Question: Hello, I have been weight lifting for a few months. I am only 15 years old. I'm skinny, at 5'10" and 120 pounds. I've been lifting dumbbells at home that are about 20-30 pounds. I've gained only a tiny bit of muscle from when I started, but nothing significant. Maybe it's because I'm not lifting properly or just don't know what to do. Thank you.
– Nevin (Piscataway, NJ, U.S)
Answer: Hi Nevin, thanks for the question. From the sounds of it, you need to upgrade your equipment. Unfortunately, 20-30 lb. dumbbells just won't cut it. To start seeing real gains, you need a power rack or squat rack, a flat or adjustable bench, an Olympic barbell and Olympic weight plates.
You can buy this equipment or get a membership at a good gym. Yes, either option will cost money, but it's worth it. No excuses. If you don't have the money, get a job, ask your parents or friends to loan you the money, dig for treasure in your back yard – whatever it takes.
Once you have your new equipment or gym membership, you'll have to have an effective weight lifting routine for your novice level of experience. I recommend the MYx8 or Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Additionally, always strive to use proper weight lifting exercise technique during your workouts.
The other major thing you must do is to ensure your diet is on point. Since you want to gain muscle, you should be "bulking," or eating more calories than you burn. For full details on diet planning, read bodybuilding diet.
And last, but certainly not least, get plenty of sleep each night. That's the only time your muscles actually grow!
If you follow all of the above advice, you'll start seeing much faster gains, almost immediately.