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Advice for training 14 y/o son

MissSTK

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My son has been working hard on his bodybuilding/powerlifting for over a year. He’s made huge changes and gains, but my expertise is mostly in the AS & grown men side of lifting, so I’m pretty limited on how to help him with his goals. Especially since AS are not at all an option for him. He is 14, 5’9”, and 155-160. He is in the gym 3-6 times/week and has been a competitive swimmer for 2 years (but he’s considered stopping swim to focus more on powerlifting). He has a pretty clean diet, we are just struggling on getting the most out of his time in the gym. I’d love any advice anyone might have, or any direction that y’all can point me in please. We did hire him a personal trainer, but the trainer asks him “what do you want to work today?”, which is kind of the problem, we don’t know what to work and when. He recently hit his PR on bench of 165, which is cool. Thank y’all so much in advice for any direction or advice for this mom. (Picture is from his swim meet yesterday)
 

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MissSTK

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I should add that he has only been meeting with the trainer for 6 weeks. But he’s been going in on his own outside of that time and doing his own thing since he doesn’t feel he is getting much from the sessions.
 

scmtnboy

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I have three teenagers myself. One trains very serious, one occasionally and the other one works at my gym but doesn’t train at all LOL. When writing a program for one of my kids I asked them what things they like to do in the gym and if they had any specific performance goal (for example my 18 daughter wants to do strict pull ups for reps). I want training to be fun more than anything. I try and have them stick to the same 4-5 exercises and get better and stronger at them. I also ask that if they just don’t like doing something let’s throw it out and find something you do like. Consistency just showing up will be much more important than super specific programming. As far as diet goes at 14 and low body fat just make sure you are getting adequate protein and get the rest of your calories wherever you like. If you are not gaining weight you need to eat more.
 

MissSTK

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I have three teenagers myself. One trains very serious, one occasionally and the other one works at my gym but doesn’t train at all LOL. When writing a program for one of my kids I asked them what things they like to do in the gym and if they had any specific performance goal (for example my 18 daughter wants to do strict pull ups for reps). I want training to be fun more than anything. I try and have them stick to the same 4-5 exercises and get better and stronger at them. I also ask that if they just don’t like doing something let’s throw it out and find something you do like. Consistency just showing up will be much more important than super specific programming. As far as diet goes at 14 and low body fat just make sure you are getting adequate protein and get the rest of your calories wherever you like. If you are not gaining weight you need to eat more.
That’s very good advice! Thank you! This boy would live at the gym if possible lol. He wants to go almost everyday, then he will come home and do pull ups to failure and another 30 minutes of ab and upper body work before bed with his 15lb dumbbells. I keep thinking it’s because he doesn’t feel like he’s getting adequate use of his time at the gym, but I’m clueless. I agree that he needs more protein for sure! I’m going to share your advice with him! Thank you so much!
 

qbkilla

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I'd dump the trainer more than enough resources online to know form. Have him get strong, DC training or 5x5 . Thinking back at advice I'd tell myself at 14..

Intensity... train alone train hard...get strong...you get to chatting in the gym now your not there to train

Eat to grow not to move the scale up up and away, no one looks good carrying fat, don't set a goal weight not everyone needs to be 220,230+

Be consistent

Don't get injured, if you do heal. Don't me that tough guy who pushes through it and brags about his long list of injuries how he would be bigger if he never got hurt

It's a hobby, don't live in the gym it's not a career. Enjoy life, find a career, good money, don't chose a career in fitness choose a career that gives you stability
 

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Where did he learn powerlifting?
 

MissSTK

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Where did he learn powerlifting?
They have it at school, so he learned from his coach there. He attended the practices last year even though he wasn’t old enough to compete just to learn more and be better prepared for this year when he can compete. I’ve been working in the gym to make sure his form is correct though.
 

MissSTK

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I'd dump the trainer more than enough resources online to know form. Have him get strong, DC training or 5x5 . Thinking back at advice I'd tell myself at 14..

