Basic Teen Bodybuilding!

So for any newbie's who wanna learn the secrets to getting bigger and stronger keep reading. I'm going to base this around the four major aspects of bodybuilding; training, nutrition, supplementation and rest.

Ok... this being the first article, I ran into some serious writer's block along the way trying to think of a topic. I looked to the message boards for some ideas and I saw many young lifters looking for advice. This works out perfectly since I am 18, and have been lifting for the past 5 years. So for any newbie's who wanna learn the secrets to getting bigger and stronger keep reading. I'm going to base this around the four major aspects of bodybuilding; training, nutrition, supplementation and rest. So here goes...


If you want to get big, you need to train big (like you haven't heard this before) so let me break this down. Train 3 - 5 times per week and keep your sessions short. By short I mean under an hour. Train one muscle group per week or every 5 days... do not combine 2 large muscle groups on the same day. Your big muscle groups are chest, back and upper legs. Below are three examples for splits:

3 Day Week

Mond: chest, tris, calves
Wed: back, bis, sholders
Fri: thighs

4 Day Week

Mon: chest, calves
back, tri
shold, bis

5 Day Week

Mon: chest

As you can see no 2 "big" muscles are done on the same day. Now, for excersizes, do compound movements (like you haven't seen this either) such as bench press, shoulder press, rows, squats, and deadlifts first in your workout, and make sure you do the big muscles first as well. As for volume and intensity, these are inversly related, the more volume, the less intensity and vice versa. I like high intensity my self. For reps and sets, shoot to fail between 6-10 reps and if you are training intensly do only 5-8 sets per body part (more sets for the bigger muscles, less for the smaller ones, brain surgery, ehh?).

Next off, what many consider the most important part.


Being young most of you probably have fast metabolisms (hell, going into my frosh year in high school I used to eat Crisco to gain weight for football, to no avail though). So, here's what you have to do to gain mass: EAT. We're talking every 2 hours if possible, but at least 6 meals a day. Each meal should contain about 17% of your daily requirements for protein and carbs.

As for the ratios of each, shoot for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (1.5 if you're really skinny) and 3 gms of carbs for every lb of body weight. This means if you weigh 150 lbs. you need 150 gms of protein per day, 450 gms of carbs per day, turning out to be about 26 gms of protein and 78 gms of carbs per meal. Sorry to make it complicated, but in essence you should have a ratio of 3:1 for carbs:protein per meal. Easy, ehh? Now for fat, as long as it is unsaturated (nuts, veggie oils, fish fats) don't worry about it.

These are necessary to build muscle. I also used to eat very little fat per day at one time trying to lean up for summer. It's not the way to go because you will feel like crap. Your 3 most important meals of the day are breakfast, after you workout, and before bed

Here's an example of what a 150 lb. pound teen should eat per day:

6 am: 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 cups skim milk, 2 egg yolks, 3 egg whites
9 am: 2 cups yogurt, PB sandwich on 4 slices wheat bread

12 pm: can of tuna mixed in mayo, on 4 slices whole wheat bread, handful of nuts and an apple

Post workout:
3 pm: 2 bananas, protein shake in cup of milk

6 pm: 5oz steak, rice, salad

Before bed:
10pm: sugar free pudding mixed in 2 cups milk, bowl oatmeal, 4 eggwhites

This is only an example, it doesn't have to be quite so bland and don't be afraid to eat "wrong" once a week. On a side note, only count whole proteins (dairy, meat, protein shakes).


This is perhaps the easiest part to write. Don't overtrain. This means don't spend hours in the gym (we already went over this). Also, there's no need to run or do cardio since we are trying to get big. I'm not saying exclude it from your life, pick up games are fun, just don't purposely run the tread mill or ride the cardio bike. Make sure to use your days off as rest days, and get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Your muscles grow when you sleep, not when your in the gym... in fact, the only time your muscles grow are when you sleep.


For supplements to work properly the first three aspects must be on track. If your diet, training, and rest are not correct, supplements will do no good. They are like the finishing touches, you can't expect to put furniture into a house if you have no roof or walls, right?

Below are supplements that you SHOULDN'T take, these will screw with your hormone production, possibly giving you bad side effects (just what you need to get chicks: big biceps, little girlly nipples, rat sized nuts, and huge white heads), and should not be taken by young lifters. These supplements might work great for adults with no side effects, but wait until you are older. Supplements to stay away from when you are a teen: DHEA, Growth hormone, Andros, ECAs, Tribulus, any "all in 1" supplements.

Here is what I would reccomend using in order of importance:

Multivitamins- its hard to get enough vitamins from diet alone today
Protein Powders- pretty self explanatory, if you dont have enough protein, you're not gonna gain muscle.
Creatine- helps to volumize muscles, increases endurance and will help you get stronger
Glutamine- most abundant amino in the skeletal muscles, if you dont have enough your body will feed off itself, just make sure if you are taking it with creatine not to take them any closer than 2 hrs apart
Weight gainers- if you're really skinny, these are great to add calories.

Ok, that's my run down on supplements. Now, really quickly how to take them. Multivitamins- just pop them in the morning. Protein- really, can be taken at any time. Most effective after workouts and before bed. Creatine- first 5 days take 5 gms 4 times daily (loading, I'm sure you already know this), after that take it every day (5 gms) for 4 weeks after you workout. Glutamine- make sure you take it 2 hours apart from creatine. Most effective times are first thing in the morning and right before bed.

So there you are, supplements in a nut shell. Another side note... MAGAZINES ARE BULLCRAP. The guys in them spend $1,000's a month on juice and other drugs. This allows them to workout longer and recover faster. Alright, thats it, for all of those who had the patience to read the whole thing down to here, good for you...

Remember: eat big, train big, sleep big and soon you too will be big results come with time and patience.