Too young to use weights??

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Grifftan
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Too young to use weights??

Post by Grifftan » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:49 am

Hi All

I need you advice if possible??

My son has just turned 11 and has just been selected to swim competitively. He’s long and lean like a bean pole and eats like a hoarse  :lol:

He’s really into his swimming and has a good competitive attitude. He asked me the other day if I could start teaching him to use weights so that he can get better in the pool.

Naturally I want to encourage him and would more than happy to buy him a set of dumbbells and start him off, but obviously as a father I’m a little concerned that as he is still growing using weights could cause problems.

I would really appreciate your opinion on this. Is 11 too young to be using weights???

Thanks guys

Griffo


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stuward
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Post by stuward » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:56 am

No, it's not too young if it's supervised and reasonable. The best time to start is when they first express an interest. The lessons you can teach him now will be with him all his life so as long as you show him correct technique and progressively increase the difficulty of the exercises, the better off he'll be. 11 year olds can do a lot with body weight. They can build a lot of relative strength so are quite good with bodyweight exercises. Teach him the basic movements and some gymnastic movements like levers, etc. Teach him to respect his shoulders and lower back now and you'll prevent problems later.

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Post by Stefan 93 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:59 am

I think that it's not good because he will almost monthly increase the weight and then it will be dangerous for his height.
He'll stay short for his whole life and he'll be built like olympic weightlifter and that is not what we all want. Say that to him, that should be enough.
Especially because he's not going to be pro...?

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Post by pl_walker » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:14 am

My 13 year old gets up with me in the mornings (albeit much more sporadically since he turned 13). He does the exact same exercises that I do, but with 2.5-lb dumbbells. He thinks he is working out, and he is. When he asks about more weight, I tell him that until he is older, he is fine with that weight, but for now, he needs to concentrate on form. Until he is older and gets more consistent in getting up and working out, he will keep working on form. :)

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Post by stuward » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:22 am

Stefan 93 wrote:I think that it's not good because he will almost monthly increase the weight and then it will be dangerous for his height.
He'll stay short for his whole life and he'll be built like olympic weightlifter and that is not what we all want. Say that to him, that should be enough.
Especially because he's not going to be pro...?
That's a bit of a fallacy. If he trains progressively and under supervision he should avoid damage that could stunt his growth. It depends on how intense the loads are. I'm not suggesting that he start doing back squats as heavy as he can, but that doesn't mean he can't learn how to do that exercise. Even with that, the risk is very low.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weig ... Youth.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weig ... tions.html

I'm also of the opinion that the best people to train a child are his parents. Of course that means doing your homework so you know what you're doing, and getting expert help if you need it.
Last edited by stuward on Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.


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pdellorto
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Post by pdellorto » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:23 am

I train 8-year olds to lift at one of my jobs. It's fine if they are supervised. The hard part is the supervision and convincing them it's doing the technique with resistance, not moving the maximum possible weight somehow.

But it's not too young. Just take the time to teach young kids correctly and move up weights steadily but slowly. No need to rush.

I'd also note that "no technique" lifts like farmer's walks with weights, planks, jumping, monkey bar swings (playground trips for exercise basically), pushing a Prowler or dragging a sled, etc. are all very useful with kids. Plus they are lots of fun.

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Post by Stefan 93 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:10 pm

Best exercise for every sport is that sport itself. He can do many body weight exercises, just look for them on the internet (there are some strange ones that I've never seen).
If he's not going to become bodybuilder then it is just loosing of his time, let him play soccer or something...
He must use those 2 lbs until he's maybe 15 and that's not worth the lost time...

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Post by Nkkip » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:10 pm

Stefan 93 wrote:If he's not going to become bodybuilder then it is just loosing of his time,
What are you saying? Lifting weights is only for bodybuilders? Bodyweight exercise can be just as intense as lifting. Consider a one-arm push-up in which you push your entire body up on one arm. Is that not heavy? I know I can't do one :lol:.

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Post by pl_walker » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:11 pm

Stefan 93 wrote:He must use those 2 lbs until he's maybe 15 and that's not worth the lost time...
Not sure if this was about my son (using the 2.5-lb weights). He is playing baseball and is very active (when we don't hold him down to do school). :) I doubt he will be a body builder, and as far as "strength" training, it may be beneficial.

But at 13, when he will still get up at 7am to lift weights with me and spend some "dad" time, I definitely do NOT it lost time. I will enjoy it while I am able.

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:25 pm

Stefan 93 wrote:I think that it's not good because he will almost monthly increase the weight and then it will be dangerous for his height.
He'll stay short for his whole life and he'll be built like olympic weightlifter and that is not what we all want. Say that to him, that should be enough.
Especially because he's not going to be pro...?
There is no good reason for him to not lift weights. It WILL NOT "stunt his growth"! That's pure myth. He'll be built however his genetics have him programmed to be built regardless of whether or not he lifts weights. But if he lifts, he'll be leaner and stronger.

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Post by pdellorto » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:40 pm

Jungledoc wrote:There is no good reason for him to not lift weights. It WILL NOT "stunt his growth"! That's pure myth. He'll be built however his genetics have him programmed to be built regardless of whether or not he lifts weights. But if he lifts, he'll be leaner and stronger.
The "stunts growth" and "too young to lift weights" myths need to be stomped out vigorously.

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Post by Ironman » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:33 am

My cousin's son who was just born four weeks ago is too young. That's about it though.

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Post by stuward » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:25 am

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Post by GTO » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:34 am

I have my 11 year old son lifting 2 or 3 times a week. He wanted to lift, I didn't and don't force him.

I keep the workouts to about 20 minutes and try to make them interesting as to not discourage him. We do box squats, deadlifts, bench press, military press, pull ups and inverted rows. I make sure his form is correct and always check that he doesn't have any pain. He has progressed and his "muscle motors" have learned to fire. I'm not going to let him lift much heavier till he goes through puberty and he can grow some muscle.

Being a boy, he likes to do curls and has added some definition to his biceps.

I really likes Peters idea of farmers walk and the sled and, I'll start to introduce something like that when the weather clears.

His sport is basketball and He really improved this year, I think the training has really helped his confidence.

If you use common sense, don't try and make him an Arnold at 11, supervise him closely, make it fun, I think you'll be alright. If your worried about form, you can take him to PT for a session and have him help you out and tell you what to look for. You could do step ups instead of squats, you can use dumbells for deadlifts, things like that.

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Post by wilburburns » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:54 am

My 3 and 5 yr old daughters "workout" with me from time to time. It's fun for them and as has already been mentioned great "Daddy" Time.

They both enjoy doing squats and other various BW exercises. I keep a pair of 2.5# DB's close just for them, because they can truly mimic the movements they see. My biggest safety concern for them is that they may drop one of the DB's on their foot.

When bench pressing, I keep a light galvanized fence post section they like to press and again mimic what I'm doing in between my sets

Otherwise, I want them to enjoy exercising and working out and I feel I can't start them young enough in doing that. It's much better than having them just sit in front of the TV, or Video gaming system.

So, I say, you can't start to soon with them working out or even lifting, just be careful and mindful of what they are lifting.

When considering how much is to much weight, just sit back and watch them for a while. You might be a bit surprised how much "weight" they actually lift and move on a daily basis. Kids aren't as weak as many want to believe. My kids regularily move heavy (mid to high % of BW) objects around the house or back yard while playing. Middle and High School kids carry 30+ pound bags around all day while in school. That's just something to put "Weight Lifting" in perspective to their daily "Real" Life.

Cliff


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