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Thread: Kids Lifting

  1. #1
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    Default Kids Lifting

    So I admittedly fell out of lifting for a couple years. Chaotic home life with young children, demanding job, and a wife going to school and working nights created excuses which I justified to not lift. To combat this we recently purchased a small home gym for the basement and a started exercising again. The kids, namely the 8 year old athlete boy wants to lift with. Not wanting to stifle his competitiveness and desire to improve (you’re welcome son) I let him start lifting with me only, without thinking of possible adverse side effects to him. I did a little research on the topic and it appears to be ok. What’s says the tribe on children lifting and are there things I need to be aware of and or avoid.

  2. #2
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    Rippletoe as a great article on the subject, that I would summarize as saying that “kids can lift, but they cannot train.” He suggested that until puberty, you focus on instilling perfect form with reasonable weight, but don’t set them up on any sort of a progression. Without the testosterone, they simply will not be able to recover from an ever more difficult workout, nor will they be able to put in the muscle mass that is the goal. But showing them HOW to lift, will serve them welll once puberty sets in.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesselp View Post
    Rippletoe as a great article on the subject, that I would summarize as saying that “kids can lift, but they cannot train.” He suggested that until puberty, you focus on instilling perfect form with reasonable weight, but don’t set them up on any sort of a progression. Without the testosterone, they simply will not be able to recover from an ever more difficult workout, nor will they be able to put in the muscle mass that is the goal. But showing them HOW to lift, will serve them welll once puberty sets in.
    Someone should tell that to all the pre-puberty boys and girls training gymnastics 15-25 hours per week.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    Someone should tell that to all the pre-puberty boys and girls training gymnastics 15-25 hours per week.
    Good point. I've seen 8-year old girls complete feats of bodyweight work that I could never dream of.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesselp View Post
    Good point. I've seen 8-year old girls complete feats of bodyweight work that I could never dream of.
    I taught an 8-year old girl gymnast how to do a strict ring muscleup after about 30 seconds of instruction. Something most humans won't ever do. The video got over half a million views (that I could verify; who knows the real number).

    More to the point, children can absolutely lift weights and get stronger with no ill effects.
    ===========================
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    Someone should tell that to all the pre-puberty boys and girls training gymnastics 15-25 hours per week.
    Or tell it to farm kids like me, throwing hay, wrestling livestock, carrying buckets of feed or water, running trap lines, and all the other random lifting that is done with farm work. My brother and I were jacked and strong by the time we hit our teen years, he turned into a runner in his teens and his legs were huge and he was shredded, I turned into a lifter that could work all day and do it again the next. I couldn't compete with his legs but he couldn't touch my upper body strength.

    ETA: As pre-teens we could stand and carry railroad ties (used as corner posts for fencing) on our shoulders that weighed up to 3+ times what we did for short distances.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks guys I will check out that article. I had some concerns with pre puberty and and growth plates.

  8. #8
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    I can only speak of my personal experience raising my two young boys (5&8). My oldest son has been doing gymnastics for 4-years now. This is his second season on the competitive team which they practice 3-days per week for 4-hours each session. My son went from average build and a tummy to absolutely shredded. He has a six pack of abs, huge lats and traps, deltoids that are the size of baseballs, and wrought iron for legs. I never knew a kid could develop pectorals at age 8. I temper his strength by taking him to wrestling class weekly. The coach was so impressed at his strength and balance that he had his son join gymnastics too.

    To the original point, yes kids can lift weights and grow muscle. They are probably better doing calisthenic type workouts but it is valuable to keep them around dad and dad’s hobbies. It instills in them early that working out is not a choice but a part of life.

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  9. #9
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    ^thats awesome.
    Russian wrestlers, probably the best wrestlers in the world, do nothing but gymnastics until like 8 or 9 years old and continue doing tumbling throughout their careers.
    My kid started wrestling at 5 but did gymnastics along with it. He also had a really good youth wrestling coach that had tumbling in the warm up at every practice. He mostly lifts now as a sophomore in high school but can still do all the flips and can knock out a ton of pull ups and climb ropes all day long.
    He's a 3 time state champ(won his first as an 8th grader) and a 2 time National Prep All American. Gymnastics dang sure didn't hurt.


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  10. #10
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    We did gymnastics for 2 years when he was younger as well as all the kids. It really helps them understand their body. He didn’t take too it so we let him move onto other things but I am a huge fan of gymnastics for young kids.

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