T Nation

How Do I Get Going?

I am fourteen years old, and I am trying to gain strength and also to become leaner. I know that this is hard to do simultaneously, but gaining muscle of course helps to burn fat, so I think if I can gain muscle with a good diet, then I can accomplish both of my goals.

The question I have is that I want to know what lifts are the best for each muscle. I have about three days a week to train, so I want to make the most out of the time that I have.

I am kind of partial to this personally this is what I found and worked wonders for me

and read the stickies up top of this forum theres lots of info on eating right

I would check out Chad Waterbury’s Muscle Revolution book…its filled with great information, and lots of workouts, many of them are 3 day Total Body Routines that worked amazing when i did them…i added lots of strength doing them and my overall body composition really took form while doing them…if you want better info and workouts you can PM me and id be glad to give you a hand setting up a workout…good luck

Hey other folks giving advice, no offense intended, but please note the following:

[quote]Bangladude wrote:
[b]I am fourteen years old,[/b] and I am trying to gain strength and also to become leaner.[/quote]

That absolutely changes the situations and effects the advice that should be offered.

Dude, assuming you have access to a gym (either a membership or you’re using the school weight room)

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Squat 2x14 (No weight, keep your feet flat on the floor the whole time)

Push-up 2x14 (On your toes, go until your chest almost touches the floor)

Lunge 2x14 (Alternate legs, 1 rep left/1 rep right)

Pull-up 2x14 (use an assisted pull-up or pulldowns if needed)

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

Burpee 2x14 (Ask your gym teacher how to do these, also called a squat thrust)

That’s it. Bodyweight training until you can handle the basics for your own age in reps.

Going straight into free weights or machines right now isn’t the best way to start your training. These basics will lay a solid foundation to move into using the rest of the weight room, and you’ll definitely get stronger and in better shape using them.

How’s the eating? What (specifically) did you eat yesterday?

EDIT: I forgot to add the plank for core/ab work, so I added the plank. Whoops, I are Human.

Join your football team.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

Bangladude wrote:
[b]I am fourteen years old,[/b] and I am trying to gain strength and also to become leaner.

That absolutely changes the situations and effects the advice that should be offered.

[/quote]

exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weightlifting/YouthMisconceptions.html

WRONG, I was 14 when I started lifting. Not to mention you’re propagating an old wive’s tale.

OP: rippetoe’s is for you.

this is why I mentioned the 5x5 type program.

you start off at a ridiculious low weight even only using the bar if need be.

yes I agree they shouldnt go full on balls to the wall weight training untill they learn basics.
yes body weight is great at first,but if they are going to be weight training later they need to learn how to work with a bar before jumping in,why not start now.

and yes ask a coach at your school or get a gym membership and get a trainer that can walk you through the steps you need to follow so you do not hurt yourself.

sometimes I forget though because it was so long ago,I started in martial arts when I was 4,we did pushups,situps,body weight squats that kind of thing.
that is another option to get some total body conditioning and discipline instiled first.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Chris Colucci wrote:

Bangladude wrote:
[b]I am fourteen years old,[/b] and I am trying to gain strength and also to become leaner.

That absolutely changes the situations and effects the advice that should be offered.

exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weightlifting/YouthMisconceptions.html

WRONG, I was 14 when I started lifting. Not to mention you’re propagating an old wive’s tale.

OP: rippetoe’s is for you.
[/quote]

When Coach Colucci talks, I’d listen. Perhaps it would be wise to ASK him why he didn’t recommend Rippetoes in the beginning. My guess would be less the ‘it stunts your growth’ argument and more the ‘you’re young and impressionable and will do foolish things to impress your buddie’s’. Hell, maybe it’s space aliens, but it would behoove you to listen to him. Or at least ask for clarification before calling him out.

I might have him confused with another T-Nation member, but I think he’s been coaching athletes longer than you’ve been alive.

and i would listen to otep as ive taken his advice and a few others on here and im getting much better then expected results

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
WRONG, I was 14 when I started lifting. Not to mention you’re propagating an old wive’s tale.
[/quote]

I’m not propagating jack squat, bucko. I said that a teenager needs to develop experience with basic bodyweight exercises before beginning free weight training. That’s a very commonly accepted practice.

Excuse me for not having quotable sources/links at hand, but off the top of my head, I know that Alwyn Cosgrove applies the same basic principle even with adults new to training. It’s also found in the ISSA textbook I studied for the Youth Fitness Training certification.

But you found an exrx link. I only have real world experience getting safe and effective results with teens, pre-teens, the elderly, and college athletes. Guess you win that round. :wink:

Plus, the standard I listed (age in reps for basic bodyweight exercises) will likely be reached in two to three weeks, and then… like I said… we can progress to free weight training.

Bottom line is 5x5 and Waterbury programs are not the appropriate first steps for a 14-year old dude who’s never exercised before.

[quote]Otep wrote
I might have him confused with another T-Nation member, but I think he’s been coaching athletes longer than you’ve been alive.[/quote]
Not exactly. I’ve been making a living coaching folks of all ages since Zep was in elementary school. Might not sound as impressive, but that’s the way it is. And thanks for the kind words, Otep.

P.S. - If I sounded snippy in this post… tough. Zep got on my nerves with his “WRONG” comment. I think it was the ALL CAPS that bugged me most. If only you used standard caps, man, I would’ve been cool with you being a whippersnapper barking up the wrong tree.

