Weight Training for School-Age

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by belltoller, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    My youngest began his first season of wrestling last month and he's indicated he'd like to supplement his wrestling drills with weight-training. He's 11 years, stockily built at 130lb.

    His mum and I were initially very against it. I'd heard that it warn't good for young'ns to weight train - stunted their growth, problems with still developing tendon's/ligaments, etc.

    After doing a bit of research, it seems the preponderance of thinking is this view is at least, somewhat out-dated and allowances can be made under certain conditions.

    I'd be interested in getting the opinions of those here on the board with knowledge/experience in this area.

    Please no "Well, what do his coaches say?" responses. I'll go ahead and say the team's coaches can only point to the official school-board policy which was written by office-holders with no background and based on ideas, many of which, have already been proved to have been unfounded.

    The official policy is also no weight-cuts but when they've 6 wrestlers at 130lb and the next tourney needs three at 128...

    However if, in your experience, there is sound, scientific evidence that small amounts of weight training is a bad thing, by all means of course, I'd like to hear.
  2. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

  3. GoldShifter

    GoldShifter The MachineGun Roundhouse

    Small doses of weights shouldn't do too much. It's repetitive actions like doing them in a regiment that may cause problems. Under proper supervision it shouldn't really matter, as long as you guys lift responsibly.
  4. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    This has everything and the kitchen-sink. Very well done - just look at the bevy of endorsements - even the AAP - not exactly a reservoir of of reactionaries, them - gave their approval.

    Take a guess who'se gonna inundate the local school-board's athletic oversight committees with copies of this? :D ...of course...someone will have to break it down for them...someone will have to tell them what it means...someone will have to vote for it to even be discussed and, of course, there will always be someone (with a lot of political pull) who doesn't want change...


    But, ja Fish-man. Very good!

    Did I say

  5. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Can ya explain that one? Do you mean high reps of a particular lift?

    That was gonna be my next thread - some of what I've seen out there suggests that the weight they can comfortably do for 15 reps be a baseline.

    Is there any evidence for this ? ( I've to dig through Fish's article a bit more ) In an adult, high rep lends itself to hypertrophy. Does that apply to this age/weight group as well?

    The whole point of it to help develop fast-twitch and I'd think high rep would not be a good thing to do.

    But, you may not even be meaning that.
  6. GoldShifter

    GoldShifter The MachineGun Roundhouse


    This is an article by my professor, Dr. Courtney Jensen, about youth weights. He's also a former professional body builder. Just google Courtney Jensen Body Builder.


    A bit about strength training for youth.

    Anyway, back to your question. I worded it a bit wrong in that, you know how people in the gym tend to go for that 10 rep and stop and nothing to hit that. They'll hit exhaustion at around 8 but they and their spotter say, you have two more, lets go, okay one more, one more. During lecture, Dr. Jensen cited this position statement.

    It repeatedly says "A properly designed and supervised resistance training program." As adults, we tend to lean toward the side of "bro" science, where full body workouts and will hit the same muscle groups day after day. At least that is what I've noticed in my local and university gym. I'm guilty of this too, but my guilty pressure is the leg press not the bicep curl like a lot of people you probably see.

    Going to the gym everyday or two and doing the same "regiment" will lead to muscle imbalances, which are just as dangerous in children as they are in adults. I worded it terribly (sorry, concussion) but well planned and supervised regiments are totally okay. Such as breaking it up into days for certain muscles, like the usual gym rats do. Ex. Chest and arms day 1, Legs and Abs day 2, Back and shoulders day 3. Something like that is alright.

    But even with this, doing a well planned regiment with poor technique is another way to mess everything up. Most injuries that people claim as reasons why youth should not lift is primarily due to improper technique and improper weight.

    Also, using the specificity of adaptation principle, a lot of a little doesn't tone too much ... apparently, it's just inefficient. The way people bulk up hard or tone is their portion/meal size but in youth that doesn't really matter.

