T Nation

Newbie

Hi I havent started lifting yet but i do have a few questions regarding the topic, first of all what is a good age to start lifting weights i need to know because im fairly young(14) and i would also like to know what a good brand of weights is to start with.

Mate, I’d say start now, and go pretty hard. Read ALL the back issues of T-Mag, and follow the advice to a T. Bud, if you can get yourself a little built before high school ends and get the increase in confidence and self-esteem that goes with it, you’ll be getting snatch all over the friggen’ place!!! And as for what brand of weights to use, well… heavy ones… it doesn’t really matter in my experience. But preferably start out at a gym rather than just buying a few free weights for home use. Cheers.

Free heavy ones should do.

Hey man, just buy any olympic weight set, as they are much better then those cement weights. I would go with what Mark said and follow t-mag. Also buy a bench and maybe a rack but that’s if you want to workout at home or not, that’s completely your decision.

Do yourself a favor and go read all the ‘Dawg School’ articles at t-mag. They’ll help get you started. Just use the search engine. Shugart writes them.

Cam…I would also concentrate on some core stabilization exercises. Having great core strength will be invaluable as your career progresses.

hey, i was just like you bro. I’m 16 now, I’ve been lifting since I was 14, so I’m an expert in this area. Don’t do too much to begin with. Join a local hardcore gym-Gold’s,World etc. Do no more than 3 exercises, like 8 sets total. Go heavy as you can, GREAT form on everything(i.e ass to grass squats) Talk to and watch guys that are big. Always read everything(especially T-mag.)
Search for the Article “youth gone wild” on t-mag.

Stick to the big lifts e.g. Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Pull-ups, etc. Don’t make the mistake that most early weight lifters make by always wanting to train the chest and biceps before anything else.

Cameron, i am going to have to go against what Timbo said. if you want to start somewhere, go ahead and squat (try box squating look for an article called “squatting from head to toe”). For basically all land sports you will massively benefit from squating. Don’t do maximal effort excercises (nothing less than 4 reps)but probably no more than 12 or 15. Also when you start shaking alot (you’re about to fail) stop. After a few months you can work your upper body a bit too (and maybe do a split that you find in a “Dawg School”), but if you play a sport 9/10 i’d say that working your lowerbody would be most beneficial. And don’t let people tell you your lowerbody is a waste of time AND DONT let them tell you that the leg press is the same thing as squats, its not even close. Final note, you will find a bunch of conflicting advice and ideas about what you should do, don’t sweat it. Some of it may be terrible (most often what your friends might say), but just take someone’s advice and try it.

Start training now, it’s a blast and worth every minute. In my opinion you’d be best joining a gym because all the equipment is there, along with others to spot and learn from.
First learn proper form on the compound exercises(Bench press, pull ups[chins], squats and deadlifts). Searching t-mag will give you instructions on those, I’d say read it or else you could be cheating yourself out of gains you should be making. Then go heavy, like 5 reps a set. Read T-Mag; It’s the best asset you have at your disposal, next to the iron, of course… have fun!

dman…just to clarify, I agree that the young fella should incorporate the big 'uns like squats, chins, dips and the like. But I do feel the a decent amount of time should be spent on strenthening the core (abs and lower back). This will provide a solid foundation and prevent injury. The important thing would be to learn proper form and not let ego get in the way. I agree with ya though, Big D!

I’m not sure what others have told you, but I think I can help you out. Not only have I been bodybuilding for seven or eight years, I also have a four year degree in Exercise Science. You can start lifting at your age. The main difference between you and an adult is, your bones have not stopped growing. Therefore, you need to use slightly lighter wieghts so you do not place a lot of stress on your joints and bones. If you lift too heavy at a young age, you could cause your growth plates to stop growing prematurely. So I recommend you select a few exercises for each muscle group and use lighter weights for 12-20 repetitions. I hoped I helped.

John

I partly agree with John. You shouldn’t go really heavy as your bones have not finished growing yet. Also you don’t need to do any overhead lifts, as undeveloped joints might be getting too much stress. I would say don’t go below 8 reps for a while. This still allows you to use heavier weight but won’t do anything harmful to your growth plates. I think Johns above 12 rep is a little too cautious. Just so you know how many different ideas are out in the exercise field, I also am in the exercise and sport science field. So you are going to get a ton of conflicting ideas, but go with the similarities. Good Luck!

you are going to find a lot of conflicting information inre to weight training at 14. THe first is that it will stunt your bone growth or cause premature plate closure. Last go 'round on this debate was that this claim was unfounded. No slam on either side but references (recent) should be looked at. I would definately work with reps in the 4-6 range, focusing on form. I would learn bench, overhead standing press, chin, row. squat dead. Focus not on going to failure, not now, (not ever). Training the core is getting mixed reviews, my perception is that the core is trained quite nicely with execution of major compund movements with form par excellance. Don’t be tempted to chase butterflies. (looking in mirror everyday, tape measure evrey other week, training for size)
One thing you will definately find. What the current rage in training is, or what is spouted off most recently is usually considered to be the most accurate. Things will cycle in training and nutrition. High reps, low reps, high carb, high protein, high fat, etc. Get and keep an accurate journal, watch your performance progression and monitor how you feel. Hell with all the uncertainty, eat quality nutritious foods, unless you want to become a slave to a scale, want to become a victim of analysis paralysis.
I will look for recent references inre to premature bone plate closure. In the meantime, push up, push out(standing press, bench press), pull up horizontally and vertically, (chin, row)pull stuff off the floor and squat, all with form the focus. never mind supposed “isolation” exercises for the first-- decade or so. Do you really have a muscular imbalance that warrants training the flexor digiti minimi, supersetted and with drop sets pyramided??

I agree with jay not John o’day. The concerns are unfounded with heavy lifting and bone growth. Theoretically it’s possible, but an individual undergoes much more sheering force than that in say squatting, in commmon sports, take landing from a layup or jump in basketball. I would go moderately heavy, but nothing near a 1RM for safety reasons (not bone growing, but accidents), and practical (there are little benefits, if any of using maximal effort method over repition, at such a young training age- wait at least a year).