Bodybuilding is a sport traditionally associated with men. Young males often turn to weightlifting as a way of emulating images they see in the gym or in the media. In addition to expressing their masculinity, teen bodybuilding can be the starting point for teaching teenage males the importance of health, fitness and discipline. Because teenagers are usually more prone to ignore safety precautions, there are concerns about risk of injury, which is why there are camps geared specifically towards their age group. Teen males are taught the appropriate workload, nutrition and the dangers of the overuse of supplements.
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Camp to Campus Programs
This program lasts one to two weeks and is offered in locations throughout the United States and Europe. The camp gives teens a chance to participate in fitness competition tours at the end of the session. Teens are housed on a campus-like setting in bunk beds, and instruction is adapted to fit each person's experience level and personality. Instructors are all professional athletes and coaches who include diet, proper lifting form and endurance into each training session. Each location also give students a chance to explore the area with adventure outings based on local attractions.
Charis Hills Retreat
This camp, located in Sunset, Tex., caters to teenagers with learning disabilities and is a Christian-based organisation. The weightlifting and fitness portion of the session is only offered to teenagers and combines personal growth and bible study to help create a well rounded learning experience. Instructors work with teens to construct a lifting regime that is suited to them personally. They also study body mechanics and general exercise. Most counsellors and instructors are college age students between the ages of 18 and 23, and are primarily from the Texas area.
Wheatfield Boot Camps
Sue Manera is a grandmother who began her body building career in Niagra Falls, N.Y., after her children moved out and she noticed she was gaining weight. She began body building boot camps in the Niagra/Wheatfield area of New York as a way of motivating people to take charge of their lives. Wheatfield Boot Camps are designed for teens who spend more time texting and watching television than exercising, and Manera emphasises that the point is not to intimidate, but to combat childhood obesity.
Pedro's Martial Arts
Owner Jimmy Pedro has won numerous Judo championships and specialises in the nawaza (ground) technique of fighting. His studio, located in Wakefield, Mass., offer an eight week camp for teens that teaches proper weightlifting technique and conditioning exercises. The program also integrates nutrition tips and works on increasing endurance. The sessions are conducted by Olympic athlete Mike Pedro and lasts from one to two hours a day.
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