T Nation

Can You Help a Beginner Out?

To start things off, I’ll just go ahead and admit that I’m scrawny. I’m 16 y/o, 5’8", 127 lbs.

To tell you a bit about myself, I’ll start off saying that I come from a very unhealthy family. And I am the only teen+ age person in my family who isn’t overweight. I used to be very overweight, but I decided to change that by doing a lot of running/cross-country.

And that’s when I got down from about 150 at age 12, to 115 at age 15. I’ve put on around 10 pounds in this last year. HOWEVER, I would like to get up to around 170 pounds in muscle by the time I plan on joining the Marines.

Here’s where you come in

I first need to set some realistic goals.

What is a realistic goal in weight that I can reach within the next year?

What kind of exercises should I be doing to get there?

Everyone tells me to do these exercises to get big:

Deadlift
Bench press
Squat
Military press
Pull up/Chin up
Bent-over row
Dips
Barbell curls
(Am I missing any key exercises?)

Lastly, everyone tells me that I have to eat big to get big. Which I’m sure is 100% true.

But how much more should I be eating is the question?

[quote]thejasonproject wrote:
What is a realistic goal in weight that I can reach within the next year?[/quote]

I was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease last November and when I left the hospital around the end of November I was 90 pounds. Since then I’ve gained 35-40 pounds. That was about 8 months ago, so you can probably gain 50-60 pounds in a year if you try.

In this post I will deal with mainly your need for effective goals. One of Steven Coveys seven habits of highly effective people is to begin with the end in mind. My first thoughts when reviewing your profile was that you already have goals and simply need to work backwards.

Firstly your primary goal is entry to the marines so you would need to review the entry requirements or reccomendations which usually have a set of strength, weight, and cardiovascular requirements. When dealing with bodyweight I would look for the BMI (body mass index)requirements for the marines and work out what weight you should actually we for your height. I would then work on a body fat percentage of 12.5 as an appropriate level.

Unfortunately without me being familar with entry criteria I am unable to fully deal with your weight training goals and ideals but I can give you some general advise given your situation.

Firstly long distance running and muscle growth do not make a happy family. This however does not mean give it up entirely because it is perhaps the most important aspect of military training once a base level of strength is achieved (strength can also help endurance as well but thats another tale). A positive you can take from this is that military entyry positions normally only require you to runs 2kms or so is about 12 minutes. This is good because it means that you can use higher intensity interval training (HIIT), which can improve muscle growth, or at least not hinder it. Look up CT’s Running Man program or TC’s Sprinting article, or alwyn cosgroves great article on endurance run training availiable on his website, for hints here. As a general rule do not run in excess of 5kms at any one time whilst trying to gain muscle.

Weights wise Chad Waterburys programs would suit you because they are designed to create muscles whilst enhancing athletic qualities, of strength and speed. For Beginners I would reccomend his Big Boy Basics program or The Anti-body building hypertrophy Program 1 and 2 or completing all of them.

For nutritional requirements read Massive Eating Series by John Beradi, as well as his 7 habit nutritional article (which I can’t think of the name).

1 eat at regular intervals
2 eat protein at every meal
3 separate fats and carbs in separate meals where possible
4 do not eat empty calories
5 always eat breakfast
6 eat during the night if possible (dave Barr has a terrific article on this here)
7 Always have a good solid post post exercise recovery drink
and the list could go on and on…

Hope this is helpful

Long Live the BodyScience

I would check out the “Westside for Skinny Bastards” program by Joe DeFranco. You can find it on this website or on Google I’m sure. Many people have had a ton of success using it to get both bigger and stronger. Focus on getting stronger and if you eat enough, your body will take care of the rest. I wouldn’t worry about a specific calorie recommendation, just keep eating until you’re full. Some advice as far as diet goes:

1.) Eat a big breakfast, something like 6 eggs, a glass of milk and some toast would be a good start. This will help make sure you have both fuel for the day and the extra energy required to grow muscle.

2.) Whatever your parents make for dinner (if they cook for you), eat all of it and eat seconds.

3.) Try to have a snack before you go to bed. An easy solution is just drink a couple glasses of milk.

Keep eating big and lifting heavy, monitor your progress after a few months and if you are not growing at the rate you think you need to be, make an effort to eat more.

Thanks for the tips, guys.

Your advice is both welcomed and appreciated!

Keep it comming!!

Figure out your RMR. http://www.caloriesperhour.com/tutorial_BMR.html I’m not necessarily an advocate of couting calories, but it’d give you a good idea of how much you need to eat in order to gain weight to start with.

The Westside for Skinny Bastards is a good program to start with or there are a ton of others on here. Nothing happens over night, so consistency is going to be the key here.

[quote]celibrate2047 wrote:
Nothing happens over night, so consistency is going to be the key here.[/quote]

That’s good advice!

A lot of people I know have quit their diets and training because they didn’t get immediate results.

I’ll have to keep that in mind! Thanks.