PDA

View Full Version : 6th grader



Ryan Hale
02-09-2009, 11:59 AM
What are your thoughts on a 6th grader and lifting weights? The parents asked me if he could come into the gym with me in the morning,2x a week,and lift with us.His older bro is in 8th grade,and does well.

We have all heard the pro vs cons on younger kids on lifting.But I still like to hear thoughts on the subject.It does two things,I can show the other coaches/parents whats being said,and it betters my eduacation on the subject.

Ryan Hale

Mercuryblade
02-09-2009, 01:07 PM
With proper supervision I see no reason why a 6th grader couldn't be in the weight room. Establishing good healthy habits at a young age is always a good thing.
Just remember that children don't always have the discipline and focus of adults, so you will really have to make sure he is utilizing proper form on his lifts so he doesn't get injured. Make it clear to the boy early on that there are improper and proper forms for doing lifts, and that he could hurt himself if he doesn't listen to you.

This is a pretty good article I found
http://stronglifts.com/does-weight-lifting-stunt-growth/
It doesn't say anything too profound but definitely has some solid basic guidelines.

teeroy
02-09-2009, 01:19 PM
The whole thing about kids lifting weights stunting growth has been debunked. It was based off of flawed research. This article describes the myth but I found this myth debunked in other places as well. Not that you specifically asked about this, but in case it comes up.

When researching this recently (my 3rd grader wanted to start lifting) the main points that I found were to ensure proper technique and keep the weights light. Before puberty kids don't have the hormones to grow muscle fast so don't expect that they will increase weights quicly.

http://www.teenbodybuilding.com/derek42.htm

Tom Mutaffis
02-09-2009, 05:19 PM
Ryan -

Despite what some research states I do believe that heavy training can stunt growth, as I never grew taller after I began training around 13 years old (8th grade). This was also due to poor coaching and could have been genetic so my circumstance might just be coincidence.

My thoughts are that if the 6th grader is looking to train for sports that they might be better off with plyometrics, speed training, and coordination drills. If they dedicate a lot of hard work to building great conditioning and agility then they will outperform many others on the field / court. Bodyweight exercises should not be harmful and pushups / pullups / dips can build great strength, for conditioning running stairs, sled pulls, sandbag carries, box jumps, sprinting, etc. are all great training.

I would say that a good approach would be to just keep things light and do endurance training with weights. This way the youngster can still build some muscle without having to worry about safety or possible long term effects.

That is my perspective.

tennisrox4
02-22-2009, 02:12 AM
^ + 1 ^

Davey
02-22-2009, 08:02 AM
6th grade is way too early to start weightlifting. However I think height has a lot to do with it. So how tall is the kid? If he's 5'1" than lifting weights is a bad idea however if the kid is in 6th grade and is 6'1" or 6'3" then there's nothing wrong with working out.

WillNoble
02-22-2009, 08:10 AM
Excellent books on the topic:

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=220&pid=954


http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=220&pid=73

VikingWarlord
02-22-2009, 10:01 AM
6th grade is way too early to start weightlifting. However I think height has a lot to do with it. So how tall is the kid? If he's 5'1" than lifting weights is a bad idea however if the kid is in 6th grade and is 6'1" or 6'3" then there's nothing wrong with working out.

If the kid is over 6 feet tall in 6th grade, something else is going on and lifting is the least of his concerns.

KingJustin
02-22-2009, 10:40 AM
I do not at all believe that weight lifting stunts growth.

That said, I think that for someone starting out, the best thing they can do is body weight exercises. For whatever reason, you can typically grow stronger on bodyweight stuff a bit faster than on weight stuff (from my experience, anyway). He might have to use -100 on the pull-up machine, but I bet within 6 months he can do pull-ups by himself. That seems unlikely on something like bench press. The bodyweight stuff usually also has more carry-over to sports and other lifts.

