I get asked this question a lot. In fact, it’s perhaps one of the most common questions, and, like anything else in bodybuilding, is subject to much fanfare, conflicting opinions and debate.
I guess the best anybody can do is base their opinions on their own experiences, and the experiences of others who’ve been there and done it. After all, who has the best insight – a professor who says teenage bodybuilding isn’t safe, yet hasn’t ever touched a weight in his life, or somebody who has been there, done it, and is still standing and smiling? – Exactly.
Perhaps the biggest reason why so many seem to think teenage bodybuilding isn’t safe, is that while the bones are trying to grow, having excess muscle, and putting the bones under stress, is going to somehow stifle their growth. You wouldn’t believe how many times I heard this as a young guy… and, if the truth be told, I fell for this baloney hook line and sinker… and I’ve regretted it, ever since.
Why did I regret it?
Well, sure, I could’ve gotten more girls in high school if I was built, but, that’s not it. I actually regret it because bodybuilding in the teenage years is perhaps the best chance many of us natural bodybuilders have to take advantage of: a huge surge of natural growth hormones produced during those teenage years, which can rapidly grow our muscles upon training.
Once the teenage years are over, growth hormone production drops dramatically, and, putting muscle on is a much more difficult task.
Also, many think teenage bodybuilding isn’t safe because they view it from the point of view of steroid taking. And, I have to wholeheartedly agree here: taking steroids before your body is fully mature – and during your teenage years especially, is not only potentially dangerous, but, completely unnecessary. You are already filled with growth hormones at this time, so, lift, eat, and rest – and you’ll grow like a weed.
Studies actually show that, by taking advantage of your teenage hormones and lifting weights in a responsible manner, your bones will actually benefit in size and strength as they grow, which is what I firmly believe to be the absolute truth of the matter. So, the likelihood of bodybuilding stifling your genetic destiny of being an imposing 6’4 figure like your father, forcing you to become 5’ and a peanut, is very unlikely.
My advice? There is no downside or danger to teenage bodybuilding when done naturally – go and make the quick and easy gains while you still can!