Need Input....when to start weight training?


#1

O.k. 13yr old’s AAU season is almost over and asked when can he start handling weights. Wanted to get him off slowly and wanted some of the board members input. He is currently 13yr old and will be 14 in November. His body type is pretty athletic and not skinny at all.

Currently does plyos and pushup/situps along with medicine ball training.

Any thoughts?


#2

[quote=“baseballbum”]O.k. 13yr old’s AAU season is almost over and asked when can he start handling weights. Wanted to get him off slowly and wanted some of the board members input. He is currently 13yr old and will be 14 in November. His body type is pretty athletic and not skinny at all.

Currently does plyos and pushup/situps along with medicine ball training.

Any thoughts?[/quote]

I would consider working with light weights (e.g. 2-5 lbs) on the arms and shoulder. Barbells and/or wrist weights.


#3

Has he hit puberty yet?
Light weights are good for decellerators in the shoulder. I wouldn’t get too aggressive until he’s into puberty, as I explained to you privately, in H.S. they start working strength for real. My best recommendation to you, as one who just went through what you are about to, work on fitness, endurance and arm health. Find a good program and work towards the goal of strength training, you have time and your boy is a good athletic size. DIET!DIET!DIET! If he isn’t a good eater get him started down that road now!, my son dropped about 10lbs coming out of weight training and into the season…must feed the engine or the rest breaks down.
Bum Jr. will be buff and givin dad the ole “I’m bigger and tougher stuff” before you know it.


#4

Weight training has limited effect until about 6 months after they reach their peak height growth velocity. They can get stronger but it isn’t because the muscles are getting bigger. There’s also more risk while they are going through their growth spurt as my son found out when he ended up with a stress fracture in his back. Doing the wrong kind of lifts can exacerbate this particular problem.

I’d recommend being very careful about using any significant amount of weight and being extremely careful that he’s closely supervised as to proper form at all times. Just teaching them the right form isn’t enough as kids will deviate from proper form to try to lift a bit more weight or for one more rep and will often end up injuring themselves.


#5

A good place to start is having him do weight training with no more than 10% of his body weight.


#6

Weight training has limited effect until about 6 months after they reach their peak height growth velocity. They can get stronger up until then but it isn’t because the muscles are getting bigger. There’s also more risk while they are going through their growth spurt as my son found out when he ended up with a stress fracture in his back. Doing the wrong kind of lifts can exacerbate this particular problem. They are also at more risk for tendon and ligament damage due to the bones having grown faster than the muscles and weight lifting can add to that risk simply by increasing the amount of stress their muscles can bring to bear. At the same time that load can help develop the bones, tendons and ligaments if it is just below the level that would cause damage.

I’d recommend being very careful about using any significant amount of weight and being extremely careful that he’s closely supervised as to proper form at all times. Just teaching them the right form isn’t enough as kids will deviate from proper form to try to lift a bit more weight or for one more rep and will often end up injuring themselves.

Every kid is different and most can benefit from closely supervised, proper weight training but you need to be aware that there are risks, especially at your son’s age. Of the three baseball related spondylolysis cases in our area, two were relatively tall and thin and one was fairly stocky and athletic. Only my son was a pitcher. All three were involved in baseball conditioning programs going into their freshman seasons and had just turned 14yo. You can’t tell from their build who is at risk. We also had a case of a 14yo going on 15 damaging his pitching elbow by pulling away the growth plate. This probably didn’t have anything to do with lifting, but he was one of the hardest workers both on and off the field.