Muscle for life

MFL Podcast 82: Tips for teen weightlifting and bodybuilding (age, diet, training, do’s and dont’s, etc.)

MFL Podcast 82: Tips for teen weightlifting and bodybuilding (age, diet, training, do’s and dont’s, etc.)

In this podcast, I answer a handful of questions I’m often asked about teenage weightlifting and bodybuilding, like does it stunt growth or make girls bulky, is it dangerous, what is appropriate for different ages, supplementation, and much more.



0:47 – Will weightlifting stunt your growth?

1:45 – Will weightlifting make girls bulky?

9:05 – Is weightlifting dangerous for teenagers?

12:09 – What age should teenagers start weightlifting?

15:18 – Why teenagers shouldn’t try and get super lean.

19:20 – The ideal teenage diet.

25:18 – Dieting for overweight teens.

26:32 – My recommend training method for teenagers.

35:08 – Teenagers and steroid use.

40:18 – The safe and healthy supplements for teenagers.

47:15 – Sleep needs of teenagers.


3:26 – Will weightlifting stunt your growth?

4:27 – Will weightlifting make girls bulky?

11:44 – Is weightlifting dangerous for teenagers?

14:47 – What age should teenagers start weightlifting?

17:57 – Why teenagers shouldn’t try and get super lean.

21:59 – The ideal teenage diet.

25:18 – Dieting for overweight teens.

29:11 – My recommend training method for teenagers.

37:40 – Teenagers and steroid use.

42:57 – The safe and healthy supplements for teenagers.

49:54 – Sleep needs of teenagers.


How I Use Calorie Cycling to Build Muscle and Stay Lean

The Ultimate Bodyweight Workout Routine

A Simple and Accurate Macronutrient Calculator

6 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Steroids

The Definitive Guide to Strength Training

How Many Grams of Fat Should You Eat Per Day?

Oh and if you like this episode want to be be notified when new episodes go live, then head on over to iTunes, Stitcher, YouTubeSoundcloud, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
LIKE MUSCLE FOR LIFE? Let Google know!
Leave a Comment!
  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my podcast! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:


    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Robert Carlile

    Did you say anything about nutrition and workout for hard gainers? Have a friend who cannot put on a single pound and he really wants to put on some size and start training.

  • Nathan

    Hey Mike great podcast had a lot of value in it. Off topic, I was wondering what’s your opinion on higher education like college. I’m 17 and a junior in high school and personally, I think most of the degrees are basically useless besides an engineering, medical, or law degree however i don’t want to have a job in any of those fields. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this topic and being successful. Thanks man keep up the great work!

    • Thanks Nathan!

      I think it really depends on what you go to study. If you’ve chosen a specific skillset/vocation that’s in demand, then it makes sense to me.

      If you have no idea what you want to do and go for something general like business, you can use it to network and meet people that can help you but I wouldn’t expect to learn much that is going to help you in your career.

  • Alexander Mitov

    Hey, Mike! Gotta say you have a pretty good looking skin. Do you have some sort of a regimen or in general how do you take care of it?

    • Haha thanks. I laugh because I have no skin regimen. I wash my face with whatever soap I happen to have and sometimes it’s shampoo because I run out, hahaha.

      I guess healthy living is the “key”?

      • Alexander Mitov

        Haha, well, guess you’re just lucky :). But I do have some advice for you. Between 80-90% of skin’s aging is actually premature and caused by the sun’s UV rays, so to stay younger for longer you should be wearing sunscreen every day. Just Google “sunscreen age wrinkles” and thank me later 😉

        • Maybe. 🙂

          Yeah I know. I’m never outside these days so I guess I have that going for me, haha.

      • Nazareth Rodriguez

        Hey mike loved the podcast, listened to the whole thing amazing content. I just wanted to ask, because you said teens starting on working out should focus on body weight workouts and no equipment I wanted to know where I could find exercises that fit that description. If you have any examples that would be great thanks!

  • Thomas Wang

    Is it ok for a 17 year old to go on a cut/bulk cycle like you recommend in bls then? If i jump on a clean bulk I would still gain some fat and eventualy go out of the 15~17% range. What do you think? I’m currently 13% and should I just keep eating above maintenance?

    • Yeah, the BLS routine would work for you. Because you’re new to training, you’ll even build some muscle while on maintenance cals. Once you’re done with the bulk, fit in as much HIIT and activity as you can. I don’t recommend cutting for a long time or a significant deficit.

  • SolarxPvP

    Hi Mike! The caliper you recommend does not include a percentage for ages under 18. What should I do? I have tried Googling and have had no luck yet.

    • I would just use the youngest age range it specifies in order to get an estimate. Ultimately, the exact percentage doesn’t matter. You could also take weekly waist measurements instead, and just focus on moving in the direction of your goals 🙂

  • SolarxPvP

    The cutting carbohydrate limit is 27 while everything else is significantly higher. 1445 calories, 160 protein, and 141 fat. Did I do something wrong? This diet is near impossible as 2 slices of bread nearly hits the limit. I have had to give up the diet two days in a row as I do not have the food. The only thing I can think of is living off of hamburger patties with cheese. Another question: is starting with machines if you can’t do free weight for some exercises okay, like pullups and curling? Also, is it okay to start with a 3-day split then work up to the 4 and 5-day splits? I don’t know how to adjust the year one challenge for that, though. My dad is making me do both of those things and he is more experienced.

    • Hmm, yeah something is off with the calculation. The carbs and fat look backwards. Check the numbers again here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/macronutrient-calculator/

      Compound movements are going to be more effective than machines or isolation movements. If you don’t have access to barbells and dumbbells, you can start off with a bodyweight routine. Check this out: http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-ultimate-bodyweight-workout-routine/

      It’s fine to start with the 3-day split and work up to the 5-day routine. You could do a couple weeks of the 3-day, then a couple weeks of 4-day, then move to the 5-day split. It’s really up to you and how quickly you want to transition. You can also jump right into the 5-day from the start.

      I hope this helps!

  • SolarxPvP

    Thanks for fixing my diet issues! But anyway, you say to not cut for long, but you do not say how long. How long should I stay in a cut for it to be safe and at what age can I cut longer?

    • There’s no particular timeframe. The idea is just that since you’re still growing, you want to be in a calorie deficit for as little time as possible. I’d only cut if you’re truly overweight/obese. I hope this helps!

      • SolarxPvP

        Okay, thanks! Glad you told me this as I am neither of those things. I see you started (though doing most everything incorrectly) at 17, and was wondering if that was a good age to start cutting. I guess it varies from person to person?

  • Nat

    Hi, thanks for the podcast! I’ve just tu https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5977c8272933ac60185bbb21e8010707cc7ff613e04468460824dff54849d09e.jpg rned 18, am 5 foot 11, weigh about 160 pounds and have a body fat percentage of ruffly 13-14. I have recently started taking my training quite seariously (three workouts a week, high amounts of protein a day etc). However… besides myself, I don’t have much to compare my progress to. I was just wondering how you feel I am doing for my age, and if you feel that anything is majorly lagging behind. (Ps, my legs aren’t in the photo, however I train them a lot and they are not lagging). Thank you very much!

    • Hey Nat, seems like you’re doing great. Keep it up, take progress pictures as you go, and you’ll see the gains 🙂

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account