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Im 14 years old and my 1rm max in the bench is 132lbs. For the past 3 months iv only gained 11lbs to my bench. Ive swithced routines often, and ive ate much. Now i have made up a new program to make some gains in the bench again:

Monday Heavy bench

Bench 3x3
Bench w/ dumbells 4x6
Sideraise w/ dumbells 3x8
Onearm row 3x8
Skulls 4x6

Wednesday; Deadlift and legs

Friday Dynamic bench

Bench 10x3 (as fast as posisible)
Behind neck presses 3x8-10
Bent-over Barbell Row 3x8-10
CG Bench 3x8-10

What do you think? Should i try something else instead, or should i stick with it some weeks to see if i can crush my bench plateue at 132lbs?

Jesus kid…

You’re 14! Stop benching…why are you doing Westside dynamic methods (advanced methods) Stick to the basics…do you eat? do you squat?

Your body will naturally protect the balance of itself or else everybody would be walking around with 50 inch chests, 20 inch arms and 10 inch legs.

Train your whole body…the rest will grow.

Read the past issues, use the search function…“Dawg School” start there.

I agree, it’s too soon to be using advanced methods like the Westside principles.

At your training age, you are actually going to respond better to higher rep brackets, even for strength purposes.

I suggest training bench just once a week right now, until you get some more experience under the bar. Try simple programs, based on big movements. Try this on for a simple pressing workout:

A. Barbell Flat Bench: 5 sets of 8 reps, 311 tempo, rest 150 sec.
B. Incline DB Press: 4 sets of 12 reps, 211 tempo, rest 120 seconds.
C. Dips, 3 sets to one rep less than failure, 311 tempo, rest 120 sec.

There. A very simple program based around complex movements. Now, if you make sure to pay equal attention to your back and legs, you’ll be in good shape.

Hey Fellas. Wooooo, your all over the map there buddy. First i’d drop the dumbells for now till ya build up some stabilizer muscles so you wont tear anything. But these guys are correct. Your just starting out so stick to the basics. Bench, Squat, and if you can get a good instructer to show you how squat. Thats 3 days a week, simple stregnth and mass building. And at the rate your going by the time ya been liftin a year your bench will have gone up 44 pounds! not to shabby!

A second on both posts, particularly the note on Dawg School.

You may also try alternating incline and decline sets instead of the standard flat bench, just for the hell of it.

I can’t speak to the principles behind training anything ‘as fast as possible’, but based on personal experience, Ike’s tempos may be more appropriate.


As BFA hinted at, 11lbs in 3m, you’re doing pretty well by anyone’s terms!

I’d just like to add (and I think you’ll agree guys) that probably for you, the best way to advance now would be to TAKE A WEEK OR 2 OFF! By starting training so young you’ve already got a jump on most guys your age. Don’t spoil it by overtraining and getting stressed about progress. There’s all the time in the world for someone like you.

Ask most people here what their most common mistake was when starting out and they’ll answer overtraining. -So easy to think that doing more will make you better. NOPE. We’ve all learned the hard way- you now don’t have to.

Take the time off (shoot some hoops, go MTBing etc), start eating AS MUCH as you can get your hands on, and THEN take those eating habits back into the gym for a new BASICS routine as suggested above.

If you don’t start making great gains I’ll be very surprised. Good luck dude.SRS

Okay. The previous month i didnt gain anything to my bench. I did this routine:

Shoulderpresses w/dumbells
One arm row

Why should i do a similar routine when i dont respond good to that sort of routine?

What do you guys think?

i’m not too learned on this but i’ve heard that heavy weight training before 16 is bad. like it stops you from getting taller, just something that i’ve heard. i’ve been lifting since i turned 15 and haven’t grown any taller since then. so my suggestion would be to do cardio and increase the alveoli in your lungs. and if anything do something like pushups instead of bench pressing now. and after a while start doing 1-armed pushups. just my 2 cents.

I would have to agree with SRS…taking a week or 2 off before you start basic training will help prevent overtraining, which would be my biggest concern for someone this young because diet and sleep usually take a back seat to MacDonals and all night playsation parties…so keep it simple in regards to training and take a week off after every 2 or 3 months!

Listen to Greekdawg. There’s nothing less attractive than an inverted triangle of a guy walking around with two thin sticks hanging down, which they proudly call “legs”. I always cringe when I see guys like that cuz it looks like their sticks–I mean, legs–will break in any minute due to the enormous weight of their upper body.

