As a teen, nothing can be as enjoyable as bodybuilding, and your interests in the world of bodybuilding. But no matter the reason, making the call to pump iron in your teens is one of the best decisions you can make.
Lifting from an earlier age makes your physique more aesthetic and reduces the risk of injury.
That said, let’s iron out some of the basics of bodybuilding and how to start weight lifting.
Best Recommendations For Teenage Lifters
When teenagers find an interest in bodybuilding, they often see Instagram models and hope that lifting weights will be a quick fix. This cannot be further from the truth!
To safely lift and have a grounded bodybuilding journey, here’s all to know about teen bodybuilding and how to start weightlifting.
1. Develop strength in your muscle
One mistake to avoid is heading straight to lifting on the first day you enter the weight room. While some of you will adapt fast and pick up the pace, the reality is that you need to tone your muscles.
Ideally, work out for at least one month using bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pullups, squats, planks, crunches, etc. Start at your current level and build endurance and strength till you can achieve 10-15 reps without breaking a sweat. This will take you at least one month so be ready to put in the extra effort.
2. Sleep enough, recover, and don’t overtrain
At the day’s end, give your muscles a cooling-off period. Because your body releases more growth hormones during sleep, optimal muscle growth occurs in this phase. Sleep for at least 7 hours each night to efficiently repair the microscopic pressure areas in muscle fibers.
Resting also enhances the breakdown and elimination of lactate, a compound responsible for soreness and muscle pain.
3. Have sensible goals
Teenage lifters also face the same challenges as professional bodybuilders. Considering that sometimes you must juggle between classwork and your bodybuilding journey, you may have a lot of adjustments and sacrifices to make. And unless you are a model, it will be even harder to have a full day at the gym.
So, it would help if you understood that it might take longer than you anticipate to achieve your ideal body. Practically, in the first year, you may have rapid weight gain, but as your body adapts, the rate of weight gain gets slower.
4. Train your whole body.
Vary your workouts so that you activate all muscle compartments. When you create a routine, include various exercises to improve the activation of several muscle chains. Redundant activities increase the risk of the fitness plateau because your body is not facing new challenges.
5. Start slow and gradually challenge your limits
Weight lifting is all about the journey and not the destination. Therefore, take your time and start from where you are!
Even established lifters had to start from somewhere and, as a teen, know that there is nothing wrong with starting from the lowest end of the scale. With time, your form and endurance will increase, and so will the amount of weight you can lift
Also, keep a record of your progress and aim for gradual improvement. If you currently squat half your weight, make it an objective to improve your limit by the end of the week or month. Make a sustained and deliberate effort and never be in a hurry. Remember that slow and steady hits home.
What Is Bodybuilding?
You probably know the lifting aspect of bodybuilding – lifting and pushing weights to stimulate muscle hypertrophy. On top of that, lifters also modify their diets to fit their lifestyle.
Therefore, bodybuilding uses free weights and deliberate diet restructuring to enhance muscle growth.
Just like pro-lifters, teen bodybuilding follows the same framework. First, your eating habits must be healthier, and on top of that, you must be a regular in the gym to grow lean muscles!
Fortunately, weight lifting for teenagers isn’t complicated. Eating healthfully and starting from a tender age will make your appeal stand out more.
Your Introduction To The Weight Room
Progress comes from making several visits to the gym each week. Initially, you might feel intimidated by the vast array of weights and equipment in the weight room and even get confused on what to do.
Luckily, there are no defined rules on how to start weight lifting. In the first few days and months, be sure to enlist the services of a gym trainer who will teach you the correct technique.
Don’t be overconfident even though you have more weights to choose from than you imagined. Start slow and build your strength and endurance.
And when selecting weights, pick the one you can comfortably lift – free weights that get you tired toward the end of a set.
Weight Lifting Tips For Teenage Bodybuilders
When you get to lifting, keep the following guidelines at the top of your head:
- Condition your body with a warmup
- Start with lighter weights and lift in proper form
- Set your eyes on improvement
- Rest between sets for at least one to two minutes
- Your workouts shouldn’t be longer than one hour
The Bodybuilding Diet: How To Bulk Up
As earlier said, teen bodybuilding encompasses lifting free weights and making diet changes. As such, teenage bodybuilders need to have a grounded understanding of how adjustments go a long way in achieving their coveted physique.
However, it is appalling how many teens get into lifting but still have counterintuitive habits. Many eat junk food and get frustrated when they don’t see any gains, not realizing that the only obstacle is their diet.
