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Best Workout for Teens

Workouts for 16, 17, 18 year old boys and girls.

Best Workout for Teens

The Best Workout Routine for 16 - 18 Year Olds

like any other workout routine, will vary greatly by health condition, but there are tips we need to cover to get you started.

One thing to note is that Bodybuilding / training routines for teenagers will be very similar in structure for 14, 15, 16 , 17, and 18 year olds. It's typically right around age 19 - 20 that the workouts will get more aggressive for male athletes.

Understanding the Teen Body

Building muscle is going to be significantly easier for a teen due to the fact that they have a higher testosterone level, but there is a caveat. Teens typically don't consume enough calories & protein to be able to build any noticeable amount of muscle.

Key to Gaining Muscle Weight for Teens

Teen Bodybuilding Diet - (More Small Meals)

The diet is one of the most important things for a teen to be able to gain weight (or lose weight). This is often overlooked by schools, parents and the teens themselves.

Teen Meal Frequency (How often to eat)

Start by eating 5-6 small meals per day to keep the body energized, fed, and happy. Eating more often speeds up the metabolism and can help prevent storing of fat. This can allow you to continue on with your active lifestyle without starving the body of the food it needs to continue working for you.

More Calories

Consume more calories than you're burning. Teenager's have a higher metabolism than adults, and due to being much more active in their daily routine it makes it a lot tougher to put on muscle mass. Remember, a teenager goes to school, and walks around all day long. They probably have phys-ed, or gym time at school. They may play basketball, or engage in a sport after school. All of this activity requires energy, and it draws from the calories needed to build muscle. I'm not saying don't be active, but you need to note that whatever you are eating on daily basis (calorie wise), will have to be upped by almost 20% - 30% to see any significant gains. Think of your body like a sand box, and calories as the sand. If you're trying to build a castle (muscle) - then you will need more sand then what you currently have. You use the sand box every day, and you've established a level of sand that keeps your body happy. To make bigger castles you'll need more sand (calories from healthy food).

The human body is in a constant quest for balance. It knows when you starve it. It knows when you overtrain. It knows when you eat too much. And during all of these circumstances it makes adjustments to accommodate.

For Example - when you eat less, and continue to be really active, the body will store fat if you don't feed it enough food for energy to handle all of the activities you're putting it through.

More Protein

This is the same for adults. If you want maximum muscle gain, then the optimum protein consumption would be 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. If you weigh 100 lbs, then you need at least 100-120 grams of protein per day at a minimum. We know that can be tough, so try to get 50-75g protein per day at a minimum.

Teen Workout Basics

Get a workout partner, preferably an adult, and learn how to properly spot each other before tempting to lift any weights, especially heavy weight. Spotting is when someone stands beside you with their hands close the equipment you're using in case of an emergency. For example - if you are doing benchpress and you can't lift the weight - your spotter should be positioned to help you lift it back up to the f Safety first!

Learn the proper and best techniques for training each muscle group (legs, arms, calves, bench, etc)

How Much Weight Can I Lift?

The amount of weight you should lift for each exercise depends on your 1 Rep Max. See the 1RM calculator below. Enter in the amount of weight you can do now...and how many times (reps) you can do it. This is a backwards way of finding your 1RM.

1 REP MAX Calculator

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Enter weight lifted

Enter number of reps

The Most Weight I Can Lift for 1 Rep is Approx


With an adult, starting with the lowest weight possible on each exercise (for safety) - gradually move up in weight to obtain your 1 rep max for each exercise to see how much you should be lifting daily. In other words, just see what the max amount of weight you're capable of lifting for each exercise and apply the formula below to determine what weight range you should be lifting in.

Note: this can be dangerous as you are pushing yourself to the limit, and you will need strict adult supervision!

If your One Rep Max on benchpress is 50 lbs, then you typically should be able to bench about 40 lbs for 10 reps.

The formula is: weight/(1.0278-(.0278*reps))

16 - 18 Year Old Workout Plan

Beginner Workout for 16, 17, 18 Year Old Males / Boys

This is a starter routine for a 16 year old male / boy in perfect health who has a knowledgeable workout partner to properly spot him and make sure he's performing the routine properly.

Monday (Back, Biceps, Shoulders)


  • Deadlifts – 25 lbs – 4 sets – 6-12 reps
  • Barbell rows – 15 lbs – 3 sets – 10-12 reps
  • One-arm dumbbell rows – 10 lbs – 3 sets 10-12 reps


  • Barbell curls – 10 lbs – 4 sets - 12 reps
  • Preacher curls – 10 lbs – 12 reps


  • Seated dumbbell presses – 10 lbs – 4 sets – 12 reps

Tuesday (Legs)


  • Squats – 40 lbs – 5-6 sets – 12 reps
  • Leg presses – 40 lbs – 4 sets – 12 reps
  • Seated leg curls – 20 lbs – 3 sets – 12 reps

Wednesday (Chest, Triceps)


  • Bench press – 30 lbs – 5 sets – 12 reps
  • Incline barbell presses – 20 lbs – 3 sets – 12 reps


  • Seated dumbbell extensions – 10 lbs – 4 sets – 12 reps

Thursday (Back, Biceps, Shoulders)


  • Barbell rows – 20 lbs – 5 sets – 10 – 12 reps
  • Pulley Rows – 30 lbs – 4 sets – 10 – 12 reps
  • Machine pulldowns – 20 lbs – 3 sets – 10 – 12 reps
  • Front pulldowns – 20 lbs – 3 sets – 10 – 12 reps


  • Incline alternate dumbbell curls – 90lbs – 4 sets – 12 reps
  • Machine curls – 200lbs – 3 sets – 12 reps
  • superset with Standing cable curls – 200lbs – 4 sets – 12 reps


  • Seated dumbbell presses – 20 lbs – 4 sets – 12 reps
  • Front dumbbell raises – 5 lbs – 3 sets – 8 – 25 reps
  • Machine raises – 30 lbs – 3 sets – 8 – 25 reps

Friday (Legs)


  • Leg extensions – 30 lbs – 4 sets – 30 reps
  • Front squats – 40 lbs – 4 sets – 12 – 15 reps
  • Lying leg curls – 10 lbs – 4 sets

Saturday (off)

Sunday (off)

Weight Loss Tips

  1. Be more active (1 hour walk per day for 30+ min. or daily jog, sports etc)
  2. Eat smaller meals (200-350 cals each)
  3. Eat healthier (vegetables, chicken, turkey, potatoes (NO fast food)
  4. Eat 5-6 times per day (every 2-3 hours)
  5. Don't drink your calories (avoid soda, fat/sugar loaded drinks)
  6. 3500 calories = 1 pound (Try dropping daily calories by 300-500)
  7. Start reading the labels on the foods/drinks (education is extremely important)

Workouts for Teenage Girls

Workouts for teenage girls will obviously have a little different focus, as they are typically more concerned with losing weight, or keeping off fat. This is actually easier and less complex. The beauty of this is the same basic principles also apply to women age 19, 20 and up as well.

Easiest way to lose weight for Teenage Girls

The secret to losing weight is right here. You ready? Burn more calories than you consume. How do you do that? Easy. More activity, less food. That's it. You don't need secret potions, or crazy weight loss products. Yes they exist, and can help, but they are not required to lose weight successfully. See the checklist above under Weight Loss Tips.

Teen Bodybuilding Notice

Consult with your parents and doctor before participating in any teen bodybuilding activities or workout routines. Any article you read here is not a recommendation. It is simply a basic workout plan outlining what could be suitable for a healthy 16 to 20 year old.