Training program for 13-year old?
- 09-09-2010, 02:46 PM
Training program for 13-year old?
My little brother turned 13 half a year ago and has been asking to start going to the gym with me. I'm trying to figure out the best training routine for him. I'm thinking a 3 or 4 day/week full body split with each day consisting of 2 exercises for each major muscle group and then 1 exercise each for the smaller muscles (delts, bis, tris, calves). The rep range I'm thinking about is 8-10 for the larger muscles and 10-12 for the smaller ones.
Any advice/suggestions for training somebody so young? The kid's almost 5'9" already, and has been essentially a natural athlete his whole life, excelling at any sport he picks up..
- 09-09-2010, 02:56 PM
I, for one, don't think it'd be a bad idea. Focus on compound movements but have him start out with just the bar and all movements except the deadlift (85 lbs.) and have him progressively add on to the load (that's what she said) in 5-10lb. increments like anyone else should.
09-09-2010, 03:52 PM
maybe keep away from squats and deads, since hes still probably growing, although at my HS we started lifting at 13 for football and I still grew 4-5 inches.
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09-09-2010, 03:58 PM
I'm not going to give him any movements that put downward pressure on the spine to avoid any compression issues -- just to be safe. This means no squats, no overhead presses, and likely no deadlifts. He's been looking up to me training for a long time, so I'm sure we'll be able to introduce those movements when he's 15 or 16 and has had some experience training.
Other than that, how does the original split sound for a beginning trainee?
09-09-2010, 04:39 PM
green light here
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09-09-2010, 09:32 PM
First, the notion that lifting weights will close growth plates and stunt growth is a myth.
here are some primary research studies that support my above statement:
Micheli, L. (1988). Strength training in the young athlete. In E. Brown & C. Branta (Eds.), Competitive Sports for Children and Youth (99-105). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Faigenbaum, A., Draemer, W., Cahill, B., Chandler, J., Dziados, J., Elfrink, L., Forman, E., Gaudiose, M., Micheli, L., Nitka, M., & Roberts, S. (1996). Youth Resistance Training: Position Statement Paper and Literature Review. Strength and Conditioning, December.
Rians, C., Weltman, A., Cahill, B., Janney, C., Trppett, S., & Katch, F. (1987). Strength training for prepubescent males: Is it safe?. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 15(5), 483-489.
Gumbs, V., Segal, D., Halligan, J., & Lower, G. (1982). Bilateral distal radius and ulnar fractures in adolescent weight lifters. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 10(6), 375-379.
Gray, M., & Young, L. (1986). Weight training and the prepubescent athlete. The Journal of Applied Research in Coaching and Athltetics, 1(3), 201-211.
Hamill, B. (1994). Relative safety of weight lifting and weight training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 8, 53-57.
And here is a quote from Dr. Fred Hatfield (aka. Dr Squat)
Did you know that running and jumping from 4 feet (think about how many times you jumped out of trees as kids) puts more stress on the growth plates than squatting 100% body weight?The Development Of Bones
Bones offer much more than simply the frame of the body. In addition, they also are important for protection of vital organs (such as the brain and central nervous system), storage of many nutrients (including calcium and phosphorus), allow the muscles something to pull on for movement, and they are also responsible for red blood cell development. In the human embryo, the skeleton is composed of either fibrous membranes or hyaline cartilage. The ossification process (whereby these fibrous membranes and cartilage gradually evolve into bone), actually starts as early as six weeks after conception. Two types of ossification have been identified:
• Intramembranous ossification: The simpler of the two processes, intramembranous ossification is responsible for the formation of the flat bones of the roof of the skull, the lower jawbone, and most of the collarbones. Intramembranous ossification occurs when osteoblasts (cells that are responsible for bone formation) begin to cluster in the fibrous membrane of the embryonic “skeleton”. This cluster site is called the center of ossification. The osteoblasts next secrete intercellular fibrous substances which form a matrix or framework in which calcium salts are deposited (a process known as calcification). eventually, numerous calcified cluster fuse onto the latticework of spongy bone. The spaces between the clusters (called “trabeculae”) begin to full with red marrow. Eventually, the outer layers of spongy bone will be reconstructed into compact bone. • Intracartilaginous ossification: This process is responsible for most bone growth in the body. Intracartilaginous ossification is most readily apparent in long bones, which are composed of the diaphysis, or long central shaft, and the epiphysis, or ends of the bone. Intracartilaginous ossification begins at the diaphysis, when blood vessels penetrate the perichondrium (a fibrous membrane that covers the cartilage). Upon vascularization, the perichondruim is called the periosteum, and the cartilage forming cells (called chondrocytes) become osteoblasts. The osteoblasts secrete a ring of fibrous substance around the diaphysis, which subsequently becomes bone. As ossification becomes nearly completed in the epiphysis and the diaphysis, a ring of cartilage remains between the tow structures. This ring is called the “growth plate”. This plate serves to allow the long bones to continue to lengthen as your child grows.