Intensity... train alone train hard...get strong...you get to chatting in the gym now your not there to train

Eat to grow not to move the scale up up and away, no one looks good carrying fat, don't set a goal weight not everyone needs to be 220,230+

Be consistent

Don't get injured, if you do heal. Don't me that tough guy who pushes through it and brags about his long list of injuries how he would be bigger if he never got hurt

It's a hobby, don't live in the gym it's not a career. Enjoy life, find a career, good money, don't chose a career in fitness choose a career that gives you stability
Wonderful advice and I totally agree with every word! Thank you! I’ll be sharing this with him!
 

cage99

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When my son hits his mid teens and wants to workout I’ll have mine in my home gym working on compound lifts.

i.e. - Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, and Military Presses.

At first I’ll have him using light weights but paying strict attention to form. Squeezing the muscle throughout the exercise. Very important to learn this when starting out!!! Then get to a working weight where he’ll have to work to get 12 reps with, but not failure. We’ll do 5-6 sets of the compound movements. Then some isolation movements for whatever muscle group we’re working out.

It’ll be 4-5 days a week. If he wants more it’ll be abdominals/calves or whatever we feel may need extra work. Gotta emphasize consistency and it takes time. Also get that protein in ya!

If he’s serious about powerlifting or bodybuilding then he’s got to drop the swimming. He’s creating an out of control furnace for burning calories by swimming competitively. Need them calories for muscle!!!!!

Cage
 

bornonthebayou

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look into performance training facilities, in your area. (they are not crossfit) They are more tailored towards athletics and sports vs bodybuilding.
Generally speaking, Just keep training as something fun and positive.
 

MissSTK

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When my son hits his mid teens and wants to workout I’ll have mine in my home gym working on compound lifts.

i.e. - Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, and Military Presses.

At first I’ll have him using light weights but paying strict attention to form. Squeezing the muscle throughout the exercise. Very important to learn this when starting out!!! Then get to a working weight where he’ll have to work to get 12 reps with, but not failure. We’ll do 5-6 sets of the compound movements. Then some isolation movements for whatever muscle group we’re working out.

It’ll be 4-5 days a week. If he wants more it’ll be abdominals/calves or whatever we feel may need extra work. Gotta emphasize consistency and it takes time. Also get that protein in ya!

If he’s serious about powerlifting or bodybuilding then he’s got to drop the swimming. He’s creating an out of control furnace for burning calories by swimming competitively. Need them calories for muscle!!!!!

Cage
Great ideas! Thank you! You have no idea how bad I kick myself for getting rid of all of our home gym equipment! And he’s figured out that the swimming and bbing are fighting each other. The amount of calories he has to consume to make the lifting payoff is insane because of swim!
 

MissSTK

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look into performance training facilities, in your area. (they are not crossfit) They are more tailored towards athletics and sports vs bodybuilding.
Generally speaking, Just keep training as something fun and positive.
I’ll have to see if we have any of those places around us! Thank you!
 

qbkilla

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Great ideas! Thank you! You have no idea how bad I kick myself for getting rid of all of our home gym equipment! And he’s figured out that the swimming and bbing are fighting each other. The amount of calories he has to consume to make the lifting payoff is insane because of swim!
Nothing wrong with being physically active and taking in a ton of calories and staying lean. If I had access to a pool and time I'd swim as cardio and eat more
 

Muay Thai

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lazy ass fool 86 him immediately, a mans got to have a master plan!!! the ill just work whatever sore mentality only works if you are on a grip of juice, eating a grip of calories and protein, and some other important variables, not for the inexperienced for sure, but tbh i haven't planned out my workouts in years, I just go in there and wing it lol, but i also hit multiple bodyparrts at least 2x per week sometimes 3!!!! this is ME not my clients. granted im not going to do chest/pulls Monday and wed, but thurs and sat i will hit it again if my body is ready. as a veteran one should have a very intimate connection with their body by then. the only time I've ever torn muscles or broke bones lol is brawling and when on sick ones.
 

TheOtherOne55

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So your son listened to the school's PLing coach, why doesnt he keep listening to him?

At this point in time, you son just needs to lift, eat and grow. I wouldnt go highly specialized right now. At this age, any large amount of food and training should be great for him. As for a plan, it seems like this coach SHOULD have one if the school has hired him. If not, run Starting Strength or something very basic. (NO to DC training). Something very basic where he's learning the core lifts and just building from there.

