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  • Too young??

    My son is 8 years old and he really wants to lift. He's a scrawny little thing, so of course I worry. When I take him to the gym with me he has to go to the daycare center & he gets mad because he wants to be out on the floor with me. I never see any other kids out there on the floor, but he doesn't care. He wants to lift. I keep telling him he's too young, but I really don't know.

    Anyone here think I'm being an overprotective mom? Should I let him try it?
    Greek women, we may be lambs in the kitchen, but we are tigers in the bedroom.


    MOD @ www.proactivehealthnet.com


  • #2
    let him lift. lifting will only strengthen his whole body and improve his selfasteem and confidence as well as teach disipline. stressing bones while they are growing will cause them to be stronger and less brittle in adulthood. moderation and saftey are the keys.

    talk to your pediatrician they can steer you right
    time is the best teacher, to bad it ends up killing its pupil

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    • #3
      Keep an eye tho. Make sure he's lifting properly.
      Please tell your boobs to quit staring at my eyes

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      • #4
        It sounds like he wants to be on the floor because that's where everyone else is and it looks fun to him and he's curious. I would take to his pediatrician first before letting him do this, just to be sure.

        You're not being over protective IMO.


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        • #5
          Of course you should let him lift. There is nothing wrong with that and it will provide ample opportunity to burn off excess energy in an environment where you can keep your eye on him. It will also give him a sense of purpose as well as of confidence, because, in his mind, he is emulating his Mother (almost wrote Dad there :p) . Not allowing him to do it would be pointless - he won't be doing anything wrong and refusal will just frustrate him needlessly. Just make sure he doesn't drop something on his foot - obviously you want him to have fun not get a free ticket to the nearest emergency room.

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          • #6
            Lifting at a young age can stunt growth. He doesn't need to wait until he is 15 or anything but perhaps a little older than 8. Most gyms won't let kids under 14 on the floor anyway. I STRONGLY suggest you follow the advice of the above guys when they say see his pediatrician first. If he REALLY wants to do this, why not let him do some cardio? Let him get on a treadmill and run his little heart out. If he starts now he'll be a track star by highschool...
            ~GP
            Mod at PrecisionMuscle.org
            Admin at FitnessGeared.com

            Listen to Clept at http://www.clept.com

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            • #7
              It takes some pretty severe lifting over a prolonged period of time to stunt growth GP. It's not like he will lift a dumbell and stop growing permanently. He is 8 years old and basically just wants to have some fun. I truly doubt he will maintain significant interest long enough to do any damage to himself. At that age, he just wants to feel good by emulating an adult he admires. There is no harm in some supervised lifting.

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              • #8
                I disagree IM^, sorry. I do agree it has to be over a period of time but that period of time in the life of a child isn't very long... If his MD says go for it then fine. Otherwise, I wouldn't encourage it.
                ~GP
                Mod at PrecisionMuscle.org
                Admin at FitnessGeared.com

                Listen to Clept at http://www.clept.com

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                • #9
                  Oh I like people who disagree. That's the whole point of debate. So I gather you have medical evidence about the length and degree of exposure to weight training in children that differs from mine. Could you share it please? I would really like to see it as I am pretty sure about what I am saying here. I would be happy if you corrected any erroneous beliefs that I might be harboring, .

                  Oh, incidentally, I wouldn't trust an average doctor with correct directions to the nearest Gold's Gym let alone to tell me if weight training was in any way beneficial or detrimental to my son. Asking an MD isn't going to get anyone very far, I'm afraid.

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                  • #10
                    i agree with IM - let the kid lift. nobody's gonna take his lunch money... remember when you were just a little tyke and those big mean grown-ups told you "no" without any good reason.
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                    • #11
                      Since today is my cardio day, I'll take him with me to the gym & let him get on the treadmill with me. I think just doing that will get him really excited. He's due for a checkup anyway, so I'll be sure to ask the dr. what she thinks too.

                      I didn't mention before, that he has AD/HD. Now that I think about it, the treadmill would probably do alot more good than harm & let him use up all that hyperactivity.

                      As far as stunting his growth, I'm not really concerned about that. He's one of the tallest kids in his class. I'm really more concerned about his self esteem. I will do anything to make him feel more confident & if lifting does it, then that's what is gonna happen.

                      I'm hoping the dr. will agree with all of you & let him lift. I'll talk to a trainer at the gym today too.

                      Thanks for all the advice.
                      Greek women, we may be lambs in the kitchen, but we are tigers in the bedroom.


