Article last updated: December 2017 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
I recently received a message on my instagram from a SFT-reader who is 12 years old.
His question was: Will your training and diet advice work for me when I’m just 12 years old and still going through puberty?
The answer is: YES, my advice works for skinny-fat guys of all ages.
I have coached skinny-fat guys from all ages between 16-58 and I can safely say that age doesn’t have much impact on your long-term results.
But there’s one exception for those of you who are between 12-16 years old and still going through puberty.
When you’re still that young, your natural testosterone production hasn’t peaked yet and as I mentioned in many of my articles, testosterone is the main muscle building hormone in the body.
As a result, your muscle gains will be limited until you are around 15-16 years old and your natural testosterone production has peaked.
But that doesn’t mean you should just wait until you reach age 15-16. In fact, that’s the worst thing you can do.
When you’re going through early puberty, you have the chance to transform the way your entire body works.
By losing excess body-fat with a healthy diet plan, you prevent all the major issues us older skinny-fat guys struggled for years with:
- Hormonal imbalances (low testosterone and high estrogen).
- Puffy nipples and gynecomastia.
- Slow metabolism and thyroid issues.
- A large amount of fat cells from having high body-fat levels during puberty.
All of this means that you will have a much easier time maintaining a lean and muscular physique after puberty is over.
To give you an example look at how important taking action early is, let’s look at fat cells:
In my article Why You Can’t Lose Your Love Handles: Fat Cells I mentioned that the amount of fat cells you have is determined by the amount of fat cells you carry at the end of puberty.
When puberty ends, the amount of fat cells you have is fixed and you can’t reduce the quantity. You can only shrink the size of the existing fat cells you have.
The problem with shrinking the size of fat cells is that they are always ready to get filled up again.
So a guy like me who finished puberty at extremely high body-fat levels has a huge amount of fat cells, so even when I lose all my fat, I can easily regain it when I overeat for a few days.
You can prevent that issue by getting lean and staying lean through puberty.
By doing so, your body will regular the amount of fat cells you have and this means that you will have a smaller amount of fat cells the rest of your life.
In other words, by taking action as early as possible, you will have to put in way less effort to get lean and stay lean for the rest of your life.
This alone should be enough to convince you that starting early is EXTREMELY beneficial for your overall life quality.
There are of course other benefits and I’ll list some of them below:
- Resistance training will thicken and strengthen your bones and connective tissue so that when your natural testosterone production peaks around age 15-16 you will gain muscle mass much faster.
- Following a healthy diet will optimise your hormonal balance so you prevent embarrassing skinny-fat guy issues such as puffy nipples and if you have puffy nipples, a healthy diet will likely help you get rid of them permanently. (As long as you’ve had the condition for less than 3 years).
- Your taste-buds will adapt to healthy foods early on so you won’t crave salts, sugars and fats as much.
- You will feel confident in yourself when you build up your strength to do 20 clean chin ups.
Overall, you have the opportunity to change your genetics and set yourself up for a much better future with more muscle and strength gains and a much easier time maintaining a lean physique.
So what are you waiting for?
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
PS: Here are some extra tips for skinny-fat teenagers who follow the diet in the SKINNY-FAT TRANSFORMATION Bodyweight Program:
- Don’t start eating at a Caloric deficit because you’re still growing and you don’t want to limit your growth with a low Calorie diet. Instead, start eating at your estimated maintenance Calories or slightly above and focus on food quality by using the foods on the High Testosterone Diet Food List.
- If you aren’t losing body-fat at a Caloric maintenance, you can reduce Calories so you have a slight deficit, but only do this until you have a flat waist.
- Aim to achieve a flat waist rather than a 6-pack because as I mentioned in my post The Price You Pay to Get A 6-Pack if You’re Skinny-Fat, going for a 6-pack will take too much time and force you to stay in an unhealthy Caloric deficit for too long. The goal is to get to a healthy level of leanness and then maximise the amount of time you stay at a Caloric maintenance/surplus so you can get the most growth and development out of puberty!