Also, does your son play sports? MOST kids learn the basics from a school's athletic program. I didnt know shit when i was 14, but was playing football and just from basic lifting and eating grew from there. MOST HS teams have some sort of basic training program for offseason and on season. Im fairly certain whatever HS your son goes to has one as they have a PL team as well...
 

MissSTK

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So your son listened to the school's PLing coach, why doesnt he keep listening to him?

At this point in time, you son just needs to lift, eat and grow. I wouldnt go highly specialized right now. At this age, any large amount of food and training should be great for him. As for a plan, it seems like this coach SHOULD have one if the school has hired him. If not, run Starting Strength or something very basic. (NO to DC training). Something very basic where he's learning the core lifts and just building from there.

Also, does your son play sports? MOST kids learn the basics from a school's athletic program. I didnt know shit when i was 14, but was playing football and just from basic lifting and eating grew from there. MOST HS teams have some sort of basic training program for offseason and on season. Im fairly certain whatever HS your son goes to has one as they have a PL team as well...
His PL coach only works through bench, squat, and deadlift with them to get their PR up. He’s a great guy, but my son goes to a small school and this guy is just a dad that volunteers with the kids a couple mornings a week. They don’t actually have any type of dedicated athletic program there. The only sport that he’s in is swim, (on the city team, not the school) it’s 4 days/week, 2 hour practices, and it’s year round. So there’s no off season. They spend 30 minutes of practice doing dry lands where they run bleachers, stretch, and run laps, just getting the blood moving. I like the approach of going back to the basics and just building off of the core lifts! Thank you!
 

Cerberus777

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So your son listened to the school's PLing coach, why doesnt he keep listening to him?

At this point in time, you son just needs to lift, eat and grow. I wouldnt go highly specialized right now. At this age, any large amount of food and training should be great for him. As for a plan, it seems like this coach SHOULD have one if the school has hired him. If not, run Starting Strength or something very basic. (NO to DC training). Something very basic where he's learning the core lifts and just building from there.

Also, does your son play sports? MOST kids learn the basics from a school's athletic program. I didnt know shit when i was 14, but was playing football and just from basic lifting and eating grew from there. MOST HS teams have some sort of basic training program for offseason and on season. Im fairly certain whatever HS your son goes to has one as they have a PL team as well...
I agree if your kids school has a local PL team that has a program that would be ideal. If not I'd start with the madcow 5x5 it's 3 days a week, heavy but not maxing out a lot. He could still swim 2 days a week and be great.
 

MissSTK

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His PL coach only works through bench, squat, and deadlift with them to get their PR up. He’s a great guy, but my son goes to a small school and this guy is just a dad that volunteers with the kids a couple mornings a week. They don’t actually have any type of dedicated athletic program there. The only sport that he’s in is swim, (on the city team, not the school) it’s 4 days/week, 2 hour practices, and it’s year round. So there’s no off season. They spend 30 minutes of practice doing dry lands where they run bleachers, stretch, and run laps, just getting the blood moving. I like the approach of going back to the basics and just building off of the core lifts! Thank you!
I also want to be clear, the coach is not JUST a dad that is volunteering with these kids, we are extremely grateful for him and we are fully aware that if it wasn’t for him there would likely be no powerlifting team. I hated the way it looked like I was minimizing his role in my original reply.
 

MissSTK

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I agree if your kids school has a local PL team that has a program that would be ideal. If not I'd start with the madcow 5x5 it's 3 days a week, heavy but not maxing out a lot. He could still swim 2 days a week and be great.
I think that sounds like a very good plan! Thank you!
 

Cerberus777

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I think that sounds like a very good plan! Thank you!

If he goes the 5x5 route. Still make sure form on lifts and proper ab work (suck in and contract abs before lifting) is nailed down first. Power lifting is done by weight class. Getting strong for the weight he is while still being an active kid is healthier than pushing to get into a higher weight class. He could still end up thick and heavy by late teens and keep his heart health.
 

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