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Losing Weight/Building Strength


I hope this is in the right place, so many forums and sub-forums is quite overwhelming when your new!

To get the right answer, I guess you need to know a bit about me. I'm 14, from England and I race go karts at a national and international level. For those of you who are thinking karting is not a physical thing, what I do is nothing like what most people have done at an indoor circuit, it is completely different.

To remain competitive and help secure my future in motorsport, I need to lose around 4 kilos whilst building my strength and endurance. As I go to a boarding school, diet food-wise is quite difficult.

At school, I have been playing hockey every tuesday and thursday but I am now transfering to fitness. In the school gym there is rowing machines, treadmills, cross trainers and lots of weights equipment. The gym is also available to use in the evenings.

So, could anyone give me any advice or a plan on what I should be doing, with both exercise and food, to achieve the results I want?

Thanks in advance and sorry for such a long post :D

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Queen of Cats
Hi Tj, welcome to the Fitness and Exercise section of the site. Sounds like you're pretty active already!

Since you're at boarding school and they seem to have a lot of fitness equipment available, do they have any fitness instructors or coaches there who you can talk to directly?

Food-wise, I'm not a nutritionist, and am not too sure about the nutrition needs for a teenager, but I think if you concentrate on eating healthy rather than a "diet", you will improve your fitness and weight. Things that are fried (like chips and crisps, and fried fish) are not that good for you, so maybe you could keep a food diary for a couple of days to see what you are eating, and how much, and that could steer you in a better direction.


Gone fishing
Hiya TJ

My son is a gymnast (along with parkour). He's 16 and has a scary 6 pack ;)

He does lift weights, but has only been allowed to recently. Most of his muscle has come from his sport.

At 14, you really do need more specialist advice. I have no idea how your diet can be tweaked to make it safe for your age, along with benefitting you with your aims.

I know that my son tends to go for protein snacks (eggs, chicken etc) rather than sweets and biscuits :cool: and I'm confident with that, though his meals are more balanced with carbs/healthy fats/protein.

I've just asked him what he would recommend and he said it was very difficult. His gym equipment at school (the weights) had a number of warning posters around about what could and shouldn't be done, mainly according to age.

He agreed that you really do need professional advice from someone who can see and be with you.

Meanwhile, hopefully Kate will be along and she can add a bit.

I wish you all the best with your sport and future career. Fantastic :)


Hi RockMunky (liking the name)

Yup, have to agree with what's already been said - at 14 your needs in terms of both nutrition and exercise are a little different as your body is still developing. Having said that, however, your specific training needs are probably as much to do with your sport as your age. I recently read several articles about motorsports-specific training (mainly to back up an argument I was having with someone about it) - holy guacamole, you guys have to be fit! - but it's not a specialist area of mine. Do you have a coach?

If not, I would recommend seeing two people if you can - a dietician and a PT or coach. Make sure the PT/coach has a specific qualification related to training adolescents (As ChristieK suggests, there may be a PT/fitness instructor at your school that you can talk to, and it stands to reason that they would have the qualification). Obviously a dietician can only help you to a certain extent, since what you eat is going to be mostly determined by your school, but it would be helpful for you to get some pointers.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the charity Sports Aid both offer support (financial and otherwise) to talented young athletes and it might well be worth getting in touch with them:

Welcome to the SportsAid web site.
Department for Culture Media and Sport

You might also want to contact the MSA (though I'm sure you will have done already if you race nationally and internationally - but they may well be able to give you good advice related to your training):


Uh...sorry for the essay ;)

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