Training 4 Months, Need Advice.

hey everyone-
I’m new to T-Nation, I’ve been on the site for about a month looking for info and advice, it’s been a big help.

I joined a local gym in late April and I’ve seen decent results. I’m 15 [16 in a month], 5’5" and 130 lbs. I’m lean and looking to gain some muscle. I’m a late developer, and I think this may be the reason for my slow muscle gain.

I do 30 minutes of cardio every other day and then I lift. I mainly need advice on weight amounts when it comes to lifting. My doctor says low weight high reps since I still have a lot of growing to do. I do basic exercises like bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, crunches, pushups, and use machines like chest presses, lat pulldown, seated row, etc. I haven’t started bench pressing. My stregnth is increasing substancially, but I’ve hit a plateau.

Is my routine alright and will I see results with solely increasing weight? I go to the gym 4 times a week and I eat very healthy, no soda, no fast food.

Anyone with advice on recommended weight for the machines I use and any new exercises anyone could suggest would be fantastic. I’m just looking to see more progress, and mainly build a better chest/shoulder area and a pronounced 6pack. HELP! (thanks in advance)

This is my advice, get off the machines. Use dumbbells. This is why: when you use dumbbells you will include more muscles (stabilizer muscles) to control exactly where the weight is moving. I believe that you will end up seeing better results in the long run.

If you’re all ready lean and you have a clean diet skip the cardio, you’re only going to hinder your gains, make sure you’re eating enough.

If you’re worried about hurting your growth you could to body weight exercises. Pushups with a hand clap, chin ups, etc, other then that be safe with your weight. Focus on your form; be sure you can do 8 to 10 good clean reps before moving up.

Check out, it’s a sight geared to body weight work.

Hope that helps,

There’s no reason not to do heavy weights at your age. The force on your body can be anywhere from 3 to 10 times as much as your bodyweight during sports actions such as jumping or sprinting. Unless you are squatting that much I don’t think you have to worry about shattering your growth plate or any other ridiculous nonsense that uneducated people spout.

Check this link out as it provides references to a ton of studies on weight training for kids:

Also, at 5’5", 130# you are pretty damn tiny. You should be focusing on building muscle and gaining size all over your body right now. It sounds like you are naturally a pretty skinny guy (as I am myself), which is a good thing because it’s easy to cut if you start putting on more body fat than is desirable. My advice would be to just consume as much food as possible, 3 to 5 times a day while getting a good mix of compound movements (bench, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, military press, etc) and isolation movements (curls, pullovers, flyes, leg press, etc.).

and deadlift
Are you doing anything involving your legs?
Compound exercises are great.
Do some chinups too.
And avoid the isolation exercises.

here is a good example:

Read and follow Berardi’s book “Scrawny to Brawny”

thanks so much for all the responses…they helped a lot.

and yes, i’m starting to do some leg exercises, leg presses, and some calf work.

anyone else with suggestions would be great!

and also do you think it would be easier for me to build muscle in a few years since my body will be more adult by then?

Lift before your cardio so you’re fresh.

Buy Starting Strength book

Do what it says.

Best book for beginners, teaches them how to do the lifts, save yourself years of frustration and pain and injury.

also cuts the crap

doesn’t confuse them with 400 theories that only are useful if you’ve already achieved a lot of mass and REALLY have trouble gaining more (not to be confused with “can no longer add 30lbs to the bar every workout”)

or alternatively, fill your head with confusion and stuff around changing routines for the next year making minimal progress and live on T-Nation looking for the cutting edge workout, eat tiny meals and complain you are a hardgainer

130lbs is really really really light, but you are young and may be having another growth spurt later, so really I would focus on great food, lots of it, and learning the lifts really well, keeping fit and when you feel a growth spurt coming on be ready for it you lucky bastard wish i was 16