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Bulking a boy . . .

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  • #16
    Originally posted by tim_1522 View Post
    Have you considered finding a football program outside of the school?
    Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1


    • #17
      I don't know if you can get him to bulk up if his body isn't ready for it. I remember every summer seeing one or two guys come back to school just huge- most of it from tossing hay bales, I think, but this didn't start until sophomore year, and most of it was later than that. I don't know if at 13 his body is going to be able to do that.

      Note: I believe that weight training will help him, but I'm not sure if he can bulk up as an adult would. I would love to see some evidence to the contrary.
      Last edited by jfreaksho; 08-31-2011, 05:52 PM.


      • #18
        the boy is merely into puberty, so he lacks testosterone. if he comes from a skinny family, he might be pre-destined to have less muscle then others, but who knows. influence him to read about the primal blueprint, thats the only thing u can and should do


        • #19
          What about being the place kicker then working on other positions once his foot is in the door.


          • #20
            hes not going to "bulk up" until he is producing enough testosterone. dont go crazy with the lifting. kids dont have to dig as deep to get results (they also dont retain the gains for as long if they quit doing what elicited the gains in the first place). weighted lunging and step ups onto a high box will develop great leg and hip strength. find some one qualified to teach him good form. my son (also just turned 13) is in about the same boat as your son. he wrestles and plays football and this year is going out for track. he is 5'4 and 110lbs and very, very lean. he is also very strong. upping his protein intake seemed to be the best way to add muscle since he will already devour any carb in sight. i DO NOT recommend the gallon of milk a day unless hes already a huge milk drinker. if you mess up his stomach/digestion then nothing is going to work.

            --buy a rice cooker. rice is dirt cheap and will supply him with all the carbohydrate he needs. its easy to scoop out of the cooker too.
            --glug a bunch of extra light olive oil onto the rice. its basically flavorless and will get him tons of good quality fats as well as up his calorie intake.
            --have him eating large amounts of protein FIRST at every meal, before he fills up on other stuff.
            --supplement with a whey protein if you feel its needed. he shouldnt need more than 150gms total protein/day and that would be on the high side as long as he is getting enough carbs to fuel his glycogen demands (which are probably very high)
            --encourage him to eat vegetables and give him some kind of fishoil supplement

            in my experience trainining athletes of all ages i have noticed a trend in hard gainers to simply "eat everything in sight" or gallon of milk a day, type strategies to fail miserably after about 6mos. probably from all of the polyunsaturated fats and lack of vegetables imo.

            find a private coach or get him to special camps. he will need size to play football but that will come. bulking up does not mean skill improvement. skill will be the deciding factor in him getting to play. if he is fast and strong and understands the tactics for his position he will play. if he has a decent amount of appropriately gained mass then he will probably be more durable.

            hes 13. ability/size at age 13 has very little to do with what he will be capable of by the time he is a senior.

            soccer and wrestling are awesome alternative training modalities for football in my opinion. if he doesnt want to wrestle within the school program perhaps you can find some jiu-jitsu/grappling classes outside of school.

            unless you are at a gigantic football driven school i dont think you need to worry about choosing position based on body type/size right now. in college, yes. not now. it always amazes me when middle school coaches will debate over the kid playing a certain position over another one.. "well hes more of a d-end than a linebacker blah blah blah". come on, most of these kids running around with 12 hairs under their armpits could effectively play any position on the field.

            eat more, healthy, food
            train SMART, year round
            allow time for FULL recovery if injury presents itself
            garner as much skill training as possible
            if you do lift in the off season be sure to include running activities even if they are only at low levels. dont ommit running in favor of bulking up in the weight room.
            pay extra attention to proper form, neck and ankle work and any work that will bring up weakness and imbalance.
            find a qualified strength and conditioning expert to help you out.

            good luck!


