T Nation

Helping a Young Lifter Get Started


#1

My best friends brother wants to start lifting.

He has very little experience but has lifted before, a little with his high school football team and some in PE class but nothing concistent.

Im trying to figure out the best way to start him out he is the polar oposit of me physically where im 25 5'8 and 170lbs he is 16 6'1 295.

We started yesterday and i notice right from the start that core strength and cowardination are his issues. We squated and he looked real strong from the waist down but was having problems keeping the bar strait across his upper back. We also benched and he struggled to move the bar up and down smothly i had to spot him to keep the bar from moving back and forth.

My question is whats the best way for him to get started? Do I start him on a lower rep plan like a starr 5x5 or stay in a higher rep range at lower weight till he gets use to lifting?

Based on what we did yesterday and his prior lifting i would guess his 1 rep maxes are
180-190 bench
300-350 squat (would be more if better core/balance)
400+ deadlift (he claims he did 600 Hex bar deadlift in PE class, i question his adding ability

His goal is pretty simple he just wants to get as strong as possible and lose some of his "gut" then possibly shrow shot put this spring and football next year (bad grades this year)


#2

[quote]acantare wrote:
he is 16 6’1 295.[/quote]

On an honest evaluation, is it a horrendous, sloppy 295 or is there any chance he’s a naturally muscular and big kid?

Or in simpler terms: How big are the boy/man boobs, how much gut hangs over his belt, and what’s the multiple chine/jowel situation?

My go-to program for introducing younger kids to training:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Squat 2x16 (No weight, keep both feet flat on the floor.)

Push-up 2x16 (On your toes, go until the chest almost touches the floor.)

Lunge 2x16 (Alternate legs, 1 rep left/1 rep right.)

Neutral-grip pull-up 2x16 (assisted if necessary, but not kipping. Could be substituted with inverted rows.)

Plank 2x15-count (Hold the top part of a push-up, on the toes/arms straight, keep the whole body straight. Count to 15.)

Burpee/squat thrust 2x16

Once he can handle each of those with solid form and without hitting failure, he can progress to any basic free weight-focused program. Starting Strength, any of the 5x5 variations, Waterbury’s Total Body Training program, etc. With any program, add in whatever cardio he can/will do consistently (even tacking on 15-20 minutes of incline treadmill work after each weight training session would be a start.)

The benefits of starting with a bodyweight plan like this are that it also addresses the coordination and core strength issues you’ve already noticed in him. It also gets his smaller structures (tendons, ligaments, stabilizer muscles, etc.) up to some level of general conditioning.

If he can’t do push-ups with his 295-pound body and he can’t do several unweighted lunges, no way in hell should he be adding external resistance yet. I’d rather regress the bodyweight exercises if they end up being too challenging (hands-elevated push-ups, for example) instead of starting to bench light because it’s “easier” or whatever.

My question for you is, what are you telling him about nutrition? On one hand, he doesn’t have to be bodybuilder-in-contest-mode strict, but on the other, if he’s grossly obese it needs to be corrected ASAP. The simpler guidelines you give him, the better.


#3

Proper form will go a long way. Start from there.


#4

I cant read the 2 new posts?


#5

I will take your advice, at 6’1 295 he is obviously fat but aside from that he has a very large frame. But he carries the 300lbs with out looking like a man boobed slob, i guess a good way to describe him is that in school he has never been picked for being fat, he is just a really big kid.

I definelty will have him do a BW work out for a couple of weeks to get him started, this will be a tough sell because he wants to “lift heavy stuff”. To keep him positive should i still let him deadlift or hex bar deadlift?

His diet isnt great, im going to try to get him to keep a log over the next few days just so he can see where to clean up his diet.