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Busting 4 Common Myths About Strength Training for Adolescents and Teens

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Busting 4 Common Myths About Strength Training for Adolescents and Teens

Parents can be deterred from encouraging their children from training in the gym due to inaccurate information.

Strength training is a very important aspect of your adolescent's development and should be a top priority to encourage proper physical and neurological development and promote self-confidence.

Here are 4 common myths and the real truth about them.

1.  You can spot reduce fat

  • People hold fat in different places on their body and so it may seem that they are losing weight in those specific areas. However, there are no exercises that you can do that will actually make you lose weight in that area. Weight loss shouldn't be a major focus for young athletes as this can create an unhealthy relationship with exercise and food. Changing dietary habits to include predominately unprocessed foods and introducing regular strength training will lead to weight loss over time. Training muscles will give them definition when you lose the weight, but the only way to lose the fat is to be in a calorie deficit!

2.  Protein must be consumed within 30 minutes after your workout

  • The "anabolic window" myth has been debunked long ago but we still hear it spoken about. As long as you are getting protein in every meal, you'll be getting enough throughout the day. So having a meal with around 30g protein and some carbohydrates post workout is a good idea. Therefore you don't have to rush home from school or sport training to drink your protein shake or you'll lose all your gains!

3.  Lifting weights makes you bulky

  • Lifting weights build lean muscle along with improving posture, mental health and promotes a healthy body weight, amongst a long list of other benefits. Doing this from an early age will assist in improving bone density, which is very important during the growing years when your bones, ligaments and tendons are much more fragile. Bodybuilders train for years and do lots of unhealthy things to look as big as they do, so picking up a barbell won't turn you into a bulky monster.

4.  Lifting weights stunts your growth

  • Starting strength training from a young age will not stunt your growth. However, placing a heavy barbell on a child's back and asking them to squat is not the way to encourage proper development whilst going through the important growing stages of adolescence. Beginning by mastering the foundational movements with their body weight before progressing to coordination, problem solving and proprioception drills, will improve their motor control and set them up for heavier weights in the future. A child who has had this development from an early age will have a big advantage over another when starting lifting weights at the same age.

If you would like more information and support to help your young athlete perform at their best, contact us today.

Matt Hucul
Junior Strength Coach
Inner Athlete (AUS)

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