Top Ten Tips to Building Muscle for Teens

| 23/01/2014 | 0 Comments More

Here are 10 rules that will help you make great muscle-building progress.


  • You will not gain muscle if you do not train hard.
  • ·  You must eat enough all day every day and create a calorie surplus.
  • ·  Make sure the food you intake is of healthy choices.


Body Building for Teens

10 Simple Rules To Teenage Mass

When I was a teen, I was close to 6ft and just about 9½ stone. I was highly active with energy to spare, but knew nothing about the benefits of eating enough of the right kind of foods.

It wasn’t until I joined the army and started to train in the gym to gain some weight that I found out the connection between my eating and my progress of eating as it applied to my progress.

Once I discovered this, eating took on a whole new meaning. I went through a lot of trial and error and not to mention growing up throughout those early years. Huge calorie-laden protein shakes, countless hours in the gym, and all the food I could get my hands on. In those were the days I could eat whatever I wanted and burn it off just by chewing!

Of course, looking back I could have done things a little differently. Sure, I was fortunate that as a kid growing up fast food wasn’t really the norm, unlike today whereas fast food has become a staple of the Western diet.

I have trained people for over 25yrs for weight loss, body building, professional sport and of course soldiers.  It’s the training of extremely thin people who desperately want to pack on some serious muscle that Ive worked where Ive been able to use personal experience, in the army I went from 9½ stone to 11stone in in my first year of being in the army training hard in the gym and eating well. It is always a great opportunity for me to show them the right ways to get there faster without some of the mistakes I have made.

Below are some simple rules to follow, or better yet, rules I wished I had followed.  These are not hard and fast rules, just basic guidelines to take in and modify if needed. I do think, however, they are very important in your quest to build an impressive physique. As always, please talk to a health professional before starting any program.

Rule 1: Eat

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked by others on how to gain muscle. I always answer back with a question; what are your eating habits? Nine times out of ten they are poor. They either eat a ton of junk food or not nearly enough food, period.

In your mission to gain weight, you must EAT! You must eat enough all day every day and create a calorie surplus. This does not mean eat everything in sight, but just enough for your body to utilize for your rigorous workouts.


Rule 2: Eat Right

Make sure the food you intake is of healthy choices. Get in good carbohydrates such as cereals, oatmeal, rice, potatoes, pasta, wheat bread, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.


Choose healthy proteins such as turkey, chicken, beef, fish, skim milk, egg whites, and light cheeses. I would not worry too much about fats. If most of your diet is of the healthy variety and your goal is to gain weight, the fat content will take care of itself.

Protein Articles:

Rule 3: Eat Often

Looking back at my old habits, I was guilty of not eating often enough. I would many times skip breakfast and then eat a massive lunch and dinner. Two meals a day was not the best approach.

When I began weight training I started eating three solid meals per day with two supplement shakes in between. Talk about crazy! I would mix about three or four heaps protein powder. Blend it all up and I had myself a super mass muscle shake!

Now, I do not recommend that in particular, whereas now there are so many great products on the market. But the point is to eat frequently with most meals being actual food and possibly a shake or two added to the mix. Though for most people one shake after a workout is good enough.


Eat Frequently With Most
Meals Being From Actual Food.

A sample daily menu could look as simple as this:


      • 1 bowl of oatmeal or healthy whole grain cereal
      • Milk
      • Banana
      • 1 glass of orange juice


      • Protein shake


      • One or two turkey sandwiches
      • Wheat bread
      • Piece of fruit/granola bar


      • 1 Bowl of oatmeal/Whole grain cereal
      • Glass of skim milk

Post workout:

      • Protein shake


      • Chicken, beef or fish
      • Pasta, rice, or potatoes

Rule 4: TRAIN!

You will not gain muscle if you do not train. Not only that, but you will not gain muscle if you do not train hard!

I cannot tell you how many times I look around the gym and see so many people playing on their mobile phone.  So much time is wasted fooling with these devices that precious time is lost.

These are the same individuals that tell me that they have tried everything and just cannot gain any muscle weight. Others simply are there to mingle, socialize, or just plain hang out.

When you get to the gym show up with a goal, show up to train, show up to train hard! Love going to the gym, love training, have fun training, but train! I used to think to myself: the longer I waited between sets after a certain amount of time my muscles would start to shrink. True or not it fired me up to lift hard and heavy on my next set.


You Will Not Gain Muscle If You Do Not Train.

Rule 5: Train Smart

Do not train just to train, train smart. When I started I was doing 30 plus sets per body part sometimes up to 40 while spending 3 to 3 1/2 hours per day in the gym. I was grossly overtraining, but that is how we all did it back then.

My training partner would do 40 plus sets for triceps alone! In this case more is definitely not better; however, I see a lot of guys barely do much in the gym worth anything. Not enough work, not enough intensity, and not enough attention to form and function.

Overtraining Articles:

Do just enough to work the muscle properly and then leave. Too much of anything is bad for you so adjust your volume, reps, movements, and splits according to your specific needs.

I am a big believer of using your fast metabolism to your advantage. Whereas many have written before regarding “hardgainers” needing to train less often, rest a lot and so forth I am quite the opposite. I feel someone with a fast metabolism can workout more frequently due to there quick turn around to repair muscle tissue. If your nutrition is sound and consistent, there is no reason not to work every body part twice per week.

A good split can look like this:

    • Chest/Back
    • Shoulders/Arms
    • Legs/Abs


    • Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
    • Legs/Abs
    • Back/Biceps

Rule 6: Leave Your Ego At The Door

How much can you bench? Who cares! If your goals are not sport-specific then do not worry too much about being able to bench a lot of weight. Your goal should be to be strong all over. I was never a big bencher, but I could always curl a ton of weight. However I was never worried about what others thought of my strength.

My goals were to always push myself past my own limits, to challenge myself with every set and rep and to work toward realizing my own potential. Sure, push yourself, and sometimes max out and see where your strengths lie, but not at the expense of safety. Egos can sometimes get you hurt and cause an injury, taking months to repair.


Rule 7: Supplement Wisely

You see them everywhere: supplement ads. A supplement is just that: items in addition to your already well-rounded eating plan of solid food.

Do not go overboard with powders, pills, and potions. They have their place in a program, but as a teen you may want to see how your body reacts first to good nutrition and hard training.


Don’t Go Overboard With Supplements.

After several years you may want to experiment to see which supplements will work for you. Rule of thumb: if you do decide to try a supplement do so one at a time, read the labels and take accordingly. If you have any questions ask a healthcare professional.

Rule 8: Rest

You grow when you are adequately rested. This means getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night if not more. When your body is asleep it has the opportunity to repair and grow from that intense training session you did earlier.

Lack of sleep equals less growth and improvement. Also, try getting in a 15 to 20 minute power nap before hitting the gym. It will recharge you and do wonders for your performance in the gym.


Rule 9: Seek Knowledge

Read about training, do your research and scrutinize everything. Just because it is written or said does not mean it is golden fact. Read articles on Bodybuilding, and weight training, and ask questions in forums. While ingesting all of this information you will form your own opinions, ideals and programs to fit your body and goals. Always seek to learn more.


Rule 10: Have Fun

Do not be a prisoner to the gym. Have fun. If you find yourself dreading the gym then back off a little, cut back on days per week you train for a while, relax a little more, and do whatever it takes to get that fire back.

Your teen years should be great years to be spent being with your friends and being involved with school not living in the gym. Find a balance. Rely on your friends for support and invite them to train with you, but by all means have fun with it!

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Category: Fitness Advice, Kids Fitness & Nutrition Advice

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