Bodybuilding is a sport that is spreading more and more and attracting more and more young teenagers. Indeed, more and more people want to develop muscle to achieve a dream physique. This may be due to everything we can see on social networks like Youtube, Instagram or even Facebook, where athletes with dreamlike physique post motivational photos and videos. However, it is still necessary to alert the youngest to the possible risks associated with the practice. We can therefore ask ourselves the following question: is bodybuilding and growth compatible?
Does weight training slow growth?
Bodybuilding is a sport that attracts a lot of teenagers who want to get to know their body and its limits while building muscle mass to form an athletic body. We often hear around us that bodybuilding practiced at a young age could have harmful effects on health. Indeed, the practice of bodybuilding is perceived as dangerous because it could stop growth, reduce flexibility, reduce cardio-respiratory capacity and damage the tendons and joints of adolescents. What is all this really about?
A reasonable practice of bodybuilding
It is important to emphasize that bodybuilding is a traumatic sport for the muscles and joints and that it is more than recommended to execute the movements with care. Excessive stress on the skeleton can lead to back trauma if the movements are not correct, controlled and with a load that is far too heavy. It may therefore be true that practicing weight training intensively from adolescence could have some consequences on growth and on health more generally if the practice is not reasoned. It is therefore necessary to be very careful from the start and avoid carrying too heavy loads and carrying out excessively intensive training.
Thus, to avoid any risk of injury, certain polyarticular exercises are not recommended for adolescents with weak points or weaknesses in the spine, ligaments or even cartilage: squats, military press, deadlift. These exercises require a specific technique to avoid injury.
It is strongly advised not to start bodybuilding before the age of 15, especially for young girls. However, you can turn to fitness and cardio training activities. We also advise you to turn to an experienced coach in a specialized gym so that you have the right actions to take. It is useless to put too heavy loads and to badly execute the movements at the risk of injury. So be very careful about the training you follow to adopt good manners from the start and progress without injuring yourself. It is also recommended to give yourself a minimum rest day in the week for optimal results.
Some tips for a healthy start in bodybuilding
Learn to perform the movements well to avoid injuries and the risk of damaging your joints which are very fragile.
Ask your doctor for advice on your ability to perform certain exercises.
Eat healthy without worrying about weight gain, dieting or cutting. You can consume food supplements such as protein powder (whey protein) if you have difficulty absorbing enough protein during the day or to save time on your snacks, but this is not an obligation to progress.
Increase the number of sessions over the years by simply starting with one or two sessions per week.
Work out with friends or family members for extra motivation.
The practice of bodybuilding during adolescence has some advantages such as the growth of bone mass and helping the body to form. However, these benefits will be seen if the practice of strength training is good and controlled.
In addition, this practice is very easily associated with another sport such as team sports, cardiovascular or even combat. It could help you develop your physical and sporting qualities as well as your speed and strength.
Besides the physical benefits, bodybuilding has a major psychological benefit: self-esteem and self-confidence. Indeed, adolescents will feel better about their bodies and will be better able to face everyday life with serenity.
In summary, the practice of strength training in adolescence does not prevent growth if it is practiced with caution. It can be very effective in building bone mass and helping your body grow for more results in other physical activity. Be careful, however, to practice bodybuilding in the healthiest way possible and by taking your time. In addition, at a time when obesity is affecting more and more young people, weight training can be effective in addition to cardio activity to prevent you from gaining too much fat and build an athletic physique.