Facts & Fallacies of Fitness.

Written by Jake Giannakis.

The more I work with student athletes, the more I realise the limited knowledge parents and their children have on the long term athletic development (LTAD). This is such a huge topic with many misconceptions hiding in the thoughts of those involved.
This 3-part article will be broken down to cover just a few topics in the LTAD model.

As a Strength and Conditioning Coach, I’ve noticed a typical trend when talking to parents for the very first time. The conversation usually goes along the lines of; “I don’t want my kids lifting weights because it will stunt their growth” and usually mention something about how unsafe it is for them. My response; “You couldn’t be further from the truth”. So, for all those reading along, lets break down one of the biggest misconceptions the fitness industry presents.

It is physiologically impossible to stunt the growth of kids and adolescents by undertaking in resistance training activities. What most parents don’t realise is the load (amount of stress on the body) that their kids face in the gym is substantially less than what they face on the court or playing field. Furthermore, the load kids experience in the gym is in a controlled space compared to the highly chaotic nature of most sporting environments. Things such as playing surface, weather conditions, collisions and impacts are all highly variable and are out of our control. Not to say kids shouldn’t be playing sport, but when parents don’t think twice about registering their children in sport poses a concern, especially when you compare the risk of injury and load placed on the body. Sport outweighs the gym every time.

It is physiologically impossible to stunt the growth of kids and adolescents by undertaking in resistance training activities.

Enough with the negatives. It’s time to talk about the benefits youth resistance training has on the LTAD model.  

Resistance training will improve:

  1. Muscle tissue
  2. Bone tissue
  3. Cardiovascular system (endurance)
  4. Strength (Landing, changing direction)
  5. Power (Sprinting, jumping)
  6. Hormone regulation (keeping those mood swings limited)

By improving the above mentioned characteristics, the risk of injury in the sporting environment significantly decreases. In conclusion, starting structured resistance training at an early age sets children and adolescents up for a physically active lifestyle, whilst minimising the risk of injury and disease.

If you have any questions regarding any of the information presented, please feel free to get in contact with The Academy team. 

Starting structured resistance training at an early age sets children and adolescents up for a physically active lifestyle, whilst minimising the risk of injury and disease.

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