when I first started.

I had only a couple 10 lbs. plates on the bar - it’s hard not to think someone else is snickering under their breath. What I did was bench with dumbells to start. In my mind at least, it didn’t look as bad as the bar. Plus, I think using dumbbells for bench is better anyway.

Another thing to look forward to: you’re just getting started and you’ll likely see your numbers go up every week. You’ll be able to improve pretty rapidly at first in just about all your lifts. When I started I put 50 lbs. on to my bench in under 4 months.

Lastly, there is one thing that is embarrassing: using more weight than you can handle. You’ll come on here, read about “going heavy” and sets of only 3 reps and that this is optimal for building strength. So you’ll load up the bar and try it and have terrible form, not make any progress, and probably end up hurting yourself. I did this too, maybe you’re not as dumb as me.

Someone can correct me, but I’d stick to weight at 8-12 reps, 2-4 sets for at least the first few months. Remember, you only need to change your program if you stop seeing gains, and low-rep, high intensity programs aren’t really suited for beginners. Just make sure that those last couple of reps are a real struggle. =)

[quote]null wrote:
I just joined a gym and have been there for a few days now. When I look around I see people about my age or older who are the same size as me, and they are benching atleast 110+. Im 5"11 and 145lbs. I can only bench 70-75lbs 3x8-10.

When im working out I kind of feel embarrassed about the low weight compared to other people.
What is the normal bench weight for my age/height/weight, or how can i find out?
Does my weight have a lot to do with it?
Will my bench go up with time?[/quote]

I started out with a 10 lb hollow black bar with an 8.8 lb plastic weight on each side when I was young. You got me beat. I was doing a whopping 27 lbs. By the time I weighed 145, I was benching over 250(so I put my time in, you havn’t put your time in yet). So don’t worry about it. Your time will come. You should enjoy going up in weight rather easily. When you’re old like me, you just get stuck benching the same weight forever.

Concentrate on heavy basics with good form and stressing the muscle(don’t lift for ego, you don’t get stronger or bigger that way) and you will add strength and size in no time at all. Just remember to lift to get stronger, eat to get bigger.

merlin

Goals my friend, goals. All good advice. Just start small and keep on goin. You’ll get gains faster and you’ll be better in the long run. Have fun, because after a while you’ll be addicted.

Just attack the gym with a furious zeal, works for me. Put music on and focus on the weight.

Heres a confidence booster: the majority of people either cannot be bothered to, cannot do the weights you lift, or just do it the wrong way.

I think of that and it makes me want to do better each time I workout, and do it properly.

I wish I started at 16. I’m 18, and started a few months ago.

[quote]merlin wrote:
When you’re old like me, you just get stuck benching the same weight forever.
merlin[/quote]

haha! merlin that made me laugh out loud! It’s so true. When you’re young and just starting out you have no idea how much things will change…and how much harder it becomes to increase your lifts later on.

OP: hopefully you’ll have years of lifting ahead of you, listen to all this good advice, don’t worry about anyone else, just get your head down and enjoy it :slight_smile:

You’ll be able to do it easy soon. Just train hard, have fun, don’t take it to seriously and relax.

Lifting weights is about progress.