Additionally, I agree that to start off, good conditioning is what he should be aiming for. I like the crossfit style workouts for this. Or old-fashion Westside GPP. If you have a year's worth of training on conditioning, then (a) you will also realize significant strength gains, (b) you'll be comfortable with the movements, and (c) you'll set yourself up to progress very quickly once you start really focusing on weights.

So, I would take like...
Running, rowing, push-ups, reverse push-ups (basically rowing your bodyweight), sit-ups, knees-to-elbows, dips, pull-ups, bodyweight squats, incline/handstand push-ups, 1-leg squats, sandbag carries, and dumbbell swings, and just draw up a circuit to do every day. Have him work hard enough to where he's gassed when he finishes.

Oh, also, if he was legitimately dedicated/disciplined, and if you could coach it correctly, it would be very beneficial for him down the line if you coached him on the Olympic lifts with just a broomstick. And had him doing overhead squats (with weights, eventually). Just spend about 15 minutes every day working on the form for the lifts with the broom stick for like 2 years straight. Very few people would be that dedicated, but if you spent that much time, his form would excellent and he would eventually be a very competitive oly lifter, which has tremendous carry-over to so many sports.

samadhi_smiles
04-01-2009, 09:40 PM
what sixth grader is going to be enthusiastic about training with a broomstick for 2 years straight? :D

ct67_72
04-02-2009, 06:44 AM
I used weight training on and off growing up, probably since I was 8. my parents would yell at me because it would supposedly stunt my growth. I would do all kinds of dumbell stuff. also in middle school and all through high school. no to say that I did serious training, but I did something. and I dont believe there to be any adverse effect. Im actually about an inch taller than my brother and we look identical.

coachjburk
05-20-2009, 06:57 AM
I started weight training in 6th grade and had no adverse effects. When done correctly and the kid wants to there is nothing wrong with it. However it is not required for a 6th grader to develop athletically, nor will the fall behind others. Bodyweight movements, coordination, conditioning... there are so many activities at this age that will benefit a kid. Weights may or may not be appropriate - depends on the kid, the situation, the motivating factors

tomv
05-20-2009, 05:30 PM
I agree that weight training at two young an age can possibly hinder growth, simply from my own experiences with people. That being said I agree with Tom that bodyweight exercises, co-ordination drills and other skills will help a young athlete improve massively. Gymnastic exercises are fantastic for building power and co-ordination if you have the right equipment, even getting them to do dips, chins and pushups and other modifications of them.

Mercuryblade
05-20-2009, 07:22 PM
I agree that weight training at two young an age can possibly hinder growth, simply from my own experiences with people.

See some of the sources cited above.

Also how can you make that claim? Correlation doesn't implicate causation. Just because you know some short weightlifters doesn't mean they are short because of lifting.

Sensei
05-20-2009, 08:25 PM
There's absolutely nothing wrong with a 6th grader lifting with supervision, learning proper technique with reasonable weights in the 6-15 rep range. Establishing rep records and occasionally having kids try to beat them is a fun way to focus training. Bodyweight exercises are fine, but there's no reason that you must limit a young kid to them.

OLs - same thing. Keep the weight reasonable, but make the kid do nothing but work with a dowel and, unless the kid is unbelievably patient, they will learn to hate the OLs... I know this from personal experience - my father was an OLer and this was his approach. Sure, I learned how to OL, but I had to relearn it all over again when things started to get challenging. Maybe it was a faster adjustment because of all the dowel work, but I doubt it.

IMHO, most kids have no reason to be doing what most high school coaches call "plyos" at all. Bounding and agility drills on the field are fine and more than enough for kids if you want to build some reactive strength.

tomv
05-21-2009, 01:30 AM
See some of the sources cited above.

Also how can you make that claim? Correlation doesn't implicate causation. Just because you know some short weightlifters doesn't mean they are short because of lifting.

I make that claim simply from what I have observed. I stated that it was only from my own experience and thus in no way had any scientific basis.

heathj
05-22-2009, 12:42 AM
no depth jumps or intense heavy loading of the spinal cord.

