Muscle building for teens can be a lot of fun. For some it’s the start of a new journey.
Upon that journey it’s important to keep in mind a few things.
In this post I’ve put together 6 ideas that are important to succeed when building muscle as a teen.
Lets dive in.
The Basics of Muscle Building for Teens
Focus on the basic compound lifts
To start packing on muscle you must focus on the core compound movements. These exercises work multiple muscles at once and build the most strength. For example the bench press works the chest muscles as well as the triceps.
- Bench Press
- Military Press
Any solid beginners program will have you doing these exercises.
I recommend you focus on getting better at these lifts and increasing weight gradually. As your strength improves so will your muscle mass.
Avoid muscle magazines and their hyped up programs, its all nonsense.
Set a solid consistent meal plan
I recommend you learn how to cook.
Learning to cook as a teen has a bunch of benefits. For one you become more independent.
When you cook you control what goes into your body.
Cooking is a life skill and mastering it early on will give you a head start on your fitness goals.
Making healthy delicious food is the key to succeeding.
I used to be a horrible cook.
It made it harder to build muscle because the taste of bland chicken and rice was awful.
I hated eating. Which is bad because to build muscle you have to eat more than usual.
When I finally learned how to cook I felt more confident in my ability to reach my goals.
I now cook all my food and have a great time doing it.
I love trying new recipes and counting calories.
The bottom line is you must become a good cook to build muscle unless you can afford a chef or have someone cooking your meals.
Even if you have someone else doing the cooking I still recommend learning this vital skill.
Learning how to cook will help you stay away from fast food.
Fast food is terrible for your body.
Do your body a favor and stay away from chicken nuggets and french fries.
You need the right nutrients for your body to grow and fast food just won’t provide that. It’s actually counter productive.
Focus on eating clean nutrient dense food. Eating vegetables, complex carbs and healthy protein sources will pay off in the long run.
Make sure you get enough protein.
Protein is what repairs the muscles in your body after workouts.
Aim for 1.2 grams x body weight a day.
It’s easy to get the right amounts by making whey protein shakes.
Eat lot’s of protein rich foods like chicken breast, eggs, ground turkey, beef, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.
There are many more sources of good protein a quick google search will give you a nice long list.
Find the foods you like that have good amounts of protein and eat those until you reach your daily intake number.
Remember that protein is vital to building muscle so don’t shortchange yourself.
Take your time with training
By making healthy muscle building a goal for life you avoid a major pitfall. RUSHING.
When people rush things they appear desperate and anxious.
You have to trust the process and understand it takes time.
Rushing will lead to over training and injury.
Give your body adequate time to build muscle and you’ll be successful.
Don’t expect to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in two weeks, and then quit when you don’t.
Setting realistic goals and getting ahead step by step is the best way to approach muscle building or any other goal for that matter.
Focus on being consistent and hungry every day.
So what’s realistic as far as muscle building?
If you’re just starting shoot for putting on 12-15 pounds of muscle in your first year.
As time goes the amount of muscle you can put on will decrease but you’ll look amazing.
Also set goals for your lifts.
Aim to improve the amount of weight you can lift and the reps you can do.
That’ll lead to increased strength and muscle mass.
Track your progress
On your journey it’s imperative to track progress. After all you can’t get to where you want to be if you don’t know where you are.
Measure your body weight everyday in the morning after using the bathroom and before eating. At the end of the week average it out to get an accurate body weight.
Also measure body fat % and waist circumference every week.
These two figures will let you know if your gaining fat or muscle and at what rate.
Before training measure your muscles.
Flex your arms and calves and use a tape measure to see where you’re at.
Measure your shoulders, chest and upper legs too.
These measurements will help you stay on track and alert you if somethings wrong.
Find a good mentor
A good mentor can help shave lots of time off your learning curve.
Find someone who has your dream physique and ask them to guide you.
Pick their brain about what it took for them to achieve their goals and how they did it.
Pick a good program and stay consistent!
Like I mentioned earlier you want a program that focuses on getting stronger at the key lifts.
Starting Strength and Bigger, Leaner, Stronger are two very good programs to follow.
Each one will help you pack on lean muscle. You just have to stay consistent day in and day out.
Don’t skip legs!
So many guys fail to train legs.
The result is their physique suffers and their scrawny legs stand out.
I want you to embrace leg day and strive for a rock solid muscular lower body.
It looks better and even more important you’ll be MUCH STRONGER.
Here’s a quick summary of what we just covered:
- Focus on compound exercises
- Set a solid consistent meal plan
- Being patient
- Tracking your progress
- Find a mentor
- Pick a good program and stay consistent
- Not skipping leg days