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A Primer for the Teenage Bodybuilder


Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many teenagers take interest in bodybuilding to build manly bodies and to become muscular.  The reasons for the fascination are easy to detect.  There is always a natural admiration that boys have for successful athletes.  So if the teenage boy in your life aspires to the shape of a professional bodybuilder, that is a much better obsession than some that young people get involved with.

A bodybuilding program that is geared to help a teenager become successful in developing muscle must be customized to that stage of development.  Because a teenager generally starts out underdeveloped, the weights and how the exercises are designed should start from that stage to take him forward toward a more muscular overall physique.  That is why it is best for the teenager to have the help of a bodybuilding trainer to specifically knows how to design a program for a young athlete.  That trainer can make sure that the natural enthusiasm of youth does not cause the young bodybuilder to go too fast and take an injury as a result.

It is important that a teenager who is starting out in bodybuilding take the time to set up his first exercise program so that his muscles can endure the stress of lifting weights.  If the initial introduction to bodybuilding is properly customized to the state of development of the teenager, that will result in the building and stimulation of muscle with will cause the growth the youngster wants without injury that can end the teen’s bodybuilding career prematurely.

It is also important that the novice, teenage bodybuilder learns the principles of bodybuilding before getting to ambitious in his development goals.  Youth are often too enthusiastic about going wild lifting weights, which is not wise.  That is why a teenage bodybuilder should have the active involvement of a trainer and parents to make sure that proper attention is paid to safety, diet and other lifestyle requirements that are just as much part of the sport of bodybuilding as weight lifting and “bulking up”.

Usually a teenage bodybuilder goes through a stage of gaining weight and slowly building muscle as a preliminary step before serious bodybuilding exercises are introduced.  To help the youngster be patient, review the weights that are required to participate in bodybuilding competitions.  That inspiration will give the teenage athlete the determination and will to take the steps of building a bodybuilding program slowly and methodically.

When the teenager bodybuilder has reached his muscle goals from stage one, only then can he begin to work on his ability to perform at a competitive level.  The hard work of building muscle and weight that has gone on so far begins to pay off in this phase of development because the young athlete can begin to compete in junior events and realize some of the recognition and excitement of competition that could become quite addictive.

Along with a dedication to working out that requires the kind of patience and ability to see things through that is difficult for teenagers, the dieting requirements for success in bodybuilding will be new to him as well.  The typical diet of teenagers of fast food and snacks has to be replaced with a strict diet that is focused on supporting the young person’s bodybuilding goals.

That means maintaining a calorie count that may be even higher than a teenager is used to.  But that diet is focused on providing the fuel to move that teenager forward in his bodybuilding objectives each week.  If a young person can become enthusiastic about the sport of bodybuilding and then develop the discipline and devotion to be successful at it long term, those will be skills that will benefit him for the rest of his life.

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Need more ideas? Here are some successful Body Building Techniques

The most successful body building techniques incorporate proven weight routines. A weight routine is a set of exercises, done in repetition, that develops specific parts of the body. For example, to build chest muscles, a body builder may use a weight routine that incorporates flat bench press (3 repetitions), bench dumbbell (2 repetitions) and inclined bench press (3 repetitions). The other important function a weight routine serves is to split a training program so different muscle groups are used.

Building Biceps

Dumbbells are a common piece of equipment used to build bigger biceps. The most popular technique to get the desired result is to hold the dumbbell closer to the inside of the plates. Routines for building biceps include dumbbell curls either inclined or standing, or both.

Building Chest Muscle

Good chest muscle building exercises are routines that incorporate bench presses and flyes. An even more effective way to build chest muscle is to split the chest into 3 zones – upper, middle and lower. By working each separately, using exercises that specifically target that area, you can build up some impressive chest muscle fairly quickly.

For instance, do your upper chest exercises on a 30-45% incline bench. Incline barbell and incline dumbbell flyes are excellent for working upper chest muscles. On the other hand, the lower chest muscles are best exercised using a 30-45% decline bench. You would use decline barbell and decline dumbbell flyes to build these muscles. A flat bench works best for the middle chest muscles. So you’d do flat barbell and flat dumbbell flyes on a flat bench.

Moving Onto Shoulder Training

The shoulders are made up of 3 main muscles – the lateral, anterior and posterior deltoids. Effective shoulder training to get big shoulders requires working all 3. The anterior deltoid usually gets some work in chest workouts. To build up the lateral and posterior deltoids requires additional exercises targeting these two muscles. Generally the best way to do this is with heavy barbell and dumbbell pressing in short reps as opposed to a lot of rep work with lighter weights. You should also focus on shoulder exercises that work effectively with progressive overload, a technique used to progressively add more weight to what is being lifted.

Matching Up The Back With Back Exercises

The back is one area many body builders overlook. But if you want your back to match up with those impressive chest, shoulder and bicep muscles, you will need to include back exercises in your bodybuilding routine.

Good workouts for the Lower Trapezius or lower back muscles include stiff-legged good mornings and hyper-extensions. For the middle back muscles or Rhomboids, you can do a seated cable row and bent-over barbell rows. Your Latissimus Dorsi will benefit from wide-grip lat pull-downs and pull-ups. And last but not least, try upright rows and barbell shrugs for your Trapezius.

But before starting any body-building workout, be sure to warm up properly. This will reduce the risk of damaging muscles and tendons. Stretch the muscles you’re going to be working. Also avoid lifting more weight than your body can capably handle to avoid serious injury.

A Primer for the Teenage Bodybuilder
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