T Nation

Help With a Program


Alright. Two days ago, I got everything sorted out with my numbers, and I'd like to know what you guys think about my plan to improve.

Age: 13
Gender: Female
Height: 5'0.5"
Weight: 85 lbs.
Body Fat Percentage: 13%
Max Bench(I know I shouldn't max but I did this to help): 90 lbs.
Max Squat: 100 lbs.
Max Deadlift: 110 lbs.
Max Dead Hang Pullups: 9

I've been doing the West side for skinny bastards by Joe Defranco on and off for a while. But, I've gotten bored of it and would like to try a new plan. I was thinking of doing 5x5 of Bench, Dead, Squat, and Pullups on certain days. I just don't know exactly how I should organize this plan, and I don't know if this will work. I just would like some input from you guys.


I just realized I put 90 on my bench. I meant to put 80. Also, I forgot to mention my goals. I would like to increase my numbers, of course, and get athletically better at the sports I play(tennis, basketball and softball.)


First of all, you are really underweight. You need to eat a lot more! The MINIMUM a 5' female should be is 100 lb. Probably just increasing your caloric intake would help you to see some major gains.


Yes, I've been working on eating more. My metabolism is incredibly fast, making it tough for me to gain weight. Not exagerating, I eat about every 30 minutes. I am hungry a LOT. I just can't seem to gain weight, though. But I've been working on that.


What were you planning on doing with the 5x5? It's a good set/rep range.

By the way, good numbers!


Well, I'm not sure. I have a feeling this isn't the way to do it, but I was thinking every other day focus on a different part. Like one day, 5x5 squat, 5x5 other leg/posterior chain stuff. Then rest a day. Next day, do 5x5 bench or something. Then 5x5 some chest exercises. Rest another day. Next day, 5x5 dead and other leg/posterior exercises. Repeat.

This is all I could think of, and I was hoping someone could lead me in the right direction.


Personally I think you are a bit young/inexperienced for 5x5. I know you have been training for a while, as I remember some of your posts from a while back, but 5x5 is very demanding not just on your musculature but on your nervous system.

It's great to see someone of your age with such an interest in training though, and a desire to improve.

Personally I think you should keep your reps higher, do a lot of bodyweight training, run sprints, do gymnastic type drills and that kind of stuff, and just have fun with your training.

It is going to be very hard for you to gain size given your high level of activity and age. While I don't subscribe to the myth that weight training will stop you growing taller, cumulative overtraining from all your activities could.

Just some thoughts.


I second everything Deanosumo said. However, it is nice to see a younger girl lifting right and including the core compounds. The exercises that you do and the weight that you move honestly puts 98% of the highschool girls I see lifting in the school gym to shame. Keep it up and good luck.


Deanosumo has some good advice for ya - lifting heavy plus lots of other activity could be too much. If you haven't already, narrow down some goals and focus on those.

If you're having trouble gaining weight, try eating more energy dense foods like nuts and other fatty foods - it might help you get the edge over your activity level and resting metabolic rate.

Wish ya the best.


Thanks guys for the advice. I know I shouldn't be lifting so heavy and such, but I'm just addicted to the feeling. I'm sure other people know what feeling I'm talking about. The feeling of getting stronger, knowing you're doing good. It's just too hard to keep myself from doing it. Would it be better for me to just ease up on the reps/sets? What do you guys suggest, if I reeeeally don't want to stop lifting? I just love it. I love the rush.


I don't think they're suggesting that you stop lifting, but that you don't use such an intense set/rep scheme as 5x5. Maybe 3x8 or something along those lines would be best. The reason for this is that heavy training plus your other sports could lead to overtraining when you're as young as you are. It's still a good idea to work hard in the gym, but at your age, something as neurologically demanding as 5x5 is probably not the best way to go if you're playing sports also.

Very refreshing to see someone so young busting their ass in the gym, especially a girl. I wish more girls would learn from you.


The 5x5 rep. range is to low for your age.

IMHO, your rep. range should be around 12-15+.