How you eat as a bodybuilder is essential. Fixing your diet can compound your gain from weight lifting. While you may also use supplements to stimulate muscle growth, there are better, risk-free techniques you should try. Here are some tips to remember as an aspiring teenage lifter:
1. How to plan your diet and stick to it
Teenagers get into lifting for diverse reasons – some because of Instagram models, others for health and sport, while some do it to improve their mood. Whatever the reason, the journey is almost the same consisting of a lifting and a cutting phase.
Your objective is weight gain during the lifting phase because you want to develop your muscles as quickly as possible. Ideally, increase your calorie intake in the lifting stage to cater to the increased demand. In other words, plan your diet to have more carbs and proteins to enhance your gains.
Suggested by the name, the cutting phase is hallmarked by some weight loss due to the persistent elimination of fat for the growth of lean muscles. Unlike the lifting phase, you should limit your carbohydrates and increase protein to stimulate fat breakdown.
2. Tailor your daily calorie intake
A teenager requires between 1,500 to 2,000 calories each day on any typical day. Some need more and others less depending on the level of fitness.
However, as you try out teen bodybuilding, remember to increase your daily calorie intake to about 2,000 and higher to suit your lifting schedule.
Moreover, you shouldn’t overeat with the excuse of weight gain.
Also, understand the importance of variety and what each meal offers. For example, a donut has 2,000 calories while 15 potatoes provide the same value. As such, you are better off eating low- to moderately-calorie-rich foods to bolster the balance between anabolism and catabolism.
3. Eat more protein
Pro lifters increase their protein intake for a good reason. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles and are crucial to maintaining muscle tissue. Fundamentally, they contain amino acids which sustain muscle growth.
So you may ask, how much will you need each day?
On average, nutritionists recommend eating about 1.5 grams of protein per body weight each day. Therefore, 100-150 grams each day will be enough for many of you
However, as you get fitter and look to consolidate your gains, increasing your dietary allowance to 200-250 grams, or more, will be helpful.
Excellent protein sources include eggs, beef, chicken, seafood, beans, mushrooms, and protein supplements like whey and soy protein powder.
4. Fuel your goals with enough food
To optimally build muscle, you must have an up to par diet. This means eating enough proteins and carbs and vitamins, micro and macronutrients, too.
Without saying, proteins are essential for muscle growth, while carbohydrates fuel your workouts. Vitamins, micronutrients, and macronutrients provide your body with protection and vital elements for activating every muscle fiber.
Teenagers who are into fitness should eat at least 3-5 meals each day to keep up with the demand. You should ensure that you also eat the essential vitamins and minerals for energy, performance enhancement, and recovery. Additionally, eat snacks in between to top up your energy supply so that you optimally build lean muscle.
5. The good, the bad, and the unhealthy
First of all, know that some foods will impede your progress and must be avoided. Such include processed foods, beverages, soft drinks flooded with artificial flavors and sweeteners, and more. On the contrary, seek to increase your intake of minimally processed food like vegetables and fruits, whole milk, nuts and grains, and diverse protein sources. Always make healthy food choices.
Everything You Need To Know About Supplements
Significantly, the internet has much advice regarding supplements and their adverse effects, especially teens. It is hard to tell what’s a fact and what’s not.
Notwithstanding, supplements should be used to add what you already get from your diet. For example, after several months of lifting and optimizing your diet, you can boost your protein intake by using protein shakes, protein powders, and protein bars.
Other supplements that are known to improve athletic performance include creatine and multivitamins.
On the other hand, steroids, testosterone boosters, and fat burners carry much hype and promise instant results. Behind all the hype is an often untold picture of devastating side effects like ‘man-boobs,’ hair loss, and masculine features in ladies.
Bodybuilding And Strength Training Workouts
Gaining a competitive edge over your peers means working out harder. You can do this by incorporating some of these workouts into your plans:
- Power cleans
- Bench press
- Bicep and tricep curls
- Cable pushdowns
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to experiment with other workout variations and stick to what works your muscles and cardiovascular system too.
Teen bodybuilding is an optimal way of impacting your life. You can improve your life and take your physique to the next level. It would best help if you worked out with a trained gym coach in the coming months.
Additionally, if you eat right and remain dedicated to your routine, your gains will be tremendous. Most importantly, be patient and be ready to put in the extra work. After all, no pain, no gain!