            • #21
              i should have read your post more carefully. it sounds like he is in a very big program. it also sounds like he has tremendous potential both gentically and with how you are describing him.

              is he getting time in practice to develop skills? if he is then maybe he should wait til the time comes when he will get picked. if hes not then do as someone above suggested and get him into a league where he can get experience.

              if he eats and trains right im sure his genetics are not going to let him go unnoticed by the time he is in highschool..that is assuming his skillset is adequately developed (which it sounds like it is).

              i dont really have any more to add other than to say you are doing the right thing and the kid is lucky to have you looking out for him so much.

              more carbs via rice (sweet potatoes ARE awesome but my kids dont eat them unless i make them and its much more time consuming then throwing some rice in the cooker..) more fat via light tasting olive oil (xtra virgin might be better but most kids cant eat it in any quantity because they dont like the taste). more protein via encouragement at every meal and some whey protein in a post workout shake. its easy to make a post workout shake in the morning and have it sitting in the fridge for when he gets home from practice/school etc. allow him post workout shakes after hard bouts of playing/swimming/running around with friends on the weekends too.


              • #22
                in regards to "bulking up" in pre-pubescents.. there is plenty of literature out there and basically its not going to happen until you are well into puberty. if a 10-12 year old looks more "bulky" than the next guy its most likely just genetics. i can remember short, stocky wrestler types when i was in 7th grade and all of them are basically the same height they were as freshman in highschool. its the lanky, slow, growing "hard gainers" (which basically just means under eaters in my book) that have the potential for tremendous growth once they are well into puberty. 13 is barely even at the starting blocks as far as development goes. program him correctly now and it will go a long long way into helping him become an accomplished athlete in the future.


                • #23
                  Meat, potatoes, rice, and eggs are pretty much required.

                  Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
                  He needs a good lifting program. Get a barbell set and Starting Strength. He needs to muscle and bulk for padding as well as strength.

                  There's also a couple articles about training young kids for weightlifting on the Starting Strength site; they're definitely worth a read.

                  Strength is way more important than mass up to a point, as it makes everything he does that much faster/stronger.


                  • #24
                    Awesome, guys. Thanks for all the thoughtful and productive answers.


                    • #25

                      i completely agree with your statement regarding strength being more important than mass up to a point..

                      however, with relatively untrained, young, really skinny individuals, strength will come as a result of increased mass (up to a point of course..but this kid is nowhere near that point). im not advocating mindless curls by the hundreds ala a body builider template but having young kids dig too deep and too hard with strength and explosive drills meant for more prepared athletes may predispose them towards injury. of course you want to select good movements like lunges as compared to leg extensioin machines or pushups as opposed to bench press in a smith machine but i have found that MODERATE loading with MODERATE intensities is the best for developing both size and strength in young athletes. again there is a lot of literature out there on this, its just not common in most coaching circles so most coaches end up over doing a lot of everything. a good rule of thumb is that if the kids is slowing down too much during the lift (grinding/form changes) then the loading is NOT appropriate. always remember you arent having them lift to get their lifting numbers up per se but rather to improve sport performance. if too much energy is spent in the weight room then field performance and durability will most likely suffer.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by dado View Post
                        He should pick a sport that is more in line with his body type. We should not plump boys up, they are not the chickens or cows for winter. Basketball or maybe he will be kicker. Tell him to try kicking. Or soccer, here in this sport he will find his soul.
                        That's TERRIBLE advice! My god. The kid wants to play football. Jesus Christ.
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Xibit View Post
                          Meat, potatoes, rice, and eggs are pretty much required.


                          There's also a couple articles about training young kids for weightlifting on the Starting Strength site; they're definitely worth a read.

                          Strength is way more important than mass up to a point, as it makes everything he does that much faster/stronger.
                          that's pretty much what I'd say right there.
                          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


                          • #28
                            I was taught that there are five things (in this order) make a martial artist the best: 1. SPIRIT (HEART/WILL) 2. SKILL 3. SPEED 4. STRENGTH 5. SIZE.

