My 14 year old son wants to start lifting weights. As a mom I’m not really sure where to start with a program for him. He’s small and would like to build strength and put on weight. He’s 5ft even and about 95lb. Anyone have a good starter routine to recommend?
Pretty much any 3-day beginner routine will suit him. My personal favorites for beginners are GreySkull LP and Bill Star’s 5x5 beginner routine but Starting Strength is also one viable option. Also check out the local area if there are any powerlifting gyms nearby. They generally have a really good atmosphere for training and a lot of helpful people willing to teach the basics on barbell exercises.
A suitable training routine, environment and equipment, eating enough from good sources and not going overboard with expectations and training intensity and he’s golden.
Start with Bodyweight routine here…
Also make sure hes getting plenty of sleep, protein (especially beef) and greens
This a good idea also(FYI bad language!)
Rich Piana’s channel is definitely not something you want a 14 year old watching. Have you not seen the recent surge of teens posting about doing steroid cycles in the Pharma forum?
Starting Strength was pretty much written with your son in mind. I’d check it out.
What is his athletic background?
yeah definitely don’t let your 14 year old watch that
In fact, Rich Piana’s channel is not something anyone looking for any training knowledge should watch. Not even steroid users looking for information about using. He gives very potentially dangerous advice. This stuff is purely for entertainment value. He does that well, I’ll give him that.
I will continue to escalate this and say don’t let a 14 year old watch ANY lifting youtube channels and instead force them to read a book or 2 on the subject.
And then I would be super controversial by saying that it couldn’t be Starting Strenth, haha.
As someone who started by ‘reading the internet’, I concur.
Too much misinformation. Too many contradictory ideas (that often all work in their own right).
Find a few good books, get your son to read them. Introduce him to the world of lifting online once he has enough experience to sift through the information. I wasted so much time with gimmicks because a website wanted me to think that their articles were better, or because a company wanted to sell me a pill.
With that being said, lifting is also about the journey, and the online lifting community can be quite fun, interesting and entertaining. Some of the youtube channels make for great comedy, whilst others still provide motivation for lifting and life in general. If there’s no particular rush for results, there isn’t necessarily a good reason for him to be so stoic. Even though the internet’s fitness advice often wasted my time, it was also time that I enjoyed wasting – and isn’t that what a hobby is about?
He’s always been active. He’s played baseball since he was 4 or 5 and still plays. He’s just not as strong and doesn’t have the power of most kids on his team. Part of the reason he wants to get stronger. He’s done gymnastics in the past until it wasn’t “cool” and has run some 5ks and 10ks and done one youth triathlon. He’s fast as a runner, and probably is more of a natural runner type of a body vs any kind of body builder later lol. He definitely isn’t looking to be “big”. Just wants to gain some strength and not be so small.
And yes I’m the woman who has read too much on the Internet and keep trying to find that perfect program. I’ve done body for life, new rules of lifting, some boot camps, you name it. I’ve lifted on and off since high school, then got into endurance sports and now trying to find a good mixture of lifting and endurance racing (distance running and triathlons). My biggest issue is I love to eat, so I’m the fit, fat and almost 40 chick. And I feel lost with trying to figure out what’s best for me much less a prepubescent teen lol
Despite my deriding it earlier, Starting Strength would actually work well in this situation. He’s got enough of an athletic background that he could actually make some progress on it. Follow it for a few months and then move onto something a little more fully developed.
Jim Wendler actually put out a great article on his blog titled “2016-help-a-friend-get-stronger” that gives a great protocol he could follow.
I’d be inclined to agree with you. I think SS as a program is good in some circumstances, but Rippetoe’s surrounding opinions are largely unhelpful.
Which, I realise, I should have specified.
Thanks for all the information and help!