Tips for Teenagers Who Want to Start Weightlifting

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The Marc Dressen online fitness trainer solution isn’t just here for adults. I’m perfectly happy to help kids, and teenagers get healthier too.

One thing I’ve noticed about teenagers during my time as a trainer is that a lot of them want to find ways to get muscular, healthy, and lean as quickly as possible – particularly the boys. Teenagers want to show off to their friends, be better at sports, and have incredible bodies at the same time – so why shouldn’t they consider weightlifting?

Weightlifting is a wonderful way to gain strength and muscle, but when it comes to teenagers, there are some concerns about the safety of strength training sessions. Some people feel that teenagers can’t gain muscle when they’re still growing, and other people say that trying to build muscle might even be dangerous and end up stunting growth.

So, what’s the truth?

Teenagers can lift weights safely and effectively. Weightlifting isn’t nearly as dangerous as some people seem to think it is, and it doesn’t stunt growth – studies have proven that much. That’s why I’m going to give all the teenagers out there a quick set of tips that they can use to begin weightlifting the right way today.

Let’s get started.

1.     Learn the Right Techniques

If you want to get real results from your weightlifting efforts, then you need to make sure you’re using form correctly. Rounding your lower back, bouncing the bar off your chest, or letting your knees cave when you’re squatting can all lead to poor gains and an increased risk of injury.

If you’re going to start weightlifting at a young age, make sure that you speak to your online fitness trainer about which techniques you should be using. Be patient with the rate at which you add weight to your lifts, and make sure that you know the right form for compound lifts like bench presses and deadlifts to help you get the best results.

2.     Eat a High-Carb, High-Protein Diet

If you want to transform your body with weightlifting, even as a teenager, then you’re going to need the right fuel. A lot of experts agree that high-protein diets are the best solution for building muscle. Research suggests that between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per body weight per day is the best way to improve your muscle gain – so that’s a great place to start.

Of course, if you’re highly overweight, then you might need to reduce the amount you consume to about one gram of protein per pound of fat-free weight per day. Either way, you’ll need to be consuming about 30 to 40% of your total calories from protein.

3.     Don’t Focus on Getting Shredded

While there’s nothing wrong with learning how to optimize your body composition and control your body weight, you should try not to take the process too far. To get “shredded,” you’d need to reduce your levels of body fat to around 6-8% as a man, or 12-16% as a woman. Unfortunately, this means committing to a long-term caloric restriction which can impair the production of growth hormone and stunt growth.

It’s just not healthy to maintain those body fat levels – even when you’re an adult. Make sure that you stick to keeping yourself healthy and fit when you’re young until you’re fully developed and finished growing at least.

4.     Eat Nutritious Foods

While you can still gain muscle regardless of where you get your calories, it’s worth noting that there’s a good reason why people who eat a lot of vegetables and fruits are typically more likely to live longer healthier lives than people who eat a lot of junk food. Your body needs nourishment from its food, and you can get more of that when you focus on eating a nutrient-rich diet.

Additionally, since the habits that you build when you’re younger tend to stick with you as you get older, you should find that developing positive habits when you’re young helps you to become a stronger, healthier person when you’re fully-grown too. Use this time as a teenager wisely, and start building habits for the future that will reduce your risk of obesity and disease.

5.     Don’t Use Steroids

When you’re younger, it’s easy to look around you at people a couple of decades older than you and feel like you have miles to go before you reach your goals. You’ll visit gyms and feel as though everyone around you is leaner, bigger, and more muscular than you are – and that’s probably true. However – there’s nothing wrong with that.

The people around you have been training for years, and you will reach your goals too, with time and patience. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to the numerous problems of steroids just to try and speed the process up a bit. Remember, steroids can cause permanent and severe problems in adults, and they become even more dangerous for teenage users. Steroids can also damage skeletal development, which means that you’ll never reach your full potential.

6.     Get Plenty of Sleep

Finally, research tells us that poor sleep can cause a range of problems, from higher weight gain to slower weight loss, and even muscle loss. You need to get plenty of rest in between your training sessions if you want to give your body a chance to repair and grow. When you get plenty of sleep, you should see yourself performing better in the gym, and you’ll even feel better each day too!

If you’re lifting weights regularly as a teenager, then there’s nothing wrong with extending your sleep sessions beyond the 8-hour range, to something closer to 10 hours a night. This is because extra sleep can significantly improve your recovery and physical performance. A good way to determine exactly how much sleep you need is to pick a two-week period and go to bed every day at the same time, allowing yourself to wake up whenever feels right – rather than at the sound of an alarm.

Final Thoughts on Weightlifting for Teens

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with lifting weights during your teenage years – but you have to be careful about it. That means making sure you work with an expert to get the right results and ensure that you’re using the proper techniques in the gym.

If you don’t know what you’re doing during your training sessions, you might quickly discover that you end up getting into trouble with your body image – setting yourself up for some serious problems later down the road. The good news? Follow the advice in this article, and you should be on the path to success in no time.

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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