T Nation

Teen Strength Program?

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
I know the whole heavy lifting stunts your growth thing is bullshit, so I’m willing to squat heavy.[/quote]
I’m absolutely an advocate of smart weight training for kids/teens, but It’s actually not bullshit in the sense that training to muscular failure (max effort) can stunt growth in adolescent lifters.

As was said, the routine laid out in the first post is terribly designed. Just to point out a few issues that haven’t been addressed:

Is this a hold at the top, like a plank, or a hold at the bottom with the arms near 90 degrees? Either way, it’s very unlikely that you actually need the added resistance of chains. And I’m not even sure what the “3x45” means. 3 sets of 45 seconds?

Beginners and inexperienced lifters should not be doing Kroc rows. They can see plenty of strength and muscle gains with “regular” dumbbell rows. Kroc rows are often misused and/or simply performed wrong, usually as an excuse to swing around inappropriately heavy weights with crap technique. Pretend you’ve never heard of Krocs until you get your traditional dumbbell row up to decent weight for moderate reps with good form.

[quote]Also, I’m 15 so I have those noob and teen gains working for me (I’m a mesomorph to the extreme)

(I’m pretty chunky right now I’d say around 17-18 percent body fat)[/quote]
You are not “a mesomorph to the extreme.” Again, pretend you’ve never heard of meso/ecto/endomorphs. Even though you’re “just” training for strength, you can see some good muscle gains and fat loss if you keep a little bit of an eye on your nutrition. Nothing extreme or “bodybuilderish” needed, no major diet plan, just eat simple “good food” and a little less junk while training consistently.

Um, how long could you possibly have followed the programs before deciding that they weren’t for you?

The core principles behind Starting Strength and Stronglifts have worked for strength athletes and bodybuilders for the last 60+years.

You shouldn’t be lifting “heavy ass max effort” anything. Always keep at least 2 reps in the tank.

Long story short (too late), look into Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1. It can deliver pretty much exactly what you need.[/quote]

I thought 5/3/1 was for intermediate lifters? Isn’t it a monthly progression program too? I don’t want to bump up the weight every month, I’m still able to bump it up every week and not fail at it.

[quote]Zerpp wrote:
How are you going to gauge progress? Are you going to add 5-10 pounds each session? each week? each month? Or are you going just add weight when you “feel” you’ve gotten stronger? What kind of strength levels are you trying to reach with this program? Are you training/peaking for a meet?

You need to answer these questions before you slap on some exercises, sets and reps. It’s not going to work as well as the other proven programs because like you said, you’re a beginner. You won’t know how your body responds; what reps/sets/percentages it works best at.

SS is not easy. None of those 3x5 or 5x5 programs are easy. Sure when you first start it’s nothing. But let’s say your max right now is 225. In a few weeks you’ll be trying to do that for 3x5. Do you really think that’s easy? Resting up to 10 minutes before a 2nd set of squats is the norm when you’re reaching the end of these programs.

Also, most established powerlifters are one of two things, or both: They’re genetic freaks who can train insane 5-6 times a week or they’ve been training for so long, they’ve developed the knowledge to create a program for themselves and others.[/quote]

Add 5 pounds every session if I can keep up. If not, every week.

You have 81 “push” sets for the week…36 “pull” sets (not counting deads)

[quote]chobbs wrote:
You have 27 “push” sets and 12 “pull” sets, not counting deads.[/quote]

Is this bad? Why?

Yes, I try to keep it at a 1:1 ratio, but some people advocate a 2:1 or 3:1. I’ve also never heard anyone say “his back is too wide/thick/big” and it’s hard to overtrain, so you can hit it with alot of volume. I’ve been working up to my max bench press and a pullup with added weight equaling each other.

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
I thought 5/3/1 was for intermediate lifters?[/quote]
5/3/1 for Beginners:

In any case, whether 5/3/1 or something else, you need to be following a pre-designed plan. You’re not at a place where it’s a good idea to build your own routine.

Reps go down and weight goes up each week in 5/3/1. Not sure what you’re thinking of.

Also, what are good assistance lifts for each of the main lifts?

