Youth and strength training

I seen this discussion going on in JR’s weight loss post and I really liked the points everyone was bringing up so I wanted to start another thread for it. Do you think it is safe for younger players to strength train?

I think its okay with certain lifts but I think it has to be done the right way with a lot of monitoring because kids can lose focus on form to easily. I was lifting light weights at about 13 but I didn’t do it consistently enough to have very good results. I will also say I think kids this age should focus mostly on the game specifically but some lifting probably wouldn’t hurt.

I haven’t actually seen the studies but I’ve heard that weight lifting can actually help kids grow rather than stunt growth, I haven’t seen the proof but I have heard it.

I think there is a problem with the paradigm, what is “strength training” to you? Look at the P90X program, I’d suggest that it is a strength based conditioning program but you don’t see heavy emphasis on throwing weights.
My son was heavily involved with martial arts for many years (As a 12 yr old he was Ga. State Champion and Florida runner up Champion ((I say he kicked the crap out of the kid who won it but I wasn’t a judge :lol: )) and faught in the Jr. Olympics in the Metrodome), he was astonishingly strong but never busted into weights before he was a freshman in HS, really didn’t learn “how” to lift until he was in between his Fresh and Soph yrs.
So in answer to your question, my beliefs are that it is absolutely safe to strength train a kid and life should never be looked at with tunnel vision, there are many ways to skin that proverbial cat, many different athletic endeavors can increase strength without lifting. I also think that with proper supervision that a kid can lift without issue…I just don’t want readers to believe it’s the “only” way.

I agree with you. Even with older high school player’s weight training should not be considered their only way of getting stronger. I should have called it weight training rather than strength training.

It is safe to train with weights at any age where motor skill is properly developed. This typically starts at age 10.

I would throw in a big disclaimer along the lines of

IF PROPERLY SUPERVISED AND CORRECT FORM IS BEING USED

My feeling is that at 12-13 years old an athlete should be “preparing to lift”. This means focusing on functional strength, joint stability and joint mobilty. Focusing on joint stability and mobility lays the foundation to move on to strength training with compound lifts such as squats and dead lifts.

Anecdotally in the past two months I have observed multiple athletes from age 12-17 being evaluated in a professional training environment. Without exception the 12-13 year olds were deemed not ready to move to “weight training” without some form of corrective exercise- specifically joint stability and/or mobility improvement.

As an example one athlete was observed to lack proper mobility in the hips which prevented him from properly/safely performing a squat without undue stress on the lumbar spine.

So while lifting weights may not be harmful to 12-13 year old athletes my feeling is that the vast majority are unprepared to do so properly.

this is kind of off topic but how many time a week should you deadlift? I’ve heard you should only do it once a week.

I would throw in a big disclaimer along the lines of

IF PROPERLY SUPERVISED AND CORRECT FORM IS BEING USED[/quote]

Of course. Do you tell every baseball player the same thing? They can easily rupture connective tissue like their UCL, yet I don’t see warnings plastered all over the Internet about this. Ballistic injuries are way more common than weightlifting-related injuries.

[quote=“JP”]My feeling is that at 12-13 years old an athlete should be “preparing to lift”. This means focusing on functional strength, joint stability and joint mobilty. Focusing on joint stability and mobility lays the foundation to move on to strength training with compound lifts such as squats and dead lifts.

Anecdotally in the past two months I have observed multiple athletes from age 12-17 being evaluated in a professional training environment. Without exception the 12-13 year olds were deemed not ready to move to “weight training” without some form of corrective exercise- specifically joint stability and/or mobility improvement.

As an example one athlete was observed to lack proper mobility in the hips which prevented him from properly/safely performing a squat without undue stress on the lumbar spine.

So while lifting weights may not be harmful to 12-13 year old athletes my feeling is that the vast majority are unprepared to do so properly.[/quote]

I could not agree more. Very well said.

Novices should deadlift up to three times per week until they cannot recover from it. Then 1.5 times per week (every other workout on a 3-day schedule). As they approach the intermediate stage, probably once a week. Possibly even less.

