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Published on Jul 17, 2012

Why it's OK for kids to lift weights
Weight training can help give your kids the competitive edge but there has been some debate on whether this is dangerous or even appropriate. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association of USA all support child and adolescent participation in strength training.
Fifteen years old Brahm Richards asked his dad if he could start weight training at the age of ten. This subsequently helped him to achieve National Judo and Olympic Wrestling titles consistently for the last four years. More and more parents are supporting their teen's wishes to join a gym.
At the same time there is a national and worldwide challenge to stem childhood obesity. Thirty one percent of New Zealand's children are now classified as being 'overweight'. The mother of eleven year old New Zealand immigrant Celeste says their family was fairly taken by surprise since arriving in New Zealand. In their homeland of Africa they ate the local foods available which were for the most part, naturally growing foods. They hadn't realized the impact that these new available 'fast foods' would have on their children. Daughter Celeste had already ballooned to 94 kilos when they realized a change of lifestyle had to be made. Celeste now enjoys exercises daily at Club Physical.
Since New Zealand is already a World leader in Type 2 diabetes which stems from obesity, it's important that more families receive the exercise message.
When should kids start weight training?
Kids can start weight training as soon as they show an interest and "have the emotional and physical maturity to accept and follow directions" usually about the age of seven or eight, says Avery Faigenbaum, a professor of exercise science at the College of New Jersey, USA.
"Any good fitness programme should include a weight training component, along with a flexibility component and cardiovascular component" says physician Joel Brenner, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics 'Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness'.
At the same time strength training must be approached with caution and respect. It is important to use equipment with a mature attitude and with adequate supervision. The American Academy of pediatrics recommends that explosive types of lifts or heavy Olympic-style lifting should be delayed until the skeleton matures after the growth spurt.
Club Physical recommends to trainers to keep child and adolescent weights at light to medium with higher repetitions (10—15) prior to the growth spurt and to keep workouts interesting and varied.
As featured on TV One's CLOSE-UP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWqsoK...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/w...

http://www.healthychildren.org/Englis...

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