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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Many lifters begin working out as teenagers, aimlessly walking into the gym and performing the latest "bro split" workout. These "workouts" usually feature a colossal number of sets of isolation/machine movements that target the biceps, chest, abs "grueling" 2 hour long workouts that are performed anywhere from 4-21 times per week.

Ok, I may have exaggerated a bit, but this is the general gist of how many teens approach weightlifting, myself included. They just want to have a "toned chest" and "ripped abs" and "a great biceps peak." This leads to half-hazard, or even non-existant programming, which actually does produce results through the novice effect. However, these gains are far from optimal, and training in this manner will result in a lack of basic strength, muscle imbalances, and burning out, in addition to basic frustration and general stupidity.

I aim to put an end to this nonsense, once and for all.

Through extensive research and my own personal experience, I have developed what I believe to be an excellent long-term lifting program. The program is as follows:


1. Sports
From an early age, basic physical ability is encouraged through sports such as soccer, football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, boxing, and martial arts. [Age 5+]

2. Bodyweight exercises
Once puberty is reached, physical activity is programmed through the usage of sprinting/running and basic bodyweight movements such as pushups, squats, lunges, planks, side planks, situps, crunches, pullups, and rows. [Age 12+]

3. Stronglifts 5x5 plus accessory lifts
Once puberty is finished, formal weightlifting begins. Stronglifts 5x5 is performed, starting with bar only on all lifts. Accessory lift such as dips, chins, and ab work are strongly encourage but not required. [Age 14+]

4. Stronglifts 5x5 without accessory lifts
After stalling on #3, Stronglifts 5x5 is performed without accessory lifts, in order to allow for sufficient recovery between sessions.

5. Starting Strength Practical Programing
After failing to make progress on SL5x5, Starting Strength Practical Programing is performed.

6. Madcow 5x5 or Lyle Mcdonald Generic Bulking or WSFSB or a Custom Fat Loss Routine
Once the trainee can no longer progress in a linear fashion, then, and only then, more advanced strategies may be used. The lifter or coach then decides what goal would be best for the lifter. Madcow 5x5 is performed for strength training, Lyle's routine for bodybuilding, WSFSB for sports related training, and a fat loss routine for fat loss, obviously.

7. Intermediate-Advanced Training
At this point, the lifter will be at the Intermediate-Advanced level. Programs such as Wendler's 5/3/1, Push/Pull/Legs, or another advanced split may be used, depending on the lifter's goal.

8. Repeat your choice of routines from 6-7 forever.




Feel free to critique/comment/question this.


Last edited by Jclem23 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:17 pm 
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No strength training until puberty is finished has sort of fallen by the wayside these days... Most now support supervised and careful weight training as early as 7 years old.

Mind you, I'm not taling about throwing an olympic bar with 45's on each side for squatting purposes at age 7, :lol: .

I've got my boy and girl at age 7/8 doing the big three lifts with 10 - 15 lb weights. I'm sure they could go higher but I want to ingrain form into their brains first. They've been doing pushup's, situps & other variations, sitting on the wall, various forms of burpees, and other stuff to some degree since they were 3 as a form of punishment. They started learning the pushup and other basic forms for fun since they were age 2, probably earlier.

Their physical fitness is among the best. I can tell the pushups and early introduction to weight training has helped my boy quite a bit in his chosen sport of wrestling and soccer. I can see it in my daughter in her chosen sport of soccer and gymnastics as well. They also have no problems with self esteem or being bullied at school.


Last edited by jlmoss on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Also, the starting strength routines really aren't that geared towards repeating after graduating to the heavier weights. Doing squats three times a week plus DL'S sometimes twice a week with heavy weights is a recipe for wearing a body down.

**Edit**
Well... now that I think of it. The beginner programs might be nice for someone to be re-introduced to weight lifting after a long layoff... but certainly not for long.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:23 pm 
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jlmoss wrote:
No strength training until puberty is finished has sort of fallen by the wayside these days... Most now support supervised and careful weight training as early as 7 years old.


What age would you recommend beginning steps 2 and 3 at then?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:26 pm 
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jlmoss wrote:
Also, the starting strength routines really aren't that geared towards repeating after graduating to the heavier weights. Doing squats three times a week plus DL'S sometimes twice a week with heavy weights is a recipe for wearing a body down.


Steps 3-5 were meant to be performed for a relatively short period of time, no more than 1 year. As load increases, volume decreases in order to encourage progression and avoid burning out. When a new program is started, a deload is performed based on the lifter or coach's judgement.

Also, the SS Practical Programming routine, calls for only 1 set of deadlifts per week. This should hopefull help to minimize CNS drainage since it was planned as the last phase of the novice stage, in which heavy weights are being used.


Last edited by Jclem23 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Step 2 as early as possible. Mind you, not a rigorous training program but more of a fun thing to get them used to using their muscles.

Step 3 is really not that simple though. As stated, children as young as 7 years should or can be introduced to weight training. I wouldn't start them off with a strict SL5X5 program right from the get go but would definately have them working with very light weights if they were amiable to the idea.

I plan on increasing the weights on the big three with my kids but certainly don't plan on doing it SS/SL style with 5 & 10 lb increases each exercise session.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Good ideas. It seems as though step 2 should be approached as a gradual "learning phase" in order to adapt the child to training. Beginning around age 7 featuring bodyweight exercises performed recreationally or for punishment,and gradually evolving into performing basic compound movements performed with light weights and good form up until age 14, when SL 5x5 can be performed.


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