Weight Training for Teens
Weight Training, Nutrition, Supplements and More!
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Teen Bodybuilding has gained increasing popularity over the years, where young teens hit the gym almost everyday. There's much upside to teen bodybuilding such as high self-esteem and confidence, becoming fit and healthy, and looking good for the ladies. Teen bodybuilding at the same time help the teens develop good habits not just in bodybuilding, but it trickles down to other facets of life such as good work ethics and discipline.
The question to teen bodybuilding is how young is too young for weight training? A rather simple answer - until the body is ready. Simple enough answer, but how do you know when the body is ready for weight lifting? Its common sense that starting bodybuilding at a age too young is not good for the body's growth. The right time for teen bodybuilding comes sooner for some than others. Its usually best to start training at ages of 15, 16. But its never too young to begin fitness work and health education. Young teens can develop a good foundation through calisthenics and cardio work, and once at the age of 16 to 17, commence a suitable, rigorous workout program. At an early age, emphasize on building all around physical excellence, good health, and athletic ability, instead of focusing purely on building size.
Teen bodybuilding, or any bodybuilding requires good nutrition and diet. This is where many teen bodybuilders run into some problems due to their tight schedule. Its easy enough for adult bodybuilders, or even university students to eat six times a day, but for teen bodybuilders, most are in school all day, and in most cases, eating is prohibited in class. How do you get the nutrition you need to grow?
There is a solution. Teen bodybuilders don't need to starve. There are already three meals in a day, and breakfast is the most important. Eat lots of high protein and high carb products for breakfast. This could include eggs! Eat several egg whites and whole eggs each morning, plus weight gain supplements.
Successful bodybuilding requires several meals during the day, so you will have to mix in two meals in-between the main meals. This mean one at mid-morning, and another at mid-afternoon, and probably another sometime late evening after dinner. The next main meal won't be till lunch, so you'll have to eat something during class, which unfortunately, most teachers won't allow. What you can do is bring a thermos filled with enough liquid meals to ensure you eat every two hours or so. Blend non-fat milk with protein powder, and drink this 'liquid meal' in between main meals.
Your lunch should supply you with as much nutrients as possible. Ideal foods to bring are white meat such as chicken breast, turkey or fish, and lean red meat. Bring lots of potatoes or rice as a rich source for carbohydrates, and bring a salad of some kind. By mid-afternoon, have the rest of your supplement mix, or if you drink it all in mid-morning, you can wait till you get home, and have a supplemental meal before dinner.
With this diet strategy, you effectively work around the tight schedules of high schools, and ensure you take in enough nutrition to help your body repair and grow. It takes a little time and planning, but its well worth it.
If you want to get big, you need to train big (like you haven't heard this before) so let me break this down. Train 3 - 5 times per week and keep your sessions short. By short I mean under an hour. Train one muscle group per week or every 5 days... do not combine 2 large muscle groups on the same day. Your big muscle groups are chest, back and upper legs. Below are three examples for splits that are perfect for a teen:
3 Day Week
Mon: chest, tris, calves
4 Day Week
Mon: chest, calves
5 Day Week
As you can see no 2 "big" muscles are done on the same day. Now, for exercises, do compound movements (like you haven't seen this either) such as bench press, shoulder press, rows, squats, and dead lifts first in your workout, and make sure you do the big muscles first as well. As for volume and intensity, these are inversely related, the more volume, the less intensity and vice versa. I like high intensity my self. For reps and sets, shoot to fail between 6-10 reps and if you are training intensely do only 5-8 sets per body part (more sets for the bigger muscles, less for the smaller ones, brain surgery, ehh?).
Next off, what many consider the most important part.
Being young most of you probably have fast metabolisms (hell, going into my frosh year in high school I used to eat Crisco to gain weight for football, to no avail though). So, here's what you have to do to gain mass: EAT. We're talking every 2 hours if possible, but at least 6 meals a day. Each meal should contain about 17% of your daily requirements for protein and carbs.
As for the ratios of each, shoot for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (1.5 if you're really skinny) and 3 gms of carbs for every lb of body weight. This means if you weigh 150 lbs. you need 150 gms of protein per day, 450 gms of carbs per day, turning out to be about 26 gms of protein and 78 gms of carbs per meal. Sorry to make it complicated, but in essence you should have a ratio of 3:1 for carbs:protein per meal. Easy, ehh? Now for fat, as long as it is unsaturated (nuts, veggie oils, fish fats) don't worry about it.
These are necessary to build muscle. I also used to eat very little fat per day at one time trying to lean up for summer. It's not the way to go because you will feel like crap. Your 3 most important meals of the day are breakfast, after you workout, and before bed
Here's an example of what a 150 lb. pound teen should eat per day for bodybuilding :
6 am: 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 cups skim milk, 2 egg yolks, 3 egg whites
9 am: 2 cups yogurt, PB sandwich on 4 slices wheat bread
12 pm: can of tuna mixed in mayo, on 4 slices whole wheat bread, handful of nuts and an apple
3 pm: 2 bananas, protein shake in cup of milk
6 pm: 5oz steak, rice, salad
10pm: sugar free pudding mixed in 2 cups milk, bowl oatmeal, 4 egg whites
This is only an example, it doesn't have to be quite so bland
and don't be afraid to eat "wrong" once a week. On a
side note, only count whole proteins (dairy, meat, protein
This is perhaps the easiest part to write. Don't overtrain.
This means don't spend hours in the gym (we already went over
this). Also, there's no need to run or do cardio since we are
trying to get big. I'm not saying exclude it from your life, pick
up games are fun, just don't purposely run the tread mill or ride
the cardio bike. Make sure to use your days off as rest days, and
get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Your muscles grow when
you sleep, not when your in the gym... in fact, the only time your
muscles grow are when you sleep.
For supplements to work properly the first three aspects must be on track. If your diet, training, and rest are not correct, supplements will do no good. They are like the finishing touches, you can't expect to put furniture into a house if you have no roof or walls, right?
Below are supplements that you SHOULDN'T take, these will screw with your hormone production, possibly giving you bad side effects (just what you need to get chicks: big biceps, little girlly nipples, rat sized nuts, and huge white heads), and should not be taken by young lifters. These supplements might work great for adults with no side effects, but wait until you are older. Supplements to stay away from when you are a teen: DHEA, Growth hormone, Andros, ECAs, Tribulus, any "all in 1" supplements.
Here is what I would recommend for using in order of importance:
its hard to get enough vitamins from diet alone today
Protein Powders- pretty self explanatory, if you dont have enough protein, you're not gonna gain muscle.
Creatine- helps to volumize muscles, increases endurance and will help you get stronger
Glutamine- most abundant amino in the skeletal muscles, if you dont have enough your body will feed off itself, just make sure if you are taking it with creatine not to take them any closer than 2 hrs apart
Weight gainers- if you're really skinny, these are great to add calories.
Ok, that's my run down on supplements. Now, really quickly how to take them. Multivitamins- just pop them in the morning. Protein- really, can be taken at any time. Most effective after workouts and before bed. Creatine- first 5 days take 5 gms 4 times daily (loading, I'm sure you already know this), after that take it every day (5 gms) for 4 weeks after you workout. Glutamine- make sure you take it 2 hours apart from creatine. Most effective times are first thing in the morning and right before bed.
So there you are, supplements in a nut shell. Another side note... MAGAZINES ARE BULL-CRAP. The guys in them spend $1,000's a month on juice and other drugs. This allows them to workout longer and recover faster. Alright, that's it, for all of those who had the patience to read the whole thing down to here, good for you...
Remember: eat big, train big, sleep big and soon you too will be big results come with time and patience.
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