    A solid guideline for youth lifting is that if they can't do 10 reps properly, with good technique and not exhausted to all hell by the 10th rep, lower the weight until they can.

    Apologies for wording my statement in such a way to say that well planned work out regiments under proper supervision are also unsafe. Under the supervision of a trained professional, your child's lifting plans should be fine. Children are darned near indestructible anyway.

    EDIT: Fun fact, part of the reason Dr. Jensen was such a successful body builder (never used steroids) in all divisions was due in part to him also understanding what happens in the body so he can effectively construct workouts or meals to be the most efficient possible. Use position statements, scholarly articles (though they may be a bit wordy) among other things to learn about things. Sometimes WebMD or other sites like Livestrong may be wrong due to misconceptions of "broscience"
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  7. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    I use to do competitive Olympic Weightlifting, and most of the top East European athletes start their training around the age of your son. Dmitry Klokov, former world champion and Olympic Silver medalist, started training with his dad at about your son's age. He grew up to be a 6'1" 230lb.

    There is no conclusive evidence that properly coached weight training will have a negative impact on adolescent growth.

    This myth was in part fueled by the small stature of many of the top Olympic lifters in bygone eras. The East Germans and Soviets realized long ago that having a smaller build usually meant better Olympic Weightlifters, as there was less force required to elevate the same weight and shorter lifters had shorter levers (which was favourable). Olympic Weightlifting is a sport where the tall/long build will generally put you at a disadvantage. Hence why many Oly lifting champions were shorter as the sport suited their body types.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  8. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Good article/paper. I see its also recommending the 15 rep, submaximal load.

    Now this is interesting!

    This answers my question regarding hypertrophy...
    Ja, common sense should be a prevailing theme, of course. Already knew to keep loads submaximal and things like the snatch and C&J probably best left be for the present, small, incremental increases.

    The rest would be of benefit for adult lifters to follow as well ... no load/min load until good form is achieved (my insistence on this was a bit frustrating for him at first but he "gets it" now), proper warm-up and cool-down, no increases unless continuing correct technique/form is demonstrated, etc., no consecutive day lifting, etc,., etc.,.

    Good reminders.

    Any rec's for a specific plan to follow?
  9. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

  10. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

  11. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Thanks for the article and report, Mango and Dead pool.

    Yeah, its a good idea to decide when to introduce training modalities based on biological age rather than chronological because they can vary so greatly.

    I see some on my son's middle school wrestling team that I thought were juniors or seniors in high school when I first saw them.
  12. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Interestingly enough, both articles are based on the Long Term Athlete Development Model which has to be the basis of any weight-training programme that I'd like to see him in

    The idea isn't to build a budding behemoth but to help with normal muscle development, motor-skill enhancement, build muscle-brain connections, etc.,.

    One thing that I've noticed during his wrestling tourneys is a noticeable lack of speed - though a lot can be attributed to it being a month since he started and he's competing against others who've wrestled since infant school - three, four years some.

    Still, I know there are issues with speed/power. Any thoughts?
  13. Bjjbrown

    Bjjbrown Valued Member

    Ignore alot of Internet bs.

    Alot of information from poor research or very outdated. As a strength and conditioning coach I happily get children at a secondary school squatting and deadlifting etc.
    The key imo and what the coaching program I use is to start with push,pull,squat,hip hinge and stability bodyweight exercises. We never load a athlete /child until they can execute these bodyweight exercises with near perfect form.
  14. Bjjbrown

    Bjjbrown Valued Member

    Oh... And avoid plyometrics due to growth plates etx
  15. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Avoid plyometrics? Really?

    Ja, I'm having him do squat jumps, box jumps (though they are less than 18"), his wrestling squad do burpees on an intermittent basis.
  16. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    the question is - why are pylometrics an appropriate tool over regular sprinting and jumping?

