Most teenagers are not yet full grown, so special considerations must be taken when a teen undertakes a body building program. However, you should know that this is a great time to start a workout program that you can carry through to your adult years. There are some things to keep in mind before you start, though.
- DO NOT start lifting weights or undertaking an intense body building regiment before you turn 13. You can exercise before this “magical” age, but limit your exercise to low-impact workouts like push ups and sit ups.
- Squats and dead lifts should never be performed either before you are 16. These types of exercises require some execution techniques that need to be performed properly or else you will injure yourself.
- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you take any type of testosterone supplements before you reach adult hood. You already have plenty of testosterone in your body. Adding more could contribute to growth stunting.
After that, you should do some serious research on different workouts and start slowly. Don’t push your body beyond its limits. You could seriously injure yourself and set your progress back markedly. Everyone’s muscles grow in different ways, so try not to compare yourself to other people. Just get a well-balanced workout routine and perform it correctly with good form.
Diet is also important to teen body builders just as it is to adult body builders. Eat lots of protein and vegetables as well as grains and carbohydrates. Keep yourself well-hydrated with lots and lots of water and stay away from sugars.
Rest is also important since, like adults, this is the time when your body’s muscles will grow. At least eight hours of sleep is recommended, if not more. You will be doing your body a favor by giving it time to heal from the damage you’ve inflicted on your muscles and allow them to grow naturally while you rest and build up your energy for the next day.
There are certain exercises that teens can perform that can build mass in your muscles without the risk of harming them. Some of the adult exercises won’t be appropriate for you, but some of them will. Here are a few that you should use:
- Dumbbell Curls – These will work your biceps as you lift the dumbbell from your knee up to your shoulder in a slow, smooth motion. Alternate arms between sets and remember to breathe. Concentrate on the lift and working the muscles.
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls – Hold the dumbbells like you would a hammer. Alternate arms lifting from your side to your shoulder, again, in a slow, easy motion.
- Flat Bench Press – Lay flat on a weight bench with the barbell above you. Hold in a wide grip and slowly lower the barbell down to your chest and up again. Pay special attention to the way your muscles are responding to the weight.
- Dumbbell Flyes – Hold the dumbbells like you are doing hammer curls. Keep your arms straight up with your elbows slightly bent. In a semi-circular motion, lower the dumbbells slowly down to the sides of your chest. This will work your inner pectoral muscles.
- Dumbbell Shrugs – Hold a dumbbell in each hand lowered to your side with your palms facing your hips. Raise your toes up and then shrug your shoulder to work your trapezius muscles.
- Shoulder Press – While seated, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Sit straight and press them up. Resist when you are lowering them down. This works the deltoid muscles.
These are just a few exercises you can do, obviously. You may want to consult with your P.E. instructor at school or ask someone at a local gym to help you with other exercises that you can safely perform so that you can accomplish your goals.
Body building is an extreme sport that can yield amazingly satisfying results. But you must be sure that you stay committed to your goals. Unless you are sick or there is a very, very good reason, you should stick to your workout under all circumstances. If you want to meet your goals, you CANNOT put them off just because you want to.
If your parents are concerned about your body building efforts, have them take you to your family physician and tell him or her about what your plans are as well as the exercises you want to do. Listen to what the doctor has to say and heed any advice that is offered. If you undertake this program in a responsible way, your parents will be impressed rather than worried!
Once you start seeing results in your body, you may decide that you want to enter a body building contest. These can be great motivational tools to keep you on a workout regimen, but there are some things that you should know.