How young is too young?
My cousin is wanting to start body building. He is only 12. Is it a good idea for him to do it or should he wait until he gets older?
Both my boys have been lifting weights on and off since they were younger than that.
My son is 11 years old and getting started.
Here are some things to keep in mind...
Start with bodyweight movements.
Work on form and progression, form being the priority at first.
Stay with bodyweight movements until a strength base is built.
Progress as below...
Bodyweight squats. When you can do 50 bodyweight squats then move on to goblet squats.
Push-ups. When you can do 50 push-ups then move on to bar dips and eventually bench press.
Chin-ups. When you can do 10 chin-ups then you can move onto barbell rows.
Start off correctly and include sit-ups and conditioning.
So to start; Use body squats, push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups and conditioning.
I concur with the above.
I will also agree with Rich and OR.
Most of the worlds strongest and successful competitors in iron-sports have started at a very young age, many before 10yo. Age doesn't determine the extent of success, but starting young can bring him that much farther.
That said, some kind of base needs to be developed in strength, flexibility, conditioning and skill (coordination). Lots of bodyweight stuff as mentioned by OR is great. During this time I also wouldn't hesitate to throw an empty barbell/broom stick/pvc pipe at the kid and get him practicing the correct movement patterns of the key lifts... just don't load up on it until an "impressive" base is developed.
Joe DeFranco stated he was bench pressed 225lbs for a 1RM when he was in 8th grade.
12 years old is a great age to start lifting and getting stronger. While all the other kids are doing curls and bench presses, teach your son to train his whole body and why he should train his whole body.
Have him do deadlifts, squats, front squats, power cleans, bench presses, bent over rows, overhead presses, dips, pullups. While his whole body is getting bigger and stronger he will be looked at as top of the line for his age.
I plan on getting my son into powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting when he's around 12.
I remember my first 1RM attempt at 13 years old was 125lbs and I weighed exactly 125lbs at that time. I remember about twelve weeks after that I bench pressed 165lbs at 133lbs as a fourteen year old. I can only imagine how strong I would be today if I would never stopped.
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