Teenage and bodybuilding are a tempting combination to many, but everyone knows the warnings. “You’ll stop growing.” “You’ll push yourself too hard”. It is not uncommon for teens to start bodybuilding, though. Is it also beneficial? Should they stick to more simple sports activities? After all, they are in full growth process and their hormone system hasn’t settled yet.
Bodybuilding during the adolescence years can have a huge impact – not only on the physique, but also on the mental aspect, the self esteem of the individual. It is therefore desirable.
The true dangers of teenage bodybuilding
When you are a teenager, the body is rapidly changing and growing. It needs considerable amounts of energy for this. If you train too hard, you leave nothing for the rest of the processes that need to take place. This is why you hear that bodybuilding or any intense sports at this age will hinder one’s growth. The body simply doesn’t have the resources to grow because it’s focused on repairing the muscles. This is why one may happen to never reach full height.
Another danger is that of a bad diet. Teenagers tend to eat fast food and processed food. Even if you may be getting enough calories, these aren’t of the best type, so it is of no use. It’s rather difficult and frustrating for a youngster to adapt to a different diet and make healthier choices. Eating correctly represents half of the efforts of bodybuilders.
The correct approach
Young as you may be, it is perfectly possible to obtain strength gains and shape up an enviable body. What matters the most here is to have a training program that’s adequate to this young age and not just copy what the adults do. You need a responsible trainer or a program that’s made for your age. Please note that hormones are crucial: don’t start training unless your facial hair and armpit hair has started growing. For real weightlifting, wait until you’re about 19.
Start by using only your bodyweight and don’t rush to employing any additional weights. There is much you can do at this stage. Do not expect the same changes, reactions or results as the adult bodybuilders do. This is mostly because of the hormonal system. The testosterone plays a very important role in energy levels, strength and speed of recovery.
Don’t train with great intensity. Tone it down, do not get too ambitious and commit to intense workouts. It’s better to focus on continuous efforts, on the commitment side, because long breaks will make muscles shrink quickly, at a higher rate than in adult age.
Nutrition is essential, keep that in mind. You’ll need not only a higher number of calories, but also different types of food that may not exactly suit your liking. However, there are many tasty options out there and the web is full of delicious recipes to meet the demands of bodybuilders. What it needs from you is commitment and a true desire to make the necessary lifestyle changes. If you don’t get the calories and the macronutrients, you might even start losing weight because that’s what the effort leads to.
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