Posted by: Leon van Huyssteen | 2009-07-30

Weight gain program

My son is 17 turning 18 on 07 Jan 2010. He has been put on a conditioning program for the 2010 rugby session. He weighs 64 kg and is +/- 1.75 cm long. He needs to get more muscle and strength. Some of his collegues are using Cell-tech from Muscletech. My question is this save to use at his age considering that he has not yet finished growing (growth plates are not yet closed) and if not what can you recommend.

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Hi Leon

I would keep him off this, not necessarily because of excess growth (because he'd be growing with our without the supplement), but rather because I don't think a young guy who is just starting out can really justify supplements. in fact, the only occasion I would use a supplement is if someone's diet is very poor or compromised, or if they have exhausted every other option. Clearly, in this case he has not because he is just starting out on this programme.

The key then is diet, and I would spend the money that others are spending on supplements on a dietician and making sure that his diet is 100% in order. It's amazing how much a young guy doing hard training needs to eat to bulk up and so it's well worth doing this.

The other problem with supplements is risk of contamination. That's particularly true of these muscle growth supplements, and there are plenty of stories of contamination with banned substances. That's because the supplement industry is unregulated, so pretty much anything goes. That is why if a supplement was needed, something like Nestle Nutren Active is better, because it's treated as a food so the quality and reliability is likely to be better. But this is something for a dietician to advise on.

Good luck

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