Nowadays, visitors to gyms are people of completely different ages. Someone came to swing, having already celebrated their thirtieth birthday, and someone, on the contrary, while still a schoolboy. This positive trend has several negative features. One of which is an incorrectly selected training program.
Young people, coming to the gym, look at already experienced athletes and try to repeat what they are doing. In addition, searching for information on the Internet can also be unreliable, since most programs for increasing muscle mass are designed for the body of an already formed person, and at the age of 16 the body is still growing. In addition, young people usually believe that they themselves know what is best for them (they also watched films, video tutorials and googled information) and refuse to listen to the coaches. All this is fraught with injuries, so let's take a closer look at how you should train if you are between 13 and 18 years old.
Should you even start practicing at this age?
The growth phase is a reason that both favors muscle building at such a young age, and sets some boundaries in the selection of exercise and nutrition.
In general, you can start training at any age, but at 13-14 and 18-20 years, the male body has the highest testosterone levels without the use of any supplements. This contributes to a fairly rapid weight gain. Moreover, since the growth zones of the bones are still open, then without much difficulty you can become taller, change the ratio of the shoulders and waist.
However, it is worth remembering that improper technique and traumatic exercises will lead to the opposite result: growth arrest, loss of muscle tone. You should be very careful about what exactly and how you do it.
Do I need to go to the gym?
It sounds rather strange, but before the age of 16, you don't need to go to the gym.
At this age, basic strength exercises with weights are contraindicated. This strict rule applies to all guys, since barbell exercises place a vertical load on the spine, displacing the vertebrae and "tamping" them. Ultimately, your height will not only not increase, but may become smaller. Or you will develop a curvature of the spine due to improper exercise technique.
You should start strength loads on simulators at the age of 17, and move to free weights only when you are over 18.
What kind of power loads are allowed for adolescents under 16?
The effect of regular exercise in this sport is tantamount to the result of work on simulators. But with this approach, the risk of injury is minimal and you do not have to select a training program. Swimming works out all muscle groups. It is recommended to practice 2-4 times a week for 30-45 minutes, combining different styles.
2. Pull-ups on the horizontal bar
Great exercise for pumping up your upper body. Firstly, the less a person's weight, and at 15-16 it is less than at 20, the easier it is to master the correct technique for working on the crossbar. Secondly, if done correctly, you will be able to pump not only your arms, as many assume, but also your back muscles and abs. Third, working on a muscle corset will correct your posture. This exercise will help avoid the curvature of the spine that most schoolchildren suffer, and will visually make you taller, since you will automatically keep your back straight when walking. The optimal number of approaches is 3 x 10-20 reps. You can do it every day.
Do push-ups from the floor, developing the pectoral muscles, shoulders, arms and abs, and push-ups on the uneven bars. It can be difficult at first to work with such equipment, but due to the low body weight, you will quickly learn to feel the work of muscle tissue and perform the exercises correctly. If you want your abs, then your exercise is lifting your legs on the uneven bars. It is recommended to do 3 sets of 10-20 reps daily, preferably in the morning before meals.
The program for training a teenager aged 15-16 years consists of three basic sports, which can be combined at your own discretion. Separately, it is worth noting that it takes at least 48 hours for muscles to recover, so do not burden yourself with all three exercises every day.
As already mentioned, you should start visiting the gym at the age of 16-17. Before that, spend some time training your muscles and do swimming, pull-ups and push-ups for a couple of months. This will make your body ready for the increased load.
Do not exercise for wear and tear trying to lift the heaviest barbell. To avoid spinal injury, use medium working weights or exercise exclusively on simulators. In your case, the basis for muscle growth is not the weight you lift, but the number of correctly performed repetitions.
Do not take exercise in the gym as the only necessary strength load, since such exercises usually work out a specific muscle group, and you will have to spend more than an hour there to tone the whole body. Any workout should be limited to 45-60 minutes. When you are 16-17 years old, the gym is only an assistant in achieving a relief body and developed muscles. The main work still needs to be built around doing push-ups, pull-ups and swimming.
After 18 years of age, you can move on to higher weights and start using basic weight gain programs. But before that, you need to get precise instructions from the coach.
How to eat to gain weight?
There is an opinion that metabolism at the age of 13-18 is faster than at 25. This opinion is erroneous, since the metabolic rate changes with age by only 5%. And this means that you still have to give up "empty" calories and fast carbohydrates. They are found in all foods that are considered harmful: convenience foods, sweets, baked goods, carbonated drinks, fast food. Gradually switch to high-protein and low-carbohydrate foods: meat, dairy products, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, cereals. If they contain carbohydrates, then they are complex and, with the help of fiber, are absorbed by the body more slowly and release energy more slowly, without settling in the form of fat mass on the body. Of course, it's hard to skip high-carb foods altogether, but they shouldn't be the mainstay of your diet.
It is better to start using sports supplements from the age of 17-18, but take a responsible approach to their choice and not abuse the amount. The best choice might be whey protein taken before and after your workout at the gym.
Thus, a teenager can start gaining muscle mass even at the age of 13-14, but the variety of sports activities is limited to swimming, push-ups and pull-ups. Increased loads on simulators and with weights are added gradually, after reaching the age of 16-18 years. A balanced diet with a high protein content is the basis for the growth of muscle mass in adolescents.