Garrison has been lifting weights and working out with me for 5 years or so.
He’s now 10.
Despite the fact that he’s 99% percentile for height for his age, he moves his body really well. Usually, when kids grow that fast, they end up moving like a newborn giraffe for a decade or so.
He has an intelligence in the weight room. He knows how to squat, bend, push and pull properly, whether he is using resistance or just his bodyweight.
He’s developed a love for fitness. He told me yesterday that the highlight of his day was working out with me.
He intrinsically knows that he needs to intentionally move his body everyday.
He’s literally a lifetime ahead of the curve in terms of his overall health, wellness and fitness.
Yet, with all of these “pros”, I can hardly keep up with the “but I thought kids weren’t supposed to lift weights” questions.
Kids absolutely should lift weights. They should learn technique using their bodyweight first. Then, when they can move their bodies well without external resistance, they can and should add a challenge to that.
You need to understand the use of fitness and weights in a broad way.
Fitness is training. Training means that we’re practicing movements and movement patterns.
When those movements get easier, we make them more challenging through the use of weights. This makes “life” easier through adaptations that your body undergoes.
It blows my mind that people will sign their kids up for other sports, but that weightlifting still carries a negative connotation. Weird that we have a massive problem with childhood obesity and lack of fitness.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THEIR GROWTH PLATES?!
A supervised weight room is about the least likely place a kid will experience a growth plate fracture. Study after study says that weightlifting is safe for kids. Growth plate injuries usually happen during a fall, usually during a sport, and usually to young boys, because we are more likely to hate gravity and dismiss its repercussions.
So please, spread the word. Kids should develop good fitness habits early. Kids should work out. When they are ready, kids should use resistance.