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Vinny Cap

Children Fitness

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Anyone have any thoughts on when to start children into weight lifting?  I remember starting in High School.

My son is almost 12 and he has interest so I am looking into what age is too young and what is good/bad for someone his age.  Basic strength training, build a little mass... that kind of stuff.  He would like some size and strength for football next season.

I have a Bowflex, free weights, a spinner bike and an elliptical bike.  I figure between all that stuff, we should be able to come up with something.

Please chime in with thoughts and/or suggestions.

Edited by Vinny Cap

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I might recommend talking to a pediatric about it. They ultimately would know the most about child health and fitness. 

A golf forum might not be the best place to ask this question. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Vinny Cap said:

Anyone have any thoughts on when to start children into weight lifting?  I remember starting in High School.

My son is almost 12 and he has interest so I am looking into what age is too young and what is good/bad for someone his age.  Basic strength training, build a little mass... that kind of stuff.  I have a Bowflex, free weights, a spinner bike and an elliptical bike.  I figure between all that stuff, we should be able to come up with something.

Please chime in with thoughts and/or suggestions.

Formerly as a CSCS ten years ago, our school of thought was that low weight/high reps starting around 12-13 years old was ok. Now, as an orthopedic PA who sees lots of kids, I would still be ok with that. But it's important not to load up the weights as it may have deleterious effects on the physes (growth plates).  Most "strength" gains in the first 3 months are not truly strength gains, but increased neuromuscular efficiency resulting in the ability to push/lift more weight. During that that time, you don't need to lift heavy as you're only improving neural recruitment patterns.

Admittedly I don't live in that world anymore, but that said, most of my buddies who are active strength & conditioning coaches who work with kids focus for months on proper technique with body weight exercises & movement patterns only (focusing on the kinesiology)... until they demonstrate good technique. Only after that do they recommend adding resistance. Under no circumstances should a kid under 15 being doing plyometric training.

I'd recommend finding a local CSCS have them work with your kid on movement patterns and proper technique before starting weight training.

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28 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I might recommend talking to a pediatric about it. They ultimately would know the most about child health and fitness. 

A golf forum might not be the best place to ask this question. 

 

My kids doc is like 350 lbs and he tells my son he is overweight all the time.... we are like "look in the mirror dude"

I know this is a golf forum but we have folks from all walks and someone reading today just might be a doc with some suggestions.  Cant hurt to check.

 

17 minutes ago, woodzie264 said:

Formerly as a CSCS ten years ago, our school of thought was that low weight/high reps starting around 12-13 years old was ok. Now, as an orthopedic PA who sees lots of kids, I would still be ok with that. But it's important not to load up the weights as it may have deleterious effects on the physes (growth plates).  Most "strength" gains in the first 3 months are not truly strength gains, but increased neuromuscular efficiency resulting in the ability to push/lift more weight. During that that time, you don't need to lift heavy as you're only improving neural recruitment patterns.

However, that said, most of my buddies who are active strength & conditioning coaches who work with kids focus for months on proper technique with body weight exercises & movement patterns only (focusing on the kinesiology)... until they demonstrate good technique. Only after that do they recommend adding resistance. Under no circumstances should a kid under 15 being doing plyometric training.

Thanks Woodzie.  That was along what I was thinking.  Proper technique, minimal weight and lots of reps.

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I used to be a personal trainer though I was certified over 25 years ago, I've kept up with weight lifting, running etc.  I believe 12-13 is the average consensus age to begin weightlifting.  Ideally the workouts should be higher rep and lower weights to avoid injury.  I started lifting free weights when I was 12 never had any issues from it. 

As others suggest, I'd talk to a doctor as they can give you a better idea of where your child is in terms of their growth potential.  

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2016 at 11:58 AM, woodzie264 said:

Formerly as a CSCS ten years ago, our school of thought was that low weight/high reps starting around 12-13 years old was ok. Now, as an orthopedic PA who sees lots of kids, I would still be ok with that. But it's important not to load up the weights as it may have deleterious effects on the physes (growth plates).  Most "strength" gains in the first 3 months are not truly strength gains, but increased neuromuscular efficiency resulting in the ability to push/lift more weight. During that that time, you don't need to lift heavy as you're only improving neural recruitment patterns.