I’d say the problem is most likely your diet. I know its hard to believe that just training like a animal is’nt enough. Do ya plan what ya eat or is it just whatever mom makes for dinner. We’d be more than happy to help ya. Honestly i think ya may be doing to much. Try this routine. Monday, Flat bench 3 sets, First set 12 reps, 2nd set 10 reps, set 8 reps. You will know if your using the right amount of weight. You should be just a few reps short of failure by your eighth rep. Next 2 sets of incline bench. !rst set 12 reps, 2nd set 10. Next 3 sets of tricp pushdowns with the same reps as flat bench. I think by this time you tri’s will be cooked but if not do a set of dips to failure. Okay, Wed will be back day. By the way the exercise reps will be the same order as chest day. First deadlifts,reps-12-10-8. Next upright cable rows,12-10. Next 1 set of lat pulldowns to failure. Then if your feeling frisky a set to failure of standing barbell curls. ( i know i left out traps but you can add in some shrugs in about 3 months.) Friday legs. Start off with squats, if your not comfy doin em yet (i hate to say this) but use the smith machine until you feel confident doing them. reps-12-10-8. Next leg extensions,reps 12-10. and last 2 sets of donkey calf raises to failure (2 because the calfs seem to recover quickly). There you have it. This is a simple program that i promise will give you steady gains and build a solid foundation. Ideally About every 3 months you can add 1 exercise to each day for example- Add a set of flys to chest day. As time goes on lets say a year from now you’d be doing 3 sets of all the exercises on here and would be doing a few extra movements. I know thats a mouthfull so if ya have any questions give me a yell.

I don’t agree w/ SRS and Cappx. I don’t think you should take weeks or months off in lifting. I do think you should lower the volume and intesty level so that you don’t overtrain.

It something called Detraining. Training to where your starting point was or just above it for a couple of weeks.

Although I also agree w/ greekdawg w/ the total body thing…

Chris, you’re way off on a few things.

Weight training will not make you stop growing taller, period.

Doing cardio also doesn’t “increase the avleoli in your lungs.”

Not sure where you’re getting your info from, but it’s not here at T-mag.

The old patient lifter’s 5x5 has always worked for me. I go back to it at least twice a year for 5 weeks and always make gains during that time.

Hey, man.

It sounds like your progress is coming along fine. I know you want to put up 225 like, NOW, but it’s going to take time. And effort. Like anything worthwhile.

So, my advice for you is as follows.

  1. Stick to the big compound movements, like your original routine.

  2. 5x5 is a simple, yet beautiful program. 5/4/3/2/1 is also a nice program.

  3. Eat like a goddamned pig–but try to stick with heavy protein sources. Like, if you’re eating McDonalds or whatever (… you are 14, after all, I don’t expect you to just eat chicken breasts and olive oil all the time…) instead of getting fries with your food, get another burger. Eat your veggies and fruit, and call it good. Don’t drink soda–etc. You know what’s good for you and what’s bad for you by now. You just have to eat like that. Watch the fat and sugar, especially in combination. Go heavy on the protein. End of lecture.

  4. Another option instead of eating like a pig is: If you tolerate Milk well, it’s a cheap, good source of protein. Go with 2% or less to your taste. Drink 1/2 a gallon to a gallon a day in addition to your normal diet. That will pretty much take care of the excess calories+excess protein equation.

  5. When in doubt, simplify instead of complicate.

  6. Give it time to work!

  7. Be consistent. You have to put in the work every day at the table and at the gym.

  8. Find a mentor who has been lifting for a while and ask him questions about lifting. One of my biggest hinderances to success was not knowing anyone who knew anything when I started.

  9. If a piece of advice has stood the test of time, then it’s probably accurate. At this point in your lifting career, there’s no reason to be swayed by “fads” even if they promise the moon.

  10. Basics, basics, basics. Keep asking questions, and keep learning about the game at all times.

Good luck.

Fitone- we’re not talking about the “average” trainee here, we’re talking about a 14yo trainee, who has already started with strength and dynamic phases in a (misguided) attempt to get better quickly.

I don’t know for certain, but I would be pretty sure that this is leading quickly into a state of overtraining for a STILL-GROWING body.

I didn’t say take a load of time off, what I said was that a REST for the body would be a great idea. Indeed, in this case it is NOT a rest, as the body’s demands for natural growth will persist. He will soon get back to where he is now, and if he is currently overtrained, will surpass it quickly too.

We have the benefit of knowing what a “lower” and “higher” volume/intensity week is, through experience. IMO a week or two off will prove to be beneficial in Danny’s circumstances. SRS

I’m pretty sure im not overtrained cause i never go to failure or anything and i eat pretty much + i take 3 proteinshakes a day. My only wish is to get my bench and upperbody up. My arms is like 31cm and my legs is around 35cm, so my lower body is well developed. I want to get my upperbody up to the same level, and get my bench up to around 220 lbs before June 2004. What do you think? Why cant i train the way i do?

Sorry for my english. im norwegian!

one thing; 6-7 months ago my bench was 65 lbs, so im not a beginner really. ive trained a fullbodyprogram before, but i think it sucked big time… i really like powertraining.

I agree with almost every post above. I got serious (focused on improving every time I went to the gym) about 4 years ago. My bench went from 120 to just over 410. I am now at 49 (three months–50). I don’t do dynamic benching very much except if I hit a plateau, which at your age you won’t do. My guess is that not until your 17 or 18 when puberty has fairly well ended should you consider the west side dynamic stuff. Stay with the whole body routine to keep the hormone stimulation going…that will do the work for you.

SRS I am not talking about lower and Higher volume/intesity… I am talking about

DeTraining where at an end of a mesocycle althlete tend go back to starting point or a little above it…

Please note: Christian touched on this a little in Liar Ice Dogs w/ his athletes…