Time To Abolish This Myth
Updated: Dec 6, 2018
CHARLESTON, SC -- I hear it all the time. "Won't my son/daughter get injured if they start weight lifting too early?" "Doesn't weight training stunt growth?" "I will let him start weight training after he hits puberty so that he doesn't get himself hurt." It's one of the most frustrating parts of my job.
Let me say it loud and clear so that even the people in the back can hear me. The viewpoint that kids are at an increased risk for injury by enrolling in a weight lifting program has been proven to be false.
Resistance/Weight training in younger athletes has been shown, time and time again, to be beneficial to his or her development. Contrary to popular belief, youth resistance training does not stunt growth or put the athlete at a greater risk of injury beyond the inherent risks that comes with resistance training.
Now, to be fair, this does not mean that everyone is guaranteed to go through a lifting program injury free. Nor does it mean that every program is right for every individual. If you or your kid is using some cookie-cutter weight lifting program that can be found on the internet, then I would venture to say you're leaving yourself open for injury. The point that I am trying to illustrate is that a kid who wants to start an individualized weight lifting program is not exposed to any additional risk compared to a full-grown adult. Weight training does not cause injuries. Bad weight training and bad coaching cause injuries.
To put research behind the claim, Faigenbaum et. al. in 2015 showed that,
“Despite outdated concerns regarding the safety or effectiveness of youth resistance training, scientific evidence and clinical impressions indicate that youth resistance training has the potential to offer observable health and fitness value to children and adolescents, provided that appropriate training guidelines are followed and qualified instruction is available.”
There are several key points here.
One, youth resistance/weight training can provide value for those who commit themselves to a training regimen.
Two, outdated concerns about training not being safe for kids have been debunked.
Three, these benefits and assurance of safety comes with "Appropriate training guidelines" and "Qualified Instruction".
If you or your team are seeking an opportunity to get better/faster/stronger this off-season, set up a free consultation with one of our Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.