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Youngest age for kids to start weight training????


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Excerpt: I've always heard the 'rule of thumb' that says that kids should not start weight training until age 12.... ..... Does anyone know of any studies to back this up? I know that, supposedly, the growth plates will get screwed if a kid lifts too early..... but I think I've heard that we don't stop growing until age 25.... so wouldn't the growth plates still be harmed if training began any time before that? The reason I ask is because my son (7.5 years old) has just started tackle

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  1. #1
    Freak GinNJuice's Avatar
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    Youngest age for kids to start weight training????

    I've always heard the 'rule of thumb' that says that kids should not start weight training until age 12....

    ..... Does anyone know of any studies to back this up?

    I know that, supposedly, the growth plates will get screwed if a kid lifts too early..... but I think I've heard that we don't stop growing until age 25.... so wouldn't the growth plates still be harmed if training began any time before that?


    The reason I ask is because my son (7.5 years old) has just started tackle football. I have him do pushups, situps and sometimes pullups........ but I don't see a pushup as anything different than a low-wieght bench press..... etc....

    I would also like to get him started on some light weight lunges.

    But, I don't want to start him too early if there is any truth behind growth plate damage. ???????

    Thanks for your help.

    -GNJ

  2. #2
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    Yeah, well pushups, situps and the like are callestenics (did I spell that right). I would go a search on www.c4.com or www.google.com and see if you can find anything there. The callestenics use your own body weight, they're not adding excess pressure on the bone structure so I think they're safe because the body is used to handling it's own weight load. He's young, keep him with those for now, and he'll be fine. Squats may help though, too. Not with weights, just typical squats, making sure his knees bend only to 90d's. That's my input, at least.

  3. #3
    Freak GinNJuice's Avatar
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    Here is something I found:

    Weight Training Benefits Children
    Weightlifting programs can improve the muscle tone and endurance in children -- and help them to feel good about their athletic performance. Researchers recommend that resistance training programs for children include a high number of repetitions-lifting moderate weights rather than few lifts of heavy weights.

    Most of the children appeared to show the greatest improvements in strength during the first 4 weeks of the program, with lower body muscles tending to be more responsive to weight training than muscles in the upper body. The researchers conclude that children should begin weight-training using moderate weights and a single set of 13 to 15 repetitions per exercise. This type of program not only allows for positive changes in muscular performance, but it also provides an opportunity for each child to experience success and feel good about his/her performance.

    Pediatrics 1999;104/1/e5


    But, I'm not sure that deals with future growth issues???

  4. #4
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    Hm... well first off I'd find more articles that support child-weight training. Second, it claims your child will feel better about his athletic performance. Your 7 year old will get that from you, giving him a barrage of compliments and encouragements everytime he plays a lil game of catch with you. I doubt (not taking anything away from your son) that any 7-year-old will really think like that, and cares as much about athletic ability and all yet, so you don't need him to feel "better about himself" by having him lift weights. Just do that by encouraging him.

    I would wait until he's maybe 10 to weight train at the least. I started when I was 13, but only because I wanted to. Make sure he wants to do all this too. Not trying to tell ya' what to do, just my two cents, as usual.

  5. #5
    Freak GinNJuice's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input.

    I found this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

    http://www.aap.org/policy/re0048.html


    Interesting info.


    BTW, I live in Texas, I'm not sure where you're from, but around these parts........ football is life........ and taught at a young age. I had my son playing flag-football at age 5.... but there were a bunch of 4 year olds out there

  6. #6
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    I'm from NY. Heh, well hell maybe he'll be a Cowboy one day. It'd probably be great for you to see your son charing out onto the field with that silver/white uniform with the star ensigna on, no?

    No problem with the input though. Like I said, keep him with callestenics until he gets older. They'll develop his muscle fine. Good luck with your son's football career! ^^

  7. #7
    Freak GinNJuice's Avatar
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    The article basicly said that weight training is ok, or even good, for kids as long as they use proper form and high repetitions (not maxing out).

  8. #8
    Good Broly
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    I honestly can't see a problem with it.. I mean it seems the same as young guys like me (started just before I turned 13)

    as far as maxing out goes, to me it doesn't seem like that good of an idea because of the stress it does put on tendons, but it's a personal thing. i'd start high rep (around 15) just short of failure and see how his body reacts and go from there.

  9. #9
    Good Broly
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    Just take a look at the world of gymnastics, many of the athletes begin at very early ages and over the years have developed well defined physiques both on the womens' and mens' sides. Best thing to do is to read and ask your doctor: something we should all be doing even as adult bodybuilders / powerlifters.

  10. #10
    Pro Bodybuilder thriller's Avatar
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    i think you should stick to body weigth exercises. there is different ways of doing it. and also just light light weights work on form. its better to be safe then sorry.

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