    Sprinting puts something like 6 times bodyweight of force onto one leg. Fulfills the aims of pylometrics in that it develops reactive speed etc also works in getting him to move pretty fast
    so not much point for pylometrics in a child learning to train

    also yeah - get him learning weight lifting skills not but dont worry about the weight he's lifting. get him to learn the skills and increase the weight slowly (keep his ego in check about personal bests etc).
  17. Bjjbrown

    Bjjbrown Valued Member

    It's probably more of my opinion mixed in with some loose facts. Just read up on growth plate disorders. I would argue that plyometrics used wisely over a cycle would be ok it's when eccentric loads are used repeatedly I wouldn't like to see. Another issue if the athlete is weak, inexperienced or mobility issues then landing mechanics normally sucks (knee valgus etc)

    If it were me I would get athletes that once knew how to lift doing speed work. Calculate the projected 1rm use 40% of that but with the aim to move the bar fast over 1-3 reps focusing on max velocity. Also don't neglect movement like the high pull.
  18. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    I don't quite...I'll just assume an error on interpretation on my part :) No - didn't mean to imply plyometrics, to the extent he does them, are done in lieu of sprinting, running, jumping (how do kids jump if not up or down? - you'll have to expand on that - unless you mean jumping with loads - that I get) or any of the other "natural", non-sequentially repetitive activities but in addition to those. <--- sorry for the run-on's, in a hurry

    I can understand if there are specific problems with or reasons for not doing a particular thing ( such as growth plates as mentioned by Bjjbrown ) but "why would you have them do X, Y or Z" ... why would you have anyone to do plyometrics? Or lifting? Or pullups (they aren't exactly "natural" given their sequentially repetitive nature) Why are the drills the football squad are doing an appropriate tool over sprinting and jumping??

    I don't...

    Again - I'm certain the problem lies with me bleary eyes and weak coffee this morning! On the sprinting - I agree nothing beats them! He and his wrestling team are doing them numerous times every week.
    Spot on! [​IMG]

    You're meaning things like slow negatives on a pull-up bar? top position hold into a dip on gym rings? bicep curls?
  19. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    pylometrics are different from jumping and sprinting alone (with an emphasis on movement patterns which are totally what kids should do). i think in america all explosive training is regarded as pylometric which may be a difference in terminology/communication.

    pylometrics (the original version, not jump training) are a refinement of well developed physical qualities (speed and strength) by specific training methods known as the shock method.

    its pretty pointless to have a kid doing advanced training when they need to learn how to move, jump, land and sprint properly first.
  20. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    I'm certain my layman's, vaguely fuzzy understanding of what plyometrics means needs significant adjustment. "shock methods" don't sound good. I'm referring to burpees, lateral jumps, jumping to different levels.

    Lets see if anything I wrote indicated ...
    ... no...

    Noted :)

    Yes. Absolutey. Most definately...

    ... ... ... ... ... this is in response to ... something I stated indicating otherwise?...what you've found in general as a trend with untrained people attempting to apply elite-competition level training techniques that they've heard about with no understanding of exercise physiology, kinesiology, etc., <--- we'll go with this one

    Yes, I agree. My reasons for posting the thread to begin with are largely in an attempt to not be "that guy".

    Look, if you're of the opinion that any training outside that received under supervision of a school's coaching staff, certified S&C Specialities and the like are not good (especially as it relates to adolescents) - just say so outright, I value the opinion given its source and I'm close to arriving at that viewpoint myself.

    But I am picking up somewhat of a feeling that I've left the impression that we're trying to put [​IMG] through elite-level athlete training routines - not the case, I can assure you.

    He plays league football, has begun training to wrestle under school supervision and very qualified coaching staff, receives adequate P.E. instruction during school...he can run and jump, yes.

    ...just wanted to know if a little weight training would help him in that regard as the policies of the school do not provide for weight training and even the board admits to that policy needing review.

    Maybe it was the word 'plyometrics'... :thinking:

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