Admittedly I don't live in that world anymore, but that said, most of my buddies who are active strength & conditioning coaches who work with kids focus for months on proper technique with body weight exercises & movement patterns only (focusing on the kinesiology)... until they demonstrate good technique. Only after that do they recommend adding resistance. Under no circumstances should a kid under 15 being doing plyometric training.

I'd recommend finding a local CSCS have them work with your kid on movement patterns and proper technique before starting weight training.

Yep. All that...

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When thinking about exercises to get him started with, strongly consider ground based, multi-plane movements with free weights (the dumbbells you already have could accomplish that to start).  And don't underestimate the good old fashioned push-up, it's a great exercise to begin building upper body strength.

 I played in college, and coached at the college level a few years.  Feel free to shoot me a PM if you ever want to get into specifics on some exercises.

 

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So I inherited a Total Gym that was never used.  Brand new in the box and have started using it with my son.  This is a really nice piece of equipment!  I looked on their website and they have some $$$ rigs!  This one is one of the middle units.  It has some DVD's that go over routines and they even has a section on the index cards with a kids workout.  It took a bit to get use to and do the right motions but after a few weeks I am really liking this thing.

They have many different workout routines and I an trying them out to find the best one for me.  I don't want to build mass, just burn some cals and be more flexible.  More turn to help with golf.  I was trying to remember back in the day at the local gym, what muscle groups we would work together on different days... can't seem to remember.  Gonna have to search around.  I think using this machine, my spin bike and walking on the nice day will get me back to my lean, mean, fighting machine body!!!  LOL!

Oh yea, added plus here is that my son is getting into it and seems to like it so it will help him loose a few pounds, get stronger and be ready for football when the fall comes.

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2 hours ago, Vinny Cap said:

 I was trying to remember back in the day at the local gym, what muscle groups we would work together...

In regards to free weights, for an untrained/deconditioned athlete, it's generally recommended to alternate working large antagonistic muscle groups (supersetting) with complex movements like Back rows & chest press until neuromuscular adaptations have a chance to occur (8-12 weeks pending your source). Then you can introduce simple movements (chest flies, bicep curls, tricep extenstions) using complementary/agonist muscle groups (back/bi's or chest/tri's) always doing the bigger group with complex movements to bigger group with simple movements to smaller group with complex movements to small group simple movements. 

I know that's probably clear as mud, but there are far too many options to spell out in a simple response here.

TBH, I don't think it's critical (and wouldn't stress about it) for Total Gym workouts, but feel free to PM me for specific questions if any.

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21 hours ago, woodzie264 said:

In regards to free weights, for an untrained/deconditioned athlete, it's generally recommended to alternate working large antagonistic muscle groups (supersetting) with complex movements like Back rows & chest press until neuromuscular adaptations have a chance to occur (8-12 weeks pending your source). Then you can introduce simple movements (chest flies, bicep curls, tricep extenstions) using complementary/agonist muscle groups (back/bi's or chest/tri's) always doing the bigger group with complex movements to bigger group with simple movements to smaller group with complex movements to small group simple movements. 

I know that's probably clear as mud, but there are far too many options to spell out in a simple response here.

TBH, I don't think it's critical (and wouldn't stress about it) for Total Gym workouts, but feel free to PM me for specific questions if any.

Thanks for the info!  I will PM you.

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If your son is going to play football - plenty of bench press, dead lifts and squats. I would also incorporate some lat pulldowns or rows. Very strict on the form or you're just pounding sand. I would also suggest lots of running and lots of core work: planks, crunches, leg lifts. This will build an overall stronger body. Stretching needs to be a regular habit to go along with this. I got into my college of choice carrying the pigskin. Anymore, however, I suggest that kids not play football. I'm very beat up from it now in my middle years...

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