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S&C UnderGround >> Lifting weights for 12 year old?


9/29/12 12:02 AM
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GSDFan
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First off, is this too young for a kid to start lifting weights? My son is 12 and, although very athletic, is also very small. He's starting Pee Wee football and I'd like to get him putting on some muscle and strength as right now he is just simply too small to be very effective. He sees me doing squats and deadlifts and wants to start doing them as well.

So, is it too early for him to start? If not, any suggestions on what kind of training he should do? Would squats/deads along with some dips/chins type of routine be OK or is that a bad idea at his age?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
9/29/12 3:26 AM
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Leigh
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I think weight training is fine for kids. Its no different to a fat kid doing calisthenics.

I would just be careful. Phone Post
9/29/12 11:34 AM
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icedog11
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Gladiator Mouthguards, president/principle

whenI started myson lifting about the same age we went to a friend who is an orthopedic surgeonto ask him about lifting  andthe effect on a childs body .His response was simple the side effects is that your kid will get stronger thats it. Just be resonsible and make sure he uses good form.

9/30/12 1:02 PM
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GSDFan
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Thanks for the responses all. I figured it would be fine but wanted to double check with some more knowledgeable than me before proceeding.

Any thoughts about a good routine? I enjoy starting strength so I'm partial to squats, deads, bench, pull ups, etc. With an obvious emphasis on good form, is there any reason these exercises wouldn't be good for a young one?
9/30/12 4:41 PM
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Spartan79
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Too young for me. His body is still growing and being young heathy and active should be enough. Body weight stuff would be more than enough IMO . Chins press ups squats lunges all with body weight should be enough for a lad his age. Good diet. Phone Post
9/30/12 5:41 PM
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Leigh
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That makes no sense. Phone Post
9/30/12 6:19 PM
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MMA_KNOWLEDGE
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I read that gymnasts growth can be stunted from what they do... Not sure why but I am wondering if something similar would happen from weights. Phone Post
9/30/12 6:32 PM
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pcuzz
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I have a couple of nephews that were gymnasts and at a fairly high level until they got to tall.
9/30/12 7:58 PM
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Bull_in_chinashop
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I started lifting in jr. high, but my coaches only "criteria" was that we could do high rep amounts of bodyweight exercises - situps, pushups, pullups, dips etc. first and in hindsight, I always thought that was a very fair and safe way to determine if a young kid is ready to begin weight training. I was a bored farm kid and we were already challenging each other for who could do the most consecutive pushups , situps etc.. Just my own expereince.

9/30/12 11:04 PM
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Chocolate Shatner
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MMA_KNOWLEDGE -  I read that gymnasts growth can be stunted from what they do... Not sure why but I am wondering if something similar would happen from weights. Phone Post

Sounds like either bro science or an old wive's tale. I've read similar crap about weightlifting, that it would "stunt your growth," and there would be all sorts of stupid justifying posts about growth plates, tendons, etc. Then, when studies are done, there is shown to be no correlation.

You wanna know why high level gymnasts are short? Because the sport's needs reward those who are short and compact.

Might as well say that playing basketball makes you tall, since so many NBA guys are so tall.
10/1/12 12:07 AM
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GSDFan
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Excellent point, Chocolate Shatner. Never thought of it that way, but I'm not sure why. Perfectly logical.
10/1/12 7:00 AM
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Spartan79
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Leigh - That makes no sense. Phone Post
Explain? Phone Post
10/1/12 7:02 AM
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Spartan79
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IMO a boy of 12 is still growing and I don't see the need for weights untill at least 16 years of age. Phone Post
10/1/12 8:02 AM
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LiftStrong
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I dont particularly have a problem with weight training for that age, but I dont think weight training should be a top priority. Teaching co-ordination and proper motor patterns should be the priority. When I train my nephew (12yo) we focus on sprinting, jumping, throwing, pushups, pullups and lateral movement. We also do some hand eye drills on occasion. IMO, developing skill and athleticism is more important than building strength at that age.
10/1/12 10:54 AM
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Leigh
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Spartan79 -  IMO a boy of 12 is still growing and I don't see the need for weights untill at least 16 years of age. Phone Post

Why does age change the priority? You have a goal and work towards it. His goal is to gain size and strength to be more competitive against the other 12 year olds who are bigger than him. Bodyweight will not do that.

The part that doesn't make sense is the age restriction - I don't understand your reasoning for saying a 12 year old should do bodyweight stuff but a 16 year old can do weight training.
10/1/12 11:04 AM
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Spartan79
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LiftStrong - I dont particularly have a problem with weight training for that age, but I dont think weight training should be a top priority. Teaching co-ordination and proper motor patterns should be the priority. When I train my nephew (12yo) we focus on sprinting, jumping, throwing, pushups, pullups and lateral movement. We also do some hand eye drills on occasion. IMO, developing skill and athleticism is more important than building strength at that age.
This! Phone Post
10/1/12 11:17 AM
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Spartan79
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Leigh -
Spartan79 -  IMO a boy of 12 is still growing and I don't see the need for weights untill at least 16 years of age. Phone Post

Why does age change the priority? You have a goal and work towards it. His goal is to gain size and strength to be more competitive against the other 12 year olds who are bigger than him. Bodyweight will not do that.

