In a recent article I discussed the contentious issue of when is appropriate for a child/ adolescent to commence resistance training, within the post I addressed the importance of training appropriately, with structure and the need to master bodyweight before seriously considering lifting weights. This was only scratching the surface of things that needed consideration, but the overall conclusion, certainly from several robust sources was that children could (and do) train, and if it’s done properly then they can develop lean mass safely AND effectively.
But a 14 year old bodybuilder??
Is 14 too young to be classified a ‘bodybuilder’ per se? Well, I’d say if the shoe fits then wear it…and that’s exactly what Cosmo Taylor from Inverness did. Cosmo obviously has an inherent ability to develop muscle mass whilst remaining toned and defined, and has managed to sculpt a very impressive physique since starting resistance training 3 years ago. Coming from a family of fitness enthusiast there appears to be a nature and nurture element to his ability to gain muscle. He has a well-planned, structured training regime and diet plan, as well as a maturity that enables him to rest, recover and not exceed his immature body’s limitations.
Sensible training routine
It is VERY easy to overdo the exercise thing as a child/ adolescent, so Cosmo strictly sticks to a session time of 1 hour a day, along with a regular cardio workout before school. When asked about his training life, Cosmo simply answered ‘The gym is my life’… he goes on to describe the joy he gets from reaching a personal benchmark such as a new personal best on the bench, or he starts to notice a nice increase in muscle size. However, with the ‘sensible training’ principle in mind, I do have a slight issue with the ‘personal best’ or ‘1 rep max’ principle in children lifting weights. In order to achieve a new 1 rep max your body has to endure a significant, one off load, and the consequence of this on soft, developing joints and connective tissue could be very damaging. If this was to even be considered, it should be performed under the guidance of a professional and increments should be very gradual indeed.
Already Cosmo weighs in at 73kg, and he hopes to hit 90-95kg in the not too distant future. He explains how his school friends are already fascinated with his impressive physique, particularly seeing as most of them are yet to even consider weight lifting/ resistance training, never mind full on bodybuilding! His school mates evidently bombard him with questions on how they can achieve a full chest and big arms. It seems he also gets encouragement from his teachers as they say how they wish they could get a body like his.
There is no doubting Cosmo’s evident predisposition for growing muscle, and because of this it’s very difficult to start critiquing his physique as if it were a mature adult’s body. So if (like me) you start doing this, quickly remind yourself that this is the physique of a 14 year old boy, the same age as Justin Bieber was in this pic…
This should put it into perspective a little!