T Nation

17 year old starting to train

I’m 17 and trying to start lifting. The only thing that sucks is that the only equipment i have availble is a dip/chin station and a bench. Any clue in hell how i’m going to gain some? Don’t have too much time or money for gym membership really. Any pieces I should invest in for a home gym? Also, using what i have what kind of routine could i do?
Thanks for any help

I started at home with less so it sounds like you are almost sorted. As long as you have a barbell, some dumbells, and enough weight you can search the old issues for some of Ian Kings programs, read them to understand the exercises and why you are doing them, and start off slow. As an alternative I set out a basic one in the SBSG Timbo but you should start on a inital 3 week phase - all exercises, 3 sets to practice the movements and accustom your body. You should use the dips on chest day and just do your best for legs, as long as you are focused on getting a strong squat with good form. You need to get a feel for things like 4-8 reps to/near failure are more for strength and 8-12 reps to/near failure are better for size. You also need to learn that while failure is often said to be where the stimulus for growth is, you should just as often stop a little short of failure and sometimes go past with the help of a spotter or drop sets. Of equal if not greater importance is eating - you need to eat more as once the muscle is stimulated it needs extra food to grow (sort of like getting fatter - if 50% of your weight gains are muscle and 50% fat you are doing very well) you need at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For starters it can be as easy as adding a protein shake in between your 3 meals but ultimately you will need to get onto massive eating or something in Tmag. Lift, eat, read and learn. Ask questions here if you get stuck but try to research or work out the answers yourself first. Knowledge is power -Dre.

invest in a power rack- ~$250 by bodysolid

Well, the first thing I would invest in is a squat rack. That will enable you to use heavier weights safely. If you can’t get one (or make one) then you will get good at cleans. I never had one in my basement, so I always had to clean the weight up. This forced me to use lighter weights and higher reps, but a lot can be said for high rep squatting building mass! Any routine will work for a while, so you can just say do this routine or that. But with what you have you can do: Squats, front squats, deadlifts, cleans, hack squats, lunges, Stiff leg deadlifts, chins, barbell rows, pull ups, barbell pullovers, bench press, dips, curls, lying tricep extensions, close grip bench press, shoulder press, upright rows and probably more that escape me at the moment. In short, you can do ALL the really productive exercises! There is a ton of info on this site, just look around. You may have to modify some exercises, but you have mostly all you need. Some adjustable dumbbells can also be very handy

How fun for you. I remember being seventeen years old and having only those peices of equipment. I would try to get a barbell set and possibly some dumbell handles and slowly add plates to your collection. Since you do not have squat racks you will have to rely on lunges ,stiff leg deadlifts and sissy squats. Chins can be done of many varietys close grip, wide grip, overhand, etc. Dips can be done the same just vary your body from a bent over position to a more upright position. Go to an old bookstore and look for old muscle books. When I started many of the lifters in magazines were even training on wooden peices of equipment a great inspiration for a young home trainer. I will leave it to the rest to add their input on routines etc.

I agree with Deepsquatter. Get yourself some squat racks. That’s all you need besides the barbell and the stuff you already have. You will grow doing all the basics: Deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts, shrugs, benches (regular grip and close grip), dips, various chins/pullups, front and back squats, lunges, standing overhead presses, etc. You can easily work your whole body with those exercises and make more progress than most people make on this “highly scientific” training programs that use cables, machines, dumbbells, etc. So stick to the basics and work hard and eat plenty of good food. I would add one more thing to your training program: John McCallum’s “The Complete Keys to Progress.” This book will teach you how to work hard and heavy on basic exercises and will motivate you to get as big and as strong as you can. And he gives simple advice that is so important!!!