Though it may seem like a blessing, having the ability to learn almost every possible fitness philosophy may actually be a curse. Why? Well, unfortunately, as many who have been around the industry realize, the information that is spewed out to these young athletes is often very poor, and can be dangerous.
Young bodybuilders are generally in need of the most help. Take a look at a Youtube video of one of these fitness “experts” in their late teens to early and‐mid twenties and you’ll see my point.
Most of these personalities who claim to have “found the answers”, haven’t really come up with anything on their own. They shoot opinions and theories out of their mouths from past athletes, or present basic ideas that one can find in a “Fitness for Dummies” book. In the worst cases, not only do they give unoriginal advice, but also extremely dangerous (see DMT controversy).
Unfortunately, young athletes just entering the sport may not understand that this advice not only sucks, but could be harmful. These “experts” have an influence and a following, and it’s time we get a new perspective on the sport from a young athlete.
I am not claiming to be an expert, or to have found any magical answers. However, I will offer my opinions on topics, and start off by giving my top four tips for young athletes looking for help in their start in this incredible sport.
Take good form seriously. Training without injury helps you to continue building muscle without interruptions.
My 4 Top Tips for Teen Bodybuilders
1. Focus on Injury prevention and longevity from Day 1Too many times when young athletes start off in the sport, they are gung‐ho about making big gains, fast. They load up the weight, step under a squat rack or lay under a barbell, and finish their sets as quickly as possible.
A phrase I repeat all the time is: “Bodybuilding success is about consistency.” You can’t be consistent if you are spending half your time recovering from injuries. It’s a sport about longevity and health, young Padawan.
How do you prevent injuries? Obviously, not all injuries are avoidable. Accidents happen and eventually you will get hurt, but here are a few things that will help lessen the chances
- Core work ‐ learn core exercises to build up strength. The single most important part of a healthy, injury free body is a strong core.
- Always warm up shoulders before chest work.
- If something feels out of line or uncomfortable, you probably shouldn’t do it. There is no use forcing one more risky rep that day, only to cause yourself to miss a few weeks because you snapped your stuff up.
Okay, I know I got on people for unoriginal advice earlier, but hey, this is a no-brainer. I also said
I was going to tell you what works for me.
Perfect form is not only going to help you accomplish tip number one, but it’s going to make your gains come much faster, and continue long after they would if you used poor form. Think about it, not only are you going to tear down more muscle fibers by practicing good form, but your growth periods increase exponentially.
Follow me now, if you are on the lat pull machine channeling your inner bird to get those wings to fly away, and you are pulling 200 lbs with bad form, you may be able to add about 20‐30 more pounds on that particular lift. But that 20‐30 pound increase is where your gains will most likely end.
If you can only do 150 with perfect form, you will grow every workout from 150 until you are able to do 230 pound pulls. Except now, you’re twice as big because you went through many more growth periods. I know, it’s mind blowing, do stuff right and the right thing happens!
3. Learn your own routineIn my honest opinion, I think this is what will really make someone balloon up to cartoonish
proportions. Don’t fall into the trap of following someone else’s routine down to the smallest
Look, I know this is a beginner article, and I know that most people have no clue what to do when they first walk in the hallowed halls of sweat, meat heads, steel, and the Church of the Holy Iron. So by all means, learn the ropes by following another’s routine.
TRY EVERYTHING, high volume, low volume, high reps, light weight, heavy weight, excessive
masturbation, WHATEVER! Try it all, but pay attention. This is the most important part of
making gains, long after your newbie growth, which is the only time most people grow.
Find out what your body responds to and chart your recovery rates. This is crucial, once you learn how your body recovers and what kind of stimulus it best grows from, you won’t stop growing.
You want to grow? Train harder. Anyone who has ever had any success in bodybuilding has done at least these two things in regards totraining: Tip 3 (learned their recovery and developed a routine), and trained like a crazed elephant full of testosterone rampaging through the African Safari looking to mate and not stopping until it does.
BE THAT HORNY ELEPHANT! Mate with the weights. If you do, and you train like a person possessed, and you learn your own recovery rate, and your growth will never stop. Yes it will be slow, but it will never stop.