Weight lifting thread/advice

Tenacious E

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We are trying to bulk up my soon to be 16-year old son. Trying to get him from a safety body to a linebacker body. When I was in high school, I was able to put on about 30 pounds of mostly muscle in about 8 or 9 months. Lifted 6 days a week, lots of protein, etc. He's motivated and is/has been willing to do the same. It's been almost 30 years but my recollection was doing chest/shoulder monday, biceps/triceps tuesday, legs wednesday, back/neck thursday, chest friday, beach muscles saturday, rest sunday, then start all over again Monday. Let's say it might look like the below, doing 4 sets of 4-6 reps each:
  1. Monday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  2. Tuesday: wide grip curl, hammer curls, close grip bench, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
  3. Wednesday: squats, deadlift, hammy curls, quad extension, calf raises
  4. Thursday: lat pull front, lat pull back, dumbbell rows, shrugs, dumbbell lateral flies
  5. Friday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  6. Saturday: shrugs, calf raises, wide grip curl, hammer curls, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
My son is still in season football so we are scaling this back to really 4 or 5 days right now when I pick him up from practice. We are limited to about an hour in the gym due to homework, eating, etc. We will have more time once football ends. I am his lifting partner which is fun and good for me and I am starting to feeling stronger/better after a week and he is too. Just curious for knowledgeable peeps such as @pink shizzle or @Monzon if that schedule and array of lifts looks good or if you would suggest something different. Like I noted this worked great for me. but who knows it could have been better... I should note we are also doing whey protein shakes and creatine. thanks in advance for any thoughts!
 

FAUlty Gator

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Oct 27, 2017
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We are trying to bulk up my soon to be 16-year old son. Trying to get him from a safety body to a linebacker body. When I was in high school, I was able to put on about 30 pounds of mostly muscle in about 8 or 9 months. Lifted 6 days a week, lots of protein, etc. He's motivated and is/has been willing to do the same. It's been almost 30 years but my recollection was doing chest/shoulder monday, biceps/triceps tuesday, legs wednesday, back/neck thursday, chest friday, beach muscles saturday, rest sunday, then start all over again Monday. Let's say it might look like the below, doing 4 sets of 4-6 reps each:
  1. Monday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  2. Tuesday: wide grip curl, hammer curls, close grip bench, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
  3. Wednesday: squats, deadlift, hammy curls, quad extension, calf raises
  4. Thursday: lat pull front, lat pull back, dumbbell rows, shrugs, dumbbell lateral flies
  5. Friday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  6. Saturday: shrugs, calf raises, wide grip curl, hammer curls, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
My son is still in season football so we are scaling this back to really 4 or 5 days right now when I pick him up from practice. We are limited to about an hour in the gym due to homework, eating, etc. We will have more time once football ends. I am his lifting partner which is fun and good for me and I am starting to feeling stronger/better after a week and he is too. Just curious for knowledgeable peeps such as @pink shizzle or @Monzon if that schedule and array of lifts looks good or if you would suggest something different. Like I noted this worked great for me. but who knows it could have been better... I should note we are also doing whey protein shakes and creatine. thanks in advance for any thoughts!
Learn to squat clean and snatch. Seriously. Core strength and hip flexibility is key. Our youth is very Quad dominant. You need get the strength and stability to the hammy side. For core balance you can fit some one armed kettle bell stuff in there.
Much of where the truth lies is opposite of what we learned growing up. A lot of today's thinking is explosive running helps with strength. Weight training helps with speed.

Small sets of 4-6. Every lift explosive to train the quick twitch stuff.
 

Tenacious E

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Learn to squat clean and snatch. Seriously. Core strength and hip flexibility is key. Our youth is very Quad dominant. You need get the strength and stability to the hammy side. For core balance you can fit some one armed kettle bell stuff in there.
Much of where the truth lies is opposite of what we learned growing up. A lot of today's thinking is explosive running helps with strength. Weight training helps with speed.

Small sets of 4-6. Every lift explosive to train the quick twitch stuff.
IMO You need to incorporate explosive movements and exercises that work hip flexors.
Thanks. Maybe our saturday would be better served doing explosive movements. We are already squatting and hammy curls for the backside. For explosive movements we are doing deadlifts. I will look into cleans. Any advice on other explosive exercises and hip flexor exercises?
 

pink shizzle

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@Monzon is king here.

