T Nation

Diet Advice for a Teen


hi guys,

first off im a sophomore in high school

i've been eating a good amount for the past 7 weeks and put on about 20 lbs on bench press, 20 pounds on ATG squat, and 25 pounds on deadlift. I am on a simple strength program that is somewhat low volume, 3x week. on the two off days (tues/thurs) i do cardio (gym class in school). Also, these aren't newbie gains because I have been training seriously a year before I got on this program (i was mostly on WSFSB I beforehand).

Here is the dilemma, I have been getting pretty pudgy. Now I'm not the typical teen who refuses to put on fat to get bigger, but it is still hard for me mentally. Here's what I plan to do about it:

Continue eating same amount and continue on program until 9 weeks are up (this week and next week), end up with about 20-30 lb prs on all lifts. Then, switch to WSFSB III for a couple months.

I feel like WSFSB III will allow me to

a) burn more calories since its higher volume
b) bring up some lagging muscle groups that my current program ignores (forearms, lats, biceps, calves)

also since I have already tried the first version of WSFSB (I) I can actually run the program correctly since I know how to rotate exercises properly

Whew that was a long ass post what do you guys think about this plan. Should I follow it or simply eat less and add in a little extra cardio (maybe on weekends)


also, when I say pudy i don't mean like 13%, its more like 15-18% erring on the upper side of that range


Don't worry about getting "pudgy" or "shredded" worry about become a giant, lion-eating monster. Read Chad Waterbury's articles, lift heavy, and eat everything you can shove down your gullet.(Obviously not total shit) Theres a time for being shredded and sexy, and its in about 5 years for you. Lift big, eat big, be big.


sorry i can't stand Chad Waterbury! lol!

anyway yea i get the point but this is pretty generic advice that most on the forum will give out. i know the mentality here and i agree with it, but my question still stands. if you could just give me some more specific advice about the options i outlined or any others you can think of, i would really appreciate it

thanks a lot man

also i'm not looking to lose fat. i'm just looking to avoid getting over 20% bodyfat, which i consider to be too fat. i can lose fat without losing strength, but the downside is that i can't GAIN any strength or muscle during this time period. maintenance/control is the key, not cutting


At your age I don't think theres any specific advise thats going to make a big difference. Everyone is going to tell you the same thing. Eat big. Lift Big. The end.


There is so much here I don't know where to start.

First off 15% is hardly pudgy so my guess is you are underestimating this by a bit.

Secondly, gym class does not count as cardio unless gym has changed a lot since I was a soph.

Why worry about anything if you only have 2 more weeks on a 9 week program. Just finish what you are doing, reassess your goals and adjust your program accordingly.

Exactly what program are you on that is not hitting your lats? If you aren't benching your weight or squatting and deading 1.5 or so times your weight a program that isolates your arms and calves is to specific.

Since you mentioned none of your personal statistics or anything about the program it would be impossible to evaluate wether or not it is junk. But I can state catagorically, that if ytou noticed a weight gain in the 7 weeks you've been on this program your diet certainly needs help. Personally, I think any 'program' that isn't the most basic and total body oriented is less than ideal for someone of your age.


its a version of bill starr's 5x5 (madcow2)

my bench is around 205, ATG squat 250-255, deadlift about 350

expecting to increase those all by 5 or so lbs in these last 2 weeks

I'd say I'm more around 18% bodyfat

reason why it isn't hitting my lats is because the only back movements are BB rows and deadlifts, and neither seem to hit my lats (form is good)

and i agree that perhaps my diet isn't that great, would it help if i posted it?


I think your plan is solid. Hell it's a million times better than most of the "plans" that get posted here.

You do realize that it is normal to get a little bit pudgy right before a growth spurt? You are probably due for at least one more unless you've repeated your sophmore year a few times:)

I wouldn't worry about cutting calories per se. Instead, try cleaning up your diet a bit. Replace all the junk food with quality foods. Developing good eating habits now while you're young will pay huge dividends down the road.


Your plan is great. Stick to it. Watch the carbs, and along with cardio you can maybe burn up a little of that bodyfat while gaining strength. I'm with the poster who said gym class doesn't count as cardio. I'm not a huge fan of Waterbury either, and I do like WSFSB 1-3. No need for you to get fat, and you can control your bodyfat pretty well by just dialing in timing issues and cutting back on non-essential carbs.

You might try a "targeted" carbs approach, with most of your carbs coming at breakfast and immediately post workout (in shake and 1st PWO meal). This will allow you to use the carbs well, and also to keep a handle on them. Use mostly healthy fats otherwise.

As a side note, you can in fact gain strength while losing body fat, it's just really hard to gain muscle. Still, your plan to control, not "cut", is a good one.


I'm a fan of exercising more to reduce fat gain, not cutting calories.

Pull a sled on off days.