Unfortunately, high school is tough for everyone and even though most of the athletes in your school may be hitting the weights to prepare for high school sports or taking weight lifting classes for physical education classes, most of them don't aspire to be bodybuilders in high school, nor will they understand what they'll quickly consider your "obsession" with packing on the muscle. Staying motivated as a bodybuilder is a lot more difficult in high school than it will be when you're an adult. But hopefully, this article will provide a few tips to let you know what to expect and how to maintain your grades, your friends and your training without too much stress.
Avoid Cafeteria Food!
Cafeteria food usually isn't the best bet for anyone attempting to focus on bodybuilding in high school but with a little planning, you can stick to your diet. Pack your own lunch or take advantage of the salad bars that most high schools offer these days. If your school doesn't allow eating during or between classes, it might be difficult to get in your six meals a day. One way to get past this obstacle, however, is to eat smaller meals within closer timeframes once you're actually out of school. For example:
- Breakfast at 6 am – if you're working out in the morning, this should be your postworkout meal
- Lunch at noon
- Meal when you're out of school
- Meal two hours later at 5 pm – if you're working out after school, this should be your postworkout meal.
- Meal two hours later at 7 pm
- Meal two hours later at 9 pm
On the weekends or days you don't have school, make sure to take advantage of the opportunity to spread your meals out a little more. If your teachers don't have a problem with eating between classes or you have a study hall that would give you the opportunity to eat, make sure you pack enough for the entire day. When packing your meals to take to school or work, egg salad or tuna salad sandwiches are a great source of cheap protein. Chicken breasts grilled the night before are perfect but just a little more expensive. For snacks or smaller meals, consider adding almonds. Just a quarter of a cup is approx. 190 calories, 8 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat and 4g of fiber. If you're allowed beverages between classes, an excellent product to use is Maltodextrin. Add a little lemon juice for flavor; put it in a sport bottle and bodybuilding in high school just got a little bit easier.
Time Management is Key!
Let's face it, life in high school isn't a cakewalk. As a matter of fact, just keeping up with friends and homework can be a daunting task. If you have a part-time job and try to squeeze in time at the gym as well, you're going to be tired. If, however, you're truly dedicated to becoming a bodybuilder in high school, there are ways to stay on top of your homework, have a little time for socializing, work and fit in the time you need to dedicate to your training. It just takes a little time management and whole lot of self-motivation. If you're finding it difficult to make your workouts, consider doing them right after school or early in the morning before class if you have a job. Make sure you're taking advantage of your study periods during the day and any class time you may have to work on assignments.
Find a Training Partner
One of the most important influences in our lives as high school students are our peers and friends. As a bodybuilder in high school, your habits are going to be miles away from most other high school students on just about everything, including how you spend your free time (at the gym), your diet, and your avoidance of all things that could have a negative impact on your training. Teens are going to be hitting the pizza joint, lounging on the couch playing video games, drinking, smoking and basically burning the candle at both ends. The decision to concentrate on bodybuilding in high school, however, doesn't have to be the end of these relationships. The important thing to remember is that your values are just a little bit different than theirs at this point in your life. If it's at all possible, consider finding a workout partner or partners from your school.
Since you don't want to have to constantly defend the reasons you're doing what you're doing, it'll be much easier if you can actually find a group of friends that may be bodybuilders themselves. A good place to start is with the physical fitness teacher or a coach at your school. You may not have had the opportunity to meet everyone and he/she just might know someone with similar interests. If you don't have any luck finding someone that's already lifting, don't despair. Talk to your current friends and see if you can't convince a few of them to give it a try. As your body starts to show the results of your training, you just might be surprised at how many others just might want to give it a try.
If you truly want to be a bodybuilder in high school and are willing to make the lifestyle changes that are necessary for consistent training, the effect that it can have on your life will be amazing. High school students are notoriously known for their lack of dedication and focus to any one task. The skills and confidence that you'll learn during your training will bring benefits for the rest of your life. Remember to set short and long term goals. Record your progress in a journal or log and take time off when necessary. Bodybuilding in high school if done with the right frame of mind, can and will be an exciting and worthwhile experience.