Teens and Bodybuilding6/20/18
Bodybuilding is a very popular sport. It has an allure that is one of a kind because of the ability to drastically change one’s build by building muscle mass and losing fat. There is an aesthetic component that comes along with this lifestyle that draws people’s attention from virtually every age group.
An age group that has really taken an interest in the past few decades of bodybuilding is teenagers. As the years have gone on the age becomes younger and younger when it comes to those interested. Image is a huge importance to adults but in a sense, it is life for teenagers. Many young men in particular strive to have big arms, big chest, and a flat-6pack stomach. This is the perceived image of what bodybuilding is by many teens. Some however, know that the sport is much more and takes a lot more effort to achieve results.
When it comes to teenage bodybuilding, precautions do need to be made with the younger demographic (13-16-year-old range) more so than the older teenagers (17-21)
Since image is very important to almost everyone, body image issues are more prevalent with younger people, especially teens. Bodybuilding can spawn some issues in teens emotionally that they can find themselves dealing with well into their adult lives. Feeling like they need to be “leaner” or bigger (or smaller) is a mindset many adult lifters deal with today. So, if you are a teen or reading this and have a teenager that is into the sport, you nor them, are not identified through abs or body fat percentage.
When it comes to the variables of bodybuilding, any young teen should first just get used to lifting extra weight that is not their body. This is a weight that is sensible and allows them to have good control of what they are moving. The body is still growing at that age so focusing on targeting particular areas is somewhat pointless. This is like trying to decorate a wall when it has not even been painted yet. Work into the weights slowly. It takes years to figure out tempo and form and what movements work best for you.
On the nutrition side of things do not eat a restrictive diet (no or little carbs), just eat smart and sensible. Teens are kids and those years will never come back, so they need to be enjoyed even if you are trying to achieve a muscular body. Get the foundation set first in learning the right foods you should eat and basics on working out before jumping to using allowance on creatine and BCAAs.