Saying that weight training will stunt a 16 year-old’s growth is the oldest wives tale in history! Provided that he is using proper technique and rep schemes, he will be fine. It’s time that society starts to commend younger kids for getting into weight training rather than frowning upon the kids because they simply don’t understand what it entails. For example, I help out with a local summer program that introduces 6-9 graders to the concepts of strength training and applying it to their sport goals. Without fail, we always get one father who signs his son up without asking the kid’s mother first, and she always winds up making a big deal of it, claiming that he’ll instantly turn into the incredible hulk, start using steriods, stunt his growth, and impede his development. The justification that we always use to calm her (and sadly enough, the kid’s doctor, who the mother persuades to call us out of concern) is that kids perform variations of weight training every day. For instance, how many times does a kid sit up from a chair each day (comparable to a squat), kneel down to pick something up (lunge), kick a soccer ball (leg extension), or throw a chest pass in basketball (seated chest press)? The reason that people discourage such activities is a reluctance to even learn about what it is they’re opposing. My suggestion would be to find a local trainer who practices what he preaches. The personal trainer profession is constantly ridiculed because it is full of people who have no idea how to think outside of the box. They simply spit out whatever they read in their books- I guarantee you everyone on this forum could teach the kid how to train better than one of these people. Anyway, try to find a trainer with a background in either competitive athletics or better yet, bodybuilding. If this person starts talking about the food guide pyramid, walk out of his office, and find someone new. Most importantly, stress to the kid that if he doesn’t want to start out with a trainer, he should be careful of what he reads in most muscle magazines, as the routines in them are primarily geared toward bodybuilders who do use steroids. As such, he would be on track to start overtraining. Teach him that weight training isn’t like baseball, where you can take 1000 ground balls and always improve. More sets is only good to a certain point in this area, which makes it a science as much as a sport. I remember an article titled something like “Top Ten things you can do to F— up in the Weight Room” a few issues back. A search at the main page would turn it up. Most of all, tell your friend to learn along with him, and offer encouragement. After all, weight training is a lot better than selling drugs or hanging out on the streets. I admire you for seeking advice. Good luck.