The Best Bodybuilding Workout for Teens

The Best Bodybuilding Workout for Teens

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A meal of carbohydrates before a workout can help fuel a teen's muscles, allowing for better performance in the gym.

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Still growing, teens have a natural supply of testosterone that many adult bodybuilders can only obtain illegally. But this doesn't mean teens can hit the gym without a plan and achieve results; rather an effective bodybuilding workout for teens is much like one for adults. The best bodybuilding workout for teens involves training, proper form, careful planning and setting realistic goals.

Proceed With Caution

One thing that separates teen bodybuilding from adult bodybuilding is the fact that teens are still growing. For this reason, teens should emphasize physical safety. The proper way to perform a given exercise is known as “form” in weight training. Form not only allows for the optimum benefit from the exercise but also lowers the risk of injury. The more complex the exercise, the more important it is for a teen to perfect form before increasing the amount of weight lifted. For example, complex exercises, such as "compound exercises," require the movement of multiple joints, which increases the risk of injury at each moving joint. A teen should first train with a professional before performing new exercise techniques.

Math Has a Place in the Gym

The best bodybuilding workout for teens requires some outside preparation. Teens should set realistic, tangible goals for themselves. Bodybuilders tend to set goals linked to physique, such as goals for body weight or body-fat percentage. Teens should follow suit, setting safe and realistic goals. For example, a teen bodybuilder who wishes to build six-pack abs might set a goal of obtaining a low but still healthy body-fat percentage, such as 10 to 15 percent. Likewise, a teen who wants to get big arms should can a goal on biceps circumferences, such as setting a goal for 18-inch biceps. Starting with the goals in mind will help a teen bodybuilder know where to focus his efforts in the gym, such as in adding more ab or biceps exercises.

Exercises Made for Teens

Teens have a wide variety of exercises from which to choose. But out of all of those choices, compound exercises, or exercises that engage many joints, bring the most benefits in terms of overall fitness, according to the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 685 at Oregon State University. Teens should mold their exercise list around compound exercises such as rows, bench presses, lunges, pull-ups and good mornings. Still, a teen can include a handful of isolation, or single-joint exercises, such as cable crunches and hip adductions to build muscles in certain areas, in correspondence with a teen's personal goals.

The Workout: The Final Piece of the Puzzle

To allow their muscles time to rest, teens should allow one day of rest between weight-training days. For a stable schedule that can fit in with school, a teen might try a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday routine. When hitting the gym, a teen should lift heavy and at low reps, provided he can perform the exercises with proper form. Each workout should focus on around five different exercises performed in three to five sets of around five reps. To avoid overtraining, teens should avoid working the same muscle groups every weight-training session. For example, a teen who wants to use the squat exercise to work his legs should schedule that exercise for only once or twice per week, instead of each session. During the other sessions, he can work on other muscles.


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