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Get him going with weights, but don't forget the other stuff

By Charles Barkley

Q. I have a 14-year-old son who is looking to lift weights in addition to basketball practice. When is a good age to start? - Plymouth Dad

A: Now would be a good time, dad, but he needs to start with the proper supervision of a good weight trainer.

At his age he doesn't need to bulk up, just have him work on technique and getting familiar with all the equipment and what is best for each muscle group. You want to see him get toned and develop reasonable muscle mass for his age.

Your son also needs to do more in a gym than just pump iron. It's important to put in time on a bike, treadmill, stair-stepper and do a full body workout consistently.

Let me know how he makes out. I might want to get back into the gym myself someday.

Q: When I sit at a formal dining table, I never have any idea what fork to use and when. Any thoughts from a man of your distinction? - Late to Dinner in Lawnview

A: Yo, bro', go for sushi or Asian cuisine and just use the pickup sticks.

Seriously, at this stage in your life you still don't know which fork to use, and you get invited to formal dinners? They probably serve you a salad just to see if you'll try to eat it with a knife.

Here's all you need to know to get by - small forks are for small plates and big forks are for big plates. If you are served a salad or an appetizer, your go-to fork is the small one. For entrées, you use the big fork. And for ribs, you use your hands.


For more information about Charles, his Hall of Fame career, and his current exploits on television, go to Questions for Ask Sir Charles may be submitted via email to