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Starting on the Right Foot: Teenage Bodybuilding

Apr 18, 2008
While many world-famous bodybuilders began their training at a young age, teenage bodybuilding poses a lot of risks. Teenage bodies are not fully developed; even after puberty, girls and boys must still experience a period of growth before they are truly physically adults. Bodybuilding is an intense sport, and it puts a lot of stress on an adult body let alone on a teenage body. Young bodybuilders must be careful, and they must seek professional advice. Otherwise, they could seriously hurt themselves, and such injuries can take a lifetime or more to heal.

Keys to Success

Teenage bodybuilding is a slow process. While adults, especially those who have been athletic in the past, can walk into a gym and progress rather quickly, teenagers must start out slow. Most young bodybuilders have little to no weight training history. Therefore, the first few visits to the gym are painful, stressful and reap little visible results. Entering a gym and attempting random machines leads to poor form and the selection of weights that are much too heavy, but many teenagers have egos and do not wish to be seen as weak. Also, mimicking experience bodybuilders without truly knowing the reasons behind the motions is a dangerous way to learn. Instead, teenage bodybuilding is a process, a routine; progress is slow and depends on the teenagers ability to take direction, willingness to learn and acceptance of the fact that change will not occur overnight.

Teenage bodybuilding begins with body weight exercises. This basic weight training uses only the weight of the body and includes pull ups, chin ups, push ups and dips. A teenager should not attempt free weights or cable machines until he or she is capable of lifting his or her own body weight. Form is key during body weight exercises, but it is essential during weighted exercises. The bench press and dead lifts are some of the most beneficial bodybuilding sessions as they build a lot of muscle mass, but teenagers are advised to stay away from these exercises until they have a better grasp of their training. Poor form during these teenage bodybuilding exercises could result in serious injury, and teenagers are very likely to rush their training and forget about good form. Form is the foundation for future gains and heavy weights.

Teenage bodybuilding is best achieved using a slow approach to split training sessions. In other words, in the beginning teenagers should attempt a small amount of exercises three times a week. As they progress, however, they can begin to dedicate entire days to one muscle group, adding in additional exercises and, eventually, weights. Teenagers can easily over train, resulting in muscle loss and injury, and precautions must be taken to provide the body enough rest. Cardiovascular exercises must also not be forgotten. Any bodybuilder needs to burn fat while he or she gains muscle in order for those muscles to be defined, cut and flawless, and teenage bodybuilding is no exception.
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