Youth Personal Trainer – Common Concerns of Parents
I am an Edwardsville youth personal trainer and I have been training young athletes for a few years now. When talking to interested parents, I sometimes find them hesitant to let their child start training. The number one thing that parents tell me is that they do not want their child lifting weights.
My response is always, “why?”.
Most parents tell me that they have heard that lifting weights can be dangerous for children and can potentially stunt a child’s growth. To be perfectly honest, they are not entirely wrong. If a child is lifting weights incorrectly, that could affect the growth plates causing the child’s growth to be stunted.
But, if done properly, lifting weights can be safe and even beneficial for a child’s development.
Does Lifting Weights Effect a Child’s Growth?
That depends on two key factors.
- Is the child correctly lifting weights?
- Is the child getting the necessary nutrition for their development?
As I mentioned previously, weight-lifting is only dangerous if it is done incorrectly. With proper form, suitable weight, and a balanced routine, it is perfectly acceptable for your child (of an appropriate age) to incorporate weight training into their fitness plan. With that being said, your child should definitely not be left to deduce the complexities of weight training on their own. The best plan of action is to seek professional help from an experienced youth personal trainer who can get your child started on a personalized fitness plan that fits their needs and abilities.
One issue that I often run into is parents who want to train their children on their own. It is sometimes hard for the parents to come to terms with, but most parents just aren’t equipped to properly train their child. Personal training is an exact science, especially when it comes to training children. If done incorrectly, you can put your child at risk of injury or even affect their growth. Even if you are an experienced athlete or weight lifter, your routine is probably tailored to a developed adult, not a person who is still going through adolescent growth; and the training that your high school football coach probably isn’t that great/safe either. So, it’s best to always seek help from a youth personal trainer to ensure the safety of your child. The best type of youth personal trainer is comfortable working with kids, know the limits of their clients, and is never afraid to admit when they aren’t 100 percent sure of something. Find a trainer who is knowledgable, can gauge your child’s abilities and limits, and is also open to discuss your child’s routine and progress with you throughout their training program.
After finding an experienced youth personal trainer, the next step to ensuring that your child meets their full growth potential is implementing a balanced and healthy diet.
If your child does decide to engage in any sort of strength training, they need to eat accordingly. Not only will they be adding muscle mass to their body, which requires adequate nutrients to build, but they are also going through the natural growing process, which is also very nutritionally demanding.
What Is The Best Diet For a Youth Athlete?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question, but there is a right way to do it.
Feed your child nutritionally dense foods that will facilitate growth. No fast foods or processed foods. A growing child, especially a young athlete, needs to consume plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrient-dense natural foods to keep up with the body’s demand for their growth. Incorporate plenty of proteins, vegetables, and fruits to ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need to promote muscle gain and natural growth.
What is the Best Exercise Plan for a Youth Athlete?
After you have found a personal trainer and incorporated a healthy nutritional diet, make sure you understand and stay involved with your child’s exercise program.
For my youth clients, I like to incorporate an exercise program with high repetition, focused on muscular hypertrophy. This type of training will aid in the overall development of your child. Now, if your child wants to get better at a specific sport, the will need to incorporate muscle-building exercises, especially for muscles that are targeted in that sport. I have found that kids won’t try as hard during a session when they aren’t enjoying themselves, which can lax their attention and put them at a higher risk of injury. As a youth personal trainer, I choose effective muscle-building exercises that will still make the sessions fun for your child. That way, they are getting a good workout that helps facilitate muscle growth, while having fun and learning.
Safe Age for Child To Lift Weights?
Studies regarding the appropriate age for children tend to very, and evidence is inconclusive as far as an exact age. Generally speaking, they all say that any sort of weight training program should not be done before the age of seven, although it is unclear why these studies have landed on this age.
My personal recommendation would be to wait until about the time that your child starts puberty before they begin lifting weights so that a trainer can help them with body awareness while they are growing.
Why Hire an Edwardsville Youth Personal Trainer
I am just here to dispel a long-standing myth that is limiting your child’s ability to grow as an athlete. Your child can and will perform at a much higher level with the appropriate training and, yes, this includes lifting weights.
If you are interested in youth personal training for your child, come into E’ville Fitness and speak to me or another Edwardsville youth personal trainer about starting a youth personal training plan. Whether it’s stepping up their game or facilitating healthy growth, a training plan with weight training, supervised by an Edwardsville youth personal trainer, is sure to benefit your child.
By: Jared Roosa, E’ville Fitness Trainer