A complex process? Yes, it is! But there is one important part you should definitely be familiar with. The epiphyseal growth plates are fully replaced by bone between the ages of 15 and 19, although the process may continue into the mid twenties. Young athletes who engage in repetitious, high - stress activities may experience injury to these growth plates, disrupting later growth. This growth plate is much weaker than the bone which surrounds it as well as the ligaments (up to 2 to 5 times weaker than ligaments and much more so than bones). Excessive trauma in the form of running as well as skills and situations in sports such as basketball, football and baseball involves potential damage to these growth plates. The key to preventing such damage is through proper conditioning. The inclusion of a supplemental resistance program assists in strengthening those joints that will be subject to trauma. the specific “loading” of the stress through resistance training also helps stimulate normal growth and development of the underlying bones. There is evidence that prolonged trauma to the joint may result in injury to the growth plates as well. Long distance runners and little league pitchers are particularly at risk due to repeated trauma to their growth plates. The key is variation and alliterating your child’s activities, which will change the load and stress on their skeletal system.
The Growth And Development Of Muscle Mass
At birth, your child’s muscle mass will make up approximately 25% of their weight. This percentage will nearly double by the time they reach their adult years. Due to increased testosterone production during puberty, boys experience a greater increase of muscle mass during this time as compared to girls. However, muscle mass in girls during and before puberty is still present. The increase in muscle mass appears to be a result of each individual muscle fiber becoming larger rather than an increase in the number of muscle fibers. As bones grow longer, the length of each muscle fiber also increases. Peak muscle mass is seen around the age of 18 to 25 in males and 16 to 20 in females. Continued muscle growth, of course is possible with the aid of resistance exercise and careful dietary practices which are designed to promote muscle growth. Now comes a topic of great debate among exercise scientists, as well as those who practice exercise science without the needed information to do so: “Is strength - training safe and effective for children?” This is a topic in which exercise scientists frequently disagree. Let’s look at the pro and con opinions of some noted exercise scientists (as well as our rebuttal):
Dr. Ken Cooper:
“I don’t recommend the use of weights or other apparatus by a child until at least age 10, and in most cases after age 12.”
Dr. Cooper is known as “The aerobic guru” and his advise is well sought - after. Apparently Dr. Cooper feels that weight - resistance exercise is potentially damaging to the growth plates found in the bones of kids. While this is true, this danger is also present when kids engage in long distance running. As we stated earlier, the key is variation of exercises, as well as proper supervision.
Thomas Kurz, M.Sc. (quoting a study by Sulmitsev, in which arch height was measured during lifts) :
“11 and 12 year olds can safely lift 30% of body weight; 13 and 14 year olds can use up to 50%; and 15 and 16 year olds can use up to 100%. Kurz says that the growth processes of the long bones is complete at age 17.”
Two thoughts on this quote. First, what kinds of lifts? For example, very few if any people can safely perform a biceps curl with 100% of their body weight, while at any age squatting 30, 50 or 100% of their weight is not dangerous. Second, “the growth processes of the long bones is complete at age 17” is a general statement. Bone growth can continue into the child’s twenties.
