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Kids and Weightlifting

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by DBradD, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. DBradD

    DBradD

    2,848
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    Apr 24, 2005
    Kentucky
    There's a huge thread in GNG about kids and weightlifting, so I figured I'd type this over with some folks who might actually know something.

    Our son is 9 and he lifts with me. I cleared this with the physical trainers at the gym and his pediatrician. Our rules are:
    1. He only lifts light weights. If he can't do it 12 times, then it's too heavy. His idea of "difficult" is a lot different from mine, so he could easily lift the weights 20-25 times if he really tried.
    2. He only does simple, basic exercises, always with dumbbells because he's not strong enough to lift a 45 lb bar 12 times on any exercise.
    3. Direct supervision by an experienced adult--his Dad in this case. His form is immaculate due to the constant, but very kind, scrutiny.

    My contention is that there's no problem with kids lifting weights given these conditions. I think weightlifting is one of the safest forms of exercise and I think it easily has the best potential for a life-long form of exercise. At 8-12 years old, I think it's very tempting to let kids do other, lower quality activities, so anything positive that fills a chunk of time is a good thing. Weightlifting requires a tremendous amount of communication and discipline, so I think it's a very high quality family activity.

    Many of the arguments folks make against weightlifting are not valid in my opinion. For example, many recommend that a kid do pushups until they're 14-16 years old. Somebody tell me why a perfect form 20 lb bench (two 10 lb dumbbells) is dangerous and an upside-down 35-40 lb unsupervised bench press (a pushup) is not. Somebody tell me why a 70 lb kid can do pullups (a 60 lb pulldown) but it's not ok for them to do pulldowns with 20-30 lbs. Why is it not dangerous to run miles playing soccer (when each step is 2.5-2.75x bodyweight on ONE leg) and it's dangerous to do light weightlifting exercises for the legs. Not to slam runners, but they make a great example--when I read running magazines, it seems that half the discussion is how to deal with injuries. You don't see this in M&F, for a reason.

    So what do yawl think?
    DBD
     
  2. Slotback

    Slotback Glock 35 Millennium Member

    682
    50
    Dec 23, 1998
    Texas
    It's your call. You're the Dad and what you say, goes. End of discussion.

    That said, I would encourage your son to do pushups, handstands, chinups, pullups and other bodyweight exercises as this will help him greatly with his weightlifting as well.
     


  3. DBradD

    DBradD

    2,848
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    Apr 24, 2005
    Kentucky
    Thanks Matt. The other thread wasn't about us, but another Dad whose son seemed to be wanting to get into weightlifting. I posted that they should start similar to what we did, but what seemed like 40 others posted that it was crazy for a kid to start. If I had to guess, I'd say the kid won't get to lift now which I think is kinda sad. Thinking back on it now, if the dad had to ask the question, maybe the kid wouldn't have such good supervision anyway, so maybe I was wrong for that reason.

    DBD
     
  4. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Aug 2, 1999
    Well, I'm a little disappointed in you DBD. From the title of this thread I thought you were actually teaching your son Weightlifting not weight lifting or weight training. :) I think Weightlifting is an EXCELLENT sport for the young. They would still be flexible and I think would be easy to teach good technique too.

    Now, back to your question; I agree with you 100%. But I think your son would be better served Weightlifting. :cool:

    Jack
     
  5. DBradD

    DBradD

    2,848
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    Apr 24, 2005
    Kentucky
    LOL. I'll be more precise next time. Weight lifting. I don't know enough about weightlifting to teach anybody anything.

    DBD
     
  6. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    5,264
    0
    Aug 2, 1999
    When I was a kid I watched the Munich Olympics and told my father I wanted to learn to Weightlift. Of course I didn't know anything about PL or Bodybuilding. Anyhow, what I got for Christmas was a set of the concrete filled weights and a bench with an instruction booklet showing the typical press, bench press, incline bench press, squat, bent row, curls yadda yadda. I of course quickly got bored because those lift weren't nearly as fun as the then Olympic Three looked. I wish my father would have taken me more seriously, or perhaps understood what I was talking about. It's not that I would have been a great OLer by anymeans. It's just that I think it would habve prepared me better for sports and would probably been a life long love, insted of me trying to learn the lifts in my 40's.

    In all seriousness, don't try to teach your son the OLs. If he is ever interested in them though, please, get him to a coach.
     
  7. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Aug 2, 1999
    One more thing; Arthur Dreschler is a well known Weightlifting coach. He is the author of the most comprehensive book on Weightlifting ever written, "The Weightlifting Encyclopedia". Here is what Arthur said about that vary subject:

    This was taken from
    this website.
     
  8. DBradD

    DBradD

    2,848
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    Apr 24, 2005
    Kentucky
    Thank you very much CalJack! That was very informative text.

    The part about folks not thinking anything of their kids playing soccer and gymnastics, but then they worry about weight :supergrin: lifting cracks me up. People are so illogical sometimes.

    DBD
     
  9. DBradD

    DBradD

    2,848
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    Apr 24, 2005
    Kentucky
    Edit: Correct file in a subsequent post (pdf file).

    DBD
     
  10. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    5,264
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    Aug 2, 1999
  11. DBradD

    DBradD

    2,848
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    Apr 24, 2005
    Kentucky
    Attached should be the AAP Policy Statement for your viewing enjoyment.

    DBD
     
  12. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    5,264
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    Aug 2, 1999
    Thanks DBD. Good article. I'm now trying to convice my 11 YO to hit the garage with me.

    Jack
     
  13. DBradD

    DBradD

    2,848
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    Apr 24, 2005
    Kentucky
    No problem.

    For what it's worth, I started lifting seriously at 11 and seem to have suffered no ill-effects because of it, other than being 6" shorter than every other man on both sides of my family--joking! I'm as tall as my brother, Dad, and most of my uncles....

    DBD
     
  14. Mister Joshua

    Mister Joshua Sig Addiction

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    Jan 21, 2005
    Tampa, Florida
    I have been lifting weights and moving heavy objects in some form or another since I was 8 years old. I am the strongest, and tallest man in my families known history.

    Go Fig...


    P.S. Fantastic article! I have to keep that one around for the naysayers.