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  1. #1
    Registered User BELLC's Avatar
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    Should my 9-year-old workout with me?

    There is not really a forum for this, but most of us this age probably had kids.

    My son wants to work out with me in our temporary home gym. I have no clue what a good age for a boy to start working out is. I've heard if they are not at least mid-teens that they can mess up their bodies.

    I know I can have him use an exercise ball and do calisthenics, but the boy wants to work barbells and dumbells. Question is -- is it safe?
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  2. #2
    Registered User neutrolizr's Avatar
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    They used to say, "It would stunt their growth, or hurt their growth plates"

    No its been proven that it helps their growth. Nothing crazy or hurtful.

    Start with dumbell exercises. Nothing major..very light. Start with 2 sets of no more than 10 exercises per workout.

    If he's in sports, weight training is fine, but he'll need more sport specific training to help him with speed and agility.

    Kids need 1 hour of exercise a day. 30 mins of it should be intense (not heart attack intense). So a good workout for his muscles is fine. Ive taken a few kids fitness courses and its great foir them. Im training a 13 year old boy right now. Hit every muslce with light weight...one set each exercise because he's somewhat overweight and has exercise induced asthma. His doctor recommended more exercise to help with it.

    Medicine ball training is great too..its fun and it helps build strength and flexibility. Mix it up for him. Make it interesting. Let him do dumbells, but add calethstenics and medicine ball training too.

    Good luck, he'll enjoy it. jujst remember, not too much because their muscles will get hurt easier, but strength training will also help them from sports related and general injuries.

    Mark
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  3. #3
    Addicted to Iron BigTank3400's Avatar
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    In a word, No. My youngest is 11 and wants the same thing. But the tendons, ligaments, growth plates, muscles have not grown or matured enough. It is not a good idea, in my opinion to let young ones pick up weights until the teen years.
    T.K.


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  4. #4
    Registered User neutrolizr's Avatar
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    Heres a quick resource.

    http://www.acefitness.org/updateable...spx?pageID=406

    They don't mention weight training here, but it gives other ideas taht you can incorporate. I'll try and find the strength training info i have for you.

    Remember though, you're not trying to BUILD his muscle..you're trying to strengthen his muscle. Breaking down the muscle isnt good, but light dumbell workouts on a bench, curls, etc arent bad at all.
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  5. #5
    From Fat As* To Bad As* magnumfreak's Avatar
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    Short answer is YES! But take it easy on him. Keep it lightweight and simple. Make sure he enjoys it so that he can continue to grow with it. Lifting weights is no different than hard work in my opinion. It's all good for them.
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    "Hard work" seems to be lost on many these days.

    I blame myself for letting him get overweight. He's my only so I spoil him which made him lazy. Diet is probably more important than strength training at this point.

    I think I should probably stick with light routines for him but I'd like to see him to a hard workout as well.
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  7. #7
    Enjoying Life LR3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by neutrolizr View Post
    They used to say, "It would stunt their growth, or hurt their growth plates"
    steroid use will cause their growth plates to fuse and stop long bone growth. i have never hear anything suggesting that just working out at a young age would cause any problems with growth plates.

    i'd avoid really hard work-outs (avoid heavy weights) as he has not likey hit puberty yet--so he doesn't have the levels of testosterone needed to build much mass. hard cardio work-outs may be okay--but you should check with his doctor before getting to heavy into training.
    Last edited by LR3; 05-13-2007 at 05:30 PM.
    just my $0.02.
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  8. #8
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    My son is 8 I would not let him work out with me. My 13 year old girl works out with me now and then at the gym. Well more like it laughs at the faces I make. I am going to wait until my son is a teen.
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  9. #9
    Registered User neutrolizr's Avatar
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    Its a well known fact that cutting a childs muscle development and growth plates is NO LONGER valid. Here are a few articles and links.

    http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutriti..._training.html
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3076614/#storyContinued
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/str...aining/HQ01010

    Here's an exerpt from the Mayo Clinic link above.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Benefits for young athletes
    Strength training for kids has gotten a bad reputation over the years. Lifting weights, for example, was once thought to damage young growth plates ? areas of cartilage that have not yet turned to bone. Experts now realize that with good technique and the right amount of resistance, young athletes can avoid growth plate injuries. Strengthening exercises, with proper training and supervision, provide many benefits to a young athlete.

