Thu 26 Feb, 2015

The Era of Teenage Gymming

Many articles have been written with a focus on adult fitness enthusiasts, but teens have often been neglected. This article will focus on weight lifting for teenagers looking at the benefits and the controversies.

The big myth

One of the biggest myths about weight lifting is that it stunts your growth. There have been no scientific studies published that have shown lifting weights stunts growth. As with any fitness program, if you overdo exercise physical problems can arise no matter how old the person doing the exercise is.

Strength training in this manner can be the most potent exercise stimulus for bone growth and development. In fact, research has shown that young weightlifters both male and female have greater bone densities than individuals who don’t lift. Thus, the positive benefits of resistance training for bone health, injury prevention and improved athletic performance are far greater than the risks.

What is a good calorie ratio to follow?

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If you are a male between 17-18 years old the average calorie intake should be around 3000 kcal and 3200 kcal. If you are a female you should aim for an average of between 2400 kcal and 2600 kcal. It is always a good idea to consult with a qualified professional on what your ideal calorie count should be.

How many sets should I do?

You should be able to do around 15 reps using a weight you can manage but no more than that. Try to keep your rest in between sets to around a minute, try and stick to 2 or 3 sets. aim to train 3 times weekly. If you are an average teen with a healthy amount of activity then you can opt for a more intense workout program. As a beginner, you want to work out three times a week, doing 10 reps per set, and around 4 sets per exercise. Use 3 to 4 exercises per body part. As a male teenager between 17-19 years old, you should be aiming to gradually progress to lifting heavier weights with lower reps, around 8-10 per set.

If you are an overweight teen, you should start with doing cardio exercises, and train with light weights. Try to manage 5-10 minutes of walking on a treadmill and play as much sport as you can. Do as much as possible to burn calories.

Teen girls need no more than eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise on alternating days for maximum benefits. It is also advised to train for 20 to 30 minutes two or three times each week with at least one day off in between for adequate rest.

Exercises to avoid

Try to stay away from using clean & jerk, bench press and deadlift, as their execution is very technical and you can injure yourself if you are not under proper supervision.

When you become more accustomed to training, you may wish to switch to a split-routine, in which you train different body parts on different days.

An example of this would be:

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Back and Biceps
Tuesday: Chest & Triceps
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: Arms and shoulders
Saturday: Chest and Back

This routine allows for more than enough rest in between exercising each body part, something which is very important in weight lifting. I wouldn’t recommend training the same body part with less than 48 hours rest in between. Diet also comes into play. Keep the ratio of protein to carbohydrates about 50/50, you never want to starve yourself!

Whether you are a young teen boy looking to bulk up for your sports team or you’re a female looking to get fit and stay in shape, the most important thing to remember is it takes hard work and dedication and there is never a quick way out that will pay off.

At Simply Gym, we have facilities that cater to any of your health and fitness needs, whether you’re into bodybuilding or just looking to keep fit and healthy. Our facilities are open to people 16+ and we are committed to offering top gym and fitness class facilities at a fraction of the usual cost of health club membership. .