The best time to begin working out is always now, no doubt about that.
The benefits of having a physically active lifestyle, coupled with a healthy dietary program, are too great to simply go unnoticed.
To be a member at Rec Xpress, you must be at least 16 years of age as well as have a letter of consent signed by a parent or legal guardian to become a member. However, we believe that physical activity shouldn’t be limited to working out at the gym.
Physically Developing Bodies
We were all born to move.
Babies, even during pregnancy, have already been equipped with bones and muscles to kick, punch, and wiggle around in their mother’s belly. At birth, infants slowly get a grasp of the outside world and begin to discover their environment through movement. By the age of 1, most babies have already started to develop their gross and fine motor skills.
To explain it briefly, gross motor skills deal with the big actions like walking, jumping, and the like. Fine motor skills involve smaller movements and usually with the hands, wrists, and such. An example of a fine motor skill would be picking up objects using our fingers.
Any sort of physical play is always beneficial to children. It promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, and play time is always fun.
Children and Weights
You might have come across photos of children who look like mini versions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Their muscles are bulging and ripped. They also make you feel like a potato whose life revolved around the TV and binge eating.
You might be wondering if it is even physically possible for a child as young as they are to even begin lifting weights.
They say that there are two sides to every story, and the same goes for weight lifting.
Weight lifting connotes competing — carrying a heavier weight to outdo another competitor — and in some cultures and countries this is totally acceptable.
However there has been a longstanding belief that lifting weights can stunt a child’s growth and might even be fatal, leading to fractured bones.
Here’s the thing: this belief has been found to be false.
There already has been evidence proving that it is perfectly fine for children to begin lifting early in life, provided that they do so in a supervised, well-developed program.
Let’s define what weight lifting is for children. We are not talking about barbells; strength or resistance training would be a better term, as they can perform exercises that help strengthen muscles, effectively allowing them to perform other tasks better. In fact, if your child is an athlete, resistance training may even help reduce the incidence of injuries on the field.
The only caveat is whether or not the child is emotionally ready to start a strength training program. They should be willing and mature enough to listen to instructions from a trainer or professional. One way of knowing whether your little one is ready is when they are also ready for sports.
The Earlier the Better
After the age of eight, getting your child into some sort of resistance training program will be beneficial. Helping their bodies develop physically is one thing; you’re also instilling in them the importance of physical activity in their daily lives. Remember: an active child will most likely turn out to be an active adult. What you’re after is creating healthy habits.
Strength training also has a positive effect on their self-esteem and confidence. From a psychological perspective, any form of success will always be beneficial to children. When they have a sense of knowing that they are good at something, they feel better about themselves.
Whether you’re 8 or 18, there is always a risk associated with any physical activity. Weight lifting is no exception.
But experts agree that strength training doesn’t affect a child’s developing body, not as much as when hormonal levels go haywire, or how muscles’ flexibility change over time. As long as your child is engaged in a program that is under the supervision of an expert, you should have one less thing to worry about. You can also bet that any sports-related injury can be reduced to a minimum when children under strength training.
Where Can Kids Strength Train?
You can search for programs developed by your local YMCA, your child’s school (particularly the Physical Education teacher), or you can ask your health practitioner. Chances are there are programs already available for your child to enroll in. There is nothing better than letting your child train under the supervision of someone who is knowledgeable in this area.
For teens who wish to begin going to the gym, we are open to welcoming you into any of five branches. Choose from any of our experienced trainers to jumpstart your fitness routine.
Strength Training for Teens
Note: Weight training and strength training are one in the same and will be used interchangeably in this section of the post.
You’ve done your research and you have decided to join a gym. Congratulations!
Being a teenager in this day and age can be pretty tough. When you’re bombarded by social media posts from men and women who look like they’ve been carved by Leonardo Da Vinci himself, it’s no wonder why you have suddenly found the motivation to begin looking and feeling great.
Strength training is an awesome way to begin a physically active lifestyle. Keep in mind that before engaging in any activity, make sure to get the go signal from your health practitioner first. Generally speaking, healthy teenagers can engage in weight or strength training. As long as there are no diagnosed health conditions like heart problems or seizures, there shouldn’t be an issue with beginning a weight training program.
Weight Training Versus Weight Lifting
Before we continue, we need to clarify a couple of things first.
Weight training is NOT weight lifting. It can be pretty easy to confuse the two, but they’re no two peas in a pod.
Weight training focuses on gaining and building body strength. It deals with the teenager’s developing musculoskeletal strength and its target is overall fitness.
Weight lifting, on the other hand, is a competitive sport. Its training is highly intensive and is not recommended to teenagers.
Teens should start working out for the right reasons — that is, to be physically healthy, become stronger, and reduce the risk of injury, especially while playing sports. Their aim should not to look bulky and resemble the Hulk by attempting to lift heavy weights.
A great weight training program for adolescents focuses on muscle toning by lifting light weights and doing high reps. A program that deals with heavy weights is best done by individuals who have already passed the puberty stage.
Begin a Program
Beginning a strength training program can be done quite easily, but it is always recommended to have an expert on board to help guide you along the way.
A strength training program involves resistance bands, free weights, gym machines, and one’s own body weight.
Before you get too excited and make a beeline towards the weights section, learning the proper technique first would be a good idea. Start by doing the exercise without any weight. Remember, the goal is to do the technique properly. An untimely visit to the emergency room should be avoided at all costs.Once you have gotten the exercises down pat, you can begin using light weights. A set of eight to fifteen repetitions sounds just about right.
As you move towards using barbells, dumbbells, and weight machines, having a spotter close by is highly advised. No matter how physically fit and strong an individual may be, there is always that chance that they can’t hurdle through that last rep. A spotter helps prevent you from injuries.
What is a Good Strength Training Program for Teens?
When a strength training program is tailored to the individual’s needs and bodily capabilities, then it can be considered a good fitness program to embark on. This is why we highly recommend getting a personal trainer as he or she will be able to create a routine that is focused on the teen’s goals.
The program should always begin with safety and proper technique in mind. This is the foundation to a successful workout program that teens will hopefully continue well into adulthood.
Rec Xpress wishes to be a part of your fitness journey and regardless of where you are in life. It is always never too late — or too early — to begin.