When Should A Child Start To Weight Train?
What age should a child before he starts to lift weights?
According to a study done by Falk B, Tenenbaum G - entitled “The effectiveness of resistance training in children. A meta-analysis”.
In another study done by School of Physical Education and Athletics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 13 boys aged 9 to 11 years of age were asked to participate in a strength training experiment to see what effects strength training had on muscle size and function. A weight training program using a progressive resistance system was performed 3 times a week over a 20 week period.
In the study, strength raining greatly increased the 1 repetition maximum bench press by 35%, the one repetition maximum of the leg press by 22%, isometric elbow flexion by 37% and knee extension strength by 25%.
Over the years, we’ve all been told that weight training and children don’t mix. I’m sure you’ve heard how weight training can stunt a child’s growth or how a child will stop growing if he/she does weight training.
You have to remember, they are children and don’t have the same mental and physical capacity of adults. Children just don’t have the inner body awareness it takes to perform super high intense strength training sessions.
Use common sense when thinking about employing strength training for children. It’s very important that you explain what weight training is all about and why they may want to do it. Once they have an understanding of what weight training is, incorporate that into a healthy lifestyle including other cardiovascular activities (sports and the such) and a healthy diet.
Keep it fun and safe for both, you and your child and you should both benefit from weight training. Here are some resources you may find useful:
All the best,
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