T Nation

How Young is Too Young

OK I am interested in working out but I have heard that if you work out at too young of an age, it will affect and potentially damage your growth plates. Is this true? If so how old should you be before you start working out? I have worked out using machines for the past 6 months to get teh form down and I have recently switched to free weights. I work out with about 70-80% of my max out weight. I am 13 years old and i weigh 120 pounds. I have very little body fat and I am in good physical condition.

It depends, how old are you?

Well, its hard to say what year is too young. We have had posters (parents) here with children as low as 13 hitting the gym.
Here are some of those threads…
http://www.T-Nation.com/gsaSearch.do?q=young&sc=T-Nation&n=10&s=10

[quote]johnster988 wrote:
OK I am interested in working out but I have heard that if you work out at too young of an age, it will affect and potentially damage your growth plates. Is this true? If so how old should you be before you start working out?[/quote]

How young are we talking?

[quote]Brendan Ryan wrote:
johnster988 wrote:
OK I am interested in working out but I have heard that if you work out at too young of an age, it will affect and potentially damage your growth plates. Is this true? If so how old should you be before you start working out?

How young are we talking?

[/quote]

i am 13 years old

You’ll be fine. I started at 13 for HS football…

although I’m only 5’7, so who knows.

Seriously, you’ll be fine.

Well, I just turned 41 Thursday, so legally anyone under 18 would be dicey…oh, were we talking about something else?

Lifting actually aids in bone growth strength and density. Resistance training at a young age is GOOD activity is GOOD you will be more healthy and your bone will be as I stated denser as they sjould be and late in life from the density formed now you will be less prone bone density probbs and deterioration.

Keep your weights lower 8-12 rep range for several years. get a solid base formed.

I am 31 and I started working out when I was 13. I haven’t suffered any adverse physical side effects. I am 6’1", and based on the spacing in my joints when I was young, it was predicted that I would be around 5’11". So I would say it didn’t effect my final height. Additionally, weight training has been one of the most positive aspects of my life and I expect it will continue to be that way.

Read as much as you can of the articles on this website. I envy you this resource starting out. When I was your age all I had was the advice of football coaches and what I could pick up from a book on weightlifting my parents bought for me.

I read somewhere that about 16 is good to start squating and big lifts like that and deadlifts but younger than that just perform lighter lifts that dosent put as much stress on your body.

I started when I was about 14 and my favorite exercise have always been squats and I’m 6"5 now… Don’t worry. You can get started but listen to your body. If something causes any pain don’t do it.