Age to safely start lifting?

My husband and I both lift six days a week and often take all three of my kids with us to the gym. My eldest son is 11 and from seeing the differences in how our bodies look and in our strength, he told us he wants to start lifting weights and asked when he can. Neither my husband or I know, and while I do plan on bringing this up at his upcoming physical, I thought i'd ask on here too. Do any of y'all have pre-teens/teenagers that lift weights? If so, at what age did they start and do you have any restrictions.
«1

Replies

  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
    Should be ok???

    There's a common myth that "weight lifting stunts growth"... this is true if you break a growth plate - which is pretty damn hard. You pretty much have to be trying to break it lol.

    I think it's fine as long as you let them progress. Start them with some sit ups, push ups and burpees etc. Then you could maybe introduce them to weights as long as their form is correct...

    But that's just my opinion.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    I don't really know how heavy a kid that age can go. My 8 yo daughter sometimes lifts with me but just with very light weights. One thing I wanted to suggest is checking with your gym about the age he'd have to be to go in the weight room. My daughter can go to the gym with me but she isn't allowed on the weight floor or on any cardio machines until she's 16 so the only thing she'd be able to do with me is walk on the track or play basketball or handball.
  • icemaiden37
    icemaiden37 Posts: 238 Member
    My son is 13 and works out with my PT for 30mins a week doing dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell stuff, TRX, bodyweight exercises and other functional fitness moves. He's learning good form and sometimes comes along with me to do his program on his own (with a little bit of guidance!).


  • MGarcia0504
    MGarcia0504 Posts: 51 Member
    Being 11 years old we figured we would start him on body weight for somethings and very light weights on others (as long as we are given the Doc's ok), that way he can learn proper form and not hurt himself. Of course at his age I wouldn't want him even attempting to do anything heavy, but I think we all know that if you do it wrong even with light weights, you can get injured. Plus what's the point of doing it if you're not going to do it right. I wish I had been taught to be healthy and fit at a young age and that way it wouldn't be so hard to break my bad habits at 30.
  • McCloud33
    McCloud33 Posts: 959 Member
    At 11, I stick to mostly bodyweight moves. I always heard wait to start weights until puberty. He can do a lot with pullups, situps, dips, planks and all of the variations of those.
  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,772 Member
    edited September 2015
    Here's some reading for you, a meta-analysis of training kids as young as 6.

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/5/e1199.abstract

    The general thinking is that kids should avoid things like maximal weights and training to failure (bodies are not adapted for high stresses like that yet). But everything else is fine. Keep the reps high-ish (~10) and he should be fine. He's not gonna see huge gains at 11 since he doesn't have the crazy testosterone levels of a teenager yet but he'll be there very soon and he'll have a good base/motor patterns to start with. Even doing BW stuff or resistance bands will be fine for now, for that matter. Depends on what he wants to do. Supervision is probably #1 but you already know that.
  • kandeelopez
    kandeelopez Posts: 61 Member
    My son is deaf and emailed Lou Ferrigno about this. He replied! (Well we think it was him :smile: ). He said around 12-13 is fine. Let him do what's comfortable for him. How cool that this is something you all can do together!!!
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,173 Member
    There are weight lifters who started lifting at very young ages. I remember watching an interview of an olympic gold medalist who was saying he started lifting at 7. But it is not something I would attempt without a trainer who is both knowledgeable about weight training and has experience working with kids, even in other types of sports.
  • Karen_can_do_this
    Karen_can_do_this Posts: 1,150 Member
    My son is 13 and he does a the day a week body weight routine
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,173 Member
    Being 11 years old we figured we would start him on body weight for somethings and very light weights on others (as long as we are given the Doc's ok), that way he can learn proper form and not hurt himself. Of course at his age I wouldn't want him even attempting to do anything heavy, but I think we all know that if you do it wrong even with light weights, you can get injured. Plus what's the point of doing it if you're not going to do it right. I wish I had been taught to be healthy and fit at a young age and that way it wouldn't be so hard to break my bad habits at 30.

    Bodyweight training plus light weights is pretty much standard part of several other sports, even for young kids. Two of my kids are into martial arts and bodyweight strength training is part of their routine since 6 years old. Push ups, planks, lunges, squats etc.
  • MGarcia0504
    MGarcia0504 Posts: 51 Member
    I did speak with his paediatrician and he said we are good to go as long as my son sticks with body weight or lower weights at high reps. I'm going to find him a good routine to get him in that'll mix weights and cardio. Thanks everyone!
  • jersey_54
    jersey_54 Posts: 278 Member
    Wtf. Hell yea its ok? No it doesn't stunt growth anywhere and nor it does anything bad? Dad built us weight room when I was like 12, my brothers were like 2-3 years older. Been lifting since, Itd only help him being more athletic and better than other kids in strength, sports and stuff
  • jersey_54
    jersey_54 Posts: 278 Member
    Should be ok???

    There's a common myth that "weight lifting stunts growth"... this is true if you break a growth plate - which is pretty damn hard. You pretty much have to be trying to break it lol.

    I think it's fine as long as you let them progress. Start them with some sit ups, push ups and burpees etc. Then you could maybe introduce them to weights as long as their form is correct...

    But that's just my opinion.

    Not really that's b.s, Been lifting since 12. Never stunt my growth any of my other brothers in weight, height or anything else
  • msf74
    msf74 Posts: 3,498 Member
    edited September 2015
    It's fine for both adolescents and pre-adolescents with appropriate supervision.

    See here for more information and guidance (pay close attention to the recommendations at the bottom):

    AAP policy guidance
  • DvlDwnInGA
    DvlDwnInGA Posts: 357 Member
    I would start him on doing calisthenics. Push ups, pull ups, sit ups, dips, etc. Let him use his own body weight and once he is proficient in those, then move him on to weights.
  • hillbilly815
    hillbilly815 Posts: 473 Member
    Everything I've been told by professional trainers 12 is a safe age. I let my son start @ 11 with light weights high reps. With no issues he shot up 6in within a year. He's still growing in height and build.
  • PeachyCarol
    PeachyCarol Posts: 8,040 Member
    I spoke with my son's doctor and got the okay for him to use my resistance bands. He's too young for my gym. He's 13.
  • Yi5hedr3
    Yi5hedr3 Posts: 2,696 Member
    Age 13 is about right, for pumping iron.
  • ecjim
    ecjim Posts: 960 Member
    Let them lift -My daughter, a skinny little future ballet star was squatting for reps at 8 y/o - it was quite a sight to see her with an O bar on her back, son was lifting at about 5 or 6. He wanted to test his max a lot - he liked to deadlift and could pull a lot of weight for a 40 lb kid - be careful on that. Just be sure they learn proper form & technique be tough on that - If they used bad from I would stop them. - keep the weight appropriate. Eastcoast Jim