T Nation

Does age matter?

What age would be too young to be lifting at the gym?

You know, I was wondering this today. The legal aspects, that is. minors cannot enter into contracts, so they can’t really join. I am guessing that you are asking about physical maturity, however. brief, whole body routines, with close supervision, compound movements only…hmmmmmmmmmm. 14? Prob is, they want to jump to the evangelical, magical, secret combination routines and the like. That and work their arms to death.

Anything under 12 years, maybe.

To set a standard is to assume that every individual develops at the same rate, which we know is false. However, in general it would be around the age of 12. I have known people who are mature enough at 10. In fact, I had a friend all through grade school to high school that didn’t grow after age 11. He dominated sports at an early age because of his size.

It doesn’t matter really. Little kids put much more stress on their bodies just running around playing, falling down, jumping off of things etc. then they are able to in the weight room. Weight training does many more positive things, regardless of age, than negative. My only concern is that lifting weights improperly or with improper supervision almost immediately starts to destroy structural balance

i have two friends that are brothers…one was 14, nd the other 16…the 14 yearold had grown taller, so the 16 was worried and went to the doctor…the 14 year old had been swimming, and the 16 year old had been going to the gym…the doctor said told him that it was unhealthy to go to the gym under the age of 18…and that it can stunt your growth…or delay it…so a swimming pool would be the best gym for you right now if you are under 18…thats what i would say…try it out, and see what happens!!


i started at 10.

I was hoping no one would bring that up.

That doctor’s advice is completely crap. I started lifting at 15 and in that first year I gained more than 10 kg (22 pounds) and grew taller than I ever had in my whole life, probably due to increased appetite and protein intake. LIfting DOES NOT stunt growth. There’s is no evidence, scientific of empirical that proves otherwise

My only concern with age would be what Kelly Baggett said, and I also worry that if one is not mature enough to know his limitations one might end up injuring himself at the gym, therefore, proper supervision would be a must, at least for a while.

I meant I grew faster than I ever had, obviously I had to grow taller than ever before, otherwise it would be quite weird.

Thanks for all the input. I’m 17 years old in case you were wondering, and am lifting at the gym 3 times a week (mon, wed, fri) and swimming 2 (tue, thur). I’m 6,1 185 pounds and am reasoably fit, due to the fact that I only started working out 2 months ago, and have been getting a reasonable ammount of activity since about a year ago. Prior to that I’ve been sitting on my ass in front of a computer screen. I brought this topic up due to the fact that I heard that working out and training heavily is not good for me at my age (the person who said this wasn’t exactly in the best of shape thereself), but none the less I was curious as to whether there is any evidence against this. So far everything with my fitness goals are going great! :slight_smile: Thanks again.

I was reading an article from Poliquin that stated over the age of 12 only.

I am absolutely not an expert in this subject, but it would seem that developing other skills at younger ages (pre-teen) would be more important as far as future performance, both athletically and in the strength world. Skills such as speed, balance, agility, and general control of one’s bodyweight. I would think kids should focus more on playing both sports and playing in general than lifting. Obviously some kids will be “ready” before others, but I think any kind of lifting before high school should be based on the child’s bodyweight and on developing their form.

you could teach them the OLs at a young age like 10…

Do not let any of your children become swimmers… I have never met a swimmer in my entire life that wasn’t an arrogant prick who thinks he is superior to all other people. I am deadly serious about that. That being said, swimming also adds a few layers of skin that can detract from a ripped appearance.