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Weightlifting and Supplements (Part 1)

by Jacob P. | April 17th, 2013 | Teen Perspective, Teens

weightroomAs a dual-sport (football and wrestling) high school athlete, I lift weights year-round in order to stay in shape. As I have now been weightlifting for four years (I started in eighth grade), I have seen the good, bad, and indifferent of weightlifting as a teenager. I am not here to sell myself as some form of expert; I just want to share my insight and experiences on the subject. Ultimately, this series will cover weightlifting as a teenager and supplements (such as protein, creatin, etc.).

Again, I would like to remind you that I don’t claim to be an expert. If you or your child have some serious questions, talk to an athletic trainer, weightlifting coach, or doctor. With that, let’s look into several tips and insights I have developed in my (relatively short) experience with weightlifting.

I didn’t start until I eighth grade and I would consider that the minimum age for weightlifting. Before that age, the benefits from weightlifting are limited. Most boys won’t see the results, because their bodies have not developed to the point where they will build muscle easily. Because of this, there is also an increased danger of injury. Young bones break more easily and damage at that age can be devastating. Some boys will hit puberty younger and be ready to lift before then, but most won’t. In eighth grade, I didn’t build muscle easily. I didn’t start building muscle seriously until my sophomore year. The only reason I lifted in eighth grade was because the football team had a program in place for incoming 8th graders. To be honest, I really wasn’t that into weightlifting then. It wasn’t until the summer between freshman and sophomore year that I really began to develop an interest in it (which may or may not have a connection with my muscle building; we’ll cover that later).

Now, you may have noticed that I only covered boys in the last paragraph. Well, that is because I lack any serious knowledge of girls’ weightlifting and muscle development. All I can tell you is that girls will naturally have a harder time building bulk muscle; rather, they are inclined to build lean, toned muscle. For more information on the topic, look here.

As I said, interest in weightlifting also contributed to my increased development. In order to be successful with your weightlifting, you must be committed. Follow the routine you have established (or been given) in order to see results. If you only lift when you feel like it or become lazy, you will ultimately find your results very limited. As I said, this is why I didn’t start to see results until sophomore year. At the same time, don’t overwork yourself. Lifting daily can be just as bad as not lifting enough. Ultimately, this will hurt you and limit your results. You should only lift every other day or at least make sure you don’t do the same muscle groups every day.

This is the the conclusion of the first part of this series; I will have more about weightlifting and supplements to cover as this series continues the week after next.


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