T Nation

Introducing Sons/Daughters to Lifting

My son came to me a few weeks ago and asked if I could teach him how to lift weights. I said ‘of course’ as I fought back the tears of pride. He’ll be 13 in April. I’ve had him doing the Southwood program they wrote an article about a while ago:

Clean and Jerks
Front Squats
Overhead Presses
Bent Rows (Replaces Bench Press in original article)

3 sets of each exercise, 8, 6 and then 4 reps. Use the same weight for each exercise until you can do all reps for all sets. 60 seconds rest in between sets.

My son got 35 lbs yesterday for all lifts. His overhead presses were kind of push presses and his bent rows were done with a pretty curved back.

I’m working on correcting his curved back and trying to teach him mainly about form.

My question is, has anyone else gone through this? What worked for you? What didn’t?

Hey Sen Say
I understand the pride you feel for your son. My 13y/o started training with me about a month ago. Its been nothing but a blessing. Though on occasion he is not to motivated to go but once were there he works. Weve been doing a short whole body program.

squats
bench
cleans
push press
bar dips (assisted)
I rotate exercises for each of the body parts per workout
so far so good. good luck and enjoy your time with your boy.

I train my daughter, she’s seventeen now. I bought her a two year membership, which is frozen right now due to school over load. I started her on the machines for the first four months and then moved to the free weights. She won’t touch the machines now.

Last time we were at the gym I tried her on the chin-ups and pull-ups. I knew she wouldn’t be able to, but it made her realize how much work she still had to do. The thought of hanging from a ledge without the strength to pull herself up did not sit very well with her.

I put her through all the motions, with a major emphasize on form. Last bench was at 65# which swelled her head, don’t know where she got that from lol. It has also really boosted her confidence in Kung-fu and in general. We’ll be back at it at the end of school, she’s going into wood work so strength is important to her, yes!

I totally enjoy every moment me get to spend together. This just adds another dimension and something that can continue for years to come.

I have a 16 year old daughter and a 14 year old son that I have had in the gym a few times. They really enjoy it while they are there but it is hard to get them going on the weekend. My normal training time is when they are in school. Both of them workout fairly regularly with callisthenics at home. Both are in much better shape than most of their friends at school.


The first time I worked out with my 19 year I kicked his butt and it was sweet. Since then he has really gained muscle and strength. This pic is before he started working out hard.
I was doing squats the other day and I heard nice leg muscles Mom now that made me feel great. It is great to work out with your kids, it gives you something in common.
Diana

My 18y/o daughter plays volleyball and throws shot in college. When she first wanted to come to the gym with me a few years back I was excited. She wanted to do her own thing. I couldnt get her into a program or come on a regular basis. It was hit, but more miss even in the volleyball off season. I tried to motivate her into coming to work on general strength and legs so her jump would be higher. She also felt weird being the only girl there.

She’s naturally a strong person. When she was home for Christmas break she had a list of exercises including sets and reps.

The thing we worked on was technique. Her overhead squat was more of a shallow knee bend and her snatch grip deadlift looked like a straight leg deadlift. She said that’s how the other kids at the gym do it. After 4 weeks working with my friend who’s competed powerlifting and is a technique nazi she looked good. We told her that technique keeps you injury free and that she should work hard to keep it right and get the rest of her friends to do them right as well.

I sent her a link to Muscle With Attitude and hope she reads up.

Another guy I lift with brought his 14 y/o son recently. We tried bench, deadlift, and squat with him, but he wasnt strong enough to do it. He was either really shaky as on the bench, unable to do a squat with body weight with anything like technique, or wasnt able to deadlift without a terrible thorasic hump. We started him on a general strength program using machines and dumbells. The plan is once he gets stronger to re-introduce the big moves. We also have him working on flexibility.

It was hard to get him to the gym once he wasnt able to lift with the adults. The big motivator was he has a friend who likes to lift with him that now comes. They are now at the gym every night we are. It’s been a month with his lifting partner and you can see improvement in their lifts, posture, and the biggest part they are having fun!