    Supervised strength training that emphasizes proper technique:

    Increases your child's muscle strength and endurance
    Protects your child's muscles and joints from injury
    Helps improve performance in a particular sport
    Your child may gain other health benefits from strength training, too. These include:

    Better heart and lung function
    A healthy body composition
    Stronger bones
    Lower blood cholesterol levels
    A good fitness habit that lasts a lifetime
    Some studies suggest that improved self-esteem and a decreased chance of depression also are upshots of strength training. Your child may get a feel-good boost after improving his or her performance.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    General concensous in the medical and fitness community supports strength training (not bodybuilding and powerlifting).

    Its been found that resistance for children doesnt stunt their growth, but can actually enhance it.

    Mark
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  10. #10
    Registered User neutrolizr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LR3 View Post
    steroid use will cause their growth plates to fuse and stop long bone growth. i have never hear anything suggesting that just working out at a young age would cause any problems with growth plates.

    i'd avoid really hard work-outs (avoid heavy weights) as he has not likey hit puberty yet--so he doesn't have the levels of testosterone needed to build much mass. hard cardio work-outs may be okay--but you should check with his doctor before getting to heavy into training.
    That comment had nothing to do with STEROIDS. The topic is concerning strength training for a child.
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  11. #11
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    It totally depends on what you call working out. At nine years old you should not be allowing him to be pushing himself to the limits that a mature person would do. What you should do is get him interested in working with weights in their lightest form and build an interest. After that, praise him and nurture him along in his progress. If you are lucky, and he is involved, it just might become more than a passing fantasy.
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  12. #12
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    Wink

    Originally Posted by neutrolizr View Post
    They used to say, "It would stunt their growth, or hurt their growth plates"

    No its been proven that it helps their growth.
    Mark
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  13. #13
    Registered User Revmachine21's Avatar
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    One other idea, you should ask his pediatrician!
    I might be out of the woods...
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    I would say a good age for any kid to start working out would be 14 and up.
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  15. #15
    One Day At A Time.. exnihillo's Avatar
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    I let mine work out with me he is 9..But he has light weights and just kind of plays with them..I just make sure he does not hurt himself...I think letting him play now will increase his want to work out later on when he is ready..I can't get my 21 month old to put down his weights alot of the times..he has thre pound dumbbells..
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    Interesting responses to say the least. I started talking with him about it and discovered his hidden agenda ...

    His favorite is the treadmill because he likes the rolling surface for his toy cars and rolling over the exercise ball.

    He's probably also thinking about what he can crush between the machine plates.
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    My son who is now 16 started lifting with me at age 9. I started him out with pushups and sit-ups. When he could do 25 correct form push ups he was allowed to use the iron. He would do high rep light weight bench presses and the same principle with every body part. The transformation these past years is amazing. His shirt use to stick out at his little belly, now the shirts hang off his shoulders and chest. He is so into lifting that I have to stress the importance of a day or 2 off to allow his body to rest, but he'll do sit ups, push ups, run or ride his bike on off days. He's never had any weight related injuries because the weights are still light and the reps high. He really wants to lift heavier but I stress the importance that he's actually building a foundation for heavier weight in the future. I've been lifting for over 35 years and have taught him quite a bit. He realizes that there is no hurry and pumping iron is a life long thing. He's changed his diet and sleep habits to maximize his gains. Everything he does is slow with emphisis on form. It's a good feeling as a parent nowdays to know that while others kids are roaming the streets and have no release for their energy that he is learning discipline and the importance of a healthy body and lifestyle.
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  18. #18
    Registered User neutrolizr's Avatar
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    Capt. America, good for you dude.

    Perfect...thats how you do it. Too many kids are sitting around these days from an early age. Figures show they actually, on average watch tv or on the computer for 5- 6 hrs a day!! By the time they graduate, they will have spent more time infront of a screen than they had actually attended school.

    What people dont realize is that strength training PREVENTS injury, even at a young age. Did you ever see a kid in baseball end up never playing again because by teh time they are in middle school their arm is shot? Sport injuries are more prevelant because their ROM is not supported by muscle. Muscle supports joints and tendons. Tendons arent meant to STRETCH!! They support joints. Muscle supports tendons and joints. Unless you workout incorrectly, of course you'll hurt all three.

