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How Do I Get Shredded? Bulk up? - How to Answer These Questions From Your Student Athlete

Bulking up is something that should be left to adults, that’s my take on the situation. However, when it comes to student-athletes, particularly young men, who see countless professional players shredded, with huge muscles, and constantly advertising products, such as shakes, pills and supplements to gain muscle, it is only natural they would want to take part as well.

Unfortunately, trying to bulk up at a young age is extremely dangerous. Keep in mind, as the child’s parent or coach, it is up to you to make sure they follow a healthy diet, but if you aren’t convinced that this is important, consider some of the information I have discovered about young athletes and the dangers related to bulking up.

Why Shouldn’t Young Athletes “Bulk Up?”

There are three reasons this shouldn’t be done:

1. They are still growing

2. It takes years for adults to do it

3. The dedication to what must be done (diet and exercise) require a lot of money and time that most families don’t have access to

Think about it - building muscle increases testosterone. In growing bodies still going through puberty, which, are already producing more testosterone by being competitive athletes, is it really wise to force their bodies to produce even more of it by trying to build extra muscle?

Supplements, Shakes, and Pills are Dangerous

Many of my kids are also intrigued by the products out there designed to help them bulk up quickly. This includes shakes, “muscle pills” and other substances that will help them bulk up in a hurry. These can actually be quite dangerous for a child who is still growing and result in a number of health issues down the road.

I have had kids insistent in making diet changes to help reach their goals, which is when I recommend small changes, such as avoiding sodium and lactose, which can both be beneficial for student-athletes.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Remember, you’re the adult. I have had hard discussions about the realities of trying to bulk up at a young age and the damage it can do to the body. In the long run, being honest with your kid is best. When they fully understand what may happen, and how dangerous it is to try and alter their growth for a “look,” they will be informed to make better decisions about their health.

I also monitor my student-athletes. There are signs I look for to indicate that they may be trying supplements or dangerous diets. Some of the key signs of this I have found include drastic weight changes, mood swings and less energy. If you see these signs, or you have questions or concerns about your student-athlete, contact your doctor right away.

We all want healthy, happy, student-athletes, and our door is always open to our athletes and parents. Let's make 2018 our best year yet for everyone!

About SwingFitt

For all your performance fitness needs, contact SwingFitt. Fitness training for baseball, softball, golf, football, tennis, lacrosse, and more, SwingFitt specializes in functional movement and sport-specific performance enhancing fitness.


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