T Nation

9 Months Progress: 207 to 158 to 167

Hi everybody, I’m a 16 yo guy who started lifting weights last November and have been loving it ever since. And I would really appreciate any feedback on how you guys with more knowledge then me thinks about my progress.

These are my numbers on my three main lifts.
B: 123lbs - 152lbs; S: 123lbs - 180lbs; D: 141lbs - 198lbs
(Keep in mind I was cutting for six months and have been bulking for three months.)

Progress pictures


1st - well done on your weight loss. Great effort. Weight loss is hard and shitty. So to stick it out and loss 40lb is a stunning effort. And it is about time you started to add some muscle mass back on. Nice and slow. Get the idea of bulk / cut out of your head. At 16 you are of an age where you can slowly add quality mass over the course of a few years.

Next - what are your goals?
You training needs to match your goals. That said - “you can’t go wrong with strong”. Getting stronger will make you look, feel and preform better. A programme like 531 is really simple to follow and has a load of free online templates.
As for diet - start adding in more quality food. As I said at your age so long as you are exercising hard and eating quality food (not sugar and processed food) you should keep fairly trim. If you notice that you are adding a bit too much fluff spend a few weeks taking a bit out. But the scales should be moving north as often as possible.

Last 2 things:
Don’t be frightened of asking questions or for help on the forum. There are 100’s of guys on here that are really knowledgeable and willing to help.
Start a log on this site - so that when you do ask for help people can check back on your log and see what you have been doing.

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Thanks alot man! My maingoal is to change my physique I’m not as interested in strength even though it would be cool to lift heavier.
A short term goal I have is to be able to pack on as much muscle as possible until about april next year and then to cut for the summer.
Where do I start a log?

Go to the log section and start thread.

As for get big not so fussed about strong:
Run the following free programmes:
531 boring but big challenge (BBB)
531building the monolith (BtM)
Super squats
Deep water

That is 33 weeks of training all laid out. They all have associated diet plans also (for BBB use the BtM plan).
You will put some size on trust me.

Okay thanks dude!

I started running the PHAT program by Layne Norton this week. I have been running a ppl before that but got bored and wanted to switch it up.

Are these programmes better?

And should I run them in the order you put them in?

I looked up that programme. Personally I don’t like it. It is too much on each muscle group. It is good in the sense it is all about compound movements. But 3/4 exercises per group is a lot for a newbie.

But - if you are enjoying it and making progress then carry on.

These programmes are “tried and tested” - buy thousands if not millions of people. The idea behind super squats has been making people bigger since the 30’s. The book was realised in the 80’s but it was a thing long before that. Squats and Milk!

PHAT - might be good. But the thing is - its just reinventing the wheel.
Look at the bigger stronger guys on this forum. Look at the what they have run. But use a programme that has actually changed people. And not in some study - i real life. 531 changed the way I work out. And Super Squats was a game changer.

Yes in ascending order of torture.

FYI - I also promise you completing BtM, Super Squats or DeepWater will gain you instant respect with anyone that knows of them. And all 3 will mark you down as a legend. Even on these forums. They are HARD.
BBB is hard but hands down the easiest.
Lastly - I mean deep water beginner.

Yeah you may be right.

I would like to try out the 5/3/1 where can I find it?

5/3/1 is all over T nation. Read this first. Its the basics

The BBB challenge builds on the basics

The BtM programme is only on Jim’s own web site. Just Google 531 btm and it is the top hit.

Can I add assistance work to?

No, do as written. They all have exactly the right amount of assistance work.

So dont add anything at all and do this for three months? And I will put on muscle?

Sample work out: Monday

Sets	Reps

A Military press * *
B Bench press 5 10
C Chins 5 10

    • Curls 3 10
    • Triceps pushdowns 3 10
    • Face pulls 3 10

The military press is the main movement - the bench, chins and are assistance work, everything else supplemental. But if you stick to the programme this will add some mass to you VERY quickly.
I’m a bit bigger / stronger then you and it takes more work for me to add mass/strength. And this would still work for me.
Honestly - BBB is a a go to programme for anyone looking to add size.

Hi man I decided to go with the building the monolith program, will I see good results from that one too?

No one can predict if you will see good results with it, but that program has a fantastic track record in producing results.

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As Pwn says - I can’t promise what results you’ll see. But if you run the programme as written (eating plan and all) then you’ll see results.
As an FYI - the reason I’d run BBB first is this will slowly introduce you to recovery.
BBB start with an easy amount of work. And it ramps up over 12 weeks. So even if your recovery is poor in weeks 1-4, in weeks 5-8 you’ll improve buy weeks 9-12 you are really getting used to it.
Those lessons will be useful come BtM.
If you jump into BtM without your recovery being right then it’s going to get very hard for you. And you’ll be at risk of failing.
But being 16 - so long as you eat the required 12 eggs and 1 1/2 lb of mince a day you should be alright.

Firstly well done on your weight loss and doing the work to improve yourself. The programs recommended above are all good programs and they will definitely help you on your journey as long as you apply the right amount of consistency and effort. You sound like someone who is open to listening to more experienced lifters which is a great attitude and it will take you far.

I just wanted to touch on this comment and maybe help reset some expectations. If you want to keep improving your strength and your physique then I would suggest you change your perception a little. The pursuit of strength and looking strong or building muscle is something that takes years not weeks. Many of the strong muscular guys on this forum have trained for 10-20+ years with consistency and hard work to achieve the levels of strength or look the way they do now. Realistically in 8 months (now to April) you will add a few pounds of muscle, maybe 5-10 if you respond well and train really hard. Its good to set short term goals and there is nothing wrong with adding a little muscle to look good on the beach but there are many people who give up or become disillusioned because they expect rapid change. Keep training hard with consistency over time and I am sure you will achieve what you want, just dont expect it to come in only a few months. Good luck with your journey.

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Hey man thanks so much.

Yes I am very happy to hear what more experienced lifters have to say and see what I can learn.

I am very well aware that I wont look like a greek god or anything next summer, I just want to look more fit next summer.

And I know this thing takes year of dedication.

Thanks again for your kind words!