T Nation

Do Weights Stunt Your Growth?


I've heard from a good number of people that lifting weights may affect my growth. I'm 15 and 5ft 10 and I want to continue growing yet still stay strong and continue doing weights.'Weights affect growth' Is this myth and rumour? or is there some truth in this statement?


Will lifting weight, getting bigger and stronger stunt your growth?

I think not. I think you answered your own question.

You spine might compress when your doing heavy squats or deads...but it rebounds.

You'll be fine big guy :wink:


i heard similar things. i thought it was just the big compound lifts like squats and dead lifts that, if done with really heavy weights, can fuse the growth plates in the femur.

i might be wrong but as far as i'm aware it is true. but you can easily work around it.


the spine doesn't have the greatest potential for virtical growth. like i said, i might be wronge, but the greatest growth potential is in the femur and after puberty the growth plates in this bone fuse and further growth is impossible. but massive stressors on this bone cause it to thicken to take the load. this thickening can cause premature fusing in pre or peri pubecent people.


It can stunt your growth if you start doing a lot of lifting at a very early age before your growth plates are fully developed (anyone remember that 8 year old that they had a few shows on that had all that muscle mass...I hear he's about 5'2' tall now and grownup)...but you're way past that age.

And you will stop growing when you stop growing...I was 6'1" at your age...still am and weights had nothing to do with it (shot my was by growing 6" in one year).


you mean that little hercules kid? his dad was one sinistar character.

only one thing i would say, i thought the growth plates fused at around 18years old. some befor, some after. or else everyone would be the same hight they were when they were 8.


I've known people who had their growth spurt after 18. I was 6ft when I was 14 and am still 6ft now so I stopped growing a long time ago and I didn't regularly workout (benched for 4 months;thats about it) . But it wasn't till I turned about 21 when I started getting wider and somehow gained muscle mass without even lifting. Out of the blue people started asking me if I was working out. Maybe it was a second round of puberty lol.

Point being not everyone stops growing at the same time.


Thanks..I'll keep away from heavy squats or deads at the moment for a precautionary measure. I want to at least reach the 6ft mark as height is a large factor when it comes to gaelic football.


No. There is no truth whatsoever in this statement. Things like running and jumping place a lot more stress on growth plates than lifting, and we don't hear anyone saying not to do those activities.


The issue isn't heavy loading of the growth plates, it's heavy impact on the growth plates. If you drop a 250lb weight on your leg, and the break is near the growth plate, then yes, the plate can fuse shut and stop growing. It happened to my father, but it was a lifeguard stand, not a barbell. His left leg is maybe 1/4 of an inch shorter then his right. Basically, if you lift with proper form you will be fine. As PRCalDude pointed out, your plates take much more abuse from running and jumping then they ever will from heavy squats.


yes of course because throughout history (eg. last 10000 years) young kids were never subjected to physical stress from activities such as farming

here's a tip, ignore everything the media says about weightlifting and bodybuilding, you'll be a lot more sane that way


i stand corrected, after reading your post i desided to actually do a bit of reading and not realy just on what i've heard.

here is what i found:

perhaps the myth came from this study:

i got the information from here:

hay ho, i supose i learnt something today, even if i had to admit to being wrong.


Stunted growth from weightlifting is a myth.



I am currently 16, have been lifting for 2 years almost and have been squating and deadlifting for almost a year and a half. I was about 5 10' when I started and I am almost 6ft. I think that you will be fine.


It is impossible to tell whether not weight training stunts your growth.

Anyone that says it does or doesn't is just plain ignorant.

It would certainly not help you in growing taller, as your body will be using nutrients to grow muscle as well as in height.

Just be careful in the gym, and eat a lot.



"It still amazes me that parents won?t hesitate to get their young children (6-7 years old) involved in sports such as football, gymnastics, basketball and soccer, yet they feel that participating in a strength-training program is damaging to their children?s bone health and will stunt their growth. Nothing can be further from the truth.

The fact of the matter is that running, jumping and tackling can create loading on a child?s body which is up to ten times greater than most strength training exercises. In other words, the physical demands on a child?s body are far greater on the athletic field compared to the weightroom. Parents who don?t let their children participate in resistance training are actually increasing their children?s risk for injury on the athletic field.

There have even been position stands by such organizations as the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggesting that children can benefit from participation in a properly designed and supervised resistance training program. Position stands recommend that prepubescent children shouldn't lift maximal weights; they should lift weights that can be lifted for at least six repetitions with proper form.

Strength training in this manner can be the most potent exercise stimulus for bone growth and development. In fact, research has shown that young weightlifters have greater bone densities than individuals who don't lift. Thus, the positive benefits of resistance training for bone health, injury prevention and improved athletic performance are far greater than the risks."


"I alos think it comes dow nto the fact that all the great weightlifters at some point were small. This was because it gave them a genetic advantage. So people thought that lifting weights made you smaller. Though it's like being taller gives you a better chance of playing NBA ball (eg. shawn bradley).

People have taken this so far that I've actually had to explain to them that jumping and playing baketball will NOT make you taller."


Just make sure you eat plenty of good food. You're a growing boy to be sure. :slight_smile: