Many narratives exist around kids and teenagers lifting weights, and almost all are negative.
“Resistance training stunts growth”, is the biggest one that has been present for the last 20 years at least.
This is a myth.
A 2014 international consensus stated that “childhood may be the opportune time to build bone mass and enhance muscle and bone structure through weight-bearing physical activity”.
What has also been observed is that participation in resistance training earlier in life correlates with participation later in life, just like any physical activity.
And individuals who do not participate in resistance training are found to be more at risk of negative consequences.
As long as the volume and intensity are appropriate, training is beneficial to anyone, not just youth.
From a coaching perspective, I see so many people in their 30s and 40s who have never performed basic movements like squats and pushups.
The benefits of training, like muscle building and preservation, increasing bone density, and injury prevention, are far-reaching and it’s unfortunate that we tend to avoid this type of physical activity because we’ve been programmed to fear the risk of injury.
Imagine if we were taught this stuff in school as kids? I can bet that people would be a lot more active and we’d be seeing less musculoskeletal injuries created from inactivity and a lack of strength and mobility.
Obviously care still needs to be taken with our youth in terms of proper coaching and not overloading them, but this is the exact approach we would use for adults too.
If we can start people off by learning how to move optimally and build strength and durability, we would all be much better off. Not to mention how much less of a burden there would be on the healthcare system.
To your good health,
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