I didn’t seriously start weight training until I was in college, but if I had known this, I would’ve worked out more in my gym class starting in junior high school. According to this article, resistance training at an early age helps with physical development, improves health, and helps to make kids stronger and more resistant to injury if playing sports. This is one of those smack-yourself-on-your-forehead type of news that makes you think “no kidding!” But what shocked me was that, again, according to the article, there is a myth out there that if you do weight training when you are young, it stunts your growth.
Seriously, people think this?
I had never heard of this myth, but I guess it exists, but now we have a scientific study that supports what people have known for a long, long time. Kids who do physical exercises are healthier and stronger.
Well, what is interesting from this article is that kids don’t grow “bigger” (read: buffer) if they do weight training, but that they develop the ability to recruit more muscles to do the same activity. In essence, they make the communication pathway between the nerves system and the musculoskeletal system. This is basically the “grease the groove” concept that a lot of strength trainers have advocated for many years. Take a read of Pavel Tsatsouline’s article here – it’s one of the best I’ve found that explains this concept. This greasing of the groove works a little bit differently for adults, but it’s good to know that we can help our kids develop their bodies like this if we can get them started early enough. Again, according to the NY Times article, the ages of 7-12 is important. But it’s never too late to start.