T Nation

Please Help My Parents

I am 16 years old and have been training for about 6 months. My dad is 44 and my mom is 42. They are both over weight and out of shape. They still stay somewhat active (they play baseball once a week, but in a beer league and bike ride a few times a week).

I was looking for some advice on creating a weight training program for them to try and bring there weight down, get them back in shape and help them get more healthy. They don’t really have time to get to a gym but we have a barbell, 2 dumbells, about 150lbs of weights, an inflatable ball and a bench press in our basement. If I could have some advice on creating a program for them it would be very much appreciated.

Send me a PM and I will see what I can do.

Scott “Old Navy” Hults, NFPT-CPT; NGA CPT
NGA, IDFA and FAME Master Pro Bodybuilder.

Get a copy of New Rules of Lifting by Cosgrove & Schuler. (You can find it in most book stores and various websites like elitefts.com.) I’m 53 yrs old and I highly recommend it.

My question would be, Do they want to get in shape or care about being being fit? If they don’t then it doesn’t matter what you come up with, they won’t do it. I’m sure you could find plenty of articles online to show them how being physically fit is both possible and very beneficial well into old age.

If they do care about it then I’d suggest a very simple and light weight program to start. Light weights, basic movements, cardio and diet too. It’s way easy for a person to end up getting hurt after a long layoff from physical activity if they jump in too fast. Consistency is key.

Getting them on a good nutritional program is just as important (if not more so) than a weight training program. I recommend you check out The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs


As for an exercise program, here is a place to start:


I know they’re not senior citizens, but those resources are good for anyone of any age who has no prior training and who is just trying to build health.

This book is great:

“The Metabolism Advantage: An 8-Week Program to Rev Up Your Body’s Fat-Burning Machine—At Any Age” by Dr. John Berardi

Dr. Berardi writes for T-Nation and his nutritional stuff is top notch.

This book is really aimed at people like your folks -

He explains the science of nutrition and raising your metabolism really well. Good recipes and workouts.

16.00 at amazon

“The Metabolism Advantage: An 8-Week Program to Rev Up Your Body’s Fat-Burning Machine—At Any Age”


Kirkus reviews:


An 8-Week Program to Rev Up Your Body’s Fat-Burning Machine¿At Any Age

Author: Berardi, John

Review Date: AUGUST 01, 2006
Publisher:Rodale Books
Price (hardback): $24.95
Publication Date: September 2006
ISBN: 1594863237
ISBN (hardback): 1594863237
Category: REPORTS
Classification: HEALTH AND FITNESS

Fitness trainer and nutritionist Berardi presents a body transformation program that cranks up your metabolism for healthier living.

In this easy-to-digest guide to boosting your metabolism, Berardi works on three aspects of healthy living: nutrition, exercise and dietary supplements. The nutrition plan covers the components of a healthy diet and provides recipes and meal plans aimed at helping to feed muscle and burn fat.

The exercise element combines interval and strength training, with clear photographs depicting exercises and simple free-weight workouts. In the section on dietary supplements, Berardi emphasizes the importance of including in your diet fish oil, protein, greens, creatine and recovery drinks.

Every section is valuable, but Berardi is most helpful in his discussions of the intagibles: how to ingrain the three aspects as habits, how to maintain strong will power, why setting sensible goals is critical.

A sensible, all-encompassing program to ramp up your energy and well-being.

If they have not asked for help, don’t waste your time.

I can understand wanting to help them, since they’re your folks, but like the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it (or him) drink”.

I tried for years with my mom & step-dad, and finally gave up. They’re just not interested. It has to come from within the individual, not from an outsider.