As some posters have said explosive power movements will be really important for an athlete.

This is a chart from the "Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning" book, which is used by those studying for their CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist). It's a nice chart to refer to when looking at what your training goal is, whether it's power, strength, hypertrophy (muscle size), or endurance.
 

Monzon

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Let's take a step back. What are the measurables on your son now? Height, weight, vertical jump? What is the numbers as far as sets & reps squatting, deadlifting, benching, overhead pressing and cleaning, done within the last two weeks?

If this isn't logged yet, start today. I can give you tons of advice, but I need to know these things first.

Others have posted some solid advice GIVEN a set of parameters that may / may not be accurate for your son at this point. We don't know if he's still 150 lbs from capping a linear progression program, although OP might.
 

Tenacious E

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They are trying to get him bigger....so he should do that. Sprint training is great though too
He also is in football and for school they do some weight training/running for gym class. So is getting the sprint stuff in. I know it sounds like a lot of activity - maybe too much - but his role/activity level on this football team is limited due to numbers combining grades 10-12 and he doesn't think the gym class lifting is very effective because they can't have spotters due to Covid so lifting through exhaustion isn't really an option. So he's ready to rock and roll at the gym when I pick him up from practice.
 
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Tenacious E

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Let's take a step back. What are the measurables on your son now? Height, weight, vertical jump? What is the numbers as far as sets & reps squatting, deadlifting, benching, overhead pressing and cleaning, done within the last two weeks?

If this isn't logged yet, start today. I can give you tons of advice, but I need to know these things first.

Others have posted some solid advice GIVEN a set of parameters that may / may not be accurate for your son at this point. We don't know if he's still 150 lbs from capping a linear progression program, although OP might.
He's between 145 and 150 and about 5'9. I don't have a lot of confidence he's going to get much taller. His max bench is 180. We have not yet maxed on deadlift or squats. For bench doing 4 sets of 4-6 he has been using about 145 to 155 pounds. For incline dumbbells he's using 45s. He is still feeling his way so I don't have more specific information on the other stuff...
 
May 27, 2003
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He should definitely be strong through the hips. That being said, you could choose a few programs that would work nicely.
PHUL, and PHAT are pretty good programs. PPL is your standard push, pull, legs, but there are many variations of it out there.

Start slowly and I wouldn’t recommend over ~60% max 1 rm for a few weeks. After his body is acclimated, full throttle.

Explosive work can be easily integrated with HIIT training.
 

Monzon

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He's between 145 and 150 and about 5'9. I don't have a lot of confidence he's going to get much taller. His max bench is 180. We have not yet maxed on deadlift or squats. For bench doing 4 sets of 4-6 he has been using about 145 to 155 pounds. For incline dumbbells he's using 45s. He is still feeling his way so I don't have more specific information on the other stuff...
Understood. I assume he has a game tomorrow night? If so, his workout tonight should be light, log his overhead press tonight (set of 5, standing barbell not dumbbell) & power cleans (set of 3). As I see no cleans in his programming yet, have him watch this video if he doesn't know how. If he plays a fair amount tomorrow, log his squat & deadlift (set of 5) on Sunday; if he plays only a little / is fully recovered do this Saturday. I say this because it appears he did squats & DL yesterday. Recovery time IS important. Report back.

My interpretation of his goals (or potentially more precisely, yours for him) is to gain some "good" weight and be a more effective football player, short-term. If this is generally accurate, that is fine and we can tune his current program (and perhaps yours). A few others have indicated your program is more bodybuilder-ish and there is some truth to that (types of lifts = true, # of reps = false). We'll want to have some longer-term goals (2 x bodyweight squat or 1.5 BW clean as an example) at some point, but that's likely a few months away. It's tough to really hit a strength / weight program in season.
 
