T Nation

Getting My Body In Order At 14

Stats:
14 yrs. old
6’0"
179 lbs.

Bear with me on this.

Long story short, I’m 14, 6’0", overweight and unhealthy. My father is overweight too, but he has endurance and is muscular. My mother was slightly overweight for a while but she cut down and now she is healthy. I, however, don’t want to ever have to lose weight like that as an adult. I am at a point where I am serious about turning around my sedentary lifestyle.

Ok… into the details. We have a small home gym in our basement, no matter how pitiful. It consists of a mediocre Marcy bench with few frills, a nice bar and a bunch of weird, plastic-coated weights with inconsistent numbering (8.8 + 5 + 3.4 + 8 = …I can’t do math while lifting!!). I’m currently scouring craigslist for a decent squat rack too, as I’m afraid I’ll end up hurting myself doing squats without one. I regard myself as a beginner but I’ve been doing light lifting for about a month just getting my form down.

I’ve been looking at Rippetoe’s program, and it seems like it is highly recommended in some circles.

Here are some pictures of what I currently look like:

If you’re eating dinner or something, don’t look hahaha.
http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/7108/beforeux9.jpg

Here are some pictures of my ideal physique courtesy of bodybuilding.com. I’d like to be here or close to here some day. maybe with larger arms. How long could it take me to get here?

http://tinyurl.com/2yqxs9
http://tinyurl.com/ywj2ln

My overall goals are to be stronger and bigger with less bodyfat (original, I know). I know that I should be bulking first, but I’ve heard that beginners have the capability to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Is this true? If so, what kind of diet should I have to accompany my lifting? Should I include cardio?

Rippetoe’s 5x5 is a good program. Id say go with that.

Does your school have a weight room? Perhaps you could use that to work out in until you get your home gym established.

As a beginner, it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat. I dont think you should be necessarily following a prescribed diet right now, but rather working on building the foundations and habits that will carry you on through your adult life. Do a search for Berardi’s 7 habits of highly effective nutrition. Those will get you started. Dont fall into the trap that a lot of newer guys do where they become afraid of eating anything that isnt brown rice, egg white, chicken, or broccoli because they dont want to get fat.

I think that the further you get into your journey, the more and more you will want to be bigger and stronger than the physique you posted. While having short term goals is a good thing, dont let them limit your long term progress.

As far as cardio goes, I wouldnt do it more than 3 times a week. I might be a little slanted though. I hate doing cardio.

You seem to have a good attitude, best of luck to you.

Before you take on this HUGE lifestyle change, get a gym membership or find a real gym and start lifting. Split hairs once you learn how to squat bench and deadlift correctly.

First of all, I would like to congratulate you. Just by posting here, you are already making progress to a better physique and a healthier lifestyle. Like you, I too made the decision to start working out at a young age, refusing to believe that I had to be overweight like my family and that I was predestined to a life of physical mediocrity. And let me tell you…adopting a life of fitness was the most important and profound decision I’ve ever made in my life.

Fitness pours over into everything, and just makes almost EVERY aspect of your life BETTER. You’re taking a huge step that many people don’t ever even take, and I’d just like you to know I fully support your endeavor!

Now as far as your questions go…

Beginners have the ability to do lots of things. If you were to begin lifting weights and eating right for the first time in your life, your body will go through all kinds of compositional changes that someone who has been doing so for a long time won’t go through anymore.

Example…you may think you’re a a hardgainer because you have no muscle mass, but how will you know what you really are unless you give your body the proper training and diet it requires to gain mass? This is why beginners make a lot of gains. They’ve been doing the wrong things (or not the most efficient things) their whole life, so when they start doing the right things, they make all kinds of immediate gains not common amongst the more seasoned vets (who’ve already made such gains when THEY first started).

And the diet and amount of cardio you should do have depends on what your current goals are. Do you want to cut up or bulk up? While beginners may experience a bit of both at the same time, you still need to pick one to focus on.

And as far as your long term goal goes, I won’t lie to you. You won’t get there tomorrow. In fact, you are a long way off. However, think of it this way. You are 14. Try to think of the next 5 years of your life as a transitional phase. Dedicate yourself to your training. If you start lifting and eating right, you can almost assuredly have that kind of body by the time you reach your 20’s, and you’ll have your prime, as well as the rest of your life to enjoy it. Sounds good to me!

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
Rippetoe’s 5x5 is a good program. Id say go with that.

Does your school have a weight room? Perhaps you could use that to work out in until you get your home gym established.

As a beginner, it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat. I dont think you should be necessarily following a prescribed diet right now, but rather working on building the foundations and habits that will carry you on through your adult life. Do a search for Berardi’s 7 habits of highly effective nutrition. Those will get you started. Dont fall into the trap that a lot of newer guys do where they become afraid of eating anything that isnt brown rice, egg white, chicken, or broccoli because they dont want to get fat.

I think that the further you get into your journey, the more and more you will want to be bigger and stronger than the physique you posted. While having short term goals is a good thing, dont let them limit your long term progress.

As far as cardio goes, I wouldnt do it more than 3 times a week. I might be a little slanted though. I hate doing cardio.

You seem to have a good attitude, best of luck to you.[/quote]

First let me commend you for starting at such a young age and realizing that video games are not all that there is to life!

With that said, Please do not forget that you are still a Teenager and are growing. What I mean is don’t forget to have fun while living a healthy life style as well.

The above advice is a great. I would also add that maybe you could find someone to help you with form, be it a coach at school(some actually do know how to squat and such) or someone at the local gym or Y.

Best of luck to ya!

Thanks for the support. It’s nice to see people that seem to understand the situation that I’m in.

The football coach and gym teacher at our school is a great guy… he’s a powerlifter and he taught our gym class freshman year how to do all of the compound lifts.

I’m really excited, because I feel like the rest of my life is starting right now.