BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Jack Werther, Club Fit's Parisi Speed School director, discusses strength training and the importance of having supervision:
From the moment one sits up in the crib, they begin strength training. Strength training is simply a form of physical activity by which muscular fitness is improved by working against an external force.
Strength training can take many forms, such as lifting free weights, push-ups, standing up from a seated position or sprinting. Because strength training can take so many forms, it is beneficial for all ages from birth until death with one caveat that it must be done correctly and appropriately.
There is no reason for an 8-year-old to be on a bench trying to press double their body weight, or in the rack trying to squat for a new PR - it’s simply counterproductive.
At some point in time that may in fact be something that is appropriate, however, at the onset of every strength training journey there are two constants: begin with body weight exercises and have proper supervision.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), weight training can commence as early as 7 years old. While physiologically that may absolutely be correct, how many 7-year-olds do you know that can perform a push-up or squat utilizing absolutely perfect form?
My guess would be none. Once an athlete has mastered the movement patterns with body weight, it is absolutely appropriate to add external resistance with proper supervision. Proper supervision is imperative not only to make sure that everything is done safely, but correctly.
There is a big difference between lifting weights and exercising your muscles with weights. Proper coaching ensures the latter; maximizing results and reducing the potential for injury.
Learn more about Parisi Speed School at Club Fit.