I was assuming you meant he stay away from weights from a few years. Obviously now that’s obviously not hte point you made. I appologize. Looking back on it I probably should have done a few weeks of bodyweight training before hitting the iron. I could barely move my limbs the first few weeks. You’re totally right, 100%. I took your post as he needed be avoid weights and didn’t realize you wanted him to do it first as corrective/conditioning work.

Sorry man!

[quote]nichaaron wrote:

sometimes I forget though because it was so long ago,I started in martial arts when I was 4,we did pushups,situps,body weight squats that kind of thing.
that is another option to get some total body conditioning and discipline instiled first.

[/quote]

I did martial arts before I started working out, and granted, it did help. Or maybe it was that my dad was experienced, but that’s not the point.

Still, bodyweight exercises should always be used, even when using free weights.

[quote]ukrainian wrote:
nichaaron wrote:

sometimes I forget though because it was so long ago,I started in martial arts when I was 4,we did pushups,situps,body weight squats that kind of thing.
that is another option to get some total body conditioning and discipline instiled first.

I did martial arts before I started working out, and granted, it did help. Or maybe it was that my dad was experienced, but that’s not the point.

Still, bodyweight exercises should always be used, even when using free weights.[/quote]

I agree and I am sorry for my post being confusing I know I type like a half blind duck at times.

I was trying to say that a good simple routine,maybe with just a bare standard bar along with supervision is a good way to learn form.
that along with some other activity like martial arts,football,baseball whatever.

yes the OP needs to learn basics first and body weight exersizes and good nutritional habits now are the way to go with that
also they will always utlilize the body weight movements even in a weighted routine like they will be doing sit ups or pushups dips ect.

I was not really arguing the statment about not using weights yet,I was asking why not start off now with them
because no doubt they will also be asking the same question.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

I’m not propagating jack squat, bucko. I said that a teenager needs to develop experience with basic bodyweight exercises before beginning free weight training. That’s a very commonly accepted practice.

[/quote]

Are the primary reasons for this to prevent injury? Is it to discover potential problems? Both?

Basically, can you elaborate? :slight_smile:

To the OP,
It seems you have your workout ahead of you.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Squat 2x14
Push-up 2x14
Lunge 2x14
Pull-up 2x14
Plank 2x15-count
Burpee 2x14

Note, this is what you should do to begin to develop strength and resiliance across your entire body, not specifically ‘what lifts are the best for each muscle’. However, at your stage in development, this is probably what’ll get you stronger and leaner fastest.

Now about that diet of yours…

First off, thanks for all the advice.

I made a mistake of leaving off a big detail… I had been training on and off with my football team all year, but I hadn’t had the desire or motivation to be serious about it until now. My progress has been slow, so I was looking for ways to make myself get stronger and leaner, faster.

Also, my diet is usually clean, but I eat pretty unhealthy things on weekends which is a bad habit of mine. I lost a lot of fat during the course of the year doing this, but I still have a bunch of excess fat that covers my abs.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Hey other folks giving advice, no offense intended, but please note the following:

Bangladude wrote:
[b]I am fourteen years old,[/b] and I am trying to gain strength and also to become leaner.

That absolutely changes the situations and effects the advice that should be offered.

Dude, assuming you have access to a gym (either a membership or you’re using the school weight room)

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Squat 2x14 (No weight, keep your feet flat on the floor the whole time)

Push-up 2x14 (On your toes, go until your chest almost touches the floor)

Lunge 2x14 (Alternate legs, 1 rep left/1 rep right)

Pull-up 2x14 (use an assisted pull-up or pulldowns if needed)

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

Burpee 2x14 (Ask your gym teacher how to do these, also called a squat thrust)

That’s it. Bodyweight training until you can handle the basics for your own age in reps.

Going straight into free weights or machines right now isn’t the best way to start your training. These basics will lay a solid foundation to move into using the rest of the weight room, and you’ll definitely get stronger and in better shape using them.

How’s the eating? What (specifically) did you eat yesterday?

EDIT: I forgot to add the plank for core/ab work, so I added the plank. Whoops, I are Human.[/quote]
Nevemind made the same mistake as the other guy thought you were saying he had to stick with this program.

[quote]goochadamg wrote:
Are the primary reasons for this to prevent injury? Is it to discover potential problems? Both?

Basically, can you elaborate? :slight_smile: [/quote]
A little of both.

  • Bodyweight training teaches you to use and “feel” your own body (not in that usual teenage way though. Eww.), in the sense that you develop a sense of body awareness, balance, basic movement patterns, etc.

  • It develops basic stabilizer strength throughout the body. This is important for everybody, especially younger folks who need to be careful about overloading their still-developing tendons and ligaments too much, too soon.

  • Higher rep, lower intensity exercise serves as “anatomic adaptation,” which is an overly-fancy way of saying it lays the foundation for your body to safely handle heavier weights and lower reps in later training cycles.

[quote]Bangladude wrote:
I had been training on and off with my football team all year[/quote]
What does that mean? What’ve you been doing, standard gym room stuff (bench, curl, leg extension, crunch)?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “bad habit” for a 14 year old to eat junk food on the weekends. Increasing your activity can go a long way, ya lucky teenage so-and-so.

But still, what exactly did you eat yesterday?