T Nation

Advice for Teen Athlete

Been a competitive swimmer for 6 years.
Recently found out I have high T.After some rapid changes during puberty.

Anyway I’m 15. I want to build some strength, but not too over do it. The doctor thinks I can start weights safely as my growth has plateaued now.

Any beginner advice?

Read a bunch of Dan John articles, this template is a good start for training…

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Thanks. I will definitely check that out.
Also has anyone taken Testosterone, experienced High T, or know of anyone that does.

I have some other questions just regarding daily life. With all the rapid changes, I don’t really know what to expect/what’s normal and have had a hard time adjusting.

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Life is a lot more fun when you just experience it.

I’d start with this plan, but the program Badger posted above is solid too.

Might also be a good idea to take a look at this thread where a bunch of experienced folks talked about what they wish they knew sooner. Since you’re starting out, you might be able to pick up some common themes in the advice.

Not for nothing, but that sounds like pretty standard teenage life. Everyone’s been there, everyone got through it, even if it sucked sometimes along the way. @duketheslaya and @hugh_gilly are around your age so you might want to check out their training logs and pick their brains for a different perspective.

I will say though, forget about your T levels. They are what they are and they don’t need any special attention. Focus on training hard, eating well, and being active in general.


Search up the traditional 5x5 programs if you are into strength and hypertrophy, or if you are more into strength only search up the 5/3/1 program.

Make sure you pay a lot of attention to your diet, and eat to support your training. You need a lot more carbs on your workout days than your rest days.

At your age, just eat lots of clean good food, lift hard, rest lots, and enjoy your youth.

Your not that familiar with 5/3/1… are you? How is it exactly a strength only program?

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Why? Your 15 , if your considering that route I would strongly discourage it. Since reading between the lines that is what your hinting at.

What exactly are you goals in athletics?

From your question it sounds like you’re trying to figure out if how you feel is normal. I take TRT (Self prescribed) and have lots of experience with it.

I totally regret starting as young as I did though and i’m not going to give you advice to do so, but if you want to figure out if how your feeling at your age is normal or something along those lines I will do my best to answer your questions!

It’s not but I don’t think somebody at 15 should limit there lifting interests that early, and I Think it’s good program for the foundations of strength and will help him get into the “spirit” and “practice” of performing 1rm’s, trying to progress linearly and beat his old records, etc. I think this is perfect for someone who wants to start with a bit of a focus on his lift numbers as opposed to physical development without limiting yourself and doing something you might regret. I have heard lately on this forum of a few guys regretting starting out with strength only focused programs.

I don’t think a 100% strength based program is necessarily a good idea for someone his age and experience, hence why I didn’t suggest a fully hypertrophy focused program either.

Sure there are some people certain enough about there goals at his age to fully focus on strength, but if this was him he wouldn’t be asking these questions.

-Read the forums enough to get a sense of whose advice to listen to, and who to ignore.
-Training is great, school is the priority.
-Enjoy you’re youthful invincible joints.
-And for the love of god don’t start taking crap when you’re 15.


And im coming at it from an angle of actual training a Teen athlete for sports and NOT focusing on being a BB …PL… or the like. FYI…I honestly have no urge to get into a pissing match with you. And for the record I feel as if trying to lecture to me as if Im some newbie and not the broken old down Meathead that I am. But I will be polite and not overreacted

@ryanswim if you been competing for 6 years as you say… you must have a experienced swimming coach or not .If you do what is your coaches point of view in regards to you developing more strength?

I dont get the High T ? at 15 years old i was fucking the couch, now im 22 and its another game lol

My apologies, I have no urge for that either. That’s exactly what I was getting at, him training and not focusing on BB or PL Exclusively, which is why I suggested what I did.

I kind of felt the same way, “your not familiar with 5/3/1…are you? How exactly is it a strength only program”, you assumed I was saying it was a strength only program, when I was recommending it because it is a good program for someone who may have a future with strength training but doesn’t want to be exclusive yet.

Wasn’t trying to get into an argument I just get defensive lol, thanks for not over reacting though sorry if I offended you!

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Ok…I will just chalk it up to miscommunication bud.