On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we share our best workout advice on how to start gaining muscle as a teenager.
This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 009.
Giovanni on Snapchat asks: Hey Brad, love your YouTube channel. It has helped me stay positive and lose a lot of weight. I was wondering what would be the best workout and diet for a 17 year old trying to gain muscle? What is your best workout advice on how to start gaining muscle as a teenager. Keep up the great work!
To help answer the question, we are joined by fellow fitness coach, Jeremy Reid.
Alright, let’s talk muscle.
First of all Giovanni, you have an awesome name.
Secondly, I am so pumped that at 17 years old, you’re not only taking your health so seriously, but you’re also so polite 😃.
I wish I was as polite and serious about my fitness as teenager.
So, let’s talk about the best workout and diet advice for a teenager looking to build muscle.
To be honest, as a teenager, you are going to be making gains with pretty much any workout style.
As a dude who is no longer in his teens, I have to say it’s actually quite unfair because you are about to experience what I call the “newbie gains”.
“Newbie gains” refers to creating new muscle growth, regardless of how the workout routine is structured.
As a teenager who is new to lifting, your body and muscles will be “shocked” with a different stimulus, thus leading to new muscle gain.
If you’ve already been training for a while, you may not experience this, but as a 17 year old, I’ll assume that you new to lifting weights.
As a teenager, your hormonal environment is also primed to gain new muscle.
You can thank your raging testosterone for that.
When I first started building muscle, I stuck to the traditional bodybuilder split, using a standard pyramid training style.
Pyramid training is a workout style where you gradually decrease the number of reps per set as you increase the weight.
Here’s how you would use pyramid training, based on 3 sets per exercise:
Hit the tried and true basic exercises.
As a teenager, you’re starting early, so it’s essential for you to be training with the foundation exercises.
Don’t make your workout program too complicated.
Since you’re a 17 year old looking to build muscle, don’t try to get weird and creative with your exercise selection.
In other words, don’t be the 17 year old in the gym doing an exercise that no one has ever seen.
The majority of your gym workouts should include the following exercises:
These are, once again, the tried and true exercises that bodybuilders have been using to build mass for decades.
Don’t waste too much of your time with extraneous exercises that isolate a small body part like wrist curls.
If you’re like most 17 year olds, I’m sure you’re already getting plenty of wrist exercises 😂.
Sorry had to state the obvious.
But seriously, this combination of foundational exercises, eating enough calories, along with a teenager’s hormones, there’s no way you won’t pack on muscle.
I also have to throw this out to you.
Don’t make the same beginner mistake that a lot of guys do, including myself.
Avoid just training your mirror muscles.
When I say “mirror muscles”, I’m referring to the muscles that you admire in the mirror.
These typically include the biceps, chest, and shoulders.
A lot of guys think if their legs are already big, they don’t have to train legs.
Squats are deadlifts are not just for building leg muscles.
They are also optimal for creating a hormonal response to create muscle all over your body.
Keep it simple.
If you want to build muscle as a teenager, focus the majority of your time on the following 3 big lifts:
If you just went to the gym and focused on these big 3 lifts, that will be a really good workout starting out.
Just make sure you keep your form on point as you continue progressing with heavier weights every week to challenge the muscle.
Lastly, you have to eat enough calories to grow new muscle.
This is where a lot of teenagers fail when it comes to gaining muscle.
If you are going to college or you have kids going to college, go check out our video post on how to avoid the freshman 15 in college.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.