This post is for you teens out there – because now, you can train at CityFit once you turn 16! I want to share my knowledge and coaching experience with you. But first, I’ll tell you what I won’t be writing about here. I won’t write about lifting weights, or building muscle mass at a bodybuilder level, or about breaking the limits of one’s weaknesses and working out at all costs.
What I WILL write about is why it’s good to start working out regularly, and where to begin. If you’re reading this article, you’re interested in getting fit. I hope that I can help convince you that it’s worth it. Writing this post, I can’t help but think of myself when I was younger – little Michael, 17 years and 30 kilograms ago. I was lucky because I met great people, real professionals, who helped me to work out in a smart way. I understood the meaning and significance of each step. Now, I’m going to pay off this debt. Enjoy!
Let’s begin with some theory – perhaps it’ll convince your parents when you ask them for a gym membership. Regular strength training affects our body in a multi-faceted way (and this happens regardless of your age). First of all, the condition of our muscles changes. The number and shape of muscle cells increases, the mechanism of the ligaments and joints improves. Bones become more dense and their structure is more stable. This results in the correct formation and improvement of the movement apparatus – it’s resistant to fatigue and protected from injuries. At the same time, the nervous system benefits. The increase of muscle activity translates into better control, operation and correctness of movement. The energy of our body also changes. This is a fairly complex process, so I will write as simply as possible. The training boosts the growth of the energy resources prepared to be used (ATP). The work of the hormonal system is directed at “adding power”. All of these processes take place due to natural changes. However, the difference is huge compared to those who don’t exercise.
How does this theory translate into practice? How does exercise affect the functioning and appearance of a teen body? Weight loss is the first change you will notice. The range of this phenomenon is enormous. Overweight or obese adolescents can observe the reduction of adipose tissue. Metabolism boosted by exercise “consumes” fat with double power, using it as a stored energy source not only during exercise, but also during regular activities on a daily basis. On the other hand, young people with body weight deficiencies are able to gain weight much easier (muscle mass). In both cases, the process takes place parallel to other beneficial changes, such as improving the condition of the bones. And what about body endurance? This is another significantly improved area – we’re able to run faster and further.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned some myths and untruths. Some people think that the body is too weak and shouldn’t be trained too hard in the period of intense development; usually, it’s the injury argument that comes first. Based on my coaching practice and personal experience, I absolutely disagree. Young people need exercise to grow properly, and the gym is one of the safest places to do so. I once came across some interesting research about the most common injury causes among children in lower and upper secondary school. It showed that 19% of injuries were caused by football, another 15% by basketball, and 6% by cycling. In the study group, there were also children exercising regularly at the gym. Only 1% of them complained about pain caused by micro injuries, often resulting from overtraining. No fractures, dislocations, or skin chafing was reported. Moreover, detailed measurements didn’t show any negative changes affecting body growth.
So don’t listen the whiners – just start working out today. Do it as soon as possible, and see how many aspects of your life will change for the better. So where should you start?
First of all, stay calm and don’t go crazy 😉 Plan what you want to do. Browse online, read professional press and websites to find the right type of training for you. You’ll see the term “general training” everywhere. You should remember this name, because that’s the name of your workout for the next few months! I’ll explain.
When you start training, you need to look at your body a bit like an architect. Imagine a house. What kind of house do we want to build? Where do we start? From laying a solid foundation of course. This is general training. Its purpose is to structure your motor skills (strength, endurance, flexibility, etc.). This is a period of adaptation, and it’s extremely important. It’s about fixing motion patterns and developing the necessary minimum strength that will be the basis for further training. How do you want to lift big weights on a barbell when you can’t do 8 push-ups, and you lose your breath after 10 minutes on a treadmill? Think about it. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice. Talk to a personal trainer who will help you set up a reasonable, safe and effective workout. At CityFit, we have Personal Trainer Days each month, where you can ask for advice for free.
The second thing is the place you choose to go. Believe me, this is so important. It’s about having access to the right equipment. Your gym’s equipment should be varied enough to give you a range of workout opportunities. Your workout is supposed to be effective, but it should also be a fun way for spending your free time. Atmosphere counts too – you can’t meet people like you, with the same goal, in every club. A good gym community gives you the opportunity to build relations and make new friendships. It also gives you the motivation that you need to keep coming back. Plus, you have a better chance at meeting a personal trainer in professional fitness clubs – someone who will give you professional feedback on your accomplishments.
Show this article to your friends, and ask them for their opinions. I also suggest showing it to your parents – maybe they’ll support your initiative. Search for those that support your goals. I remember my first gym workouts at the age of 16 – many thought that they were unnecessary. The workouts were a bit, boring and difficult. I even remember having a moment of doubt. But all of this contributed to shaping my body and personality, and helped me to achieve the best results when I became a professional athlete. It’s my passion and way of life. Was it worth it? Yes!!! I encourage you to find out for yourself!