Young Body Builders

Young Body Builders


The older I get the more I smile quietly to myself as my grandfather did with me when I would make some grandiose ridiculous statement. I am of course referring to young body builders training in the gym. There does seem to be so much more grunting, back slapping and high five (ING) then I can ever remember. We would come in to the gym do squats, bench press, dips, pull-ups, deadlifts some power clean jerks work hard and leave. There certainly wasn’t any grunting (which is a little embarrassing when you are just squatting two plates a side. Hahaha!!!….) the other major difference was that we knew we would need to work 3-4 times a week for about 10 years before we would get real muscle fibre gains. There were no protein shakes, pills or potions (unless of course you were one of those crazy nutters who took steroids…who are probably all dead by now). Nope…. there was just good wholesome unprocessed food. We all knew that too much protein would be stored as fat and would destroy our kidneys and carbohydrates were our food of choice. We ate lots of vegetables two pieces of fruit and lean small amounts of protein. We understood that (real) muscle gains took 10 years to see real results. The Gen “Y” group seem to be about wanting everything instant in life, including muscle gains. They start body building and within a year they think they can enter a competition. The sad part of this is when they diet down (sensibly) they have nothing to show for it. As us oldies know, muscle is made up of lots of water blood vessels, and ATP. A muscle is made of many cylindrical muscle fibres. The many fibres are bound together with connective tissue. Nerves and blood vessels (arteries and veins) run along the connective tissue. In every muscle fibre, there are thick filaments, made of the protein myosin, and thin filaments, made of the protein actin. The filaments overlap to form the sarcomere, a part of the muscle. Myosin has little heads that attach to actin, and pull on it. This is when the sarcomere contracts, and when all of the sarcomeres of a muscle contract, the entire muscle contracts. These muscles are predominantly powered by the oxidation of fats and carbohydrates, but anaerobic chemical reactions are also used, particularly by fast twitch fibers. These chemical reactions produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules which are used to power the movement of the myosin heads. A very realistic goal is that you can expect to safely, naturally, and healthily put on 3-4 kgs of actually muscle definition in your initial two years – providing, of course, that you are seventeen years old or more. Muscle growth comes much slower after we age. These are only rough estimates for the average person. There are of course many variables, like genetics, predisposition to development that will affect your results. So to all you young potential body builders, work out 3 times a week no more than 30-40 minutes each time, start with an endurance phase followed by a hypertrophy phase then strength and power. Be prepared to work at your goals for 10 years. If you want to enter a competition start after at least 2 years of training. And you stop when you die.


John Hart

“Master’s In Education” (Disability) Newcastle University Australia

“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)

One Response to “Young Body Builders”

  1. Gab February 21, 2012 at 8:40 am Permalink

    Heya John, after reading this I give up with body building, so comeback to cardio training… ajaja.
    Interesting information by the way.
    Cheers Gab.

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