How Can a 14-Year-old Build Muscle? (how fast & long?)

January 8, 2024 |

Posted By

Max Health Living is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

You’re probably either a concerned parent or a very motivated teenager if you’ve opened this article. Welcome! We will delve into the mechanism by which muscles are built and if teenagers are supposed to be doing it.

There are many ways that a 14-year-old can build muscle. One way is to lift weights. Another way is to do push-ups and sit-ups. Still another way is to eat healthy foods and get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals. All of these things are important for building muscle. But there’s more to it.

Yeah anyone can build muscle at any age.

While there might be limiting factors such as time, stress, and hormone levels, the reality is almost anyone can go through the simple process of building lean muscle tissue.

But should a 14-year-old even be trying to do this? Would it not be unhealthy or harmful to their development?

We will break it all down in 10 – 15 minutes for you.

Can Teenagers Build Muscle?

The process of building muscle is straightforward.

First off, you introduce a reason for the body to adapt by growing new contractile tissue, i.e., you train. Then, you introduce a surplus of calories by eating more food than your body needs. Lastly, you make sure you rest a lot.

Yes, teenagers can build muscle. The process is straightforward on paper and requires dedication to the process.

Teenagers are known for gaining more muscle due to puberty, a period where androgenic hormones such as testosterone increase.

With a few extra calories and some resistance training, teenagers can build muscle.

teenager working out

How Fast Can a Teenager Build Muscle?

Building muscle is a challenging but straightforward business. You’ll have to overconsume calories, eating more than you want or need.

You’ll have to provide a novel stimulus to the muscles, which means you’ll have to be doing either more weights or more volume over some time.

The rate at which you build muscle is entirely individual, but it is estimated that teenagers can gain 0.5 – 1.0% of their total body weight per week. This is also a worthy goal, as trying to gain more than this per week can lead to excess fat gain.

Getting too fat in a period of muscle gain will lead to insulin resistance and lower the amount of muscle you could build. A leaner bulk is thus a better way to go.

What Age Do Guys Bulk Up?

At what age do guys bulk up? This is a question that’s often debated among weightlifters, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts.

The process of aging is like an inverted hyperbole. You start small and frail, grow to be big and strong, and slowly begin to wither away with time. Isn’t that poetic?

Puberty for boys begins at around age 12 [1]. They will develop more manly features during this time, such as a deepened voice, a muscular frame, and body hair.

Men will begin to bulk from age 18 to 25. Their muscularity will increase dramatically as their male hormones reach their peak levels.

Although, there are a few factors that can affect how quickly you bulk up, including your diet, training regimen, and genetics. If you have a fast metabolism, you may find it harder to put on mass. Similarly, if you have any underlying medical conditions (such as hypogonadism), you may also have difficulty gaining weight.

Why is it So Hard to Gain Muscle as a Teenager?

I’ve mentioned that building muscle is a simple journey and process, don’t get me wrong, though. It can be tough to accomplish. Depending on what you find enjoyable in life, you’re either going to hate the process or love it so much that it becomes your only personality trait.

While there are some limitations, gaining muscle is never easy. It might be more challenging as a teenager because you cannot afford as much food as you need, or you might be training wrong.

Training is so much more than just lifting and eating.

Making sure you eat the right foods, do the correct exercises, or even manage your stress can be vital to your progress.

Related posts: Best Pre-Workout For Teens (14, 15, 16, 17, 18 years)

How to Build Muscle as a Teenage Girl?

One of the main differences between biological males and females is the amount of testosterone and other hormones in their bodies.

Males have more testosterone, and because testosterone is excellent for building muscle and recovery of said muscle, males naturally have more muscle.

To build muscle as a teenage girl, you need to eat enough calories to put yourself in a surplus, eat enough protein, and then train with resistance. Your training should reflect a progressive overload style; thus, you should be training with more resistance or volume as time goes on.

Building muscle as a female is precisely the same as a male. The processes are the same.

The only difference is that the males will have a greater capacity to build muscle due to hormonal differences.

What Should I Eat as a Teenager to Gain Muscle?

Going after any physique or sports goal you may have will come down to three simple things—training, diet, and recovery. If you manage these three consistently over time, you will gain muscle.

As a teenager, you should be consuming high-quality and high-protein foods to gain muscle. Lean Meat, Whole Grains, Unsaturated Fats, Protein Powders, and Eggs are great options.

There is a misconception that protein powders are not real food and will not give the same results as whole foods.

This is not true. Protein powders are excellent and convenient to get your protein in.

You may also want to eat more calories than you normally would and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Eat a variety of healthy foods, including lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

How Can Skinny Guys Gain Muscle Fast?

The term hard gainer is often used in the fitness world and refers to an individual who struggles to gain weight no matter what they do. They can be seen rocking abs all year long but lacking size and fullness.

