Getting started in bodybuilding can be daunting for a teen, but there are a few key points to take note of to help you get started.
Get Training Advice
Many gyms provide staff to assist you with your training, and may even provide one to help you when you sign up to a gym. Using a qualified trainer at this stage can be useful to help you understand which exercises to do, and how to execute them correctly. Failing to do this, you may rush into exercises and use improper form, which has the potential for injury. Don’t rush into using heavy weights, first off. It is important to ease into training, learn the correct form, and build the ‘mind-muscle’ connection. With these lighter weights, you can also use relatively higher repetitions (reps). Using this strategy will help prevent injuries.
Keep Your Workouts Simple
Keep your training simple at this stage. Use straight sets, rather than advanced techniques like drop sets and super sets. Once your strength base has been built, you will have plenty of time to incorporate more advanced techniques into your training. At this stage focus on exercises known as ‘compound’ exercises. These exercises use the main larger muscle groups, which is a good way to start. As far as working smaller exercises, you can build this into your program later on. Exercises like wrist curls and the like are a waste of energy at this stage.
Rest is Important
As a new lifter, ensure that you get adequate rest between sessions. As a general rule, make sure that you allow your body at least 48 hours between training sessions per body part. Take at least three days off a week as well.
Testosterone & the Teenager
Testosterone is at its highest around the age of 20, so starting training a few years prior to this age is ideal. You can ease into training at the age of fifteen upwards, as long as you focus on correct exercise performance and do not rush into it. Any younger, and bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, chin-ups and floor crunches can be a good entry into training. Hence supplementing with testosterone supplements is not recommended at this age.
Diet And Supplements for Teens
Ensure that you are eating well-balanced meals frequently to assist you to recover and grow. Once you have your diet sorted out, supplements can assist you at this stage. Don’t complicate it, however. To start with, consider:
- A multivitamin. For the human body to perform at its best, it needs a variety of nutrients. Lacking in any of these essential vitamins or minerals will limit your bodybuilding. Taking a daily multivitamin supplement is worthwhile investment for trainers of all ages and levels.
- Protein Powder enables the maintenance of a positive nitrogen balance, crucial to muscle building. For the beginner, protein consumption should be 2g per kilogram of bodyweight per day. If you are a hardgainer, use a mass gaining formula.
- Essential Fatty Acids assist in muscle growth by helping to rebuild muscle tissue, and protect joints while you work out.
Teen Bodybuilding Tips
Be focused, and appreciate that results will come gradually, and not overnight. At this level of training, give yourself time to learn exercise techniques, adjust your diet and see how your body responds to training. At this stage you are working on building your foundation. By ensuring correct technique is learnt, you will also minimise the risk of injury, which will put you in a better position in the long run. Making the decision to focus on a healthy bodybuilding lifestyle as a teen is a wise and commendable choice at this age. Consult with people who are certified, and that you can trust to help you with how to perform exercises and your eating. Ensure that you are eating quality foods frequently, and use just the basic supplements to start with. As a teen bodybuilder, you do not need to complicate things. Keep your training and diet simple, this way you will build a solid base, from which you can advance without injuries over time and quality gains will come steadily but surely taking this approach.