As they say, you are only young once, so make the most out of it. And there are things in life that you should learn to do as early as in your teens, from mundane chores like cleaning your own room or cooking an entire meal, to more significant matters like saving up for your future.
If you’re looking at improving yourself, maybe you can start hitting the gym and consider growing muscles in your body. Because, well, you can.
During your adolescence, your body will go through many upheavals. You’re in that in-between phase where it’s starting to look less like that of a young child but still short of being an adult’s. But you can take advantage of this time since young bodies would respond a lot better to many physical activities, what with all that dramatic growth spurt taking place in and out.
Different body types
With proper guidance and careful planning, putting on some bulk can propel your health and fitness to the next level. However, not all teens are the same. Some are thin, others are fat, but more specifically, your body structure may fall into any of these categories.
First, the ectomorph – a lanky teen who has a lightning fast metabolism, you can brag about eating all the junk food you can muster without showing the damage in your weight. But because your body is still developing, it is at that awkward stage of being gangly- you’re quite tall but thin, with long limbs, a big head, and a skinny frame, like you’re just a two-dimensional form.
Second, if you are that cute and chubby kid who everyone wants to pinch his cheeks red, you most likely have the endomorph body type. You have that soft, round look, with a large waistline and a high body fat percentage. You may put on that happy facade as your line of defense, but deep down, you can only wish things will be better when you grow older. That’s because at this point, food temptations are simply irresistible to you.
And finally those who seem to have won in the gene pool lottery, the mesomorph types. You have the athletic form where you have broad shoulders, relatively low body fat, and some muscle definition. However, these youngsters may still gain weight if they are not careful with their diet, but will have more advantage in gaining muscle mass much faster than the others.
You can also be a cross between two body types such that a track and field runner, for example, may have both ectomorph and mesomorph qualities. You may find that the outcome for a mesomorph will likely be different from an endomorph or ectomorph so it’s important to have realistic expectations coming into this process.
Muscle building in teens
While there are young individuals who remain unaffected by their appearance, there are those who are beginning to be more body conscious despite their tender age. After all, you are in this stage of your life where you’re developing these growth hormones, which will serve you well in building muscle mass. And besides, getting shredded is not reserved to full-grown men and women only, practically everyone can join in on the fun, including teenagers.
There are also a myriad of reasons for the youth to have the desire to build their bodies at an early age. Aside from vanity and gaining self-confidence, you also see the value in improving your strength and athletic performance, especially if you are engaged in sports. You may also start to see the importance of having overall fitness for optimum health not just physically but mentally as well. It is highly advisable for you to get a greenlight from your doctor before proceeding with anything. Consequently, you should seek advice and guidance from trainers, preferably those who have a fitness certification and are used to dealing with young trainees. If your school offers weight training classes for its students, it’s a no-brainer.
Tips to build teen muscles
Your teenage quest for muscle will become a reality if you follow these foolproof tips.
Calm your ego and start with the basics
When you walk into a gym, you probably can’t help but gawk at the muscular physique of these seemingly professional bodybuilders around you. Someday, sooner, you say to yourself. However, avoid the urge to go straight to doing all the heavy lifting routines by taking it one step at a time.
It’s ok to dream big, but you should know your limitations. If you succumb to your ego, you are unwittingly setting yourself up to early disappointment, if not failure. Worse, you can injure yourself unnecessarily, which is what happens not only to teen muscle builders but also to adult individuals who think hastening the process and taking shortcuts to achieving their goals will do the trick. These teenagers want to see results right away without even having gone through the motions yet. And this impatience becomes a perfect recipe for a disastrous outcome.
A good way to start your path to muscle growth is to hone your basic movements before anything else. This means you will take perfunctory actions up a notch like carrying heavy stuff, pushing and pulling loads, holding your squats, etc. These help you lay a good exercise foundation before you start pounding on at the gym.
Progress to strength training / resistance exercises
Strength training (and resistance training) is where it’s at – it is a must-do to turn your muscle dreams into reality. However, don’t make a mistake of aggregating all the weight lifting information you see on the internet or magazines. Try building a solid program first with the help of a certified personal trainer (and one that’s adept at handling young trainees like you), one which will consist of bench presses, deadlifts, squats, shoulder presses, and the like. Your trainer will be able to guide you and ensure you have the right form when performing your body weight routines.
Using your own weight as resistance will prime your body to take on more challenging exercises such lifting power weights, compound movements, etc. Your transition to these routines will be your ticket to muscle gain and body strength. You have to remember though that teens should focus more on the repetitions and pacing rather than on how heavy you can lift. You don’t want to struggle during your workouts, instead you want them to challenge your physicality. Practicing with more reps will hone your body’s adeptness to motor patterns while slowly but surely building muscle mass.
Eat like a disciplined adult
Just because you have these amazingly resilient young bodies doesn’t mean you can get away with poor diet choices. Problem is, you can’t rely on your food options at your school cafeteria or your mom’s packed lunch all the time. To build muscle, you will need to consume protein-rich meals that consist of chicken, beef, pork, fish, or eggs. For energy, you can pair your meat with some brown rice or whole wheat pasta. If you have difficulty gaining weight, you can increase your carbs slowly every meal. Toss your fruits and vegetables into the mix that will help with fiber to complete your nutrition.
Consider Juiced Upp’s Beast Stack
You don’t want to build muscle for the sake of, you’d rather be a beast. Thanks to nutritional advancements, you can achieve this by taking dietary supplements that target muscle gain beyond what you can get from your weight training. But you have to pick out the ones that are right for your age in order to be effective for your purpose.
You can source your additional protein from whey, casein, eggs, soy, and blends you can drink for easy absorption. These protein powders may contain a few grams of fat and carbohydrate but are still considered as low carb. They can be added to milk, oats and yogurt and serve as your meal replacements in shake form.
Multivitamins may also help but do not necessarily target muscle building. They are useful in maintaining your overall health and may supply nutrients that your body may be lacking. Vitamin D3, fish oil, probiotics, creatine, glutamine, amino acids, and nitric oxide are supplements you wouldn’t want to leave out of your beast stack either.
Take a break
Teens tend to adapt very quickly, however, you will notice that your progress stops when you overtrain. Fatigue, soreness, and sometimes acute pain may ensue. You simply can’t lift weights on a daily basis, expecting continuous muscle growth. You have to let your body recover by having your rest days in each week, and shooting for at least 7 hours of shuteye every night when your growth hormones are activated. During these off days, your muscles are repairing their tissues which have been worked over while training.
Muscle building is indeed a great endeavour to start during your teenage years. However, you have to remain sensible with your strategies and avoid taking shortcuts at the same time. You will not only gain muscle and strength when you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you will also develop personal mastery and self control while optimizing your youth physically and mentally.