The simple answer for skinny guys trying to gain muscle fast is to eat more. If you are already eating a lot but still not gaining weight, it’s not enough food.

Unfortunately, we cannot break thermodynamic laws, so we must push the mind and body to an uncomfortable place.

Dave Polumbo, a retired bodybuilder, used to blend his food to make it easier to digest. If he threw up his food, he would remake the meal and eat it again. If you’re having difficulty gaining muscle, eat more consistently for 3-6 months.

Do You Need to Lift Heavy to Build Muscle?

At various points in this article, I mentioned that you need to lift with resistance and progressive overload. The easiest or most common way to accomplish this is to use a heavier weight.

While you certainly don’t need to lift heavy to build muscle, it is advisable.

You can only expose the muscle to a certain amount of volume before either your central nervous system or your sanity runs its course, and you have nowhere left to go.

Using a combination of heavyweights and enough volume to elicit adaptation from the body is the best way to accrue new muscle tissue.

Can You Dirty Bulk?

When trying to gain weight, you have to be in a caloric surplus, as the Laws of thermodynamics state. This means you have to overconsume calories. You choose between a dirty bulk and a lean bulk when doing so.

A dirty bulk consists of eating junk food and overshooting maintenance calories significantly.

You can dirty bulk if you’d like, although this is not advised for most as it can lead to a considerable amount of fat gain.

The best way to gain weight is to eat healthy foods in excess, maybe 10% more than maintenance, increasing every two weeks for 4 – 6 months.

How Do I Eat More to Gain Muscle?

Eating more is a surefire way of gaining some excellent lean mass, as long as you train and rest hard.

Here are some ways to increase the number of calories you eat per day:

  • Increase your liquid calories since they are easier to digest than solid foods
  • Increase the number of fats in your diet since they are more calorically dense than protein and carbohydrates
  • Eating more frequently will allow you to have more feeding opportunities
  • Eating easily digestible food will allow for more food to be eaten
  • Blending your food will allow for more calories to be consumed

How to Bulk Up as a 14-Year-Old

The business of building muscle is straightforward, and you can do so by following these 5 Simple Steps:

  • Training

You need to be training. But how you should be training is a bit more specific. You need to be training in a way that challenges your body so that it has to adapt. This means you need to provide a novel stimulus to the muscle for which it has to grow new muscle.

Stick to compound movements like deadlifts, squats, bench, and bench variations, bent-over rows, pullups, and overhead presses.

  • Nutrition

Nutrition plays a vital role in muscle gain, as you might expect. You need to focus on getting enough calories and getting enough protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

You need to be eating more than maintenance calories and between 1.0 – 1.4 grams of protein per lb of body weight [2].

  • Rest and Recovery

This is one of the most understated ways of aiding in muscle gain. If you are not recovering from training week to week, there will not be any muscle growth – or at least not as much as possible. You need to sleep at least 8 hours to maximize muscle gains.

  • Stress Management

Another forgotten method to maximize gains is to manage stress. By doing so, we can lower Cortisol – a stress hormone. By lowering stress hormones like Cortisol, you can maximize muscle growth, fat loss, and testosterone production [3].

  • Supplementation

Supplementation is strictly not a need but rather a want. There are indeed some supplements that can make a difference in your goal to accrue muscle mass and lose body fat:

  • Creatine: Has been shown to increase both strength and lean body mass [4]
  • Omega 3: Has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis [5]

Other supplements like Pre Workouts, EAAs, and Ashwagandha might improve training. However, as a teenager, only Creatine and Omega 3 are necessary.

How Long Does it Take to Gain Muscle?

Every human has its genetics, which means every person will have both beneficial and limiting factors. Being naturally lean might make gaining harder, but you’ll always be shredded than the bigger guys.

An excellent rate to gain is about 0.5 – 1.0 % of total body weight per week. This is substantial enough to keep you motivated – without being so much that the weight gained will be primarily fat.

Final Thoughts

It’s not impossible for a 14-year-old to build muscle. In fact, there are plenty of ways that young people can start bulking up and adding muscle mass.

With the right diet, exercise routine, and supplements, any teenager can see results in terms of muscle growth and strength.

So if you’re looking to add some size before your next summer beach vacation, don’t despair – it’s definitely possible! How have you been working out to bulk up?

Important Disclaimer: The information contained on MAX HEALTH LIVING is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Any statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and any information or products discussed are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before making changes to your diet or taking supplements that may interfere with medications.

Who We Are

We are a team of fitness, health, and supplement experts, and content creators. Over the past 4 years, we have spent over 123,000 hours researching food supplements, meal shakes, weight loss, and healthy living. Our aim is to educate people about their effects, benefits, and how to achieve a maximum healthy lifestyle. Read more.