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Routine for My Younger Brother

My brother asked me the other day if he could start training with me, I thought “why not”. I’m on WS4SB III as of right now and I need a good 4 day split so we can work on the same days. I would like to find a good UB/LB split so he can develop some good strength as well. Any ideas?

He’s 5’7" and about 117 pounds, so I think WS4SB may be a bit taxing on him for now. Oh yeah and he’s 14.

He should be using machines, cables, and doing light squats. pullups and pushups - a resounding YES. No need for heavy resistance here! Also, if you are qualified you can get him doing the olympic lifts in the 3 rep range. No “push” to gain strength and power until form is perfect.

The idea is that you want to keep relative strength and coordination patterns up through the growth spurt period where relative strength and coordination often goes to shit.

I don’t have access to machines…I do have:

pull-up bar
bench that goes incline and decline
500lbs of weights
and two dumbbells with plates up to 25lbs a piece

And no I’m not qualified to do Op lifts

Ok, so keep the pull ups and push ups. Overhead stabilization is always great. Forward and reverse lunges with a single arm push press using opposite leg-arm. Pistols with the weight held out front. Overhead squats with a single dumbbell. Bulgarian split squats.

Lots of situps and leg raises - see if you can set goals for him to increase the number of hanging leg raises that he can do, and the number of pull ups he can do. Those should be the two main goals. Keep the added resistance light and make sure form never breaks down. I wouldn’t go over 10 reps ever with the added resistance exercises.

Those all sound like good ideas. I do the pull-ups and knee raises myself so I know how good those can be. I’ll try to keep form the main thing for now. He says his wrists hurt after doing push-ups, should I have him do dumbbell push-ups instead or light bench press on a ball maybe? thanks

[quote]PSuns88 wrote:
Those all sound like good ideas. I do the pull-ups and knee raises myself so I know how good those can be. I’ll try to keep form the main thing for now. He says his wrists hurt after doing push-ups, should I have him do dumbbell push-ups instead or light bench press on a ball maybe? thanks [/quote]

Have him do pushups on dumbbells that are held in place with the bars going horizontally … if you have a barbell this works too, just have him do push ups holding onto it, underneath him, with the bar perpendicular to his torso.

Pushups on different surfaces like balls of different sizes or whatever are cool.

the wrist needs to just get used to loads imo, keep doing the pushups, they will hurt less the next time etc etc

for legs… bodyweight squats in the 100 + rep ranges, jump squats, sprints, push your car?

schultzie does have a point. Wrist flexibility can be improved by doing pushups on the floor and with wrist curls using dumbbells. It’s a useful thing, especially if he’s going to be doing front squats and oly lifts in the future.

Of course, as someone who had poor wrist flexibility when I started lifting, I hated the thought of doing any of these exercises at the beginning of my career. It might be better to put wrist flexiblity on the back burner until your brother has expressed a passion for lifting - because it doesn’t seem to come up too often in other areas of life. :slight_smile:

By the way, he might have difficulty even completing a single pull up? If he does you can assist him in the beginning he’ll get stronger quickly. It’s important not to go to failure if he’s doing them un-assisted…

Thanks guys, this is all good info. All I need to do now is turn it into a routine. I do have a barbell, I use the same push-ups on my ws4sb max-rep day.

i think it might not be the flexibility as much as the bone density? i knew holding any kind of weight perpendicular to my forearms at he start hurt like hell, but gotta build up the tendons and bones, just like a boxer does or those guys who break boards and cinderblocks. you dont have to do anything special, just eat right and keep doing it till it hurts less. just dont go overboard, a little pain is okay

Why hasn 't anyone just said… have this kid bench, deadlift and squat… he’s 14 for fucks sake. He isn’t that young.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Why hasn 't anyone just said… have this kid bench, deadlift and squat… he’s 14 for fucks sake. He isn’t that young.[/quote]

Ok zep(meat?)head. there is a serious risk of injury with these movements and a base of strength is needed, one cannot safely jump into the big 3 (squat, bench, deadlift) without strong guidance from a qualified coach. There is a general consensus that “The Three Year Rule” should be used in moving to the heavy compound lifts. Of course not everybody needs to follow this, if they have a knowledgeable, qualified coach to observe and make recommendations. We don’t want to create life long LBPS in this kid just for the sake of enlarging his ego.

Fourteen is very young, he may not have even hit puberty yet! If this is the case coordination patterns must be reinforced (light squats! preferably cleans and snatches, too) and relative strength kept up through the growth spurt period - (where coordination and relative strength often go to shit) - in order to progress to the big 3. I’m mostly repeating myself here.

