doesn't want to look good and impress the opposite sex? Body building
is a sport that appeals to teens for many reasons, including looking
good, impressing others, and winning recognition in competitions.
With so many teens growing up sedentary and forming bad eating
habits along the way, body building is a great way for them to
learn to lead a healthy lifestyle.
But body building
is not without its pitfalls, particularly for teens. Here are
ten things every teenage body builder should keep in mind.
from steroids. The word "steroids" in athletics
usually refers to anabolic steroids, which mimic the hormones
that the male body produces naturally. Athletes take steroids
because they help the body build muscle mass more quickly. They
can be taken in the form of injections, powders, and pills, and
they're illegal for high school and professional athletes alike.
increase muscle mass, but they also have some scary side effects.
The physical effects include premature balding, dizziness, insomnia,
pain when urinating, and heightened risk of heart and liver disease.
They can also have some undesirable sex-based side effects; boys
who overuse steroids can develop breasts and experience penis
and testicle shrinkage, while girls can develop deep voices, increased
growth of facial hair, and breast shrinkage. In addition, mental
side effects such as hallucinations, paranoia, and violent mood
swings can occur.
are already producing massive amounts of hormones as they make
the transition from childhood to adulthood. Because of this, steroids
tend to do more lasting damage to teenage bodies.
about your eating habits. No body builder can succeed without
the right eating habits, and body building diets require consistency
and discipline. Eating six meals a day and maintaining the right
balance of complex carbs, vegetables, fats, and protein is challenging
for any adult.
It can be
twice as difficult for teens, however. In school, teenagers may
not get as many opportunities to eat as they need to-and they
may not have access to the right foods in the high school cafeteria.
In addition, most teens are surrounded by peers who love junk
food. Teenagers must be especially careful about eating right,
and particularly creative about finding time during the school
day to work extra meals in.
through injuries. Anyone who works through an injury is at
risk for making the injury worse-and possibly doing lasting harm.
Adults and teenagers both need to be aware of this. But younger
body builders are more prone to believing they're invincible.
Even if an injury doesn't feel debilitating, teens must be careful
not to work out-especially if they're hitting heavy weights-if
they're not feeling their best.
that include hormones. Even if teens avoid anabolic steroids,
there are plenty of legal nutritional supplements that have the
effect of boosting hormone levels. Teenagers produce plenty of
testosterone on their own, and these supplements can have damaging
side effects. Teens should avoid using Viraloid, Tribulus Terrestris,
Creatine, Avena Sativa, Red-Kat, and any other supplement that
either contains or claims to boost hormone levels. Steroid-free
protein supplements and multivitamins, however, are generally
safe for teens to take.
is key. A successful body builder must be deliberate about
what and when he eats, as well as exercising regularly three or
four times a week. Between school, extracurricular activities
and after-school jobs, a teen's lifestyle can make it tough to
maintain a consistent routine. Those who can regularly carve out
the time they need are the ones who will succeed.
It's easy to get discouraged with body building, especially if
you've never set and worked toward a fitness goal before-and many
teens haven't. Body building is an endurance sport, not a sprint.
Success takes patience and a willingness to make long-term lifestyle
goals. Body building can make people feel better, look better,
and appeal to the opposite sex. But it's important to keep your
goals realistic. Many teens get into the sport thinking they can
see results in time for a big event like the prom, graduation,
or the start of fall semester; or that they can gain twenty pounds
of muscle mass in a few months. These goals set people up for
need to learn how to set realistic goals and track their success
over a period of time. Once they learn what's achievable and what's
not, they'll see they're making progress towards a larger goal
when they reach small, achievable milestones-and they'll feel
inspired to keep working at it.
mentor. You can read all the online and offline resources
ever published about body building, but it's no replacement for
time with a real mentor. Teens who can talk to a family member,
coach, or trainer with experience in body building are much more
likely to stick with it. The support and knowledge of an experienced
mentor is invaluable for helping teens develop and stick to a
routine, and maintain a positive outlook during difficult periods.
believe that the best time to get started body building is in
your teens; that's when your body is producing its maximum amount
of testosterone. There's no question that body building is a great
sport for teenagers-it teaches determination, patience, and diligence.
If they can avoid the pitfalls and stick with it, teens will learn
skills and habits through body building that will serve them well
Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.