The Teen's Cliff Notes: Starting Out In Bodybuilding!

My job today is to give you an introduction to the nutrition, exercise and supplement programs that will set you apart from your friends when deciding to begin... Start right here - sample program included!

Article Summary:
  • The first step is to clean up all the fast food out of your diet.
  • If size is a priority, add a protein shake or two throughout the day.
  • The potential to recover from your workouts is at a lifetime high.
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    The Teen's Cliff Notes:
    Starting Out


    OMG! You won't believe this... LOL! It's so great, G2G... TTYL. If you're one of the average teenagers today you spend too much time texting abbreviations like that above than actually getting out and either talking to girls face-to-face (what's that like anyway?) or exercising. I'm here to tell you it's time to PTBAXAAGUOYA (Put the blackberry and Xbox away and get up off your... uhh... butts)!

    Not to date myself, but I never had a cell phone till I got a car, and even just 8 years later you would compare the model I had to the late-great Zach Morris phone (probably just dated myself yet again).

    The good news is that you're on this website and taking an active interest into getting a better body. is a powerhouse of knowledge so you should be able to find the necessary resources to help you reach your goals.

    My job today is to give you an introduction to the nutrition, exercise and supplement programs that will set you apart from your friends when deciding to begin a fitness or bodybuilding type program. The bad news is that you're on your own with regards to girls!

    Ryan Patrick
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Author, Ryan Patrick Will Guide You Through
    Nutrition, Exercise & Supplement Programs.


    For the average guy starting to weight train you are likely looking to get bigger and more muscular for one of three reasons:

    1. To get girls
    2. Improve for a sport
    3. To get girls

    If you're anywhere near this group-first thing is stay away from steroids - most of you have enough testosterone that when you spit hair will grow. But enough of the public service announcement; the reality is that you are primed to put on muscle effortlessly.

    The first step is to clean up all the fast food out of your diet. It tastes delicious, but you can do without it. It's really not that good and your parents will buy all your food anyway (trust me, hear the cries of a poor college student).

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    The First Step Is To Clean Up Your Diet.

    My real thoughts about fast food: you'll end up wearing it around your waist and nothing tastes as good as being lean feels. Regardless, you need to start by cleaning up your diet with healthier foods.

    If size is a priority, add a protein shake or two throughout the day. For the times near the workout I recommend a protein and carb mixture. Any of the proteins from this page will suffice as pre- and post-workout drinks. I personally am not a big advocate of eating food around or after working out, so I recommend the drinks from a tolerance standpoint but an economical one as well.

    The protein shakes throughout the day should be a high quality whey protein such as an isolate or blend that has milk proteins. These are slower absorbing proteins and better serve as a meal replacement when filling in the gaps between breakfast/lunch and lunch/dinner.


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    Rules regarding the rest of the meals are pretty simple. Take an average size plate and divide it up into quadrants. In one quadrant you should have lean proteins, which include steaks, chicken breast, fish, eggs, egg whites, and the like.

    In another quadrant you should have your fruits and vegetables. I would go with a variety of both and be sure not to neglect the vegetables (which most will do anyway).

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    Be Sure Not To Neglect The Vegetables.

    The other half of the plate should be filled with high quality carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and some of those crazy grains you can't even pronounce like quinoa (keen-wah) or amaranth. The key here is not to dissect your plate into perfect regions, but get a general idea of how it should be oriented. If it ends up in thirds you are still on the right track.

    One on-the-go meal that really has hit a sweet spot with me in recent years is to take a tasty milk protein like Beverly International's Ultimate Muscle Protein and mix a few scoops in a bowl. Using less water than called for I'd use a spoon to mix it into a pudding consistency and let it chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes and top with some blueberries or eat straight. I promise you can't go wrong with this.

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    Right now, the potential to recover from your workouts is at a lifetime high. Yes, from here on out it won't be as easy. You'll get older and recovery will be more difficult, but mainly because as you get stronger you can't beat up on your body the same way as when you are starting out.

    I'm going to whisper the secret to building the most muscle: exercise frequency. This is not liberty to do 3 chest days per week either! You shouldn't divide workouts into body parts, yet. You can essentially hit your entire body 3-4 times per week; think about the growth potential of that! On that note, I wouldn't break it up more than an upper/lower body split.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Secret To Building The
    Most Muscle Is Exercise Frequency.

    I like this for a couple of reasons. First, people focus less on body parts and they don't get as overworked. Also, the words 'leg day' are foreign to the average teenager and with a full body split you'll only have to suffer 1-2 leg exercises on any given day. That's a win-win.

    Another secret, if you want to add a lot of weight to the scale, hit your legs hard. Nobody can believe how much I weigh when I say, but I can't find pants with a waist big enough for people my height that I can fit my legs into!

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    The biggest guys back in the day focused on getting as strong as possible with the best form in the major lifts. These lifts are the bench press, squat, deadlift, overhead press, chin-up, dip, barbell row and lunge. If you work on getting the numbers as high as possible in these lifts, you will excel.

    Of course, I have to qualify that I mean with absolute perfect form. If you sacrifice form or depth on any exercise (especially the big three) you're going to create a weak point in the lift for yourself that will be a nightmare to fix later. Trust me.

    Here's a sample program below to get your feet wet:

    dot Day 1: dot

    dot Day 2: dot

    Overhead Throw Against Wall Overhead Throw Against Wall Overhead Throw Against Wall
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    Overhead Throw Against Wall.

    Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    dot Day 3: dot

    dot Day 4: dot

    dot Guidelines: dot

      There are only a few rules with this program:

      • Do not train more than 2 consecutive days.
      • Arms and calves are done to your heart's content after your lifts.
      • This workout is only recommended for 6-8 weeks at a time before switching to something else.

      The program above combines a few days of heavier lifting with a few 'rep' days. Worst case, you'll be ahead of the game if you at least use most of the above lifts.


    Supplements. They are just that; they supplement everything above. Nutrition and exercise are the bottom of the pyramid and the supplements represent probably the peak of it (maybe 2%). But I'll recommend the best supplements for you and rough dosages you can use to help round out your complete plan.

    dot Multivitamin: dot

      This is the entry level supplement and should be a staple no matter what.

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    dot Creatine: dot

      Find a plain creatine powder you can mix with your post-workout shake and add in 5g. For you big boys (200lbs/90kg+), try 8-10g daily. The key here is consistency so make sure you take it regularly.


    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Cleaning Up Creatine Confusion: The Truth!
    To this day I still get questions regarding the effectiveness and safety of creatine use. Learn more.
    Kevin Neeld

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      If you have even more money lying around you can start to invest in this tier of products. They are good all-around supplements and the Nitric Oxide will help give you an extra boost before workouts. The servings vary from product to product, but I would follow the recommendations on the bottle.

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    Don't become a slave to your Xbox Call of Duty Clan or send way too many texts on your parents' bill. Take a bold step and go outside of the comfort zone and take your body and mind to the next level by making little changes to help improve your body.

    The time is now, and for most competitive sports never come around again so be the best athlete you can now. For some of you, this will become a lifestyle... so welcome to the brotherhood.

    About The Author:

      Ryan Patrick is a MS Student at Colorado State University in Health and Exercise Science. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has experience training a variety of clientele from SWAT teams to figure competitors. For more information, questions, comments or article suggestions visit his website at