Should teens under the age of sixteen do weight training? It is thought that hormonally, younger teens' physiologies are not suited to the pressures of a weight program. Maximal weights carried to failure, and the addition of supersets and other high intensity approaches, would certainly spell disaster for any teen undertaking a weight-training regime.
If you have a strong itch to train at a gym, think about taking up martial arts as an alternative. Most experts advocate waiting until you are 16 for weight lifting to give your body a chance to fully mature. They recommend sticking to bodyweight exercises - you can still become incredibly strong very quickly with these exercises.
Is one ever too young to start lifting weights or partake in competitive weightlifting? This is a hot question without an easy answer. Weight training is safer than most other sports. It can add to muscle, ligament and tendon strength, improve muscular growth, lower body fat percentage and also develop dexterity and sports performance.
Those in the "don't lift weights when you are young" school usually argue from three main points of view. First, because of the growth plates, bones and other areas of a teenager's body are developing through the pre-pubescent and pubescent years, and trauma during this period can have effects on long-term growth, so weight training can present a risk. Second, there is concern that teenagers are known to take risks in their athletic activities, due to competitive urges, lack of awareness of their limitations, or even parental demands. Third, it is believed that teenagers will only have limited strength gains from weight training.
There are two key differences between a teenage bodybuilder and an adult bodybuilder. The first is the reality that the skeletal structure of the younger person is likely to still be growing. The other key difference, connected to the first, is a high metabolic rate. Hormones contribute to boosting bone growth during teen years. The key similarities between adolescent and mature bodybuilders include almost every other factor besides youthful growth and hormone levels.
Some of the factors that play a role in whether the young bodybuilder leaves the weight room feeling psyched about the workout or frustrated and disappointed include:
- Diet and nutrition
- Gym environment
- Gym equipment
Most young bodybuilders know how hard it is to eat right. Here's a sample diet for one day:
- 7:30 a.m.: 7 egg whites, 1 yolk, 2 cups skim milk, big bowl of cereal, and a piece of fruit
- 11:00 a.m.: 3 scoops of Gatorade powder, multivitamin, and a protein shake in water
- 12:00 p.m.: Turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread and a cup of fat-free yogurt
- 2:30 p.m.: Another big turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread, a big salad, and a small cup of low-fat cottage cheese
- 6:00 p.m.: Yet another turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread, 2 cups of skim milk, and a salad
- 9:00 p.m.: Whey protein in skim milk and a multivitamin
15 Key Points For Beginning Bodybuilders
- In order to be successful at weight training and avoid injury, you must learn to feel the muscles you are working out.
- Perfect exercise form is more important to your progress than being able to lift the heaviest weight you can pick up.
- The outcome of the synergistic blend of weight training, aerobics, good diet and motivational exercises go far beyond the result that would be experienced if any of the elements were left out.
- Nutritional supplements cannot compensate for an inadequate diet.
- You should get right back on track if you break your workout or nutritional plan.
- Increasing the amount of weight you use is only one of several ways to grow stronger in your workouts.
- Your aim for a perfect body should be anchored in the reality of the makeup of your body and your ability to devote time and effort.
- Learn to envisage your perfect body in action.
- "Just do it now" is a special rallying cry that will get you to push forward when you feel like doing anything else in the world besides training and eating clean.
- Learn the difference between appropriate pain, such as the burn in the muscle, and injurious pain, through perfecting your exercise form.
- Positive affirmation cards can plant emotional success messages.
- You have the ability to physically control your body through exercise and nutrition.
- Rest and recuperation are as essential to your gains as the exercise itself.
- Yo-yo and crash dieting never works.
- Use positive failure as a guideline for when a set is finished.
Muscle Building Myths And Other Mistakes
- Bicep curls make your arms bigger
- High repetitions that make your muscles burn will tone them
- 1000 crunches a day will give you six-pack abs
- You can only build muscle by lifting
- Not doing compound exercises
- Only working SOME muscles
- Keeping the intensity low
When you start bodybuilding, working out three days a week is ideal. Each of your workout sessions should last for about an hour, and no longer than an hour and a half. Reckoning how many reps and sets to do is perhaps one of the hardest things to do in bodybuilding. As a guideline, if 12 reps work best, you need to use a weight that allows you to do 6 reps with good form.