When Should Your Child Start Weight Training?

From the Show: Train Your Body
Summary: Your child has expressed interest in weight training, but is it safe?
Air Date: 4/28/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Michael F. Bergeron, PhD, FACSM
bergeronMichael F. Bergeron, Ph.D., FACSM is the President & CEO of Youth Sports of the Americas, Birmingham, AL, as well as Executive Director of the National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute. Internationally recognized for his research and leadership in exercise-heat stress and youth athletic health, Dr. Bergeron is a Fellow and past Trustee of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and served a four-year term as a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Medical Advisory Committee for Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. and the Academic Advisory Board for the International Olympic Committee postgraduate Diploma Program in Sports Medicine. Dr. Bergeron serves as an Editorial Board member for the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and Journal of Athletic Training. He also serves as a clinical and scientific consultant to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) professional tour medical services and Heat and Hydration Advisor to Major League Soccer (MLS). Dr. Bergeron has worked with numerous youth, collegiate, and professional athletes on appropriately and safely enhancing athletic capacity and resilience by providing individualized and sport-specific training and nutrition/hydration guidance, with a particular emphasis on preparation, competition, and recovery strategies in the heat and helping athletes to avoid exertional heat illness and injury. Because of his recognized expertise and reputation among athletes, coaches and sport and sports medicine governing bodies, Dr. Bergeron has been regularly featured on myriad national television and radio shows, as well as in numerous online and print media and publications.
When Should Your Child Start Weight Training?
While children have traditionally been encouraged to participate in aerobic activities such as swimming and bicycling, a compelling body of evidence indicates that strength training can also be a safe and effective method of exercise for children, provided that appropriate guidelines are followed.

The risks associated with strength training are not greater than other sports and activities in which children regularly participate.

However, the key is to provide qualified supervision, age-specific instruction and a safe training environment. As in many sports, accidents can happen if children do not follow established training guidelines.

Strength training is a specialized method of conditioning that requires qualified supervision, appropriate overload, gradual progression, and adequate recovery between exercise sessions.

Michael F. Bergeron, PhD, discusses childhood weight training and the best ways to keep your child safe while training.