I would throw in a big disclaimer along the lines of

IF PROPERLY SUPERVISED AND CORRECT FORM IS BEING USED[/quote]

Of course. Do you tell every baseball player the same thing? They can easily rupture connective tissue like their UCL, yet I don’t see warnings plastered all over the Internet about this. Ballistic injuries are way more common than weightlifting-related injuries.[/quote]

You get so defensive so easily and you’re always comparing apples with oranges. Someone heavy lifting with bad form is more likely to hurt themselves than someone pitching or hitting with bad form. Especially a 12 year old.

Novices should deadlift up to three times per week until they cannot recover from it. Then 1.5 times per week (every other workout on a 3-day schedule). As they approach the intermediate stage, probably once a week. Possibly even less.[/quote]

Would it be safer if I did deadlifts with a hex bar one day and then deadlifts with a regular bar bell the other instead of 2 days of regular bar bell because it’s so hard on your spine?

[quote=“UndersizedRHP”]
You get so defensive so easily and you’re always comparing apples with oranges. Someone heavy lifting with bad form is more likely to hurt themselves than someone pitching or hitting with bad form. Especially a 12 year old.[/quote]

The difference, of course, is that “good form” in lifting takes 2 hours to teach and not a single person can tell you how to pitch with good form to ensure that you will never suffer a catastrophic injury.

You are the one who is portraying weight training as inherently unsafe, which not a single reputable study can replicate. A valid argument is not one where you define it in terms that make your original premise look good and then apply it to other situations.

[quote=“kyleb”]

The difference, of course, is that “good form” in lifting takes 2 hours to teach and not a single person can tell you how to pitch with good form to ensure that you will never suffer a catastrophic injury.

You are the one who is portraying weight training as inherently unsafe, which not a single reputable study can replicate. A valid argument is not one where you define it in terms that make your original premise look good and then apply it to other situations.[/quote]

2 hours to teach a years to actually achieve. Just because you’re an example of someone who learned good form and use it in the weight room doesn’t mean that goes for everyone who steps in the weight room. I have been a division I athlete for 4 years now and I see hundreds of athletes come and go in the weight room every time i step in there. Each team has a qualified strength and conditioning coach that teaches correct form. Every day I see athletes using bad form and every year someone on my team gets injured in the weight room from bad form. These guys are 18-22 years old.

I am confident 12 year olds even if taught good form would not be responsible enough to actually replicate the form they were taught every time.

Especially when they get tired which they will get tired very easily since they are 12 years old, their form will go down the tubes.

There are no studies on 12 year old lifting because its not something that is observable without interference. You cannot make a true experiment from watching a child lift.

Either way, if i were in a weight room and there were kids in there being obnoxious it would get on my nerves anyway. No 12 year old is going to go into a weight room do their lift quietly and then leave.

Other than that,

Merry Christmas everyone.

I think supervision is the key here. I was lifting at a young age and never got hurt because my parents knew enough about weight lifting to teach me good form and they made sure I did it right. I see our schools football coaches teach kids proper form but they don’t make sure they use proper form every time and the athletes end up hurt but I don’t think you can blame that weight lifting.

Couldn’t agree more.

I see more knee injuries from squats and leg press than arm injuries from throwing.

[quote=“UndersizedRHP”]
I see more knee injuries from squats and leg press than arm injuries from throwing.[/quote]

I disagree. I know of only one athlete in my school who has had an injury directly correlated with weightlifting, and this was a 270lbs absolute animal of a kid. He had 4 years of prior weight training, and was attempting a 600lb deadlift.

I do know numerous athletes that have torn thier ACL’s, meniscus’s, sprained and torn plenty of other ligaments, broken hands, broken noses, broken arms, had concussions, and plenty of other things. And the majority of the people who i know have never spent more than a week lifting heavy weights. Many more injuries come from playing the sport itself.

Also, in my opinion, the majority of high school athletes who fail to learn correct form on lifts usually do not end up sticking to weight training long enough to cause serious damage.

Ok, that’s fine. It’s also your experience. You can’t disagree per say, with the statement I said because that is my experience.

Like i said all these guys are division I athletes who are taught what the right form is…How many of them actually use proper form is probably not the majority.[/b]

It seems to be more up to the participant whether or not weight lifting is safe or not just like any sport. Improper mechanics when you’re lifting weights or throwing a baseball can lead to injury.

agreed