Training Tips from Teen Champs

10 NPC Teen Nationals competitors who went pro share their best advice for young bodybuilders.

Chris Lund


“Above all else, consistency is where you make your gains. There were plenty of guys who started competing when I did who had a lot of potential, but one by one they fell off. Either they didn’t have a love for the sport or they got caught up with other things. They’d get a girlfriend, and you wouldn’t see them in the gym for four months. I was always the consistent one. Do or die, I always got to the gym. The one secret is that there is no secret. It’s hard work, eating right, genetics, avoiding injuries; it’s all those boring things. Don’t look for some secret supplement or drug or magic routine. Just keep eating right and training right. Be consistent and don’t get discouraged, because it just takes time.”

When light-heavy Shawn Ray won the 1985 Teen Nationals, Bob Cicherillo was the second-place heavyweight. Proving consistency eventually pays off, it was 16 years later when he made his pro debut, and he earned his only pro win in his final pro show, at 40.


“Don’t judge yourself against guys who are pros and 10 years older than you are. As a teenager bodybuilder, there are limits to how big you’re going to be. Use the photos of the pros for inspiration and learn all you can from them about how to train and diet. I look up to a guy like Flex Lewis because he’s been where I am. He was a teen champ, and he kept a level head and never tried to be someone he wasn’t. If you feel as if you’re not growing fast enough, don’t compare yourself with some pro. Look at photos of yourself from a year before or two or three years before. Then you’ll see the progress you’ve made, and you’ll know this is sometimes a slow, long process, but the gains will come if you do the work.”

As a light-heavyweight, Nick Medici won the 2010 Teen Nationals. In 2015, when he won the Nationals light-heavy class, he became the ninth overall NPC Teen Nats champ to earn pro status and the third in a four-month span, after Cody Montgomery and Gerald Williams.


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