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SoProudNole

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Jan 19, 2004
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We are trying to bulk up my soon to be 16-year old son. Trying to get him from a safety body to a linebacker body. When I was in high school, I was able to put on about 30 pounds of mostly muscle in about 8 or 9 months. Lifted 6 days a week, lots of protein, etc. He's motivated and is/has been willing to do the same. It's been almost 30 years but my recollection was doing chest/shoulder monday, biceps/triceps tuesday, legs wednesday, back/neck thursday, chest friday, beach muscles saturday, rest sunday, then start all over again Monday. Let's say it might look like the below, doing 4 sets of 4-6 reps each:
  1. Monday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  2. Tuesday: wide grip curl, hammer curls, close grip bench, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
  3. Wednesday: squats, deadlift, hammy curls, quad extension, calf raises
  4. Thursday: lat pull front, lat pull back, dumbbell rows, shrugs, dumbbell lateral flies
  5. Friday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  6. Saturday: shrugs, calf raises, wide grip curl, hammer curls, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
My son is still in season football so we are scaling this back to really 4 or 5 days right now when I pick him up from practice. We are limited to about an hour in the gym due to homework, eating, etc. We will have more time once football ends. I am his lifting partner which is fun and good for me and I am starting to feeling stronger/better after a week and he is too. Just curious for knowledgeable peeps such as @pink shizzle or @Monzon if that schedule and array of lifts looks good or if you would suggest something different. Like I noted this worked great for me. but who knows it could have been better... I should note we are also doing whey protein shakes and creatine. thanks in advance for any thoughts!

 

Tenacious E

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Understood. I assume he has a game tomorrow night? If so, his workout tonight should be light, log his overhead press tonight (set of 5, standing barbell not dumbbell) & power cleans (set of 3). As I see no cleans in his programming yet, have him watch this video if he doesn't know how. If he plays a fair amount tomorrow, log his squat & deadlift (set of 5) on Sunday; if he plays only a little / is fully recovered do this Saturday. I say this because it appears he did squats & DL yesterday. Recovery time IS important. Report back.

My interpretation of his goals (or potentially more precisely, yours for him) is to gain some "good" weight and be a more effective football player, short-term. If this is generally accurate, that is fine and we can tune his current program (and perhaps yours). A few others have indicated your program is more bodybuilder-ish and there is some truth to that (types of lifts = true, # of reps = false). We'll want to have some longer-term goals (2 x bodyweight squat or 1.5 BW clean as an example) at some point, but that's likely a few months away. It's tough to really hit a strength / weight program in season.
Sweet! He does not play at all varsity on Fridays, just dresses. Sadly he plays very little in JV games on Mondays, hence his motivation to improve physically to create more opportunities to get on the field. The schedule I laid out was more for after the season. Currently we are not lifting on those game days, or Sundays, when he has a walkthrough for the Monday game and the team lifts together after the walkthrough. This will continue for a few weeks. Based on those constraints, currently we save legs for Thursdays so it will not impact his ability to run during practices or the JV games on Mondays. We do biceps/triceps on Tuesdays, chest on Wednesdays as Thursday practices are light and a walkthrough for the varsity game, and then back/shoulders on Saturday. And, he and I share the same goals of gaining good weight for football and to develop strength for both that and baseball. So the goals are to get heavier/stronger without losing speed (and hopefully increasing explosiveness) for football, and to increase power/explosiveness for hitting in baseball without hindering his ability to throw a baseball hard, which is probably his best natural gift.
 

artradley

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My son, just turned 24, has been lifting for years and recently started competing. He was similar in size to your son when he was in HS, and while he lifted five days a week and consumed massive quantities of protein and calories he simply never really increased much in size. His body just wasn’t mature enough.

So you might need to temper your expectations. Not every youth’s body will respond.

That said, he’s learned a lot through the years and Ive learned with him. If your primary goal is size I would concentrate on the four primary lifts - deadlift, squat, bench, military press/push press. High volume (3x12) to failure. When he can successfully achieve 3x12 at a weight, bump it up next time.

Keep it simple. Major moves, high volume, work to failure, and constantly increase the weight.

And lots of calories.
 
