T Nation

Stay with Program or Start a New One?

Hi everyone, I don’t know if this is the right place to put this, but here goes. I’m a 15 year old guy with a BW of 158.5 lbs. who’s been bodybuilding for approximately 8 months. I currently have a max bench of 180, max deadlift of 285, max back squat of 175 (I have bad knees and just started squatting), and a max overhead press of 120. I’m looking to gain some muscle mass and add some pounds to my lifts.

I’ve been jumping around from routine to routine, trying to find something that worked, but my gym is at home and doesn’t have much equipment–just a bench press, pull-down machine, a few barbells, and some dumbbells. I’ve been training with good nutrition thus far–no less than a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass each day, while balancing my carb and fat intake. I currently lift twice a week on Thursday and Sunday with an upper-lower body split.

I found the routine on BBing .com, and I’ve been able to make some decent progress with each of my lifts–except for my bench press, which has unfortunately been steadily declining since I started the workout. I bench first thing on Sunday, which is my upper body day, so my muscles aren’t fatigued before doing the exercise.

Should I keep with my current program, or switch to a new one? If I should indeed switch, can you guys suggest a program I should go with? Thanks very much, all suggestions and input are appreciated.

Stick with this: https://www.t-nation.com/training/mass-made-simple

have you had a traumatic injury, our do you have a degenerative tissue disease of some sort? You’re 15 years old. If neither of these are applicable to you, you almost certainly don’t have bad knees. Many people confused bad knees with simply being weak.

Honestly, I don’t know what is wrong with my knees…I haven’t had any
traumatic injury and I don’t have a degenerative tissue disease. My knees
cave slightly inward and don’t align with my feet, so I used to fear
squatting because I thought I would further hurt my knees. However, since
I’ve been squatting with relatively light weight and good form, my knees
have began to feel better, especially when squatting down in real life.
That’s why I say that I began squatting only approximately two weeks ago.

yea that’s about what I expected. It means you have weak legs, and probably lack flexibility. That’s exactly how I started out. I couldn’t perform a regular bodyweight squat properly when I started lifting, and I thought it was a problem with my joints/knees. It’s not. It’s being untrained. Devote as much time and effort as you can to properly training the movement pattern of the squat. DON’T try to use too much weight. Get your form right, get confident with the movement first. One of my favorite things to suggest is spending a lot of time in a full squat position. like when you’re hanging out at home, watching tv, whatever, spend a few minutes at a time sitting in a full squat, with your feet flat on the floor. And push your knees outward while you do it. It will likely be uncomfortable, but your body will acclimate to this position. It’s one of the best things I did for myself early on when I started working on my squat.


Thank you very much for the advice. Just another random question: is Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program good for guys like me who are already in shape but looking to gain some muscle mass?

it’s a good program for anyone who wants to make progress in lifting.