T Nation

16 Year old boys and training?

I have a friend who recently enrolled her 16 year old son at our gym. I was wondering if T-mag had ever published any articles about training someone at such a young age, as I was hoping to pass on some advice and some guidelines which she could follow, and have him follow in turn. My search turned nothing up, probably cause I wasn’t really sure what sort of a search string to enter.

Any info you could point me towards would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I was always told that training before you are done growing would stunt your growth. Just something to think about.

i started training when i was 16 and that year i gained 20 pounds and grew something like 7 cms and continued growing normaly im 180 cm now a lot taller than my parents, so based on my experience i would say that that stunting the growth thing is completely false.

There are some books on training kids at Dave Tate’s elite fitness site. Plus there is a whole lot of other KEWL stuff too.

I don’t believe growth stunting would occur at 16. I started training at 14. Now I’m 21, 6’ 225 8% bodyfat(I’m also a marine) But the main thing for someone young to do is not get too serious too soon. If they get into a program someone else designs then they will grow too hate it. Also as long as he is having a good tie being around the iron and the regulars he’ll probably fall in love with lifting. The only training advice I would give is a 5 day split 1 body part a day, chest, shoulders,legs,back,arms working traps on shoulder day and forearms on back day. And someone as fickle as a 16 year old can mix and match any variation in the training. I wish the young guy the best of luck. Please3 write back on his progress.

Might want to check out the “youth gone wild” aricle way back in T-mag. And no, it won’t stunt their growth. Millions of high school athletes have proven that myth to be just that- a myth. I wouldn’t let a young teen train to failure or max out though.

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.

read this site consistantly, you will learn how to train and train correctly. The most important thing you can do for the boy is to teach him how to eat. p\Pick a healthy diet from the Diet Manifesto, if you start this young man out correctly from the start he will thank you later enormously. Remember 1 thing you are what you eat, eat like a normal person and you will look and feel like a normal person. Eat like us and read this site and you will succeed, patience grasshopper.

I started at exactly 16. I put on about 20lbs in one year with 2inch height. Then I stopped growing, but that’s because I took a lot of AP classes my senior year and I didn’t sleep much. Anyway, my family is naturally short anyway, so I don’t think lifting really stunts growth… but that really doesn’t matter because we hit the gym at a young because we’re freakin puny-ass midgets anyway.

Lifting does not stunt your growth at all. If anything, you will grow more. After all, you are strengthening your bones and stimulating blood flow. Growth stunting is a myth.

I’ve been lifting since I was 10. I grew taller than my doctor predicted, and continue to grow at 16. A 16 year old doesn’t need to train any differently than a professional natural body builder. He will obviously start off with lower weight, but why use a low-intensity routine?