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
I thought 5/3/1 was for intermediate lifters?[/quote]
5/3/1 for Beginners:

In any case, whether 5/3/1 or something else, you need to be following a pre-designed plan. You’re not at a place where it’s a good idea to build your own routine.

Reps go down and weight goes up each week in 5/3/1. Not sure what you’re thinking of.[/quote]

No rows/pressing for assistance? Also, he says to work up slow. I don’t want to do that, I know I can increase my lifts very often because I’ve done it before (went from a 105 bench to a 135 bench in two weeks).

I’m doing SL 5x5 right now. I set it up so it would be easy for the first 4 weeks and it was. However, it continued to be pretty easy into week 7, which is where I am right now. Now, I don’t see that as a bad thing. The reason that weeks 5 and 6 were easy is that I made some significant progress even in the ‘easy’ weeks. That’s the thing that I have learned. Particularly as a beginner, less can really be more.

I used to bust my butt in the gym. I did that on and off for 10 years. I’m now 25, 215 lbs, 5’10" and have made more progress in the last seven weeks than in those 10 years. And that is without really feeling like I am lifting heavy for most of that time.

I started out doing some assistance lifts, but have dropped most of them as the main lifts are quite a lot of work, especially on the press and deadlift day. To be honest, my bench hasn’t really gotten hard yet and that is benching more than I could when I started. I used to struggle with 165 and I am now hitting if for 5 reps without a problem.

That is, my bench has gone up considerably (I don’t yet know by how much), without ever benching a weight that felt heavy. I don’t expect that to continue and it won’t beyond a certain weight, but when you’re benching around 1/2 to 3/4 your body weight, it’s not unreasonable. I hope I can get close to a body weight bench this way.

Also, going from 105 to 135 in the bench in a couple weeks really isn’t anything special for a guy your size and age.

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:

[quote]Chris87 wrote:

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
Yes, I do. I’m still in my noob gains phase and I’ve just started my linear progression. I don’t like strong lifts or SS because I feel they leave to much out (I didn’t feel worked out when I did them) and I made some small gains. I’ve judged my own bottom and it seems to respond pretty well to this program. I figure I add 5 pounds every monday and friday (or just mondays) and take advantage of my noobiness.[/quote]

You would be better off following a proven program. What you are doing is going to run you into the ground. There are other linear progression programs out there, but you need to realize that all that assistance work is not only unnecessary, but counterproductive[/quote]

Ok will this work? I’ll do AxBxAxxBxAxB, etc does that sound good? The squat and bench part will be A and the OHP and deadlift part will be B.

If no, what programs do you recommend I follow? Please don’t say SL or SS no accomplished powerlifter/strongman/bodybuilder has ever done those programs.[/quote]

Squat/Bench + assistance

Deadlift/Press + assistance

That is a good plan. If you wanted to use Wendler’s 5/3/1 system for your programming as was suggested (btw I suggest this too, especially if you are lifting to be better at a sport), this would work very well.

For your assistance, you need to realize what it is. It helps your main lifts, gives you some extra muscle mass, and strengthens weak areas. It should not detract from your main lifts (squat,bench,deads,press).

Limit your assistance to 2 or 3 movements each training day, especially if you want to do 2 main lifts a day.

Do chins or rows each day. The other moves could be ab work, some extra hamstrings work, or some curls.

BTW, 5/3/1 is not just for intermediate lifters, it will and does work for beginners. Even though the weight does not increase as fast as SS or SL, your reps are not limited. The rep max sets allow you to make more progress. For example:

Week 1 you perform 120x5, week 2 you perform 125x8. The weight only increased by 5 pounds, but you also added 3 reps.

If you want to progress linearly (add 5 pounds every workout), that is fine. It is an excellent way for a beginner to train. This is why programs like SS and SL work so well for beginners (contrary to what you think, these programs do work, and they have worked for countless strength athletes and bodybuilders. Arnold started on a 5x5 program).

The thing you have to understand is, if you want to squat 3 times a week and add 5 pounds everytime, bench twice a week and add 5 pounds everytime, etc. Then your assistance work has to be VERY LIMITED. If it is not, you will not recover. You will reach a ceiling of recovery incredibly quickly and then stop making progress.