                      MOD @ www.proactivehealthnet.com

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                      • #12
                        :showoff: As a former employee of a gym......there are age limits due to insurance, liability & such.
                        Did you already go? Did they let him?


                        KR had made up some "kiddie" weights for our boys when they were young. He used a broom handle & 1 lb weights for a barbell. And we have 2 lb dumbells.

                        Kids never stick with anything long enough to do any harm. And if he has ADHD, this would actually be good for him. Cardio especially.
                        Kid's Wench :flex: and Bon-Bon's sis
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                        • #13
                          I did take my son to the gym with me & with the permission of the trainer, he got on the treadmill. Poor kid isn't very coordinated so it took him a little bit to get the flow. When I asked about him being out on the floor lifting weights, the trainer actually told me it wasn't a good idea because at his age it could stunt his growth.... I couldn't help but grin thinking about the debate going on in this forum. Anyway, the treadmill was enough for my son to be happy for the time being. We'll wait a couple more years before we go to the weights. Thanks for the advice!!!
                          Greek women, we may be lambs in the kitchen, but we are tigers in the bedroom.


                          MOD @ www.proactivehealthnet.com

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                          • #14
                            GP,

                            There is no scientific evidence the resistance exercise training stunts growth. I'll point you in the direction of Bill Kraemer and Steve Fleck's book on Strength Training for Young Athletes for greater discussion on this.

                            This concept of stunted growth likely comes from the increased likelihood that growing children have for fractures at epiphyseal growth plates (especially the radius). If a growth plate suffers a fracture, there can be stunted growth, but this is limited to the affected bone (or associated bones / limbs). Accounts of accidents acribe these injuries to poor supervision and/or attempts to perform maximum (often overhead) lifts. (E.g., a 8yr old kid trying to do a maximum snatch by himself - with shitty form.)

                            Studies (see Ramsay et al.) generally suggest that pre-pubescent kids can make dramatic strength gains vs. growing age-matched controls, but that muscle mass gains are minimal, probably due to an inadeqate hormonal milieu.

                            The advantage(s) of starting kids off early is that they can get stronger (d/t neural adaptations primarily), which may actually protect against injury (greater joint stabilty). Also, when they have reached puberty (speaking primarily for boys now), they will be primed to provide an optimum mechanical stimulus for muscle growth (and further strength gain) - they now would know how to lift!

                            I know one person, who shall remain unnamed at this point, who started bench pressing when she was 8 years old or so. She has pressed 285 in the gym at a bodyweight of about 150. (245 in competition). This strength is utterly and ridiculously specific to the flat bench press. Her incline press, overhead press and less related things like squat, etc. are fairly normal (although she's pretty damn strong on these now that she's been training for a while), but for some time, she could bench nearly twice what she could incline press. Her nervous system "grew up" flat benching and she became quite specialized to do that very well.

                            This is the approach that the eastern block countries (has) had for years in finding the best athletes to represent the "superiority of communism." Find 'em young when their nervous systems are developing and mold them into superior performers.

                            Consider, too, how kids play and compare that to controlled resistance exercise. A kid running full steam right into his buddy, hitting and kicking him, rolling on the ground, jumping out of trees, etc. makes doing a 12 rep set of bench pressing (given its done correctly) look pretty benign.

                            Kraemer and Fleck's general recommendations are to keep the reps high (e.g., 8-12 for most exercises), focus on form, SUPERVISE and do not take sets to failure...

                            -Randy
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                            • #15
                              Ah, Randy, thank you, dear fellow. I honestly didn't feel like writing that all down - I felt it would be an exercise in exasparation. (Low carbs are not kind to me :p .) However, I do concur with with most of what you said; it is reflective of some of the more enlightened research of our times. The only thing I would like to point out is that extremely heavy resistance training for prolonged periods of time in someone that is still growing has been found to stunt growth, as the repetitive and excessive pressure and torque induces physiological changes at the epiphyses (the secondary centers of ossification near the ends of long bones) as well as inducing tendon and ligament shortening and thickening. However, this has to be of an extreme nature (possible involving shackling the child to the machine) so I sincerely doubt it can be reproduced on a whim by a child left to his own devices as regards training.

                              The kid just wants to have a bit of fun and play at being grown-up. Supervise him and let him enjoy some measure of self confidence of independence. It will do him a world of good. Alarmism is not going to get anyone very far. He'll be thinking of something else to apply his mischief to in a few days. At best, he might discover a love for weight training that will return when he is in his teens; who knows, we might be nurturing the next Mr. Olympia in our midst. :p

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