Teenage bodybuilding is on the rise today. Many teenagers have signed up at their local gyms to see if they can enhance their appearance and their athletic abilities with the use of a bodybuilding workout program. So, the popularity of teenage bodybuilding leaves many parents wondering what risks and benefits may be involved for their kids.
The benefits of teenage bodybuilding:
First and foremost, muscle building exercise gets teens moving. It pulls them away from the television, the computer or the video games and gives them the opportunity to develop strong and healthy bodies. However, it is important that those involved in teenage bodybuilding understand how to workout safely and what their own limitations are.
As with adults, when teens first start a bodybuilding workout program, it’s best to work with a trained professional who can help construct a safe and effective routine that will produce results quickly. Once involved in the sport of bodybuilding, many teen athletes will develop the dedication and discipline that is required to excel in any sport. Teenage bodybuilding also helps to improve confidence levels, self-esteem and work ethics.
Physical benefits that accompany teenage bodybuilding include increased muscular strength and endurance, increased kinesthetic awareness, stronger bones and a reduced risk for weight related illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
The mental and physical benefits of teenage bodybuilding will continue to payoff long after these athletes have matured into adults. As with most sports, bodybuilding gives teens a focus and it empowers them to better themselves through their own efforts.
The risks of teenage bodybuilding:
For many years, one of the greatest concerns for teenage bodybuilding was that putting growing bodies under the strain of heavy weights over and over would cause premature closure of the growth plates resulting in stunted growth. This theory has never been proven, and if teenage bodybuilding is done properly, under the supervision of trained adults, the chances of any injuries occurring are greatly reduced.
Another concern in the sport of teenage bodybuilding is the improper or illegal use of bodybuilding supplements. The most obvious concern is teen’s exposure to or use of illegal steroids. As athletes get more involved in teenage bodybuilding, they start to look for more ways to build muscle fast. If they have access to steroids, there is always a concern that they will disregard the dangers of steroid use for the chance to enhance their appearance faster. Additional concerns are for the improper use of legal bodybuilding supplements. Again, supplement advertisers are good at what they do, making their supplement lines seem like a critical component in bodybuilding nutrition. There are supplements that teens can safely take if they follow instructions carefully; however, it is always best for young athletes to fuel their workouts with whole foods and vitamins.
The bottom line to weighing the risks and benefits of teenage bodybuilding, as with any sport, is that with proper training and supervision bodybuilding can be a safe and effective way for teens to improve physical health and mental strength. There are safety issues inherent to any sport; however, adult participation and athlete education go a long way in minimizing the risks.