T Nation

Young beginner

I’m a soon to be 15 year old teen. I’m 5’ 7" and 130 to 135 pounds and been lifting for 6 months. I’ve been hearing alot of people tell me just to eat anything and everything, but is there a limit to how much i should eat. It isn’t totally clean but i havnt had soda or fast food in 3 months.

I wouldn’t go with “anything and everything”, but 1.5 to 2g of protien per lb of body weight is a good mark to aim for. Keep the complex carbs high as well. As for limits, I think (if you’re drug free) the bod can only absorb about 50g of protien at a time. Just eat often(every 2-3 hours) and make sure you’re getting at least 30g of quality protein per feeding. Good Luck!

I’ll just say this:

There’s no way you could eat enough lean meat or greens.

The only advice I can give you is listen to your body. At 130 Id say you can afford to put on a few pounds. Eat big, hit the weights and you should put on the pounds. If your putting on too much fat back off on the calories, conversely if you cant seem to put on the weight your probably not eating enough. You can find a decent set of skinfold calipers on the net for not too much, this will help you know if you putting on fat or muscle. At your age the best supplement you can buy is good, wholesome food. Add that too hard work and dedication and you’ll see the gains.

If you are anything like i was when i was 15, your body is going to suck up everything you can put in it - especially if you lift hard. I personally believe that a person at your age should just stay away from ‘bad’ food. You will mostly know if something is bad. The way i would judge it was if i had to ask myself if i should or should not eat a certain thing, i would not eat it. (unfortunatly this only holds true when you are at that age,) The important thing to do is getting in the habit of eating as often as possible. 7-8 small meals a day or more… Now is the time to take abvantage of the hormones that are flowing through your body and start to pack on some size. Oh ya. and don;t be affraid to get a little fat on you.

It’s great to hear that your starting on the path of a healthy life style of fitness. Don’t waver on this–it will pay off big time as you grow older. When I was 15 I was exactly at your height and weight. I am going to give you a few basic diet and training principles that helped me immensely. First with regard to diet: don’t eat everything and anything. Choose your food with care and good judgment–you are what you eat; its as simple as that. I suggest that you stay with eating 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight at this stage; that is sufficient. When you start to gain more mass and, therefore, enjoy a greater anabolic effect, you may need to bump it up then. Eat from 5-8 meals a day 2-3 hours apart. It is true that you will only be able to assimulate about 50g of protein per meal. Get a good whey protein and take this with some simple carbs after a workout since whey protein digests very easily/quickly–which gets the process of protein synthesis going quickly. The hour after your workout is your “anabolic window;” this meal is the most important meal of your day for making lean mass gains–plan it with care. The ratios of your macronutrients (macros = protein, carbs and fats) to each other in a meal is also very important as well as the time of day that you ingest these. Do a search on the T site under “Massive Eating” (esp. Calorie Needs: Part I) and “Appetite for Construction” by John Berardi. Using these articles, determine your daily caloric needs–establish what your baseline maintenance threshold is then eat over it as per recommended in these articles. The foods you eat, when you eat them, and their relative ratios per meal have a HUGE affect on your potential for muscle gain. Nearly everything you need to know about diet can be found in these articles. Remember, food is the single most important legal “drug” available to you (and don’t forget water–drink a shit-load of good spring or filtered water). Food is the single most important drug free control you have on key hormones (like insulin and testosterone) at this stage in your life. Also, if you can afford it purchase some Creatine. It is probably the only supplement out there worth the price at this stage in your training. Try to get as much of your daily carb intake from vegetables and complex carbs. As opposed to simple carbs found in sodas and fruit juices (although tempered use of these simples post-workout can be a good thing). Egg whites, chicken and turkey are all good sources of protein. Tuna is too but recent research has shown higher than healthy levels of lead in Tuna and some other ocean fish–but at your age and health I wouldn’t worry about this. Stay away from saturated fats and eat the kinds and amounts recommended in the above noted articles. You can make incredible gains by following a good meal plan based on sound research. Your testosterone levels will be peaking over the next few years; you are at a pivotal place with respect to harnessing nature’s natural gift to you as a man towards obtaining a great physique. Now onto training; I’m going to give you 3 rules that I wish someone would have told me when I started weight training at 16 years of age. Rule #1 (I’m assuming you already understand the importance of tracking your training on paper or memory and are cognizant of the all the safety issues) for young weight trainers: strict form, strict form, strict form! Perform your exercises with perfect form and rate. Don’t cheat or take short cuts. I promise you that if you do 'em right you will make great gains. Don’t let your ego get the best of you. Think about it: would you rather have a big ego or a big muscular physique? I see allot of guys swinging allot of weight in the gym cuz they wanna be noticed. But swinging weight, as opposed to lifting it slowly and with proper form, only cheats you out of the benefit of growth. Why invest time, money, and thought into dieting if your just going to reverse your progress by manipulating the laws of physics in order to impress that guy or girl workingout next to you? Do some research on how to perform each exercise correctly and don’t be desuaded to do otherwise. Rule 2: Perform your exercises with full range of motion (ROM). As one example–I see allot of young guys, who wanna bench monster weight, bring the bar down to about 3" or so shy of their chest. Don’t fall prey to this temptation. Execute all exercises with strict form and full ROM. Rule #3: Achieve sufficient intensity. Don’t rest too long between sets–don’t get caught up on talking and goofing off with others to the point of robbing you of intensity. Don’t plateau with respect to resistance always strive to move the lbs up. In addition to these, do some research on the Weider training principles–most of these are sure guideposts for successful and safe gains. Good luck.

The one thing I wish I knew at your age is to simply eat lots, and lots of protein! Also, some fundementals are proper post w.o. nutrition (surge), clean eatin(limit simple sugars), and protein as soon as you wake and right before sleep. That reminds me, get sleep! Start good habits now. No body can grow or recover w/out sleep!