Information for Preteens:
Body Science, About Building Muscles
Lately, have you been wanting to bulk up? Maybe some of your friends are developing big muscles, and you want to look the same. For some girls and a lot of boys, building muscle is something they want to do, but read on to find out the truth about bulking up.
You cannot build muscle until you reach puberty, because that is when your body starts producing hormones. Until then, you can work on building strong muscles by simply being active and exercising. Strong muscles are healthy muscles.
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You should also eat right. Make sure to eat a variety of foods from every food group. Maybe you have heard that protein helps build muscles, but, while protein can help, there is no one food that will make you bulk up on its own.
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Questions & Answers
Question: Should kids lift weights?
Some kids think lifting weights will help them bulk up, but you cannot really build muscle until puberty. Lifting weights can still be a good way to strengthen muscles and to work out, but it is not a safe activity for kids who are unsupervised.
If you want to lift weights, work with a coach or trainer who knows what is right for your body. Remember to never lift weights that are too heavy for your body. Instead of strengthening your muscles you will end up hurting yourself.
Pumping iron can be a way to build muscle when you are older, but for now, just keep moving and stay active.
Question: What about steroids?
Some people might also tell you that using drugs called steroids can help you build muscle. This is a bad idea! Steroids are illegal, and if you use them you can get punished or kicked off of your sports teams.
More importantly, steroids can be bad for your health, causing problems like dizziness, mood swings, damage to your heart, increased risk for some diseases, and much more.
All in all, it's best to stay away from steroids!
Remember, exercise and eating right will lead to a healthy body.
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high school student writer
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Getting Muscles, KidsHealth.org.
For More Information:
See our Steroids article.
See our Muscle Cramps article.
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013