Charlie Francis (Olympic track and field coach):
“Another myth that comes to mind is that power - related work can not and should not be performed by children and pre - adolescents. The fact is that kids routinely do more power - related work such as throwing stones, climbing ropes and trees, jumping, and so forth. They do so safely. The key is that the child himself determines how much of this activity is safe, not a coach or parent.”
Here is a keen observation by perhaps one of the greatest coaches of all time! We would like to add that weight - resistance training be supervised by a certified fitness trainer or strength coach for any age group, is it is potentially dangerous for adults as well.
Jack Wilmore and David Costill:
“Generally, the youngster will adapt well to the same type of training routine used by the mature athlete. But training programs for children and adolescents should be designed specifically for each age group, keeping in mind the developmental factors associated with that age.”
Amen! But keep in mind that chronological age is not the only determinate of maturity. Furthermore, we would like to extend this advise to adults as well. Your program and that of your child should be specifically designed for the user.
Dr. Paul Ward (From The Encyclopedia of Weight Training):
“The results of the small amount of research that has been completed regarding the utilization of weight training in prepubescent and pubescent children have produced evidence that weight training for these ages is strongly indicated. This research evidence combined with empirical evidence plus the findings in a number of national physical fitness surveys that demonstrate the strong need for strength development in our your boys and girls, is compelling confirmation that weight training programs are not only safe and effective for prepubescent and pubescent children but must be vigorously pursued...”
Again, proper supervision and program design is the key.
Here is our stand on resistance - training for kids: When weight training programs are properly conceived, organized, and implemented and the proper equipment is available there is no reason to believe that injuries will occur or that the child will not benefit. The existing research evidence and empirical observations have shown that weight training is safe and effective at any age. The key to success of any resistance - training activity is the construction of a scientific program along with adequate supervision. With the proper equipment (meaning it is adaptable to their physical dimensions) and supervision, your child can begin to use reasonable resistance work at any age.
If you really want weight training to benefit your brother (one of my clients I started at 14, and is now 20 and deadlifting 600 at 5'11, 210 lb) you need to focus on movement mechanics. The first 3-6 months should be predominantly body weight and ancillary movements. He'll need to learn to squat correctly. And if you analyze his squat, you'll more than likely see a host of muscular imbalances that need to be corrected. The same will go for pushups, pull ups and inverted rows. Once you have adressed and started to correct these imbalances you can then move him into resistance training. Again, much emphasis should be placed the first year not on increasing weight, but on training the movement, developing good motor programming and technique, with gains in size and strength secondary. After the first year, you can start to focus more on size and strength gains, with still constant emphasis on movement mechanics - a special emphasis is placed on this in adolescents since their limbs and body structure is changing in size with puberty, and as such, coordination is altered.
09-09-2010, 10:20 PM
09-09-2010, 10:54 PM
With regards to imbalances, that's a definite point. Too many people far too often overlook imbalances, particularly in the shoulders.
Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
09-09-2010, 11:55 PM
You look like you have a good outline for him. The only thing I would say is stick to basic lifts and perfect his form.
10-08-2010, 07:36 PM
There are several trainers that seem to favor bodyweight work for a good period of time before ANY bar is picked up. Red's got some great advice there.
Down the road you could do Rippetoe's Starting Strength.
10-08-2010, 08:15 PM
Red, you're spot on. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the kid will go that way. Trying to get a 13 year old to work on movement patterns is a little impractical to me. Goblet squats, overhead squats, overhead pressing, deadlifts, and swings would all be great for the kid. Pushups/pullups are a given, and at his age, he should be able to do them no problem.
If he's that interested in working out, put together some high intensity barbell complexes for him. That way he's lifting weight, although lighter, and getting some strength and conditioning out of it.
Doing a bodypart split, blah blah blah, bodybuilder routine is only going to set the kid up for injuries and imbalances later in life. He doesn't need accessory work. Don't major in the minors. Get him on to big exercises with big payoffs. Working lateral raises and curls/pushdowns is only going to screw the kid up.
10-08-2010, 11:08 PM
Kudos to him for wanting to lift. That's awesome. I second the squats and deads notion. Add bench press and pull-ups and he's golden. I'd have him do a couple sets of each of those twice a week and leave it at that.
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