The whole idea of focusing on the improvement of pull up (trapezius, forearm, and back strength) and leg raises (core strength) in my recommendations to the poster is so that his very young brother will be able to progress to the big 3 safely when he is matured. Obviously these are crucial aspects of strength in the transition to moving big weight with the powerlifting movements.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Why hasn 't anyone just said… have this kid bench, deadlift and squat… he’s 14 for fucks sake. He isn’t that young.[/quote]

Agreed.

[quote]Brant_Drake wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
Why hasn 't anyone just said… have this kid bench, deadlift and squat… he’s 14 for fucks sake. He isn’t that young.

Agreed. [/quote]

Wrong Wrong Wrong Wronnnnnnggggggg

(Don’t get mad, get even. Please explain rationally why you are right and I am wrong. I’d love to hear this argument.)

Whole body training at first.

[quote]cormac wrote:
Wrong Wrong Wrong Wronnnnnnggggggg

(Don’t get mad, get even. Please explain rationally why you are right and I am wrong. I’d love to hear this argument.)[/quote]

What are the reasons for not doing the 3 lifts? Possibility of injury? Doubtful, since he has a spotter, and at 14 you really can’t move enough weight to injure yourself. Plus, if it hurts, I’m pretty sure he’ll stop.

Maybe it will stunt his growth? Oh wait, that’s not true.

Is it because it’s difficult to teach form? Yeah, better stick to simpler movements like [quote]Forward and reverse lunges with a single arm push press using opposite leg-arm.[/quote] Or [quote]get him doing the olympic lifts[/quote], once he’s got those basics down, then he can pick up a bar.

There’s nothing inheritantly dangerous about benching, squats, and DL’s. I’d bet that 99% of all lifters were doing 10 reps on the bench the first time they were in the gym. This kid isn’t going to be going for shirted max singles, or squats with knee wraps from a monolift, he’s going to be doing the basic shit for reps.

The basic exercises are way better than [quote]machines, cables, and doing light squats.[/quote] I mean, did I really have to write this?

Great benefits, no risk, and he’ll be doing the shit a young man should! To the OP, work with your brother and teach him as much as you can, use your common sense in the gym, and challenge each other to eating contests.

[quote]Brant_Drake wrote:
cormac wrote:
Wrong Wrong Wrong Wronnnnnnggggggg

(Don’t get mad, get even. Please explain rationally why you are right and I am wrong. I’d love to hear this argument.)

What are the reasons for not doing the 3 lifts? Possibility of injury? Doubtful, since he has a spotter, and at 14 you really can’t move enough weight to injure yourself. Plus, if it hurts, I’m pretty sure he’ll stop.
[/quote]

Possibility of injury is not doubtful at all. A 14 year old lifter is sure to have imbalances and weaknesses. You can injure yourself lifting a 45-lb plate if you don’t keep a straight back and use IAP appropriately. IAP is very highly correlated with core strength - something a young lifter is going to be lacking.

Of course it’s not true - Where did this even come from?

NO, Why do you keep making assumptions about what I think? I was expecting that you would at least be capable of developing a rational argument.

Obviously you have no respect for training coordination patterns and the myriad benefits that come along with the oly lifts. I have emphasized over and over again how important it is to keep resistance light (10 rep range) with this trainee so that he keeps inter and intramuscular coordination high and risk of injury low. You just want to pack muscle onto a 14 year old kid using what you know works best for you, presumably a person that cannot be described as a prepubescent male.

Don’t we already know that the vast majority of lifters in the gym know fuck all about what they are doing? Do you not think they could have approached things in a more intelligent manner had they been informed properly? There is a difference between adequacy and optimization.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that you have heard of Vladimir Zatsiorsky. He is an immensely talented and accomplished biomechanist, whose works are often referenced by such greats as Dave Tate.

"With beginning athletes, especially youngsters, strength topography is the main focus in proper selection of strength training exercises. The most important muscle groups should be chosen and trained. The following recommendations are offered as a rule of thumb:

"Strengthen the muscle groups that can increase risk of trauma; Train large, proximally located muscles, esp. in the trunk area, with the abdominal wall muscles as a primary choice.

"Increase strength in sport-related movements to a level that permits technique acquisition without technical mistakes.

“The so-called “three-year” rule is popular among experienced coaches. According to this rule, an athlete should use strength-specific exercises and exercises with a barbell, such as barbell squats, only after 3 years of preliminary general preparation.”

(Science and Practice of Strength Training, 1995)

Whatever you say…

yeah seriously, when i was a kid i did lots of judo, i would consider something with less barbells to start

you gotta keep him all movey and sporty/active so his coordination doesn’t go to shit in puberty, just squatting benching and deadlifts wont really do that, gotta do more jumping and shit… i dunno…