    Its proven that kids who strength train have less sports related injuries. They decrease by 80% or so.

    You did a good job capt.....i like to hear things like this.
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  19. #19
    Everyday=5/3/1+GPP+IFCTKD Atavis's Avatar
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    I have a duaghter who started working out as a baby. She started with assisted squats. She was standing early too.

    As a toddler (18 months), she was doing full on push-ups from just copying me. At 5 she was doing full body weight wide grip pull ups. She was doing about 5 sets of 5. I had to make her stop so she wouldn't get sore.

    At 7, she saw that program about the Childhood hulk or whatever they were calling him. She saw he could do 100 push-ups and do 1 handed push-ups. Next night, she did 100 push-ups and then proceeded to do a few 1-handed. To her, a few meant about 20...each.

    Today, she still likes to work out. She plays soccer and loves martial arts as well. I don't push her into any of it, she asks session after session to go back.

    Here's the thing, in the absence of computers/playstations/x-boxes, kids naturally gravitate to actual activity and mimicing the acitvities of the adults around them. If you have a healthy lifestyle, they end up trying to do the same thing you do.

    It's your job to monitor them and make sure they do it right to avoid any injuries. Keep it simple and try to keep it to body weight or less and barring any accidents any child should be just fine and actually be healthier and stronger than 90% of their peers.
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    Registered User neutrolizr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Atavis View Post
    Here's the thing, in the absence of computers/playstations/x-boxes, kids naturally gravitate to actual activity and mimicing the acitvities of the adults around them. If you have a healthy lifestyle, they end up trying to do the same thing you do.

    It's your job to monitor them and make sure they do it right to avoid any injuries. Keep it simple and try to keep it to body weight or less and barring any accidents any child should be just fine and actually be healthier and stronger than 90% of their peers.
    Couldn't agree more.

    Remember when we were kids? We had no video games, 5 television channels and a dad who owned the channels (no clicker..lol). We played, we climbed...we lifted things to make forts etc. We gravitated to physical stuff.
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    I also let my 11 year old work out with me. I mainly make him do push up pyramids and wide grip chins, we do some light db arm work and lots of body weight leg work since he plays center in pee wee football. One other thing I do is taking him to the local rock climbing gym here in town. Its a 35 ft wall with all the little nooks and cranies, and he is secured with a tether. After a month of doing this twice a week its amazing how strong his back has gotten doing chins. At the end of every workout he does a 1/2 to a 1 mile jog to starts getting used to the Florida heat in August when he is in pads.
    Ed
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    Registered User neutrolizr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by erod13 View Post
    I also let my 11 year old work out with me. I mainly make him do push up pyramids and wide grip chins, we do some light db arm work and lots of body weight leg work since he plays center in pee wee football. One other thing I do is taking him to the local rock climbing gym here in town. Its a 35 ft wall with all the little nooks and cranies, and he is secured with a tether. After a month of doing this twice a week its amazing how strong his back has gotten doing chins. At the end of every workout he does a 1/2 to a 1 mile jog to starts getting used to the Florida heat in August when he is in pads.
    Ed
    I would suggest, since he's active in sports to do some strength training along with sport specific training. Lots of great ideas on a site coreperformance.com.

    Wow, sounds like he's in quite good shape....
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    Its a work in progress, last year he was pretty heavy and in his 1st pee-wee season in the Aug heat of Florida he was dying in pads. He is a big kid for his age and I'm trying right now to get his legs stronger. I make him do body weight squat jumps 25 x 3, followed by lunges, calf raises and then agility drills, Dont push him to hard because I dont want to burn him out. But yeah this year he's in pretty good shape and I'm very proud of him.
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    As a middle school physical education teacher who has had elementary experience, i cannot tell you the importance of exercise with young children. be it resistance exercise using weights or letting the child use their body weight, it's safe to start at a young age.
    for body weight type exercises (push-ups/pull-ups/lunges/curl-ups) a lot of elementary schools start those exercises around 2nd or 3rd grade. Exercises using weights such as curls, tri-extension, it's safe to start those exercises at 4th grade.
    There's numerous website if you google it. Heck, the Presidential Fitness Awards have scores in Curl-ups, shuttle run, mile run, flexibilty, pull-ups, and push-ups starting for 6 year olds. You can find that info by googling Presidential fitness. I'd say let your child workout with you. Use your commong sense and observe your child while they do the weights, and pick the weights that your son can handle safely for 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps....nothing heavy though. Heck, if you have free time, just go to your childs school and talk with his physical education teacher. You have no idea how us P.E. teachers could help. We live for that...well some of us do. Good luck.
    Last edited by hdansjr; 05-14-2007 at 09:32 AM.
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    Member of the house of El hdansjr's Avatar
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    Any information I give you is just that, information; it is not the permission to take any supplement or partake in any illegal activity.
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    Good links. Ive taken a few kids fitness courses as CEC's on top of my cpt certification.

