In recent years, many questions have been raised about when kids should start working out. Before we get into it, I’d like to point out; I’m not a doctor, and these are just my opinions based on information I’ve researched. This is what I believe is right. Though this is the case, throughout the article I hope to be able to provide some useful, and simple information.
- Often, the reason people say you shouldn’t train too young is because your body is still developing, and lifting weights could have a negative impact on it’s progress. Well, women will be done with growth by the age of 21, but men can continue all the way until 25. So really, does it negatively affect your body?
- There are multiple different opinions on whether or not it actually does stop growth, or change its patterns at all. It seems to be an obvious consensus when it comes to lifting heavy weight at a young age. For example, it isn’t recommended to be squatting extremely heavy at the age of 14. If that is the case, it is quite possible; even likely, it may negatively alter your growth pattern.
- Although, this may not mean you can’t workout at all. Many kids want to get a head start, so they’re better prepared for when it is time to really hit the gym hard. Many people actually say it can be beneficial. Dr. Faigenbaum actually did a study with kindergarteners (not using real weights, just balloons and dowels) and found weight training actually will improve their strength. It isn’t the same way as adults though, they don’t really add muscle, but their overall strength does improve. It could be a result, says Dr. Faigenbaum of “neurological changes. Their nervous system and muscles begin interacting more efficiently.” Some even say they’ll grow up to be stronger adolescents.
- If you’re young, meaning younger than 15 or 16, and want to start training, you shouldn’t go too hard, but then again, don’t necessarily listen to those who tell you it’s an overall horrible idea. As long as you pay attention to proper form, meaning watching YouTube, or our own instructional videos right here in the marcfitt.com members’ section, practicing the movement with no weight, and when you’re comfortable with the movement, not going too heavy just yet.
- The progress may not be as noticeable as you hope, but it’s getting your muscles ready for what’s to come. Knowing the basics, and ultimately having that base will give you a huge advantage over the kid who only starts at 16 as opposed to 14 like you did. When you get to 16, you’ll be ready to go into beast mode! That’s when it should be ok to start putting some variety, and more specific/heavy weighted exercises into your routines.
Don’t get too eager, and be careful. As long as you’re responsible, weight training can be nothing but beneficial, regardless of your age!