13 Teen Muscle Building Mistakes

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by Egyptian Doctor, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    1. Lack of Diet Structure

    This is probably the number one mistake that all teens make when they start lifting weights. They pick up a magazine go right for the training articles and focus solely on what they are going to train with weights. After weeks of making minimal gains they end up quitting.

    As a teen starting out I don’t expect you to be counting calories and breaking down macronutrients, but I do think it is a good idea to read up on some basic nutrition articles and find out how properly to structure yourdiet. Eating the right clean healthy foods in each meal and occasionally have your sweets or junk food. Remember training breaks down muscle tissue, without the proper nutrients at the right time you can not recover and grow to your best ability. So sit down and take some time figuring out what you are going to eat on a regular basis.

    2. Lack of Training Structure

    Have you ever walked into the gym and was asked by someone what you were going to train that day and you said “I don’t know …. Maybe some chest”. I see this all the time teens will come to the gym with the desire to workout but without an idea in the world what they are going to train. Most of the time they train what ever muscle the rest of there friends are training that day.

    What this leads to is an unbalanced physique. I say unbalanced because, when is the last time that your buddy said it is leg day. Probably never. So more often then not you will probably miss a leg day from time to time which lead to the legs falling behind. Same thing usually happens to back, but good old chest and arms never get missed. Most of the time these muscle groups are trained multiple times a week.

    3. Lack of Good Form

    I will not pick on teens exclusively because crappy form is displayed by all ages but I need to bring this up because I have seen some pretty crazy stunts from some teens. The ego of most teens drives them to use improper form. They want to display super strength so will do anything to lift heavier weight. Most of the time they use quick jerky form or using assisting muscles groups too heavily in the pursuit of lifting heavy weights.

    Most of the time this is so they can out lift there buddy who is also using poor form. The 2 most common exercises that are displayed in poor form are the bench press and the curl. During the bench press many teens bounce the bar off their chest and or arch their lower back extremely to get the bar off their chest. When doing curls there is usually a lot of swing and plenty of front deltoid assisting in the lift. When you perform a lift in this manner you are using minimal work on the muscle that you are trying to stimulate and using more with your joints and ligaments.

    4. Lack of Consistency

    To make progress in the gym you need to be consistent with your training, nutrition and recovery. When you start to slack on one or all of them you will not see the type of gains that you could. I find teens get excited very easily when they see positive things happen, like the newbie gains. But once this time of constant gains slows down they lose interest. This is a critical time for all trainers.

    5. Lack of Sleep

    Sleep is one of the most critical forms of recovery that the body will need. When you sleep your body releases most of its growth hormone, IGF-1, and testosterone. All of these hormones aid in the recovery and the muscle building process. Also getting a good nights sleep helps aid in the energy you will need for the next days workout. I know that as a teen you have a busy schedule with all the school work and activities you participating in, but if your goals are to get bigger and strong make sure that you schedule an 8 hour nights rest for maximum recovery and growth.

    6. Too Many Supplements

    I don’t blame teens for falling victim to this mistake. In the pursuit to getting bigger and stronger many teens rely too heavily on natural supplements. The reason I don’t blame them is because when ever you open a magazine you are bombarded by countless supplement ads telling you that if you take this supplement it will make you look like the person in the advertisement.

    Yes I do take supplements and actually work for a supplement company (Betancourt Nutrition), but I am here to tell you that supplements don’t do shit if you do not have a sound workout and nutrition program PERIOD. Supplements are made to help “supplement” what you can’t get from the food that you are eating. There are no LEGAL or ILLEGAL supplements that will replace a sound nutrition program.

    7. Weekend Partier

    I am definitely one that loves a good party and enjoys my time away from the gym but I see too many teens ruin all there hard work by partying too hard almost every weekend. I know that it has been a long week at school and you want to enjoy yourself with friends but realize that staying out all night and getting little to no sleep 2 nights out of the week will hurt your progress in the gym. Add to the fact that most of the time your protein drinks are replaced with some kind of alcohol and chicken and rice is replaced with snacks and fast food. You will only hurt your chances of making solid gains.

    8. Failure to Train Legs

    Again I can’t just pick on the teens for making this mistake because almost all males either don’t train their legs hard enough or train them at all. Legs are the foundation of your body. They are where you get all your power from when you participate and any sport. Legs when trained correctly are your biggest and strongest muscle group. Also you have the added benefit that you are able to use the most weight when training legs which results in your body releasing GH, IGF-1 and testosterone which will help with not only leg size but other muscle groups will get that benefit.

    9. Fail to use Basic Compound Free Weight Exercises

    Even if you stay consistent and listening too all the mistakes I have listed above with your training and nutrition you still might not be getting the results that you want. What gives? I see this mistake countless times when going into the gym, teens who are very dedicated to working out but neglect the most important exercises.

    These exercises would be the BASIC compound free weight exercises. Below I will list the exercises that need to find there way in your workout program if you are serious about putting on size. Why are these exercises more important than others. These exercises recruit the most muscle fibers and let you use maximum weight to overload the muscle. When the muscle is overloaded it has no choice but to grow to get stronger and bigger.

    Squats: Legs
    Deadlifts: Back/Legs
    Bench Press: Chest – Use both the incline and flat version to develop a balanced chest
    Barbell Rows: Back
    Pull Ups: Back
    Military Press: Shoulders
    Close Grip Bench/Dips: Triceps
    Barbell Curls: Biceps
    Now there are more compound exercises than the ones I have listed but these are my favorites and ones that I have used in the past to get considerable size and strength gains. Add ALL of these exercises to your workout program and watch yourself GROW.

    10. Too many Distractions in the Gym

    Teens have all the new cool gadgets and toys and many of them love to bring them to the gym and talk on the phone or text a friend while working out. This is a big no no for anyone that is serious about making gains in the gym. How can you focus on your workout if you are talking to a girl friend or texting your buddy between sets. Put down the phone and focus on the task at hand. Once you are done you can text and talk all you want.

    I am not against a training partner or two but most of the time these groups turn into a social scene with minimal focus on your workout. Even if you are there to workout it will be hard to keep focused on your workout if the rest of your buddies are there to socialize.

    11. Overtraining

    One of the benefits of being a teen is your energy levels are through the roof. You like to go full speed all the time and seem to never get tired. But in some cases that never ending stream of energy can hinder your gains in the gym if use improperly. Too often when I am in the gym I see teens working out the same muscle group for hours on end. They believe the more is better mentality and do countless sets in the hope to make gains. The problem is once you reach a certain point your body starts to over train and you will not see any better gain and in some cases of serious overtraining you might regress and lose size.

    12. Not Enough Time Between Workouts

    As I discussed above overtraining a muscle in the gym can lead to NO GAINS or atrophy (muscle loss). But you can also overtrain a muscle by not giving it enough time to recover between workouts. I am a big believer in that you need to give a muscle 72 hours of rest before hitting that muscle again in the gym. That is if you have eaten properly and rested the muscle in the time outside of the gym. If you have a labor intensive job you might need to take an extra day or two for recovery.

    You also need to remember that some muscle groups are indirectly worked when another muscle is trained. For example triceps are worked when you use any kind of pressing chest and shoulder exercise.

    13. Lack of Cardio

    I listed this mistake last because though I do believe that it is important I see this done more by intimidate teen lifters. The guys that have been lifting for more than a year that abide by most if not all the things above and are really focusing on putting on size. Maybe they are interested in competing. These guys in the pursuit of size view cardio as something that will just eat up calories and is a waste of energy.



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