The part that doesn't make sense is the age restriction - I don't understand your reasoning for saying a 12 year old should do bodyweight stuff but a 16 year old can do weight training.
You want to bulk up a 12 year old? There's no need for me to tell you what's involved to bulk him up . I think he would be fine doing body weight stuff at that young age and wait untill at least 16 when he will be physically at lot more mature .
Placing a 12 year olds muscles , tendons and ligaments under stress with a strength and mass gain program is a bit overkill. The lad is only starting out. Loads can be done with Bodyweight exercises as you know. Whole body exercises three times a week with good diet should do great IMHO ;-) Phone Post
10/1/12 12:00 PM
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Leigh
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Well, he says specifically that he wants to bulk up. Bodyweight exercises will not do that. Don't you remember being fed that lie as a kid? "Weights will make you slow. Stick to push ups and pull ups." Yeah except I could do over 20 pull ups and 50 pushups when I was 12, plus probably a thousand squats. Funnily enough, I was still very small.

I'm not sure what stress you think will be put on a 12 year old's muscles, tendons and ligaments with sensible weight training. As I stated earlier, there is no difference between a fat kid doing bodyweight exercises and a skinny kid using weights, except weights give you more control over your program. And its not like he's going to start off with a 400lb deadlift. How much stress do you think jumping off the climbing frame and playing pee football puts on the body?
10/1/12 4:09 PM
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Spartan79
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Then how much bulk is he aiming for lol. Bulking up 12 year old kids just is not something I would do. Hey if we all agreed on everything what a boring world we would live in. ;-) Phone Post
10/1/12 4:11 PM
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Spartan79
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Quick question how do you bulk up without putting stress on muscles , tendons and ligaments ? ;-) Phone Post
10/1/12 4:56 PM
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MattB ATC
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I see nothing wrong with weight training for a youth, especially if they already have a solid athletic base, as the OP stated his 12 year old son had. IF this was a youth that had very little athletic base and/or sports background, I'd recommend training the youth for better body awareness/control and general athletic ability before adding on too much of an external load.

I don't see people's resistance to a youth weightlifting. The external loads that the body absorbs (through tendons, bones, joints, etc) during jumping, sprinting, etc are equal to, if not larger than, those absorbed during controlled weight training. I don't think that anybody here is recommending that you load up a barbell with significant weight and starting squatting and deadlifting. The youth are "newbies" to weight training and generally the same progression should be followed with a youth "newbie" as an older "newbie" - teach technique under light load and progress as tolerated.
10/1/12 5:05 PM
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cruize
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lifting weights at 12 is too young. have him do body weight exercises instead. weight's cause micro-fractures in kids that young, it will stunt his growth and if he accidently falls he will break his bones easier. and exrecises like curls are not good for him right now, when he get's older he won't be able to fully extend his arms out because of the stress on his tendons and ligaments at a young age.

if you really want him to lift weight's DO NOT have him do full range of motion.

tring to bulk up at that age is stupid! his bones, muscles, ect... everything is growing.
10/1/12 5:08 PM
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Leigh
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Spartan79 - Quick question how do you bulk up without putting stress on muscles , tendons and ligaments ? ;-) Phone Post
Yeah you put SOME stress on them. You have to, otherwise they will atrophy. Working your body is good for it.

LOL at lifting stunting growth and tweaking bones. Phone Post
10/1/12 5:10 PM
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cruize
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every friend i have that started out doing weight at 12-14 years old is short. under 5'5. they started out doing light weights, by the time they hit 16-17 years old they were squating +300lbs and benching +250lbs.
10/1/12 5:26 PM
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Chocolate Shatner
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there has been NO study that shows weightlifting does any of the things that cruize claims. And talk about a total fucking mess of bad advice.

Don't go full ROM? That is specifically how you "shorten" muscles and decrease ROM. It also adds to overstressing because trainees will load in more weight than they can handle, and just shorten the ROM. See Pat Robertson on the leg press, or just about any tard in your average Gold's Gym doing "squats."

Weightlifting makes bone breakage easier? Uhh, have you fucking heard of Wolff's Law?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolff%27s_law

specifically, in the article it states that weightlifters have denser bones than average people. As in, HARDER TO BREAK. Same idea applies to tendons and ligaments through Davis' Law.

As for your friends being short, your friends being members of the Lollypop Guild is not a result of weightlifting. Again, every study done on weightlifting and resistance training shows no negative effects on height from the resistance. They are short because they are supposed to be short.

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