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Thread: With a younger lifter...what to look for to move to TM from novice/advanced novice

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    This correct. A 20-year-old will be on the NLP for 8 months, but this kid might be able to take small linear jumps for 2-3 years as he grows along with his training.
    I took a look at what that will look like by the time he is ending his freshman year (assuming times of no progress during sports seasons/sickness/vacations/etc) of high school (he is a 7th grader and just turned 13) and I was a little taken aback...as some of the numbers were defying my belief a bit. I guess that was why I posted the original question I was starting to wonder if its too much too fast, though we took the time to hammer his form for 4 months or so before I let him make progression on any of the lifts (he started before he was 12, and once he had good form with some light weight he just hammered his form). He started going because I had gotten back into the gym to rehab an injury (and to try not to be a weak POS anymore) and I listened to lots of your stuff about younger kids training (prior to tanner 4) and we stuck to those sorts of things. In any event thank you for your time and information. I am guessing he will be thrilled to stick to what he is doing as the look on his uncle's and my face on that volume squat day might be making him think it is not a lot of fun.

  2. #12
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    It's not that the words you're saying don't make sense, stlnl. I can see how you are evoking ideas that are appealing to mechanics of the mind. But they differ wildly from what exists in reality. What is a "stronger base"? Do you mean that an increase in lighter weight volume should make the 5RM easier than it is at lower volume? The only way it could would be by making him stronger. And if it makes him stronger than a 5 pound increase, well, then you're saying you think it would make him stronger faster, and that 5RM should be heavier than it ends up being. You're using a lot of slippery qualifiers, which appear to be based on how you feel, and how it looks. Those are not relevant data.

    The Texas method isn't a different model of training. It doesn't apply stress in a fundamentally different way. It doesn't produce a different kind of trainee, it doesn't produce significantly different adaptations, it doesn't drive strength increases with a "stronger base." It drives increases the same way the NLP does: with increasing weight on the bar.

    Calm down your anxiety about this: you're not going to overtrain this kid, and provided you're even halfway competently coaching him you're certainly not going to injure or otherwise adversely affect his health. And certainly not with too many 5RMs. Maybe your experience is different, but in my experience the 5RM is the EASY part of the Texas method. It's too small a volume to really do damage. If I could swap out my volume day for a topset 5RM with two backoffs I would do it without thinking twice. Don't take that away from the poor kid until you have to.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    It's not that the words you're saying don't make sense, stlnl. I can see how you are evoking ideas that are appealing to mechanics of the mind. But they differ wildly from what exists in reality. What is a "stronger base"? Do you mean that an increase in lighter weight volume should make the 5RM easier than it is at lower volume? The only way it could would be by making him stronger. And if it makes him stronger than a 5 pound increase, well, then you're saying you think it would make him stronger faster, and that 5RM should be heavier than it ends up being. You're using a lot of slippery qualifiers, which appear to be based on how you feel, and how it looks. Those are not relevant data.

    The Texas method isn't a different model of training. It doesn't apply stress in a fundamentally different way. It doesn't produce a different kind of trainee, it doesn't produce significantly different adaptations, it doesn't drive strength increases with a "stronger base." It drives increases the same way the NLP does: with increasing weight on the bar.

    Calm down your anxiety about this: you're not going to overtrain this kid, and provided you're even halfway competently coaching him you're certainly not going to injure or otherwise adversely affect his health. And certainly not with too many 5RMs. Maybe your experience is different, but in my experience the 5RM is the EASY part of the Texas method. It's too small a volume to really do damage. If I could swap out my volume day for a topset 5RM with two backoffs I would do it without thinking twice. Don't take that away from the poor kid until you have to.
    For certain the mechanic of the mind in this is me wondering just how many times a 7th grader can keep advancing 10 pounds a week on a squat before I wonder if he could sustain some issue. My whole notion around switching him was not to make his 5RM's easier it was to slow his ass down. Period. I am on him with form, recovery and his eating and balancing taking his lifting down a day when he has a sports season. But TM is building up stronger with the same ideas sure, but it is slower. I was making sure I do not need to tap the brakes on him. It just struck me as a bit of an outlier considering with his current progress even with conservative estimates for vacation/sports camps/illness/etc he is looking at hitting 350+ for a set of 5 before he is out for the summer. I am not sad about it and his form is good. I started lifting around his age (later at 14 all the 8th graders who wanted to play football had to lift weights with the High school after school) and no one was remotely as strong as he is going to be by the time he is mid way through his 8th grade year. So it make we wonder if I needed to slow him down. Part of it was my actual experience not so much imagined feelings with regard to how the advanced end of the NLP felt (All this was muscle memory stuff more than new building) where the 2 work sets a week were pounding me. He is recovering well and has no issues so you are right about there being no issue...I prefer to err on the side of caution so I sought people's opinions with a whole lot more experience working with kids his age. I guess his numbers were big enough and still growing to make me worry if we are pushing too hard. I guess I underestimated his potential regarding speed and range of strength adaption as I did not expect him to he here at this age. In short I did get a bit of anxiety about his rate and level of success...I underestimated the power of hormones in a growing kid, his individual potential, and the efficacy of the system he is using.

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  5. #15
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    You're well intentioned (I'm a parent as well, and understand), but you've been infected by fitness cowardice. You know what will happen the first time he is unable to add five pounds a week to his set of five? He will squat the weight for a set of four and land on the pins. That's the worst thing that will happen. That's the nightmare scenario. Adding five pounds twice a week won't lead to anyone getting hurt. Especially 13 year old kids, who are made of rubber based on how they respond to *actually* dangerous sports.

  6. #16
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    Here's what I'm reading from your concerns:

    He's recovering well, he's continuing to add weight, and his form is locked on. So he's an exceptional young man on an exceptional program, but you're worried that he's outstripping average kids doing deficient programs.

    Consider what you're actually choosing between here, and look hard at the source of your fear in the matter, especially if he's enjoying the process and/or the results for himself.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    You're well intentioned (I'm a parent as well, and understand), but you've been infected by fitness cowardice. You know what will happen the first time he is unable to add five pounds a week to his set of five? He will squat the weight for a set of four and land on the pins. That's the worst thing that will happen. That's the nightmare scenario. Adding five pounds twice a week won't lead to anyone getting hurt. Especially 13 year old kids, who are made of rubber based on how they respond to *actually* dangerous sports.
    No infection. I asked a question. Ripp answered and past explaining to you why I asked it there is no "fitness cowardice". I took his answer and rolled with it. I am 52 years old and went from squatting 135 below parallel for 5 on August 17, 2022 to doing 460 below parallel for 5. From pressing 95x5 to 225x5. So I think using the words cowardice around anything I am involved with regarding fitness is a bit rash. I had some concerns, they were addressed, I explained why I bothered to ask. I am a BJJ BB and have been for over a decade, played football and fought MMA 9 times...so I understand risk, dangerous sports, and managing them. I thank you for the time and interaction but I think you are a bit strong on your assumptions here (given the nature of the internet and me having no idea what sorts of people you field questions from I get it) given I was taking Ripp's answer and rolling on with it.

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