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Youth Strength Training

Youth Strength Training

Many people wonder whether it is safe to start young children on a resistance training program. Previously, most experts had advised against it, but the most recent research shows that there are numerous benefits, and few risks, for kids on a resistance training program designed specifically for young people. It is important to understand that the fitness equipment, like the program, should be designed specifically for the needs and abilities of youth athletes.

Resistance training, such as that performed on a Fitness Home Gym, Olympic Bench, or Roman Chair, increases strength, protects muscles and joints, and strengthens bones (Strength 4). Additionally, strength training can increase motor skills by emphasizing balance and control for proper form; all these effects together can actually decrease the likelihood of other sports-related injuries (Faigenbaum et al. 1). Moreover, strength training has lifelong health benefits like healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. Furthermore, it can improve young people's metabolism, weight, and even self-esteem (Strength 5). These benefits are significant enough that the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association all support strength training as an effective fitness program for youth (Bergfield 3).

Experts strongly warn against confusing resistance training with weightlifting, bodybuilding, or power lifting. All of these are competitive sports that focus on the amount of weight competitors can lift. Lifting max loads like that can hurt young muscles, tendons or growth plates (the cartilaginous plates that have not yet hardened to bone to allow growth in young people), instead of strengthening their bodies (Strength 3). Strength training, on the other hand, focuses on improving physical ability and athleticism. The Youth Mixed Martial Arts/ Boxing Trainer offers focused discipline and core training without weight/resistance concerns.

Any strength training program for children should be supervised by a trained fitness or medical professional who understands the specific needs and limits of the young body (Strength 8). It is important to ensure that children beginning a resistance training program are able to follow directions and have the patience for proper technique and form (Strength 6). They should understand exactly how to use each piece of home gym equipment, including any free weight options like the Olympic bench or Roman chair. One good measure of this is if the young person is capable of participating in other competitive or team sports (Faigenbaum et al. 1). It is important to emphasize proper technique and safety over increasing weight load (Strength 11). This is one of the major differences between strength training and competitive sports like bodybuilding. Experts recommend that a youth training program should consist of 1-3 sets of 6-15 repetitions on nonconsecutive days. These exercises should work the major muscle groups to target as many muscles as possible (Faigenbaum et al. 2). Home gym equipment like a Fitness Home Gym would be an excellent means of offering the opportunity to target many muscles at once. It is important to make sure that the fitness equipment is designed for use by children.

In addition to the actual resistance training program itself, other special considerations should be made for youth athletes. Any child beginning an exercise program should be consuming a balanced diet with the appropriate proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (Bergfield 5). Moreover, children are more prone to becoming overheated, so it is imperative that they drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and promote cooling (Bergfield 7). Finally, it is important to consider the shorter attention span of young children. To prevent boredom and ensure a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle, vary the routine (Strength 13). This is easily done with fitness home gym equipment because a home gym provides the opportunity to do many exercises on one piece of fitness equipment.

Thus, with the proper considerations, resistance training can be a beneficial, healthy and fitness-improving part of any child's lifestyle.


Bergfield, John A. M.D. "Strength Training for Young Athletes." 11 Jan. 2009

Faigenbaum, Avery D., Ed.D. and Micheli, Lyle, M.D., FACSM. "Youth Strength Training." Current Comment. March 1998. American College of Sports Medicine. 10 Jan. 2009

"Strength Training: OK for Kids When Done Correctly." 11 Jan. 2008. The Mayo Clinic. 10 Jan. 2009