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Old 12-28-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Default Help - Exercise program for a 13 year old

I need an exercise program for a 13 year old with a severe obesity problem. This individual has an interest in lifting, but I can only provide him with dumbbells.

He is unable to perform bodyweight lifts.

I am looking for a simple fullbody workout he can perform 3x a week, but have not trained an early teen before.

Cardio is out of the question right now.

What would you have him do?
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
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ahhhh thats a toughy because I thought at that age only bodyweight should be used but I will try something...


Mon-Wed-Fri (all DB exercises for 3x10)

ATG Squat
Single-Arm Row
Flat Press
Standing Curl
Seated Shoulder Press
Single-Arm Overhead Tricep Extension


Would seem like what most peopel will post and it shoul work if he sticks with it
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:43 PM   #3
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ahhhh thats a toughy because I thought at that age only bodyweight should be used but I will try something...
Yeah..he is closing in on 300 pounds, pre-puberty. It's a slippery slope. To be honest he can barely get out of a van, so bodyweight work ...well...won't happen for a while.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:52 PM   #4
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this is a very tough situation steve, I personally would tell him to hold off on weights and just start walking. And just go a little further every day.

I think some combination movements would be good:
Curl to Press
Squat to Press
Deadlift to curl

Not really sure what to say here, this is a very difficult situation
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:08 PM   #5
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a trainer i was talking told me he was training a kid that was in the same situation as the person you described, he told me he had him do mild cardio and compound movements like jwood described and he also said diet is very important, so if u can look up diets for that situation on personal training boards it might help. But if he has the initiative to lift and change his life than that is an awesome start
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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this is a very tough situation steve, I personally would tell him to hold off on weights and just start walking. And just go a little further every day.

I think some combination movements would be good:
Curl to Press
Squat to Press
Deadlift to curl

Not really sure what to say here, this is a very difficult situation


I agree here. I think that if he's that big, he needs to start eating a lot less, walking a lot more, and learning about nutrition. If he were to lift even the slightest bit too much, he may feel that pain we love and call DOMS, get scared and stop lifting all together...
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:18 PM   #7
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He won't walk. Lifting is the only physical activity he has shown an interest in.

Also, I can't control his eating habits. I try to teach him, but his family lifestyle doesn't cooperate, nor will they bring in healthier foods. I help where I can.

He visits me from time to time and lifts with me. DOMs doesn't bother him. He is good at lifting, and for him, there aren't many physical activities he is good at...

I agree with you guys but the reality is that a better diet and cardio won't happen. You might think I'm talking the easy way out, but he has been in my life for a long time. Lifting is the first glimmer of hope I've had. I want to use it in some way to plant a seed - one he might return to later in life.
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 12-28-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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He won't walk. Lifting is the only physical activity he has shown an interest in.
He won't walk? It's not like he's being asked to run, which I can completely understand him having a problem with.

It sounds to me like he needs some serious, no fooling, military-style isolation and discipline. Not the only solution, of course, but I've tried myself to train and discipline a morbidly obese person with similar, self-imposed, aversions to diet and exercise.

I failed.

It may take more than you have Steve. The mentality is the hardest thing to break.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #9
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I agree with jwood. also, the main thing this kid needs to do is to get him to be more active. things to consider is his diet, see how much soda/candy/chips, etc. this kid is taking in. I've had clients who would drink a liter or 2 of soda a day!

I agree with compound movements, he can squat with just hit body weight. if he's having a hard time squatting have him do box squats. You can even add in box squat to shoulder press.

Here's a little plan to get ideas flowing. The more muscles you activate the more calories burned. Give him exercises that he will get "the biggest bang for his buck".

Plan: Coach him on the basic exercises:

Squats w. bodyweight: if he cant do full squats, let him work in the range that he is comfortable. He needs to work on his mobility. if he's not going ATG that's ok. Because that will give him a goal to work towards. you can also incorporate box squats, and making him focus on form (hips back, chest up, etc.)

DB Shoulder Press: you can combine the squats and shoulder press together as one exercises.

Push-ups: have him do push-ups on an incline so his feet are on the ground and his hands are on a high surface even if its a counter top. have him to full ROM.

Lunges: he can do lunges, but same with the squats, let him work in his comfortable range of motion.

DB Rows:

basically, work on his mobility. see what he can do, and make him reach for goals. For example, for him doing push-ups on a counter top then moving to push-ups on a bench, then push-up on to the ground is progression. When there is a kid who is obese you don't want him to be discouraged when he perform certain movements the right way, let him work into it through progression.

sorry if this is all over the place, but just got back from a great workout and pretty drained..
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:09 PM   #10
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He won't walk. He's too big. He gets crazy soreness from it.

He needs many things, but being that I'm not his parent, I have to pick and choose my battles.
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