I am not talking about turning your teenager into a mini – Schwarzenegger nor am I advocating that you can add a couple of inches of height to their frame, if they are only 145cm tall.
And contrary to what many teenagers today think, that lifting heavy is the key to getting “Big” but that's just not simply true. There are many factors that you have to consider to grow muscle physically (Without the use of performance enhancing drugs!) and it’s not just about the type of exercise.
Exercise has a major role to play. The right training can add power without adding “size” to their frame and the right exercise can safely add muscle without damaging their still growing bodies.
Have them on a well-balanced Strength & Conditioning program specific to their sport.
The requirements for tennis player are different from a rugby player and are different again to netball player. The focus on each of these sports like the teenager must be treated differently. For example, even though a tennis player’s need for power is required, it is not as high as an Olympic lifter. And even though, a Rugby player needs flexibility, it is not as much as a gymnast. These variables must be considered so that the youth gets what they need to perform their best in their sport. If your youth is not that big into the sport, its best to get an all-around program that includes some or all of these in there - strength, power, speed, agility, coordination, flexibility and most importantly – FUN!
Eating Right and At The Right Times
Everybody including growing teens needs to eat right and at the right times. A little trick I learned many years ago is eating something small before I worked out. I read that doing this allowed my body to digest and absorb the food after I worked out by 200% more than if I didn't eat before working out and fueling my muscles to repair. Eating 5-6 good healthy meals/day is a sure-fire to build a strong body.
Sleep and Rest after Training
Sleep is probably the most under-rated muscle builder. Getting a good night’s sleep allows the body to release I big injection of the naturally occurring substance called HGH, Human growth hormone. Many bodybuilders use it to keep their muscle mass. You can get it just from getting more sleep! Many elite athletes get at least 9.5 hours sleep per night after a hard workout. Muscles don't grow from the workout. They grow after the workout.
Train Your Body Not Drain It
Weight Training done right DOES NOT STUNT YOUR YOUTH ‘S GROWTH but I have seen many kids getting in the gym or in their garage and try to bench every plate that they can put on there along with their baby sister sitting on the bar. They end up with rounded shoulders, poor posture and a sore lower back.
Weight training done right – nailing the technique first with NO WEIGHT, having balance between the back and front, upper and lower body and incorporating the core(This is the part that many teens including adults do wrong too) can safely build a balanced body. Throw in a bit of stretching and it's a very safe, holistic program.
Having the Right Attitude and Being Patient
To build a strong body, it takes time and if your teen focuses on the little things and is consistent with his or her training, then the big things just happen and one day your youth will be hitting the ball harder, your boy will be tackling harder and trust me, you will notice.