Bulking or Cutting as a 15 YO Girl

So I’m a 15 yr old girl, and I weight about 114 pounds and I’m 5’1, I want to obtain a body that is lean but also has muscle. Specifically gaining muscle in my arms, legs, and glutes with a tone body. I haven’t started dieting or working out yet. Should I cut or bulk to obtain that physique?

IMO, find a sport that you like and can compete, if possible. This will help keep your body composition close to ideal for your age.
Get familiar with a weight room. And lift some light weights for about a year. By then your form should be good.

Once you become 18, revisit the thought.

(Now, the above assumes that your body has not made any drastic “negative” changes. If you think it has, ask an unbiased and honest friend to affirm your perception. If you attain excess fat, you should intervene, getting it back in line to just look like a “normal” teenage girl.)


Just eat healthy and don’t get fat. I say this because relatively lean (skinny) girls tend to need 10-15lbs total muscle to have a head-turning physique. This can be attained fairly easily when you don’t add in the extra work of cutting as well. When I say “eat healthy”, this does NOT mean starving yourself or going on crash diets, or really anything you will find in a magazine. You know what eating healthy means… stay away from fast food and late-night snacks. If it was made at home (and isn’t smothered in cheeses/butter), you can reasonably assume it is healthy.

Due to some ridiculous societal norms and social media’s absurd “normal” look, I feel it is important to note… At your height and weight, you’re probably already relatively lean or skinny. Most of us here have body dysmorphia, considering this is a fitness forum; don’t get it in your head that you’re fat, because you probably aren’t. The old saying “if it jiggles, it’s fat” really isn’t true, particularly for women (or young women, in your case).

As for training, you could do quite well with any bodyweight exercises and cardio really. If you are able to do bodyweight squats, pullups, pushups, lunges, and most other staple bodyweight exercises with good form, I think it is fair to say you are ready for the weight room… If this is not the case, then I would work on ALL of these before touching weights (I’ve applied this rule to my daughter as well).
As @RT_Nomad said, having a sport that requires you to be competitive will help significantly with this. Soccer and gymnastics are probably a great place to start (my 5y/o daughter is in gymnastics and literally has some muscle from that alone… she’s never touched a weight, only does bodyweight stuff), potentially volleyball as well. If none of this sounds appealing to you, I would focus on your primary compound movements. To stay in good cardio shape, I would consider crossfit style workouts as well (WOD, Workout Of the Day) would suffice to gain muscle and stave off extra fat. Or for a format that is more self-led:

I cannot stress enough the importance of eating healthy. If you are hungry: eat. If you aren’t: don’t. And make sure the food you are eating is wholesome. You are at a great age to have a good relationship with food… don’t starve yourself ever, and don’t gorge yourself either.
Your body is still growing and maturing; please don’t go on a cut or bulk - just eat as I assume you have been, and aim for healthy foods when given the option. Don’t aim to be the Instagram model… she’s not real and doesn’t really look like that - don’t assume you will look like that either. Cutting or bulking at your age is more likely to interfere with hormones you very much need.


eh yeah just start, go gym 2-3 times a week, every week and just get familiar with basic compound moves as others said.

You dont need to ‘*diet/*cut or bulk’ just start building good habits -plenty of wholefoods protein and veg, bit of good fats etc and cut out sugary junk like candy

Several steps Down the line that hard body plan is excellent.

This is a good gentle start…

And yeah knock yourself out/try bunch of sports
…Tennis, swimming and athletics all seem to good getting girls in shape


I have not got into this subject on this forum before, but I believe it is a critical aspect of strength potential and consequently muscle development. Stabilizer muscles dictate the amount of exertion allowed by the prime movers. Optimal training of the prime movers requires them to be “stabilized” sufficiently to fire 100%

The best time to develop these stabilizer muscle is in your youth. Engaging in sports that require balance and coordination builds the ideal foundation of stabilizer muscles. This is why IMO it is critical for the future weight lifter to have highly tuned stabilizers, which nearly automatically happen engaging in sports. The teenager who is active in sports is light years ahead of the video gamer.

This is why I want the 15 year old to be fully engaged in sports, and especially ones that are competitive, so she will be fine tuning her skills which in most all sports involve coordination and balance.


I have a daughter myself. I think the worst thing in the world for you young ladies is to try to diet or train for a specific look. It’s the worst thing for most people, but young women tend to feel the most pressure to do so and have the discipline to follow through.

As said above, I’d give you the same teenage advice I’ve given before:

  • Play sports - they’re fun, they do a ton for you outside of just the physical, and the window starts to close when you’re older
  • Lift weights 3x a week - you’ll get stronger, likely enjoy it, and have the opportunity to build something brick by brick
  • Cardio/ conditioning 3x a week - life is about habits and this is an important one for your health and emotional well-being
  • Eat 3 - 4 complete meals a day - we all know what good foods are, build a plate of protein, fruits and veggies; this is another great habit

Most importantly: don’t take this too seriously. It’s about decades of habits. You’re young! Do this in a way that connects you with friends and family vs isolates you. Eat a cheeseburger with your mom or a pizza with your friends on the weekend. Just start taking little steps and building little habits and you’ll get where you want to be.

Edit: I went back and read @Andrewgen_Receptors’s response in detail and I really didn’t even need to post; he said it all.


I never touched on moderation, which you did - good point. Nothing wrong with eating the “wrong” thing here and there, it just needs to be done in moderation… If you’ve already had pizza 2x this week, maybe hold off on the ice cream or cheeseburger.


Thank youy

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Thank you bro

Thank you sm

it’s an unpopular opinion but for a girl your age i’d recommend not weight training. just eat right and do an activity you enjoy that’s physical like cycling or whatnot and you’ll probably obtain the physique you desire.