T Nation

Another Teenager who Just Needs to Eat and Lift...


I'm relatively new to T-Nation and I just wanted to introduce myself and ask some advice on diet. I'm a 17 year old college freshman and I'm 5'10", just over 160 pounds, with low bodyfat (somewhere under 10%, my abs are visible).

I've been going to the weight room for 2 years now, but have only, within the past few months, actually approached training in an organized manner. That's a horrible picture, but it's the only one I have of me recently where I'm not completely covered. I think it kinda shows how I've got a crappy (aka - narrow) frame. I'll try to get a shot of my back or legs soon.

Anyways, these are my PRs:
Squat - 240 X 3
Bentover Row - 155 X 5
Bench - 200 X 5
Deadlift - 315 X 1 (sumo stance)

I have focused disproportionately on the bench press because at my high school, that's all most people would do and also because I have a small chest (I now realize that at 160 pounds, I'm really just small all over). I hope it saves me a bit of credit that I was the only kid who squatted, rowed, or deadlifted in either my school gym or my commercial gym.

My main question is regarding diet, but I think I should give a quick overview of my training. Basically, I'm focusing on slowly increasing my weights on squatting, deadlifting, benching, overhead pressing, rowing, and pullup...ing.

I've got these little fractional plates (got them on my internship in Thailand of all places...) and the plan is to do two upper body and two lower body workouts a week. I do variations of the exercises for a set number of sets and reps and each workout I'll add one or two more pounds. That's pretty much it.

As a college kid, I have plenty of time to train and eat, but I don't have enough money to buy lots of supplements and all that. I have a job, but most of that needs to go elsewhere. So this is my basic plan:

Breakfast (8AM) - lots of eggs, fruit, granola
Snack (10AM) - milk, sliced meat I steal from the cafeteria
Lunch (12PM) - lots of meat, salad w/ olive oil, pasta/bread
Snack (230PM) - milk, sliced meat
Pre/During WO (4PM) - 25g whey, 25g carbs
Post WO (515PM) - 50g whey, 75g carbs
Dinner (630PM) - as lunch
Snack (830PM) - milk, sliced meat
Snack (1030PM) - almonds/cashews/peanut butter

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner what I do is eat a large portion of meat (aka - a chicken breast and a roast beef sandwich, or half a plate of eggs with bacon and ham mixed in, etc), then stuff myself with carbs, then try to eat veggies while my stomach protests. For the snacks, I have about 2 cups of milk, which is about 15g of protein, plus the sliced meat, which I hope comes to about 25g.

The whey protein is isolate, and the carbs are a combination of waxy maize starch and dextrose.

I know that as a naturally skinny 17 year old, I should probably be able to eat whatever the hell I want and I won't put on too much fat, but I figure that if I have access to shitloads of clean food, why not just eat lots of that?

My questions are 1) is this enough food? and 2) if I could only take 1 or 2 supplements, what would they be? The L-leucine stuff looks pretty awesome, but BCAAs and creatine are tried and true.

My mom is kind enough to buy me multivitamins, fish oil, and vitamin C when I run out because that's just healthy stuff. Things regarding recovery from training I have to buy on my own.

Any other advice would be awesome as well.


I guess the picture didn't work... oh well. The point was that I don't think I have such a good frame.


The only way to know if its enough food is if you are gaining weight or not. And you have given us no idea of portion size, so :stuck_out_tongue:

Hard to figure out from that.

But assuming you're eating large enough portions that looks fine to me.


So, you eat at the cafeteria? I'd start by trying to increase the size of your post workout meal. Ditch the salad if you have to, to get in more starches, and ideally make that up with a variety of veggies throughout the rest of the day.


if you arent growing then no, it obviously isnt.

everyone always says if you eat more youll bring up your lifts but in my experience bringing up my lifts has made me eat more.

what i mean is that if you increase your intensity your body is going to want to eat more because its getting signals to grow. if youre already eating as much as you can then you need to increase your intensity.

stop training low reps. start deadlifting in the 5-8 range, start squatting in the 15-20 range. lets see if you dont grow then.


Welcome savage. You've come to the right place.

  1. As other have mentioned you'll know if you're eating enough as time goes by. If you recover from your workouts and are able to add size and strength then you're eating enough. If not, eat more.

  2. Supplements are a very small part of the puzzle now. Get the diet, lifts, sleep, lifestyle. BUT to answer your question, I'd do whey protein and fish oil or whey and creatine.

Other advice that I've used and I think it'd be good for you to read...

Be consistent. Everything takes time, don't freak out about your progress week by week. Just keep at it and in a year you'll be amazed. Time will go fast enough.

Don't stress about hitting any specific lift #'s. Aka don't cheat or use bad form or lie to yourself. Guess what? The minute you hit your new PR you'll want a bigger one, so get a solid base first.

Eat enough and eat quality food.

Be intense when you lift. Half assed workouts and approach will get you nowhere.

The guys here have plenty of good advice so pay attention but use your head. Good luck kid.


Thanks for the quick replies guys.

I realize I should have clarified a bit more. I just finished recovering from a concussion and so I'm just getting into training again. This is my first time seriously training at college, so I have to figure out a new schedule and change how I eat depending on my resources.

So now I'm setting up a schedule and I'll be seeing how much progress I make.

I would give you portion sizes, but I don't really have any way of measuring them. I promise they're big. If it gives you a better picture, I usually have two plates that are full of pasta and various kinds of meat (there's usually a few different kinds and I get two or three).

If there's good soup I get that too. Sometimes I get applesauce cuz I like applesauce...

I'm assuming that you're opinion of the cafeteria is low by the cafeteria comment haha. But my college's cafeteria is one of the best in the country (we got bumped down from #1 by Wheaton... bastards) and we've got some solid meals.

Should I add more carbs or protein or both to the post workout meal?

Whenever I eat carbs, I feel like I'm wasting stomach space that could be used for protein... So once I eat enough protein in a meal, it's safe to stuff my face with pasta?

I was planning on starting each training session with a movement for sets in the 4-6 rep range, then doing a variation on that movement in the 8-12 rep range. So for example, I'll do barbell rows for 3X5, then cable rows for 3X12.

High rep squatting sounds intense, I think I'll try it.

Thanks for the welcome and the great advice.

I'm really pumped to get started training again and I think part of the reason I posted was because I just want to get started and I can't get my mind off of it (I'm not cleared to workout until next week).


Diet looks good you can always throws some protien shakes and almonds and other snacks in there if you need to

Find a big dude to train with.

Im currently training 2 guys who are roughly half my size.

Even with only a few changes in diet they have made more improvements lifting with me in a few months than they did in years on their own.

Part of it is you have to stop thinking of larger weights as being "unobtainable" or "for the jacked guys to lift".

Once you start working out with someone benching 315 while your doing your sets with 185 it makes you think, hey I should be able to atleast get 225 for 3x8, and then you start growing.

When you start thinking 300+ is heavy instead of 200+ then your going to make improvements.


All I can say is your lifts sound kind of impressive for your weight.


Thanks Alffi,

I did a while of the Madcow 5X5, and then for squatting and deadlifting I would go down to fewer reps just to see how much I could do.

My back started to round in the 315 deadlift, so you could argue it doesn't count.

Also those are my PRs, I'm sure right now I couldn't get those again without another couple months of training.

This sounds pretty awesome. I've never worked out with someone who was very fat above my own level. Right now, the only guys who are, are the guys on football. Maybe when the season is over I can work out with them.