Beginning bodybuilding as a teen is one of the best things you can do to ensure your health and fitness not just now, but also in your twenties and beyond. Working out can help you grow muscle, lose weight, improve your sports performance, or simply become in shape. The key is to do it correctly.
The amount of knowledge available on the internet and guidance available from other trainees at the gym is mind-boggling. It’s tough to distinguish between what’s useful and what’s harmful, so proceed with caution. This is where these suggestions come in. Keep them in mind as you embark on your teen muscle-building journey, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving long-term results you can be proud of.
DO BODYWEIGHT OR LIGHT-WEIGHT EXERCISES FOR AT LEAST A MONTH
If you’re an adolescent who is new to bodybuilding, it’s a good idea to spend a month or so simply doing bodyweight workouts. This will allow your body to become accustomed to the resistance-training stimulation without the extremely high load associated with typical weightlifting routines.
You can also acquire appropriate technique by performing some of the exercises you intend to undertake, such as the squat, bench press, shoulder press, and so on, with very modest weights of 10-20 pounds. Getting your form right at the start of your teen gym journey will help you gain more muscle and lower your risk of injury in the future.
If you try to lift greater weights too quickly, you can jeopardize your good form and acquire negative habits that will be far more difficult to break later.
USE COMPOUND EXERCISES
As a young bodybuilder, concentrate the majority of your workout time to basic, complex movements. Squats, rows, deadlifts, shoulder presses, and the bench press are examples of exercises that engage many muscular groups at the same time. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, work only one muscle group at a time, such as biceps curls.
You want to lay a firm foundation now, while your body is growing and preparing for your prime muscle-building years, which are between the ages of 18 and 25. If you focus too much on isolation exercises, you won’t be training as many muscles, which can stymie your muscle-building efforts.
Isolation lifts have a role in an adolescent training regimen, but they will be more useful later on when you want to refine the muscle you’ve created. They should not, however, be the focus for the time being.
LIMIT YOUR VOLUME OF TRAINING
The quantity of work you do—the number of workouts, sets, and repetitions—is referred to as volume. Teens’ enthusiasm frequently leads to far too much training volume, making it difficult for the muscles to recuperate before it’s time to train again. While younger trainees often have significantly greater recovery rates than those in their 40s and 50s, there are so many other growth processes going on during the early adolescent years that too much volume can impede your recovery.
Furthermore, because weightlifting is a new stressor for your body, it takes time to adapt, implying that you will do better with a somewhat lower overall volume of activity.
You should be making results if you maintain the overall number of reps per exercise around 25 and limit yourself to 4-6 movements every workout. Obviously, there will be some difference from person to person, but that’s a decent starting point, and you can tweak the program as you go based on how you’re feeling.
You’ll need a lot of protein if you want to gain muscle. Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day, and use protein drinks to get there!
WATCH YOUR TRAINING INTENSITY
The poundages you’re lifting are referred to as intensity. Because you are still in the quick growth stage that occurs throughout the early adolescent years, starting with a teen fitness program that is too vigorous for what your body can tolerate will jeopardize all of the other reactions that are occurring in the body.
There’s a reason why you may have heard that weight training at a young age will impede your growth. The truth is that weight training will not prevent growth; nevertheless, if you exercise so vigorously that your body has no energy left to use for the natural growth process, difficulties can arise.
Obviously, you will gradually increase the weights you utilize. When you’ve identified the correct starting weights, utilize the 10% rule when it’s time to progress—increase the intensity by no more than 10% per week.
Bottom line: Monitor the total intensity of your workouts during the week, and make sure you’re eating enough total calories that your body has the energy to create muscle and operate normally.
PAY ATTENTION TO NUTRITION
Never underestimate the significance of nutrition in an adolescent bodybuilding program. What you put into your body on a daily basis can have a significant impact on how much muscle you gain, so if you’re not careful, your diet can sabotage your results and negatively impact the natural growth processes outlined above.
Calories are required for regular growth processes during your adolescent years, and if your daily calorie expenditure exceeds what you consume, you may lose growth. To avoid this, make sure you’re getting enough calories to power your workouts. Most adolescent muscle builders should consume 18-20 calories per pound of body weight, and in some circumstances, even more.
APPROACH CARDIO STRATEGICALLY
Cardiovascular conditioning is an important part of being healthy, and contrary to popular belief, including it into your routine will not impair muscle gain. While performing too much exercise will slow your development, you should always include some cardio to support excellent health.
It is not an issue if you are already involved in sports, but if you do no outdoor exercise aside from your workouts, it is a wise move to incorporate 2-3 moderately paced cardio sessions of 20-30 minutes as well. As long as you get your heart rate up, they might be as easy as a brisk walk or riding a bicycle. Cardio exercise will help maintain your heart healthy, get you in better condition, and keep you from having a weight problem, which affects so many young adults.
DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH
Many teenagers, as well as adult trainees, are unaware of the significance of stretching at the end of a weight training. They ignore the benefits of stretching because it doesn’t aid with general fat loss or muscle gain, so they disregard it.
Poor decision. The ideal time to enhance flexibility is now, while you’re young. If you ignore it now, it will be even more difficult to gain flexibility as you become older.
Stretching also ensures that you can move through the entire range of motion on all of your workouts, which is essential for reaping the full muscle-building advantages. Stretching takes only 5-10 minutes, yet it has significant long-term advantages when done frequently.
SET REASONABLE GOALS
Finally, make certain that your goals are attainable. That involves setting short-term, attainable goals like reducing or gaining a small amount of weight or increasing your bench press. Achieving a goal like that in 1-3 months will inspire you to set another, resulting in your continuous improvement. Impossible ambitions, such as “I want to look like Mr. Olympia in a year” or “I want to go from 20% to 5% body fat in six months,” will simply demotivate you.
Don’t be too concerned about your appearance at this time. Instead, concentrate on the process, and before you know it, you’ll be adding the muscle you want.