Body Building for Teenagers

By: Cliff Baker

Many are not aware of this fact, but bodybuilding is different for all ages (well, between adults and teenagers anyway). Teens generally need less rigorous workouts than adults do, since you have to consider the growth spurt factor. Regular, vigorous workouts may actually decelerate growth in teens. Teenage bodybuilding should focus on getting and maintaining good health through proper diet and mild cardiovascular workout.

Regular cardiovascular workouts can give you a good health boost. Cardio workouts don't require that much energy. It primarily focuses on keeping your muscles conditioned for more rigorous exercise as you go older, as well as serving as a measure of protection against common teenage problems (studies actually show that exercise can prevent or minimize acne!). Resting is also necessary for teen bodybuilding - cells regenerate fastest when resting after a workout, and adequate rest is necessary to keep from stunting your growth. Cardio workouts include walking, jogging, biking, and swimming - basically fun things to do with friends.

For the boys, some mild weights training can be a good idea. This builds strength and endurance, as well as help you get the figure that makes the ladies take a second look. Going to the gym two or three times a week would be a good idea, but for those who can't afford it, simple pushups, pull-ups, squats, and sit-ups can be enough for a full-body workout.

As for the girls, the focus is more on cardiovascular workouts. Aside from maintaining good health, cardio workouts also work to shed those flabby areas and excess pounds - for many teenage girls, figure is everything. The more adventurous girls can even try Muay Thai, Aikido, or other martial arts for self-defense.

Teenagers usually can't afford to go to the gym regularly, but fortunately, you don't really have to. When in school, you can always take the stairs instead of using the elevator. When getting to school on time isn't a problem, get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way. And on the weekends, make time for some sports with your friends.

Diet is also important - it's important to get all the nutrition you need from a balanced diet. Protein is especially important for teenagers, since it's the main building block of muscle. Protein-rich foods include fish, milk, nuts, and meat. Take in more carbohydrates and less fat, since carbohydrates are burned much easily through cardiovascular workouts. Occasional 'dorm food', such as pizza and chips, are okay - just treat them as snacks and not meals.

With obesity (and all its associated medical conditions) on the rise in society today, it's important to get used to having regular exercise in your system early. The teenage years, with all the physical, social, and emotional opportunities present, is the best time to get started. Aside from staying healthy and maintaining a trim figure, teenage bodybuilding is also a great way to meet like-minded friends.

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