Chewman

Very cool guys!

I have four sons (eight through fourteen) and they all work out with me two or three times a week in the home gym. It’s our “man” time where you can say whatever you like and there are no egos. I learn a lot about my boys this way!

I try to keep it fun for the kids and don’t force set routines on them. I just stick to teaching good form on the compound lifts, showing them how to keep logs and encouraging them along. Once they started seeing the payoff on the football field and the wrestling mat, I didn’t have to force them to join me!

You haven’t lived until you see a 50 pound eight year old deadlift 95 pounds! I’ll have to video and post it.

When my twin boys were young teenagers, they got me interested in lifting. Now they are in college and play rugby, and no longer want to go to the gym with me when they are at home. Neither does my 23 year old daughter. I’ve gone from cool to embarrassing in a few short years :frowning:

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
I’ve gone from cool to embarrassing in a few short years :([/quote]

That’s okay. You’re still cool with us and some of us remember real cool.

[quote]hel320 wrote:
Yo Momma wrote:
I’ve gone from cool to embarrassing in a few short years :frowning:

That’s okay. You’re still cool with us and some of us remember real cool. [/quote]

Thanks, hel320. Guess I’ll be groovy in the old age home.

I started my son when he was 13. He is now 22 and still lifting. He held the bench and squat record his last 3 years in high school. I started him for Footbal and after 2 years I started myself.

My guy hasn’t missed a workout in almost 4 weeks now. His back is a little rounded on his bent rows, but he’s making improvements.

I gotta remember to keep it fun ! That is great advice for doing anything with your kids, or basically with anyone…

As promised… 100 pound deadlift at 50 pounds by my 8 year old.

This is my first foray into T-Nation video… hope it works!

t-sama you’ve got a T-Man on your hands. That is so cool. Neither one of you will ever forget that moment. Now that’s how you bond with your kids. My hats off to you.

Thanks! Wish the sound worked… He picked “Flirtin’ with Disaster” to hit the PR.

Stuntin’ like his Daddy, I guess…

he just deadlifted 2x his bodyweight thats more than most men can say

That’s awesome.

Well done mate - great work to enjoy the company of your boy and no doubt he’ll be enjoying being with his dad.

[quote]Plant lady wrote:
The first time I worked out with my 19 year I kicked his butt and it was sweet. Since then he has really gained muscle and strength. This pic is before he started working out hard.
I was doing squats the other day and I heard nice leg muscles Mom now that made me feel great. It is great to work out with your kids, it gives you something in common.
Diana[/quote]

Diana - if that’s your boy prior to starting his workout phase, he must be huge by now.
It’s a great feeling to be in the gym with your kids. My 19 yr old stepson used to go with me before he moved away. Of all the things kids could be into - drinking, partying, drugs, blah blah blah… it’s really great to have them working up a sweat and enjoying being by your side.

And, I can see why the young fella would be proud of you in the gym too…
Lookin good girl.

Dang, I’m so jealous of all you guys (and gals) who have had the opportunity to spend time in the gym with your kids. I have a 19 year old son now away in college, and he lifted throughout high school for football, but i didnt spend anytime in the gym. Had I lifted then (I recently started lifting in January) it would have been a gift to work togeher on his lifts, and having both of us get stronger. Fortunately, he had superior weight training in HS and is now playing Div I football. I never knew what i missed until reading throught this thread.

I always coached my son (but not my 16 year old daughter) in baseball LL & Club and this kept us close so we did get a lot of daddy & me time for sure but it would have been a nice thing to train and workout hard together. Your stories have given me an aha moment…I’m going to encourage my daughter to train with me before she too is off and away.

Many of you may have been training for years, and if you have then you know the adrenaline rush you get while working hard and reaching some of your milestones. Its a rush, how much better can it be than to share that with your kids. Very, very envious! I cant wait til moring to talk with my daughter, and this weekend when my son is home for spring break. I look forward to following all of you here.