teenage training

I have a 14 year old son who likes to play football and wants to start weight training. Should he start lifting now and what should he start with?

He should definetly start lifting! As to what he should be doing…it depends on his “training age”, some kids are a lot more physically mature than others. One of the main themes I found in most of the articles that I’ve read on the topic is to stick with basic multi-joint movements and focus on form form form.

Hope this helps.

Good question. First off though, I have one for you. Do you lift yourself? I say that b/c many times people who don’t lift have some serious misconceptions about training and what it involves for anyone, let alone a teen. Then again, so do a lot of people who do train, but that’s neither here nor there.

Regardless, I like the fact that you are interested in seeking information about your son’s interests before you let him go wild. My parents did the same thing for me many times. I didn’t always like it (when I found out) but it was definitely the right thing to do.

That being said, I feel I have a lot of things to say to you. I’m a young guy (21), and I have to say that I wished I had started lifting (properly) when I was that young. It would have given me a lot more confidence going through the HS years.

Absolutely let him start lifting. However, at all costs, do NOT let him lift under the “instruction” of a HS coach. Most of my experience has been that these guys don’t know what the heck they’re doing (my younger bro is under one of those guys in varsity baseball). Instead, research this stuff here at t-mag. It’s the best source I’ve found in all my searches.

Start with the basics. Squat, Deadlift, chinups, bench, LOTS of corework (abs, low back). Nothing fancy, the basics will work fine. Your son is going to be priming himself for growth as he goes through his teen years. There are a ton of programs online here. “Beginner’s blastoff” here on t-mag comes to mind.

Build a solid foundation, and the rest follows easily. Most importantly, educate yourself furiously (with the proper critical thinking) to be able to help your son do things properly. And of course, make him eat his MEAT, and VEGGIES. Clean, real food. My mom did that for me, and I hated it, until I found out how lazy people were here in college. Now I’m grateful. Obviously, he won’t be needing any supplements for a long time.

Sorry for the long note. Two last things: first, I wish I would have trained my core (both low back and abs) much more seriously when I was young. It’ll keep him pain free in later years.
Secondly, don’t be too upset if he doesn’t want to workout on schedule. My bro used to make excuses all the time when I’d want to train him. Eventually, he came up with the discipline on his own. I guess what I’m saying is that while you should make sure he does things correctly and seriously, he needs to find his passion for it on his own.

Again, sorry for the huge email.

Just to emphasize, that boy’s diet will be paramount to a good strength base. Maybe more important than weightlifting right now (and through all his teen years). As long has he’s got his nutrition dialed in, he will have a strong base for the rest of his life. In the age of fast food, be retro. Go with the good stuff, and he’ll be set for life, even if he doesn’t lift passionately.

yes yes yes.

It will do anyone some good and will help greatly not only with the sport nut life in general.

Start with the basics. Concentrate on good form and stress the compound movements,(Bench,deads, chins, squats) try and avoid the vanity work like curls and such. The payoff will be fantstic.

Really base a routine aroud these. Go extremely light. even just the bar and nail solid form and discipline. Moving up in weight only if form is consistant and throughout all reps and sets.

Explain to him about how chins and bench and such will actually build the arms better than the curls and such. Get a strong physical and mental base as far as the iron game goes and you will be set. Bullet proof his muscles with good form, and high rep work.

I am running on. I will try and get a link to some good articles. Check out the frequently asked questions section.

Hope this helps,
Phill

Oh and have him read all he can about training, diet, etc. Make it fun. Dont force it on him. Like the diet and stuff simply show him the articles and let him make the decision (think he did anyway) to be a better athlete, and person in general.

Wow I gotta stop

AAHH I forgot about these. Here you go. From the frequently asked questions section I mentioned.

[quote]Q: I’m a total beginner and much of the stuff on this site is over my head. Where can I go to get the basic information?

A: Just go to our search engine and type in “Dawg School”. This ongoing series of articles is geared towards newbies. Also checkout the new series called “Refresher Course”. You can find the first one here.[/quote]

Hope that helps,
Phill

14 is a good age to begin lifting. I would only reccommend that he keep the reps in the 10+ range. He still has some growing to do lower reps may not be to good for his joints.

rep range low, technical breakdown being the thing to avoid. No reason whatsoever to go to failure. basic multijoint movements. balanced in each plane. Direct arm work completely unnecessary.

Man, I wish I started lifting when I was fourteen when my body was growing by itself without the need for stimulus.

I gotta say though, Aragorn, at that age, diet is not the deciding factor. Weight training properly, good form, etc. takes priority over diet. At fourteen you can eat whatever the hell you want. As long as he is eating A LOT, he will grow no matter what. It sure doesn’t hurt though to eat right.

I gotta say above all keep it fun. Dont make it a chore. Make it something he wants to do.

Dont get to technical to fast with diet and stuff, like was said just make sure he eat a lot. Keep good protein in the house.

I would say let him come on here read, learn, and ask ?'s. Many times @ that age just by being told something by someone other than your parent can help. This can be a very motivational site, with a plethora of usefull info. to obtain.

Phill