                            While he does have to be big according to conventional wisdom, I say you enroll him in as many football programs and clinics as possible. Go on youtube to watch videos, read books on football techniques, etc. He may not have the 'size' wanted, but if he can become very technical and knowledgeable on body mechanics and the use of physics, size won't really matter. I have seen guys 150-200# under what a normal lineman would play, and they were dominating guys 2 times there size because they focused on technique.

                            If size truly is important to him, then what you need to do is focus on 1) a proper strength traininig program and 2) a proper diet.

                            In regards to a proper strength training program, nothing will beat 'Starting Strength' by Mark Rippetoe available in both book and dvd format, both of which i highly encourage you to buy. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put him on any type of muscle & fitness routine, which tend to focus on body building routines. Body building routines will bulk him up and put on muscle, but many of the techniques taught to bodybuilders (and sadly, in most improperly trained weight rooms) are utilized to build muscle for aesthetic purposes. This will hurt him in the end.

                            Another good thing to focus on would be explosive movements and speed training drills. Sprints and olympic lifts will always be number one, but I suggest you incorporate agility and coordination drills. Simple things such as juggling balls will help him improve his game.

                            As far as diet goes: STAY PRIMAL, but make some changes. If he can handle dairy, and wants to put on some serious muscle, a gallon of milk a day (+) normal food intake will get him there quickly. If he cannot handle a gallon, start him out with a smaller size and eventually (if he is having no problems), work up to a gallon.

                            Also, I encourage you to keep him as 'natural' as possible. Supplements have their place, but they are just that: supplements to our diet. If I was going to endorse anything, It would be restricted to a multi-vitamin, 5mg of creatine, and L-glutamine, which is to be used after intense workout sessions (if he works out everyday).

                            Good luck with everything and I hope you reach your goals.


                            • #29
                              i agree with the idea of keeping him active in football, outside of the school. at some point, he will likely gain (once he's hit puberty), and his coaches will cotton on to the fact that the kid is good, and likely get him on the team.

                              if not, then you do have alternatives. you do want to put him into the best possible non-school leagues, and you'll want to start video taping it. I know it sounds nuts, but it's one way to get college football recruiters interested. In addition, you can encourage him to consider universities that allow walk-ons (Penn State does, and JoePa is the man, and I hope he's still coaching when your son is old enough to play for him).

                              I agree, too, with the deep sentiment of achilles post -- there are five things (in this order) make a [one] the best: 1. SPIRIT (HEART/WILL) 2. SKILL 3. SPEED 4. STRENGTH 5. SIZE. You can post it on his wall or something, or explain it to his coaches. LOL anyway, end of the day -- it's the spirit that does things. Also, the film Rudy (which is about Notre Dame football, stars sean astin, and you'll have to go way back to 1994 or something to see it), is a nice little inspirational film about a non-footballer simply having the heart that got him in the game.

                              Of course, Rudy is an exception, but if your kid has actual athletic ability AND heart AND determination, then there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to play as he goes.

                              In addition, I recommend teaching him how to stretch appropriately and *take care of his joints* as he ages. my best friend in high school got a college scholarship to Illinois, but blew out both knees in his last high school game. Never played in uni, and his dreams of a career died. He recovered well, and discovered yoga which helped a LOT in his recovery, but it's just sad that he wasn't able to go the distance due to injuries. And he's not alone, a lot of young men miss out because of that. And truly, I think that a good mobility/stretching program -- from the beginning -- makes abig difference.

                              mobilityWOD is a great place to start for that. i like "k-star's" style, too -- the kid might respond to it.

                              All the best!


                              • #30
                                Uh, if he's shooting up, he's hit puberty. His hGH is running wild and his testosterone likely is too, but test without stress doesn't do anything.

                                If he wants mass, he needs to lift, lift heavy, and eat heavy. Starting Strength is the way to go. Note that lifting heavy is a relative term, he needs to start with the empty bar and work up to heavier weights.