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Tbone 08-01-2012 10:16 AM

Too young?
What is a good age to start training? My 12y/o is interested in lifting weights. Is he to young? What kind of training would be good to start with?

BendtheBar 08-01-2012 10:26 AM

Good question.

I started my 13 year old daughter on a combination of light goblet squats, push ups and light dumbbell rows. We spent 2 months or so really working on form, especially on goblets.

After a couple months I introduced some weight to the goblets, and added in a couple lighter dumbbell movements such as dumbbell bench presses and curls. I continue to hammer form, form, form into her on every rep.

From here we moved on to light box squats, rack pulls and the bench press with only a bar.

After a 6 month period my daughter is benching 1x to 2x a week, generally light and for reps. She also does light box squats for reps. Twice a month we do high rack pulls and work on hips and locking out the deadlift.

My daughter's goals are very specific...powerlifting. For your 12 year old I would probably do as many bodyweight exercises as possible and spend some time building strength and stability. Then slowly add in very light dumbbell or barbell work, not rushing, when he is more than ready.

Tbone 08-01-2012 10:31 AM

ty Steve, that sounds like a great plan.

markievicz 08-01-2012 10:36 AM

in addition to Steve's points , you should a look through this old log by Off Road where he was tracking the progress made by his son while training for football...

some great progress was made in here and some great ideas for training sessions too!

Gaz6682 08-01-2012 10:43 AM

Strength Training for Children,a review of research literature | Protrainer Online

Have a read through this, should answer any doubts you have

Off Road 08-01-2012 10:57 AM

I think BtB is right on the money. And thanks to Markie for the call-out. Training my son was a blast and probably the best bonding experience we've ever had. He's 11 years old now and he's a lot stronger than he was just 8 months ago. He just finished pre-season conditioning and is currently in tryouts. His coaches have all told me, "He looks good, really good." So mission accomplished. My basic philosophy was to make him "earn" the right to lift weights. He had to reach a certain amount of reps in the body squat before I let him do goblet squats. Then he had to reach a certain weight for reps before I let him use the Trap Bar. It was a great motivator and ensured he was resdy for the progression. Good luck with training your own kid, I know you'll enjoy the heck out of it.

Fazc 08-01-2012 11:35 AM

I think 12 is fine, I have my nephews doing the basic lifts and they're 8 and 9.

In my opinion the key thing to remember as a coach, and this goes for any age, is that you're there to teach them them how to perform lifts, good form, body awareness and technique. You don't teach strong, as their bodies develop that will come with time.

It's not massively different from what I would do if I were teaching someone the Squat, Bench and Deadlift. Form first, if something looks shaky then pull them back. Practice, practice, practice untill it's smooth and then and only then is it a good idea to push the weight up. Of course with kids you need to be a little more delicate and attentive, as they will fatigue quicker and their concentration will waver.

Tbone 08-01-2012 01:47 PM

thanks for all the replies, you all have been very helpful

glwanabe 08-01-2012 03:53 PM

Chinese kids are doing serious oly training before the age of ten.

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