Weightlifting for teenagers can be a great start to a lifelong commitment to physical fitness. It is important for teenagers to use caution and not overexert themselves because serious injuries may occur.
Weightlifting for teenagers has similar benefits as it does for adults, although the way muscles react to weightlifting depends largely on where teens are with regards to the onset of puberty. Before puberty, most teens will notice an increase in strength as a result of weightlifting, but may not notice much by way of muscular definition. After puberty, teens are much more likely to notice definition in muscles when weightlifting. Individual results vary, however, depending upon the method used for weightlifting, the teen's dietary intake, and the teen's genetic predisposition to building muscle mass.
Incorporating weightlifting and other strength training into an exercise program can be quite beneficial as long as the person doesn't over do it, which could result in injuries. Even adults can encounter serious injuries if weightlifting is done incorrectly or in excess, and the risk for teenagers is even greater. Teenage bodies are still growing, and this leaves their bodies vulnerable to serious injuries if weightlifting is not done with caution and within the limitations of the teenager's body.
For this reason, weightlifting should only be one aspect of a total workout regimen. Teenagers should not delve into power lifting or competitive weightlifting until their bodies are ready for such taxing activities. Additionally, teenagers should not participate in a body building form of weightlifting. This strenuous form of exercise is not appropriate for growing bodies, and may result in injuries without providing any visible muscular bulk.
Starting Weightlifting for Teenagers
Weightlifting for teenagers should be augmented by cardio exercises, flexibility training and other forms of strength and resistance training. Teenagers participating in weightlifting should be closely monitored and should never be pressed to lift weights beyond their capabilities.
If you're considering participating in weightlifting as a teenager, set yourself up for a successful workout regimen by equipping yourself properly.
- Consider a professional personal trainer.
A professional personal trainer can be expensive, but this expense is certainly worth it if you are serious about weightlifting. A personal trainer will design a workout regimen that is appropriate to your age and physical capabilities.
- Remember that pain is not gain.
Teens should never push themselves beyond their physical capabilities because this can result in an injury. If at any point during your weightlifting you start to feel pain, stop what you are doing immediately.
- Be reasonable.
Teenagers may not be able to achieve a "ripped" appearance no matter how much weightlifting they do. For this reason, teens who do not achieve the physical results they are looking for should not start taking supplements designed for adults or up their weightlifting levels unreasonably.
It is always a good idea to visit a doctor for a complete physical prior to beginning any new exercise regimen, and weightlifting for teenagers is no exception. Physicians can provide a sports physical that will reveal whether a teenager's body can endure the rigors of weightlifting. In most cases, a teen will receive the green light to start weightlifting as long as the teen is healthy and stays within his/her weightlifting limits.
Machines versus Free Weights
Teens may want to start weightlifting with the help of machines because this can be much less taxing on their bodies. Another option is to start with free weights, but to begin with weights that are relatively light and then work their way up to heavier weights.
Teenagers should use caution when starting a weightlifting routine, but if done properly it can set the stage for a strong, healthy body far into the future.