Mercuryblade
05-22-2009, 10:18 AM
I make that claim simply from what I have observed. I stated that it was only from my own experience and thus in no way had any scientific basis.

I didn't mean to come off as being harsh. I'm just a really an empiricist.
It's not like sharing an opinion on something, you made a claim, and if you don't have substantial basis to make that claim you shouldn't have made it in the first place.

tnathletics2b
05-22-2009, 11:20 AM
Ryan,

I wrestled in 7th and 8th grade and gained a lot more muscle doing stairs for an 1 hour, 100s of up/downs, and pushups and squat jumps till people threw up- and then getting my butt smeared on a mat versus some friends who were working out. Granted, they could have been doing stuff wrong, but I tend to agree with the kid just getting in shape, playing sports, being a kid.

If the kid is going through puberty already, maybe not a bad idea to throw some light weights in there to piggyback on the raging testosterone, but otherwise, I'd tell him to wait a few years.

I coach middle school baseball and the thought of my 6th grade ballplayers wreaking their havoc in a weight room makes me shudder... Most of my kids probably couldn't even move the bar...

Cards
05-22-2009, 01:20 PM
Don’t the Chinese start training their weight lifters at a very early age? Like Sensei said, I don't see any issue with training a young adolescent as long as they are properly supervised and understand the importance of what they're doing.

schmitty199
05-26-2009, 11:00 AM
Ryan -

Despite what some research states I do believe that heavy training can stunt growth, as I never grew taller after I began training around 13 years old (8th grade). This was also due to poor coaching and could have been genetic so my circumstance might just be coincidence.

My thoughts are that if the 6th grader is looking to train for sports that they might be better off with plyometrics, speed training, and coordination drills. If they dedicate a lot of hard work to building great conditioning and agility then they will outperform many others on the field / court. Bodyweight exercises should not be harmful and pushups / pullups / dips can build great strength, for conditioning running stairs, sled pulls, sandbag carries, box jumps, sprinting, etc. are all great training.

I would say that a good approach would be to just keep things light and do endurance training with weights. This way the youngster can still build some muscle without having to worry about safety or possible long term effects.

That is my perspective.

Same for me, as soon as I started seriously lifting I stopped growing.. but on the other hand, im an inch taller then my brother, and my mom and her parents are pretty short. Probably genetically and just how it worked out with timing.

Honestly I wish I would of started seriously lifting a little earlier then I did, but I wouldnt worry about it to much in 6th grade. Just make sure the kids in as many sports as possible throughout middleschool, Football, Basketball/wrestling, Track, Soccer, Baseball.. Try it all out. Just make sure it doesnt turn into well I dont want to run track this year because id rather lift, stupidest thing you could possibly do at that age imo. I really regret giving up basketball and not going out for wrestling in high school..

Hazerboy
05-31-2009, 02:46 PM
As tempting as it is, do not take these anecdotal stories at face value. For every 1 person that shares their story about how they stopped growing once they started weightlifting, there could be 10 or 100 stories of people who did not. This sort of thing is why science exists.

From a force standpoint, I never understand why weightlifting was always shunned for younger athletes. Sure, you wanna make sure they have some basic ground work in first with bodyweight exercises, but up to a point the forces for bodyweight stuff greatly exceed that of weight training, or at least the weight a young kid is going to be handling. I'm pretty sure there I read a study on t-nation awhile back that looked at the forces handled for running, jumping, sprinting, -that sort of thing- and it showed that they greatly exceeded that of lifting weights, and more than likely they were at odd angles (shear forces). This sort of thing definitely breaks down once you're deadlifting 700 lbs, but at that age they're not handling very heavy weights.

AllNatural72193
05-31-2009, 05:39 PM
If the kid is over 6 feet tall in 6th grade, something else is going on and lifting is the least of his concerns.

I was 6'2 in 7th grade and almost had a full beard! Yah working out young helps get you started off well you may not increase anywhere fast but it helps on form and proper use of each machine.