Teenagers and Bodybuilding (part 1)

Creating an acceptable image is what motivates teenagers in the modern world. But the pressure to achieve success can be extreme and a physical image needs dedication to a point that the agony of defeat can lead to suicidal despondency. With the additional battle against adolesent hormones, spots and pimples appear just to make life even more difficult and every straw is clutched inorder to get within the acceptable norm physically.

The youth of today find themselves attracted to image being a result of an extremely dedicated media society. But image is an important issue as it provides security and self esteem. The promise of a great physique in a short time space is what entices Teenagers into the world of Bodybuilding. But despair is just round the corner as there is no quick route to Rapid result and an average of seven out of ten quit within the first three months just as adults do with dieting.

This is truly a great pity, because the main reason for failure is incorrect training. In most if not all, that means OVERTRAINING. Bodybuilding for young people should follow a specific and gradual pattern, and I now hope to set out some of the rights and wrongs, in an attempt to bring success to a far greater percentage of young trainers. It is difficult to define a right or wrong age at which to start training with weights, although movement and exercise should naturally be encouraged at any age.

From an early school age youngsters should be encouraged to take part in different sports which will help with muscle development and the learning of training skills. The objective of early training is to help children to become physically fit and they should be taught as soon as possible to Run, Jump and Swim. With the right encouragement these skills can be learnt within a week. The running and athletic exercises ensure healthy lungs and cardiovascular systems, which is a must if anyone wishes to begin heavier exercise.

It is imperative that encouragement be given to keen youngsters who desire to train, and that coaching begins on a one to one level. Youngsters between the ages of ten and fourteen must train with the lightest of weights and at low resistance, but always under the supervision of a professional.

Controlled low weight exercise is essencial. Repetitions averaging about twelve on a full range of basic exercises should last about thirty minutes, and no more than three times a week. The correct safety measures should always be implaced, and never forgetting to warm up and taper off. Barbell and dumbbells exercises imply the use of a collar and the coach should check weights at all times.

The type of exercises to avoid are dead lifts, good morning exercises, heavy squats or bouncing squats. Young trainers should under no circumstances use weights or do exercises that could compress the spine. Once a youth has progressed with regular continuity, heavier weights can be used under professional instruction, although heavy power lifts are unwise until the youth has finished his or her natural growth potential and bones, joints and tendons stabilize.

How about muscle being put to a purpose. Well, just two examples are Gymnastics and Martial arts, whereby muscle training by using heavier weights has an additional goal and not just image. Training can be increased to one or two hours, three times a week inorder to encourage the young trainer to obtain a useful development.