Fitness Training For Youth – Even the Best Don’t Get it Sometimes…

Fitness Training For Youth – what age do you start training someone?

 

How old should your fitness training for youth clients be?

 

How about young athletes?

 

I have to admit to being utterly stunned by the opinions

some very esteemed members of our industry shared on this

topic on a popular website recently.

 

“No one under the age of 12”

 

“It’s hard to teach kids under the age of 14 proper technique”

 

I am more convinced than ever that the IYCA is 100% necessary

in this industry.

 

In the world for that matter.

 

What is magical about the age of 12?

 

Why is that considered an age that adjunct fitness training for youth is fine,

but 11 or 10 is an issue.

 

Here’s the real crux of the problem –

 

Many people in this industry simply don’t understand.

 

And although we live in a free country and I wholly support

the right of everyone to express there opinion, it really

makes me wonder why highly esteemed and influential

members of any community don’t first understand the issue

before stating a strong stance on the matter.

 

Notice how I never discuss the virtues of training highly

elite athletes or senior citizens?

 

It’s because I understand and respect my limitations as

a professional and find it silly to wield any sort of

influence over a topic I know nothing about.

 

Ideally, I wouldn’t want to have children pay for my

services either.

 

Kids should be outdoors, in the sun, playing and growing

physically for the exercise stimulus they encounter.

 

Just like I was as a kid.

 

The problem is they’re not doing that.

 

Kids should be enjoying at least 45 minutes of well-designed

and developmentally-sound physical education everyday in

school.

 

But that’s not happening either. 

That is why we need fitness training for youth.

If you know anything at all about human growth and

development, you know that the plasticity of the nervous

system is such that exposure to physical activity is a

must at an early age.

 

And while I would love to see kids just step outdoors

again and enjoy ‘free play’ experiences or partake in

vigors daily exercise in gym class, I also long for the

days when the gas to fill my car cost less than an

entire paycheck.

 

Obese kids aren’t active and must outlets to become

active.

 

Young athletes are at the mercy of under-educated and

over-zealous Coaches so must have a voice of reason in

their adjunct training programs that involve more than

just pushing through biomotor increases.

 

I’m not going to say that our industry has done a fantastic

job of understanding and applying proper elements of  fitness training for youth…

 

… But that’s all the more reason to LEARN them through

a credible organization rather than merely cutting off a

segment of the population who desperately needs help.

 

Let me know your thoughts…

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian
fitness training for youth
 

  

8 Responses

  1. Ramon says:

    I agree that the industry has put out some numbers that are hard substantiate with research. The first would be max heart rate formulas.(220-age?). As far as youth, the age for weight training has so many other factors that are far more important like proper technique. I also would love to get rid of machines for children and of course Wii Fit.

  2. Cherie says:

    Brian,
    I hear what your saying. I am actually looking to focus on the 6-9 year olds that should be outside playing and instead think that the Wii is all the physical activity anyone needs. I am trying to organize a way to “package” it to the parents and coaches. Any feedback from you would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Mike says:

    An important key here is “adjunct training programs” are underutilized by many coaches. Hence we end up with a segment of “teachers” who don’t persue or continue their education to help them become a better coach for kids of all skill or fitness levels. No to mention on how to make training fun. This coupled with no LTAD “system” or culture in place in the US leads to common sense ideas like developmentally appropriate activity being missed by “the best.”

  4. Luka Hocevar says:

    I agree with you Brian. I train a number of kids under 12 and believe me they need it! When experts say things like that it makes parents think it isn’t necessary so it is really doing a disservice to the children.

    Luka Hocevar
    http://www.hocevarperformance.com

  5. Roy Alfonso says:

    How young can a child begin training? I have a two fold response: 1. Research done with resistance training go as low as 6 years of age. There are some guidelines to follow and if done will yield positive results. 2. Each child matures and grows at their own pace. Age can not be the sole gauge. My son wasn’t “ready” till he was 10. He is now 15 and playing varsity soccer.

  6. Yeah Brian – with all the kids out there aspiring to excel in youth sports and beyond, how can there not be a demand for such professionals!?

  7. Rizz says:

    My son was 9 when I introduced him to strength training. He is now 14 and is playing varsity baseball as a catcher. Many parents think that weight training a adolecent damages growth plates. I then have to explain to them that only if they are not properly trained.

  8. Doug says:

    Brian,

    You couldn’t be closer to the truth! I am a Nurse Practitioner, board-certified in Pediatrics with a sub-specialty in Sports Medicine. I consistently treat children for overuse injuries perpetuated by parents or coaches who push the kids too far, too quickly, and without a clue on the right progression of training. The one thing there is not a shortage of right now, is opinions on youth conditioning. The one thing there is a shortage of, is properly trained professionals to faciliate this. While not IYCA certified yet, it is very high on my priority list, as it certainly sets one apart from many imposters, posing as “experts” in the physical conditioning of children. Thank you all for the great job you do!!

    D. Fowler NP

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