Puberty is a natural rite of passage that all boys go through as they transition into young men. The most common and superficial effects of puberty in boys are inconsistent changes in voice pitch, increased sweat production, body odor, underarm hair growth, and acne. GROSS, RIGHT?! What’s so good about becoming a man anyway? Well one common side effect of puberty that cannot be seen by the naked eye is the extreme increase in natural hormones that catalyze these changes. Two of those hormones are Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone, which are also responsible for the massive growth spurts we see in regards to both height and muscle mass in late middle school and early high school aged boys.
So how do we utilize this relatively short time period where increased hormone production in the body also creates an optimal environment for muscle growth in young boys?
1. Begin Basic
If a young teenage boy does not have a strong base of fundamental movements when beginning a training or sport program of any sort, he will find himself at a disadvantage when trying to reach the peak of his potential. That’s why at Par 4 Success we implement basic functional movements patterns like the hip hinge and triple extension from the very beginning of anyone’s training program, regardless of age. When trained properly, the hip hinge and triple extension can then be used to do more complex exercises like deadlifts and squats, which have been proven to build more muscle mass compared to other exercises. A well-moving boy that can safely handle the loads of a carefully programmed squat and deadlift regimen will stand to make significant gains in his training program which will be easily linked to increased power and endurance on the golf course.
As young boys begin to go through these changes, you might also notice a big increase in their appetites. Their hunger surge is actually a natural cry of the body for more calories to fuel the changes that are occurring at a cellular level. Often times, scrambling from one golf event to the next might leave you settling for the most convenient fast food quick fix. However, as the teen’s body is going through these changes, it is paramount to provide the body with healthy non-processed options for food. Therefore, planning meals ahead of time and packing healthy fruits and vegetables when on tour are the best ways to fuel sport activities as well as the growth spurts the teen is experiencing.
Speaking of scrambling from event to event, don’t forget to REST! It’s easy, especially in the summertime, to try and fit in as many golf events, workouts, practice rounds, and lessons as possible. But sleepy teens do not make for good athletes! As their bodies are fighting to keep up with a daily routine, they are also working overtime to sustain the massive growth spurts that are occurring simultaneously. Don’t allow these young athletes to burnout either physically or mentally. Regular breaks during the day, as well as long and sustained nights of sleep of 8 – 10 hours, are extremely important to sustain the amount of energy needed for all activities both internally and externally!
Utilizing these three simple techniques of forming strong functional movements, healthy nutrition, and adequate rest will enable boys to position themselves to become as strong and healthy as possible. Communicating the importance of these three tips will also help to empower young boys as they transition into strong and healthy men for life!