Although children can begin weight training at a younger age, they normally do not gain muscles until they reach puberty, when hormones allow them to increase muscular mass. Teenagers who lift weights and exercise aerobically cut their risk of sports injuries in half.
The best time to start building muscle mass is before you reach your 20s. Research shows that adults as young as 18 can build muscle strength and size if they follow a progressive program of resistance training and eat more calories than they burn. Even teenagers have been shown to increase their muscle mass and bone density as well as decrease their risk of injury by following these guidelines.
Building muscle mass early in life allows you to become stronger and larger later in life. This is especially important for people who want to play sports or work with heavy equipment.
Strength training helps you manage pain after surgery, get back on your feet faster, and protect yourself from further injury. The more muscle you have, the more energy you have available. More energy means less chance of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other disease-related complication.
Exercise is also very important for keeping you healthy as you grow older. It reduces your risk of falling, developing diabetes, and dying earlier. If you aren't using your muscles, they will eventually waste away causing you to become weaker and more prone to injury.
Before reaching the later stages of puberty, an adolescent lacks the hormone levels essential to grow muscular mass, such as testosterone. Teenagers progress through this latter stage of puberty at varied speeds. Some teenagers will still be in the early phases of growth at the age of 15. Others will have already begun to show signs of maturity by then.
During puberty, children's bodies are going through changes that make them more mature physically. Their bones get stronger, muscles bulk up, and their brains develop more rapidly. All of these things lead up to adulthood with a healthy body weight and structure.
In adolescence, the amount of muscle mass developed varies for each person. Some adolescents may even become skeletally mature before they reach the maximum level of skeletal development. This is because the accumulation of bone tissue exceeds that of muscle tissue. The average teenager builds about 35 pounds of bone tissue and 25 pounds of muscle tissue. Women typically have a greater proportion of bone tissue to muscle tissue than men. This is why women can be considered "bone people" instead of "muscle people."
The type of activity that an adolescent engages in can affect how much muscle he or she builds. Adolescents who participate in sports activities that involve movement, such as basketball or soccer, will have less risk of developing obesity than those who engage in activities where there is little movement, such as reading or computer use.
Teenagers, particularly boys, should expect to gain muscular mass as they mature into adult bodies. Your genetic make-up, on the other hand, has a substantial impact on your body type. If you were born with more of an advantage in terms of physical development, you will tend to be more of the athletic type with defined muscles and bone structure. Otherwise, you will be more prone to fat distribution and having a higher rate of obesity.
The average teenager grows about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in height over the course of a year and a half. This makes them only just under six feet (183 cm) tall when they reach adulthood. A male adolescent's growth spurt lasts three to nine months, while that of a female adolescent is usually less than two months. The maximum growth period for males is between 14 and 18 years old, while for females it is between 12 and 16. After this time, you can start to see decreases of up to 0.5 inch (1.25 cm) per year in height.
Your body weight also increases during this time. On average, children and adolescents weigh around 50 pounds (23 kg). Boys have larger bones and muscles than girls, so they can grow more quickly.