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How Can A Teen Bulk Up?

The Basics To Get You Going!

Posted by brayalbertini - May 31st, 2015

I received this email 2 hours ago from Nick, who is in the same position I was in a year ago… Underweight and looking to gain some size and strength.


"Hi, im 15, and need a good workout routine. I’m 5’9 and currently 121 pounds. I need to gain muscle and weight which i suppose i can do in the kitchen. My short term goals are just not to look skinny and my long term goals are to be a personal trainer since in Sport Science i get A or A* most of the time, and really have a passion for it. i also want to look good and if the opportunity arose do a few fitness shoots. I only have a set of dumbbells, kettle bell and pull up bar and no bench. Some places say if your in it for the long run its best to build good muscle and not necessarily bulk at first since it will be easier cutting and bulking in the future.

Thanks a lot,

Nick"

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To break it down as simply as possible, I’m going to answer everything question by question.


Getting A Workout Routine

“Hi, I'm 15, And Need A Good Workout Routine”.


In my opinion every beginner should start on a strength program, my favorite being Strong Lifts 5×5 as I wrote about here. I laid out a lot of info on why this is the best for most beginners.


Gaining Muscle

“I Need To Gain Muscle And Weight Which I Suppose I Can Do In The Kitchen”.


You suppose right, Nick! A workout routine alone will only take you so far, you will have to rely on a correctly laid out healthy diet, so here are a few pointers! You have to eat over your calorie maintenance (calories required to maintain your current weight) which can be calculated here.


Its in your best interest to calculate macronutrients A.K.A macros (fat, protein carbs) about 3 months into your venture. This can be done with the myfitnesspal app or website. For now, just make sure your meals are balanced, 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fat. Don’t be afraid of eating fats…It sounds weird but fat helps you gain lean mass contrary to popular belief.


Try to eat every 3 hours, 6+ regular sized meals a day. You will get sick and bloated if you try to eat 30 pancakes in 1 meal to hit your calories.


Turning Passion Into Success

“My long term goals are to be a personal trainer since in Sport Science I get A or A+ most of the time, and really have a passion for it.”.


Great! Mental wellness is just as important as physical well-being. Getting at least an A in those classes which line up with your career pathway is an awesome start. There's always a few things you can do to boost your chances of getting into a good school to study sports science, nutrition, etc.

Join the weight lifting club at your school.


Develop a wide variety of training abilities, most clients will not just be looking to build strength, find techniques to increase speed, vertical, agility, and overall athleticism.


Take any sports science cyber courses you feel like doing, to make it look good on the resume.


Nick's Goals

“I also want to look good and if the opportunity arose do a few fitness shoot”.


Most teen fitness models cut down to around 8% body fat and maintain around 165 pounds during that time. The reason I said that is to express how long it might take to be in shape to do photo shoots. Within the next 5 years it’s totally doable if thats your goal. Basically just bulk up, and cut fat when you’re satisfied.


What To Do With Limited Equipment

“I only have a set of dumbbells, kettle bell and pull up bar and no bench”.


I’d suggest joining a gym, or buying a power rack if thats possible for you… If not, see what you can do after-school if your school has a weight room. I hate to put it like this because there's always something you can do to better your health, but dumbbells, kettle bells, and a pull up bar will only get you so far with your goals. On a separate note, let me layout the exercises that you should absolutely use.

  • Squat
  • Bench
  • DeadLift
  • Barbell Row
  • Overhead Press

Basically all the compound lifts in Strong Lifts 5×5.


Bulking & Cutting

“Some places say if your in it for the long run its best to build good muscle and not necessarily bulk at first since it will be easier cutting and bulking in the future”.


I agree and disagree. Bulking is eating more calories than your maintenance, if you’re not bulking you’re not gaining weight, if you’re not gaining weight you’re not increasing the weight that you lift. So, basically you have to bulk during strength training. I disagree with not bulking making the bulk/cut process easier, the only variable that determines the difficulty of a bulk/cut is how much weight you need to gain on a bulk, or how much fat you need to lose on a cut.


Good luck with your venture Nick!


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MEMBER COMMENTS
JoeHurricane
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Awesome article @brayalbertini! Teenagers are always looking to make them gains, and this gives them the basics in a quick and easy manner.

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Teens just need to EAT! haha @jorhurricane

Whisper
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Short and sweet! So many people ask this question all the time!

brayalbertini  Edit  Delete  Close

Thanks! Glad you liked the article :)

Fox84
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great article, my only regret that i have now was not joining weight lifting when i was in highschool, i chose auto mechanic and law enforcement , which are both fun and cool at the time, oh better late than never right lol, 

brayalbertini  Edit  Delete  Close

The best time to start was yestarday, the next best time is now!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

hey man, never too late to start!  and you are here! so you are in the best place!