Weight-lifting stunts growth?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Anwolf, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Anwolf

    Anwolf Valued Member

    I want to start weight-lifting to increase my strength, but I've read that if you do it as a child (14) it can stunt your growth. I've checked on the internet, and it's all mixed opinions, so hopefully somebody here can give me a straight answer.
  2. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    As far as I know it is a myth. What you really need to worry about is lifting correctly. Lifting improperly can lead various health issues that are far more pressing then growth stunt.
  3. Anwolf

    Anwolf Valued Member

    Ok, thanks.
  4. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    Some of the more experienced members might be able to help you better.
  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    There are very, very few actual studies with hard data pertaining to anything most martial artists want to know in sports science. The data just isn't there... and often when the data does approach being useful it's still down to interpretation. Data on it's own means very little. The money behind sports science studies just isn't there compared to almost any other field of science.

    What has been shown time and time again in studies is that being active at a young age will definitely help to shape your bone density. The one chance you have in this life to influence heavily your bone density is in pre-pubescence prior to your growth spurt. That pretty much along with genetics defines your bone density profile for your life. It's the starting line.

    So that means more strenuous activities. More time playing, more time outdoors interacting with an unpredictable and unstable environment, more time ripping and tearing and just more physical activity all prior to your growth spurt make for better bone density.

    Weights aren't going to hurt when done properly. No kid is going into a serious round of deadlifting or squats at that age anyhow. That is some nonsense of the parents living vicariously through the child and obviously stupid and risky. But what a child does benefit from is from the positive environment provided by his parents. If a child sees the parents have a healthy lifestyle and are not shy about hard physical work then it prepares the child mentally and emotionally for life.

    Anyhow - that's my interpretation on what I've read, seen and lived.
  6. 6footgeek

    6footgeek Meow

    Am i the only one who saw the title preview and though of someone doing flips while juggling dumbels?
  7. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    At 14 there is sooooo much you can do with simply using bodyweight. Weights shouldn't be a thought yet. I"ve had countless PT clients near your age and all have benefited from bodyweight workouts. focus on that first. Use your body and let it take you as far as it can THEN decide how much weight you want to encorporate for yourself.
  8. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Stick with body weights until you're about 16.
    Then get onto a real program at 16. not going to the gym and doing random stuff.
  9. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Oh and start 100 meter and 400 meter sprints.
    You'll be a beast by the time you reach high school
  10. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    The concept of using bodyweight is fine... in fact it's commendable. But I think saying only bodyweight till your 16 is overstating the case. I'm curious Zaad... what are you using to set 16 as the age parameter for weighted workouts?

    I'm interested to see what you're basing this on.
  11. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I think Slip has it covered when he says get out and do kids stuff.
    Ride and fall of off your bike, climb trees, learn to swim, get into rough and tumble with your mates and so on.
    I have students who struggle to do a forward roll from a standing start and I think there will be an entire generation of adults who will not have developed the motor skills we did. This is in part due to the playstation/x box era and partly down to parents fears in regard to allowing their kids out of range.

    I recall nearly breaking my neck on the trampoline, several bike crashes, teaching myself to do a front somersault, neck springs and front flips. Now though I just don't see kids outside doing the same.
  12. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  13. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

  14. Anwolf

    Anwolf Valued Member

    Ok, thanks for all the input guys. So at the moment I should just be continuing with press-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and other exercises that don't require equipment?
  15. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    I'm saying to avoid super heavy lifting and strength training.
    I've been using weight since i was a in my early teens and so have most my friends. but never working to my max.
    I don't see that many trials done on kids, because its unethical, so theres no point testing the theory with a 14 year old kid.

    Kids wrestling in schools lift other kids into the air pretty regularly, judo involves fireman's carries. thats pretty much lifting.

    Most kids that start with weights will pump their biceps and abs like me and most my friends did. I'd avoid that and get on a proper program. which most people dont have for kids.

    Therefore bodyweights have a good strength development program for anyone.
    For a kid to learn handstand push ups is great for overall body co-ordination.

    At 16 most kids have a decent amount of development - their bone structure doesnt change that dramatically as previous years - therefore lifting heavy and strength training is usually okay.

    But yeah my main reasons are that co-ordination is better learnt at a young age and most kids dont know how to lift properly so injury likely to happen.

    @Anwolf - learn to handstand and get a strength coach.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  16. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Again... you are basing this one what though? What is hitting a single-rep max in your teens that has been shown to be detrimental? I'm curious what people base this rationale on.

    Umm.. what? How is a properly designed sports science study unethical because it's done on someone from a particular age group?:confused:

    Agreed - which is a great thing for kids to be involved in. Sports.

    Yes but this misses the point. Kids with proper programs can gain benefits from lifting while they are young. No one is saying kids have to work isolation routines.

    Yep agreed.

    If they don't have proper coaching then yes injury can result. But I'm still curious where the specific number 16 came from. I don't really think the number holds any weight. No pun intended.
  17. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Lack of studies really. If there were more studies, there wouldnt be an argument.
    It's like what you said about deadlifting. if they did a study showing a serious round of deadlifts are okay for kids, there wouldnt be an argument.

    It's like performing drug trials on kids. If you mess up the study badly enough, you mess up the kid for life. At least adults are consenting and fully understand the risks
    If the parents agree and so does the kid - go for it.
    But as with the german doping programs - the parents, coaches and government agreed so they tested it on the kids, without children fully understanding the risks involved.
    Years later those kids had a range of hormonal problems and permanent changes to there bone structure.
    Obviously things have changed and proper studies are designed now but where to draw the line?

    of course. proper programs as i said.

    Actually 16 is more of a number that gyms propagate, because of insurance concerns, they dont want kids who dont know what they're doing getting injured. as i said. get a proper coach to show you technique and design programs.
    I was assuming Anwolf wanted to just get weights and start training without a coach.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  18. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    Any weight lifting can cause damage, just the same as it can cause irreparable damage to muscles. The growth plates arguement is often used, yet damage to growth plates is primarily caused by impact, not the kind of stress imposed by resistance training. The primary cause of growth plate fractures is competitive sports, accounting for a third of injuries. Does this mean that football will cause damage to the growth plates? Maybe you should ask Peter Crouch, he could have been huge. There is a secondary cause of damage, that of chronic stress of overuse. However, a 3 days a week routine with plenty of rest won't even start to approach chronic stress levels nor overuse, especially if the trainee is using timed deloading phases every 10 weeks or so.

    The only tenuous link left is that steroid abuse often leads to problems in bone growth as has been seen in children who are taking prescribed courses over a long time period. If an adolescent thinks that he's reached the limit of what he can achieve and starts using AAS then it's his fault.
  19. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    From 11 years old I remember walking 2 miles to school with a bag load of science books, on one shoulder and a bag with with a load of gym kit in the other bag. I never did 'weight lifting' until I was 15, but I'm sure those bags came up to 10kg a lot of the time.
  20. John R. Gambit

    John R. Gambit The 'Rona Wrangler

    There is no basis to that. That's frankly quite absurd. Just make sure you have proper instruction and supervision when you begin. Form is everything in weight lifting. When I was 14 I started weight lifting with my high school football team. You might consider a similar approach. Best of luck to you.

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