That doesn’t mean you can’t progress by 5 pounds every workout without doing SS and SL. All these posters saying you HAVE to do those programs doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Here’s a very simple program you can do if you want to add 5 pounds everytime you lift, while still giving you room for assistance work:

Day 1:
Squat 5x5 (add 5 pounds each time you get all the reps)
Hamstring assistance 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps(stuff like glute ham raises, SL deadlifts, etc)
Abs 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 2:
Bench 5x5 (same as squat)
Chins or Rows 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
Lateral raises 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 3:
Deadlift 1x5 (add 5 pounds when you get all 5 reps, for deadlifts do 5x5, but the first 4 should be warming up to your top weight)
Quads 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps (leg press, lunges)
Abs 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 4:
Press 5x5 (add 5 pounds when you get all the reps)
Chins or Rows 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
Curls and Tricep pushdowns 3 sets of 10-15 reps each

[quote]Chris87 wrote:

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:

[quote]Chris87 wrote:

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
Yes, I do. I’m still in my noob gains phase and I’ve just started my linear progression. I don’t like strong lifts or SS because I feel they leave to much out (I didn’t feel worked out when I did them) and I made some small gains. I’ve judged my own bottom and it seems to respond pretty well to this program. I figure I add 5 pounds every monday and friday (or just mondays) and take advantage of my noobiness.[/quote]

You would be better off following a proven program. What you are doing is going to run you into the ground. There are other linear progression programs out there, but you need to realize that all that assistance work is not only unnecessary, but counterproductive[/quote]

Ok will this work? I’ll do AxBxAxxBxAxB, etc does that sound good? The squat and bench part will be A and the OHP and deadlift part will be B.

If no, what programs do you recommend I follow? Please don’t say SL or SS no accomplished powerlifter/strongman/bodybuilder has ever done those programs.[/quote]

Squat/Bench + assistance

Deadlift/Press + assistance

That is a good plan. If you wanted to use Wendler’s 5/3/1 system for your programming as was suggested (btw I suggest this too, especially if you are lifting to be better at a sport), this would work very well.

For your assistance, you need to realize what it is. It helps your main lifts, gives you some extra muscle mass, and strengthens weak areas. It should not detract from your main lifts (squat,bench,deads,press).

Limit your assistance to 2 or 3 movements each training day, especially if you want to do 2 main lifts a day.

Do chins or rows each day. The other moves could be ab work, some extra hamstrings work, or some curls.

BTW, 5/3/1 is not just for intermediate lifters, it will and does work for beginners. Even though the weight does not increase as fast as SS or SL, your reps are not limited. The rep max sets allow you to make more progress. For example:

Week 1 you perform 120x5, week 2 you perform 125x8. The weight only increased by 5 pounds, but you also added 3 reps.

If you want to progress linearly (add 5 pounds every workout), that is fine. It is an excellent way for a beginner to train. This is why programs like SS and SL work so well for beginners (contrary to what you think, these programs do work, and they have worked for countless strength athletes and bodybuilders. Arnold started on a 5x5 program).

The thing you have to understand is, if you want to squat 3 times a week and add 5 pounds everytime, bench twice a week and add 5 pounds everytime, etc. Then your assistance work has to be VERY LIMITED. If it is not, you will not recover. You will reach a ceiling of recovery incredibly quickly and then stop making progress.

That doesn’t mean you can’t progress by 5 pounds every workout without doing SS and SL. All these posters saying you HAVE to do those programs doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Here’s a very simple program you can do if you want to add 5 pounds everytime you lift, while still giving you room for assistance work:

Day 1:
Squat 5x5 (add 5 pounds each time you get all the reps)
Hamstring assistance 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps(stuff like glute ham raises, SL deadlifts, etc)
Abs 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 2:
Bench 5x5 (same as squat)
Chins or Rows 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
Lateral raises 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 3:
Deadlift 1x5 (add 5 pounds when you get all 5 reps, for deadlifts do 5x5, but the first 4 should be warming up to your top weight)
Quads 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps (leg press, lunges)
Abs 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 4:
Press 5x5 (add 5 pounds when you get all the reps)
Chins or Rows 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
Curls and Tricep pushdowns 3 sets of 10-15 reps each

[/quote]

BTW, listen to the advice of Chris Colucci and Chobbs.