It’s hard to be a teen, but that is no excuse to be a weak teen. Today, we’re going over the teenagers guide to building muscle. If you already have a weak body and want to get stronger, you have a big mountain to climb.
But that climb is not impossible. I used to be a skinny teen who wanted to get big. I first tried to build muscle when I was 13 and weighed 140 pounds soaking wet.
Here are a few things I learned along the way about how a skinny teen built good muscle mass, as well as a few mistakes I would fix now. If you follow them, you’ll have a body you can be proud of soon, thanks to hard work, discipline, and good old-fashioned sweat.
Eat Correctly To Gain Muscle
It seems obvious that what you eat has a lot to do with how successful you are, but when I was a teenager, I didn’t have much common sense. I just ate less, worked out a lot, and had a lot of patience.
Diets are the first thing people talk about these days. I didn’t eat enough good food, and that was my problem. I ate well, but not often enough, not well enough, or enough of it. Often, I skipped breakfast, ate a normal-sized lunch, and then a huge dinner. Not the best way to do it. Then I started making homemade protein shakes that were high in calories, but if I could go back in time, I would have chosen real food instead. I was lazy and preferred to sip instead of chew. I finally figured out that eating right and getting better at the gym go hand in hand.
A good rule of thumb is to plan for three square meals and two smaller snacks that can come before and after your training (pre- and post-training). As a teen, it can be hard to keep track of every calorie without getting lost in the details. Just eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods like meat, fish, turkey, eggs, milk, chicken, cheeses, rice, pasta, potatoes, oats, fruits, vegetables, and lots of water. Don’t think about it too much. Eat a balanced diet and keep an eye on your weight. If you’re not gaining weight every month, try eating a little more. If you’re gaining too much fat, try eating a little less.
This is a simple example of a daily menu. It’s nothing special, but it will give you a good place to start making changes:
Breakfast: 5 eggs, a banana, and a glass of milk.
Lunch: Two lean meat sandwiches on wheat bread and a protein shake.
Afternoon: A bowl of oatmeal or whole grain cereal, a sandwich with natural peanut butter, or a glass of milk.
Protein shake after a workout.
Dinner is chicken, beef, or fish with pasta, rice, or potatoes and green vegetables. (or what mom made)
Train With A Purpose
Your diet can’t be more important than your workouts. People think training is just going through the motions and don’t pay much attention to how powerful and effective it is. When I was a teenager, I not only disagreed with that idea, I took it to the extreme. I loved working out. Six days a week, most sessions were two or even three hours long. I did a lot of workouts and fell in love with how the pumping of blood into my muscles made me feel. With idea how to control load, volume, fatigue, or the right way to recover. I only knew that I loved training.
Of course, nothing teaches us more than time and experience put together. To get the most out of your training, you need to think about your training volume, loads, frequency, and recovery. But there is a catch: don’t think too much about things. Overthinking every little thing will only make you angry and never make you feel completely at ease. You’ll always feel like your training isn’t good enough and that there’s something better you could be doing. You won’t have the confidence you need for your current program to work.
It’s not hard to put on muscle. When making a program, all you need is a sensible way of thinking. No special gadgets are needed, just basic exercises that use more than one joint and a progression mindset. Most things in life work best when done in moderation, and the same is true for your training.
There are a lot of useful programs out there, but there are a few rules you must follow before you press the start button:
Choose two or three exercises for each body part. Most of the exercises should be from the “multi-joint” category followed by isolation reps.
Do three to four sets with 8 to 12 reps per set.
Use proper form.
Rest between one to two minutes between sets.
Leave Your Ego At The Door
As a young lifter with a lot of potential, you’ll need to learn how to control your ego. When you walk into a gym, you see lots of bigger, stronger bodies. You also see experienced lifters who seem to be years ahead of you. I was just the same. We have a natural desire to find our place in a group, and I wanted to join the bigger and stronger club. But now that I think about it, I remember that my training partners told me I should lighten my loads and focus on my form. In the end, their advice kept me from getting into a lot of trouble.
Instead of just lifting things from point A to point B at first, you should focus on form, function, and trying your best to feel movements. You will still get results, but you will also get better function, less muscle pulls and pain, and better long-term gains.
Don’t bring your ego in. If you want to build muscle, get stronger, and get a body you can be proud of, you will have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. However, you shouldn’t do this to the point where you risk getting hurt, change your form, or limit your range of motion. Just go to the gym, do what you need to do, and let the other guys talk trash to show off.
Use The Correct Supplements
Supplements can be a great addition to any physical activity, but putting too much emphasis on them can slow your progress and leave you broke in the end. Yeah, I’ve used supplements but I can because I also relied on hard, dedicated training and, eventually, consistent nutrition.
If you get caught up in the world of supplements, there are a few things you should think about to make it worth your time.
Find out what you can: If a supplement company says you’ll get crazy results that are hard to believe, it’s probably too good to be true. There are only a few supplements on the market that have been clinically proven to be worth the price, so be careful.
First, eat right: Before you think about taking a supplement, you should make sure your diet is good. It does you no good to take a lot of supplements on top of a bad diet. First, make a real, solid plan for what you’ll eat and stick to it for a long time. If you still feel like you need to, you can look into supplements.
One after another: Don’t fall into the trap of taking a long list of supplements right away. Follow a logical plan and try out only one at a time. Why? How will you know which powders, pills, and potions worked and which ones didn’t if you take them all at once? Try one supplement for a month or so, see how it makes you feel, and then decide whether to take it again or cross it off your list.
I see a lot of teenage lifters make the mistake of not being consistent with how they sleep and recover. As with food, you can’t just get enough rest on one or two days a week. Proper rest and recovery should be thought of as something you do every day, every week, and every month. It’s not something you can make up on the weekends. Aim for 7-9 hours of good sleep each night. Turn off your electronics an hour or two before bed to help make sure this happens. Recovery is the secret to making progress.
This shouldn’t give you permission to be lazy. Even on your days off, it will be good for you to stay busy with extracurricular activities or other fun things. Sitting on the couch and watching all of your favorite shows back to back isn’t the best way to build muscle.
Be A Fitness Nerd
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who knows a lot about fitness. I’ve reached a point in my life where I can teach others what I know, but I know and accept that I will always be learning and will never know everything. Always try to learn more, especially when that little voice says something doesn’t sound right or might not even be true. The world of training and nutrition is always changing, and staying up-to-date will only help you.
One word of warning: don’t get too much information. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis, which is when you do so much research that you can’t do anything because you have too much information. Even though you should always be reading, listening, and digging, you should also set up a basic set of rules to follow. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and get a lot of rest. Lift heavier weights and do more compound moves as you go.
Find something else to do if the process is no longer fun. Going to the gym shouldn’t feel like work. Yes, there will be days when you feel like you’re dragging yourself through those doors and need a shot of adrenaline just to warm up. But if those days are more common than the good ones, you need to look at your rest and recovery habits, change your volume and intensity, or re-evaluate your motivation. If you hate the process, it’s not worth the time, work, and dedication. Don’t let the gym lock you up.
Don’t quit, either. You can always change your training so that it fits both what you need to do and what you want to do.
Your teenage years should be fun, interesting, and helpful. Try not to think too much about getting stronger and building muscle. Adopt a few good rules about how to train well and eat well, work hard every day, and have a great time doing it. You have the power. If you do it the right way, you’ll make habits that will last a lifetime.
If you want to