T Nation

Intermediate Teen Training Advice


I’ve been lifting for about a year and a half now, focused on powerlifting and did my first completion earlier this month. I’m 16 and about 150lbs. As of now my lifts are 340x5 deadlift. 275x5 squat and 170x5 bench.

My training schedule hasn’t been consistent this summer, I’ve switched around from upper/ lower splits to now having a OHP and Deadlift day and then a Squat and bench day. On deadlifts I usually just find my new 5rm Max and do one set there and then maybe one light set for 8-10 reps.But I am still able to increase the weight by around 5lbs each workout. On squats and bench I just 5x5 plus some extra volume hypertrophy work(especially on bench). Although it’s been going well it would be great to get some advice on a solid program I could follow. I’ve titled this “intermediate” because I fee like I’ve stepped out of the beginner phase of just a 5x5 program at this point, but correct me if I’m wrong.

Any suggestions on programming would be great.


The best thing you can do is get a coach. In person is preferable, but online coaching is very beneficial as well. If there is a crew that trains near you that would be best. If none of those are an option, I would look at Wendler’s 5/3/1, Madcow 5x5, or the Texas Method.


Learn to be consistent. The program is secondary to this.


yeah try 5/3/1, start off with ‘triumvirate’ template


As I made clear, I was consistent with training but changed my programming. Learn to read, big man.


Maybe you have greater issues than your training: Consistent- “acting or done in the same way over time”


Let me just get this straight…
Because I was experimenting with different programs and training splits to see what worked best for me, you have come to the conclusion that I suffer from detrimental issues with consistency in other parts of my life. Please elaborate.


I dont care to take this off on a tangent. If you think following a structured program for months is equal to moving things around every 2 months, more power to you.


I do think that as a 16 year old who lifts pretty much just because I enjoy it, changing the order of days in which I do the same exercises with the same rep schemes is not going to be detrimental and if anything helpful as perhaps one program may work better for me. I’m taking advantage of the fact that lifting is of no consequence to my life so I can have fun with it and experiment.

However, I do know that I no very little about excercise physiology, especially compared to many on this forum. This is why I created this thread so that I can be consistent with a program, rather than just making up my own.


Learn to be consistent. In addition, perhaps learn what words mean before using them. In further addition, learn a little humility.


Jesus Christ, I do now what consistent means. As it is clear from the context, I meant that I was not consistent in my programming because I was experimenting with different splits. Now I am asking for advice on what others think is the best program, as I do not know as much about lifting as many on this forum (humility). The problem with this forum is there are to many guys who reply to people’s questions with these sarcastic and cold answers to make themselves look hard and experienced.


We get several posts that look exactly like yours every single day. Noone who posts here regularly thinks they are “hard or experienced” by giving someone honest advice. @tsantos gave you an answer that was brief but innocuous enough, and you took it as some kind of personal attack. The most honest answer you can get to “what program should I do” is that it doesn’t matter. Pick one.


Have a read of Chad Wesley Smith’s article on making any program work.

And I’m sorry you were upset by getting the answer you needed rather than the one you wanted to hear but we’ve all been to this rodeo and know how it plays out.


Hey! can you help me with a good abs routine?


Your problem is that you speak of being consistent yet regardless of the reason for changing around the program, be it boring or trying to find the best fit, that is the definition of inconsistency. Seasoned lifters know what works for them because they have usually spent YEARS changing programs, mainly spending a year or two milking what they can from each and reverting back to what garners the most growth.

Being 16 with 18 months under your belt isn’t enough time to experiment, go with tried and true routines and after a year on it, see how you grew…that is consistency. Try stronglifts 5x5, if you top out but like it, go for madcow. If you have no intent to do a comp in the near future, go for 5/3/1 and insert whichever template meets your current goals, if you have the patience to run it, i’ve never heard of it doing poorly for any intermediate lifter.

But having mid range numbers and 18 months under your belt isn’t enough time to merit changing from more than the original programming to a second program so don’t get butt hurt when guys on here tell you to find a solid, proven program and stick with it, or tell you that your problem with growth comes from not sticking to any program because shy of intense peaking cycles, nothing will give you massive gains in a couple months unless you are a newb running starting strength.


Consistency is key if you want to see results!


I could write a list of 10+ programs that you could follow to the T and get results,yet you ‘‘experiment with different splits to see what works best’’ and get all worked up when people tell you you’re wrong

Lemme tell you some things

1.Don’t take the ‘‘everyone is different’’ sh*t don’t seriously.Phat could work better than you than 531 or the other way around,yet any of the 2 is going 2 give you better results than hoping from the one to the other and then modifying it ,and then changing again ect ect

2.The real problem with these forums is that most teens don’t come here to learn to begin with or they want a magical answer.2 lifters stronger than you hopped in to help you yet you’re being a cuck.Yes,your program hopping is your biggest issue


Just do something you believe in.

If you are someone like me who will never stick to a program, develop some principles to train by. Develop a method - but this comes over time.

ALWAYS train on how the weight is moving that day regardless of how your mind or body are doing. Sets/reps DO NOT MATTER.

Go ahead and twist up, mix up, whatever different programs to see what works for you and what doesn’t. At some point you’ll begin to develop your own style of training.