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LuciousBDragon

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We are trying to bulk up my soon to be 16-year old son. Trying to get him from a safety body to a linebacker body. When I was in high school, I was able to put on about 30 pounds of mostly muscle in about 8 or 9 months. Lifted 6 days a week, lots of protein, etc. He's motivated and is/has been willing to do the same. It's been almost 30 years but my recollection was doing chest/shoulder monday, biceps/triceps tuesday, legs wednesday, back/neck thursday, chest friday, beach muscles saturday, rest sunday, then start all over again Monday. Let's say it might look like the below, doing 4 sets of 4-6 reps each:
  1. Monday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  2. Tuesday: wide grip curl, hammer curls, close grip bench, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
  3. Wednesday: squats, deadlift, hammy curls, quad extension, calf raises
  4. Thursday: lat pull front, lat pull back, dumbbell rows, shrugs, dumbbell lateral flies
  5. Friday: bench, incline dumbbells, cables flies, decline dumbells
  6. Saturday: shrugs, calf raises, wide grip curl, hammer curls, overhead dumbbell press, and tricep/bicep isolations superset
My son is still in season football so we are scaling this back to really 4 or 5 days right now when I pick him up from practice. We are limited to about an hour in the gym due to homework, eating, etc. We will have more time once football ends. I am his lifting partner which is fun and good for me and I am starting to feeling stronger/better after a week and he is too. Just curious for knowledgeable peeps such as @pink shizzle or @Monzon if that schedule and array of lifts looks good or if you would suggest something different. Like I noted this worked great for me. but who knows it could have been better... I should note we are also doing whey protein shakes and creatine. thanks in advance for any thoughts!
One cock push-up a day should help. He’ll never know when he might need to f*** his way out of a situation:
 

hawkifann

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Oct 5, 2001
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Let's take a step back. What are the measurables on your son now? Height, weight, vertical jump? What is the numbers as far as sets & reps squatting, deadlifting, benching, overhead pressing and cleaning, done within the last two weeks?

If this isn't logged yet, start today. I can give you tons of advice, but I need to know these things first.

Others have posted some solid advice GIVEN a set of parameters that may / may not be accurate for your son at this point. We don't know if he's still 150 lbs from capping a linear progression program, although OP might.
When my son got cut from the HS baseball team as a freshman at 15, he got the message bigger/stronger/faster (he was something like 5'7, 125). He went to work with a former baseball coach who is also a personal trainer and gym owner and he did a ton of core work, squats, cleans, deadlifts, explosive routines, probably some of everything mentioned here.

He got some quick gains, then plateaued around 140. He finally got the message to eat, eat, eat and eat some more. By sophomore tryout date this past February, he was 5'9, 175 and looked like a whole different kid. Once he realized how much fuel he needed to grow the right way, the weight came on well. The end result is now he looks the part, added about 8 MPH to his fastball and made JV as a soph. At this point, he's not actively working on adding more weight, but he is lifting to maintain (he's been pitching this summer and fall), he'll probably get back to lifting harder when the fall season is over.

It's a great age for kids to establish what could become really healthy habits that also help them look and feel great.
 

Tenacious E

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When my son got cut from the HS baseball team as a freshman at 15, he got the message bigger/stronger/faster (he was something like 5'7, 125). He went to work with a former baseball coach who is also a personal trainer and gym owner and he did a ton of core work, squats, cleans, deadlifts, explosive routines, probably some of everything mentioned here.

He got some quick gains, then plateaued around 140. He finally got the message to eat, eat, eat and eat some more. By sophomore tryout date this past February, he was 5'9, 175 and looked like a whole different kid. Once he realized how much fuel he needed to grow the right way, the weight came on well. The end result is now he looks the part, added about 8 MPH to his fastball and made JV as a soph. At this point, he's not actively working on adding more weight, but he is lifting to maintain (he's been pitching this summer and fall), he'll probably get back to lifting harder when the fall season is over.

It's a great age for kids to establish what could become really healthy habits that also help them look and feel great.
Sounds like our kids are pretty similar...
 

Tenacious E

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Sounds like it. 175 is a pretty good weight for him right now. Hopefully your son gets to where he wants to be.
175 would be good for baseball. For football I am thinking 190+ if he can get there while maintaining/increasing speed.
 

farmandfleet

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My son, just turned 24, has been lifting for years and recently started competing. He was similar in size to your son when he was in HS, and while he lifted five days a week and consumed massive quantities of protein and calories he simply never really increased much in size. His body just wasn’t mature enough.