    The problem is, in many schools..not all, but many of them here on Long Island, NY, they don't have gym classes when I was a kid. Their participation is left up to them. My gym teachers were mean bastards that made us work. My goal is to give kids that gym class and more that they are missing out on now.

    Good to see active and caring Physical Education teachers still exist.

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    Absolutely!

    My now 9-year-old has been lifting since he felt the need to get into better shape for football season. He was away for the summer and had absolutely no physical exercise and got home 1 week before practice started. He now acknowledges that was a wasted year because he had to "play himself into shape".

    I don't think it was a waste because he learned that he loves working out and that sitting on the couch won't get him his goals in life. He's a kid that watches ESPN Classic & ESPNU over Spongebob.

    Too often in sports we coach what we've been told. As a baseball coach "Get the elbow up" is my favorite bad advice. Many were warned about growth plates etc and so they repeat that advice. The American Academy of Pediatrics fully supports strength training in young children and has issued an official position and guidelines on how to do it. http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...ics;107/6/1470 It is very worth the time to read, both as a parent and someone that enjoys physical activity.

    What we did was to choose weights that he could do 10 with good form. When he could do that for 15 reps we added a little weight. We've kept it to the basics of squats, deadlifts, and benchpress. He'll be 10 in June and loves squats.

    He's also 2 years older than the summer I mentioned and is a few inches taller and still weighs less (barely) than when he had his football physical. His self-esteem has soared and so has his coordination.
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  28. #28
    Daimozz
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    my boys when i have them for the weekend goto me with the gym.......... they do heavy bag and aerobics and mess around on some of the stations.......they seem to have fun
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    My ten year old wanted to work out with me and after doing some research it didnt seem like a bad idea. He's been at it for 2 months 3x a week. We don't go crazy and he started with only 5 exercises. We only do one set of each exercise and when he can do 15 reps for two workouts we up the weights. After adding 3 or 4 more exercises his whole workout only takes about 15 minutes which is short enough to keep his interest without totally wearing him out.
    I think it has helped him get a good image about his body. He can see the weights starting to go up and how it is directly related to his hard work. It has also stirred up his interest in nutrition a little. He has started reading labels at the supermarket and is trying to make smarter choices about his eating habits. We arent pushing him and he is far from an expert but I am happy that he is at least starting to learn these things.
    It is also a great opportunity for us to spend time together and gives us something else to talk about.
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    Who can keep their kids from lifting with them?

    I agree with the exercise group. I am a pediatrician and father of three boys, 3, 5, and 7 yrs. I cannot keep them from working out. They see me and their mom exercising and eating healthy and want to do the same.

    The post from Pennstgrad is great, the AAP link is a great one for nay sayers. My kids do a full body workout two times per week on average, that focuses on dumbells and body weight exercises and plenty of warm up and stretching. I spent more time trying to keep them from picking up dumbbells and copying me than it was worth. So I joined them and decided to foster their interest in fitness focusing on the overall health and longevity and the benefits of better immune function and sleep and growth and the list goes on. As a pediatrician I lift 9 yr olds on to my exam table that weigh 140 lbs. It breaks my heart not my back. Obesity is the next major public health threat that our kids will face.

    Short answer--exercise with your kids, focus on form and function, go light and slow, build your relationship with them! They have a lifetime to develop the love of fitness that you have.

    Take care to all and good luck keeping the dumbbells away from your toddlers.
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