Archive for “Weight Training” Tag

Youth Strength Training Mistakes

 

 

Youth Strength Training Done Right

Should pre-adolescent kids lift weights or shouldn’t they? Will it stunt their growth or increase their likelihood of future sporting success? Is growth plate damage a real concern or merely an exaggerated issue?

 

This debate has raged on for years.

 

Hopefully, this article will help clear up some of the concerns on youth strength training.

 

To start, there are definitive differences between adolescent boys and adolescent girls with respect to strength and strength production. In boys, absolute muscular strength (the greatest amount of force an individual can produce) grows consistently between the ages of 7 – 19. In girls, strength gains are incurred on a consistent level until about the age of 15, when a period of stagnation occurs and strength gains plateau, and in fact begins to fall. By the end of the pubescent ages, boys are roughly 50% stronger than girls.

 

There are several factors to consider when programming strength training for young athletes –

 

Central Nervous System Maturity – The true argument with respect to children and weight lifting should not be based on the maturity (or in this case immaturity) of the child’s muscular system, but rather the advancement of the child’s CNS. Within proper application of load, volume and intensity, a child’s muscular system will not be compromised by weight training activities. However, a lack of motor control (a function of the CNS) will affect the child’s ability to perform weight-training exercises safely. It is therefore the maturity of the CNS that is the ultimate determining factor.

 

Cross Section Of Muscle – A larger muscle infers a greater strength potential. While hypertrophy of this sort is not hormonally possible with pre-adolescent athletes, this fact is why I advocate that early adolescent athletes train with hypertrophy-based responses in mind.

 

Biological Maturity – Biological age, unlike a child’s chronological age, is not actually visible. Biological age is based in large part to the “physiological development of the various organs and systems in the body” (Bompa, 2000). For example, the adequate development of bone, the efficiency of the heart and lungs to transport oxygen; these are examples of items that comprise biological age. This becomes important when determining the volume or intensity of the training program for the young athlete.

 

Hormonal Issues – Androgenic (muscle building) hormones are low in pre-adolescent athletes. This means that hypertrophy-based responses are all but impossible. Strength gains, however, are very possible.

 

Technical Issues – Providing a proper foundation of the technical merits of youth strength training is paramount when working with youngsters.

 

(more…)

Young Athletes Training Facts

 

 

Young Athletes long term development insights

In lieu of an article or interview, I thought that I would hit you guys with some great information and solid insight into the training & development of Young Athletes

 

>> From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden.

 

"The question of whether (young athletes) should specialize in particular sports at an early age has been asked for many years. The evidence now seems to support programming activities that develop overall capacities rather than specialized functions while the young athlete is growing."

 

This is a fact that I have been preaching for many years. Contrary to popular belief, the BEST and MOST EFFICIENT means of developing a future champion is through slow progression and multilateral means.

 

 

>> From a study published in the Swimming Science Bulletin. Authored by Brent S. Rushall & John Marsden.

 

"If resistance training is to be done with children and young adolescents, exercises should involve sub-maximal loads, such as one’s own bodyweight, light dumbbells, weighted bags and/or medicine balls. Sophisticated and restrictive weight exercises, particularly on machines, are not ideal for children".

 

Did anyone read my article a few newsletters back on "Keeping Kids Off Weight Training Machines"? Trainers or coaches who advocate machine-based training for young athletes are simply not thinking straight.

 

(more…)

The Truth About Kids Fitness Program Design

 

 

Okay, so I admit to being overwhelmed.

 

When I sent yesterday’s email out asking for people to offer
their thoughts on the matter of Kids Fitness Program and ‘training kids under twelve’,
I wasn’t expecting such a huge outpouring of passionate
responses.

 

My blog is loaded with comments.

 

I received no fewer than 20 emails on the topic.

 

I even had 4 people call me to tell me what they thought.

 

The IYCA certainly is comprised of some passionate people…

 

… And I love that!

 

And now that we’ve established the fact that training
children under the age of 12 is an absolute must, it begs
the question – how do you do it?

 

Weight training – Is that safe for a kids fitness program?

 

Speed and Agility – How do you teach that to pre-adolescents?

 

Plyometrics – How much volume, sets or reps?

 

So while I’m glad that everyone who responded seems to
understand the need for training and instruction with kids
under 12, do they know how to design and implement
programs for this age group?

 

Maybe.

 

But it is a very tricky science.

 

Especially when you factor in the reality that you’re likely
going to be dealing with several kids, all of whom have
different learning styles and abilities, and the potential of
over-zealous Coaches and Parents who are looking for
results NOW… As completely silly as that is.

 

Here’s a quick crash course for you on how to program for
kids under 12 years old –

 

:: Always start by arranging your training group into a semi-
circle around you being sure to avoid any natural hierarchy’s
that typically plague this age group

 

:: Introduce the first exercise being sure to verbally explain and
then visually demonstrate

 

:: Be positive with all commentary and feedback

 

:: The program itself should follow this sequence –

 

a. Coordination 1 (demo)

b. Game Play

c. Coordination 2 (demo)

d. Game Play

e. Technical Instruction

f. Game Play

 

:: Choose coordination exercise that stimulating any of the
following physical characteristics –

 

a. Balance

b. Kinesthetic Differentiation

c. Rhythm

d. Spatial Awareness

e. Movement Adequacy

 

 

 

And that’s how you create successful kids fitness program under
the age of 12!

 

Want the rest of the story?

 

All the specifics and some samples of how it works?

 

Click the link below and get your hands on my brand-new Kids Fitness Program
‘Secrets to Program Design’ course.

 

More than 1,000 Fitness Professionals worldwide have already
purchased this groundbreaking course and have become better
Coaches and Trainers IMMEDIATELY because of it.

 

Here’s your link –

 

http://www.iyca.org/course/programdesign

 

 

‘Till next time,

 

Brian