So you might need to temper your expectations. Not every youth’s body will respond.

That said, he’s learned a lot through the years and Ive learned with him. If your primary goal is size I would concentrate on the four primary lifts - deadlift, squat, bench, military press/push press. High volume (3x12) to failure. When he can successfully achieve 3x12 at a weight, bump it up next time.

Keep it simple. Major moves, high volume, work to failure, and constantly increase the weight.

And lots of calories.
This is good advice. Keep it simple. Isolation exercises with cables are not going to help him with his goals right now.

We do a push , pull, leg day with squats.

Push is bench, incline, dips-bands-tricep exercises. 6 sets increasing weights pyramid fashion.

Pull day chins/pulldowns/heavy rows/traps

squat day warm up with jump rope

one trick you can do is trap bar deadlifts-great for speed/power/jumping and overall body strength-also safer than regular deads or even squats-the problem is working these in when you squat heavy. Trap bar deads are more quads/squats are more posterior.

id avoid overtraining a kid trying to bulk, school workouts are going to interfere.

Nutrition is huge for a 10th grader. drink a ton of grass fed milk and supplement with whey protein shakes.
 
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Monzon

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Sweet! He does not play at all varsity on Fridays, just dresses. Sadly he plays very little in JV games on Mondays, hence his motivation to improve physically to create more opportunities to get on the field. The schedule I laid out was more for after the season. Currently we are not lifting on those game days, or Sundays, when he has a walkthrough for the Monday game and the team lifts together after the walkthrough. This will continue for a few weeks. Based on those constraints, currently we save legs for Thursdays so it will not impact his ability to run during practices or the JV games on Mondays. We do biceps/triceps on Tuesdays, chest on Wednesdays as Thursday practices are light and a walkthrough for the varsity game, and then back/shoulders on Saturday. And, he and I share the same goals of gaining good weight for football and to develop strength for both that and baseball. So tyhe goals are to get heavier/stronger without losing speed (and hopefully increasing explosiveness) for football, and to increase power/explosiveness for hitting in baseball without hindering his ability to throw a baseball hard, which is probably his best natural gift.
If he isn't playing on Friday, press & clean #'s today plus squat & deadlift #'s Saturday will suffice. If he can get a standing vertical jump # that will help. If you have access to a pullup bar, one max set of those with hands supinated (palms inwards) will also be nice to have.

You have him on a more advanced weekly program right now. He can very likely get more out of a linear progression at this point, and the #'s you supply will likely confirm that.
 
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hawkifann

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175 would be good for baseball. For football I am thinking 190+ if he can get there while maintaining/increasing speed.
Agreed. Mine would like to be more 195, but we'll see if he caps out around 5'10 or pushes another inch or two higher.
 

Tenacious E

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If he isn't playing on Friday, press & clean #'s today plus squat & deadlift #'s Saturday will suffice. If he can get a standing vertical jump # that will help. If you have access to a pullup bar, one max set of those with hands supinated (palms inwards) will also be nice to have.

You have him on a more advanced weekly program right now. He can very likely get more out of a linear progression at this point, and the #'s you supply will likely confirm that.
Standing vertical was around 30. Makes sense because I was in that low 30s range in high school although it was never quite enough to dunk a regulation basketball, which is one of my biggest first-world regrets. I could get up and hang with both hands on the rim and dunk a miniball with one hand but could never do the real thing...
 
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FAUlty Gator

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Don’t get caught up in “Beefing him up”. Make him faster. Strength will come with it. He will play whatever position his speed and aggressiveness dictates. Don’t try to mold him into a position. It rarely works.
 

JupiterHawk

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Diet diet and diet. Sled is excellent. Use a heart rate monitor to determine rest periods. I can explain more if you would like on the HR monitor. Balance and flexibility are both huge as well.
 
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Tenacious E

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Don’t get caught up in “Beefing him up”. Make him faster. Strength will come with it. He will play whatever position his speed and aggressiveness dictates. Don’t try to mold him into a position. It rarely works.
He's plenty aggressive. Speed is decent but not top end. Can hit. I think of him as a linebacker playing safety so just trying to get his body ready for that.
 

Fluffles

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Just some of my thoughts.
1. Consider switching to an upper/lower body split. Isolating body parts doesn’t always work well for athletes and can cause early onset overuse injuries. For example, the biceps are already worked on back days, and the triceps and shoulders are used on chest days, etc. Multi-joint compound lifts are more functional and sport specific.

2. Olympic lifts (Snatch, Clean and Jerk) are great for power but not necessarily for quick muscle growth since most strength gains are from neural adaption rather than hypertrophy. Plus, your son needs the requisite knowledge of proper form to not get jacked up. There are other explosive lifts that don’t require as much skill, however. If you have the funds consider hiring a USAW Level 1 or 2 coach for a few sessions to teach him.

3. Nothing wrong with hypertropy bodybuilding style training if the current goal is hypertrophy. Strength comes from a combination of increased cross sectional area of the muscle (muscle size), rate coding (fire rate of a muscle fiber) and motor unit recruitment (amount of muscle fibers recruited). A bigger muscle absent other parameters can generate more force than a smaller one. More specific training, later, can make it more functional.

4. Initially, increase volume (sets x reps) rather than intensity (percentage of 1 rep max). When closer to competition flip it, (intensity goes up and volume goes down). Doing both is a recipe for CNS over training.

5. Be sure to also focus on the posterior chain, more specifically the hamstrings, for injury prevention. Lot of torn ACL’s occur when the quads are extremely strong and the hamstrings are weak.

*Lastly, remember that the body only adapts to the demands placed on it. Functional exercises are the best for athletes.
 
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Tenacious E

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Understood. I assume he has a game tomorrow night? If so, his workout tonight should be light, log his overhead press tonight (set of 5, standing barbell not dumbbell) & power cleans (set of 3). As I see no cleans in his programming yet, have him watch this video if he doesn't know how. If he plays a fair amount tomorrow, log his squat & deadlift (set of 5) on Sunday; if he plays only a little / is fully recovered do this Saturday. I say this because it appears he did squats & DL yesterday. Recovery time IS important. Report back.

My interpretation of his goals (or potentially more precisely, yours for him) is to gain some "good" weight and be a more effective football player, short-term. If this is generally accurate, that is fine and we can tune his current program (and perhaps yours). A few others have indicated your program is more bodybuilder-ish and there is some truth to that (types of lifts = true, # of reps = false). We'll want to have some longer-term goals (2 x bodyweight squat or 1.5 BW clean as an example) at some point, but that's likely a few months away. It's tough to really hit a strength / weight program in season.
In about 3+ weeks his max bench went from 175 to 195. He’s up about 4 pounds too. Pretty neat to be a part of. I’ve been lifting with him and fortunately/unfortunately I’m up about 4 pounds too and am stronger... I will need to stop looking at my own weight and rather focus on waist size!
 

OrlandNole

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Nov 29, 2003
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You know, I have to question any advice that doesn't include a lot of curls and triceps presses. You want your son to get a lot of girls, don't you?
 

Tenacious E

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You know, I have to question any advice that doesn't include a lot of curls and triceps presses. You want your son to get a lot of girls, don't you?
He’s doing those, trust me. Looking a little bigger too in the arms. While certainly the functional lifting correlates more directly to on the field performance, improving the beach muscles is a motivating reward.
 

Nipigu

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2-3 lb per month rate of gain is probably unrealistic. He’s 15...I encourage consultation with his pediatrician. And any such aggressive lifting routine ought to carefully monitored to prevent injury.
 

FAUlty Gator

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In about 3+ weeks his max bench went from 175 to 195. He’s up about 4 pounds too. Pretty neat to be a part of. I’ve been lifting with him and fortunately/unfortunately I’m up about 4 pounds too and am stronger... I will need to stop looking at my own weight and rather focus on waist size!
Use Wall Squats as a good measuring stick. Put his ties against the wall and squat. He will fall back. But he will keep getting lower and lower as the weeks go and his core builds and he learns how to sit back rather than shoot his knees forward.
 
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