T Nation

Overweight Kids


#1

Did not know whether to post this in the beginners section or here, figure this would be a goo place. I volunteer at the YMCA and was asked by a few parents to design/help there children lose weight. I have known these kids for quite some time since volunteering and would really like to help. They are not obese but do carry some extra weight.

What would be a good place to start calorie intake wise and what kind of training routine other than group activities would be good?

EDIT: They are not little kids they are 5th-7th graders. Most of them are girls.


#2

Have them eat basic meals carbs are fine.
Make them play games.


#3

Educate the parents first, they're obviously failing too.


#4

Kids in the age of 10-15 years old have calorie requirements that vary between 2000-2500 calories depending on gender. I wouldn't have them focus so much on calories as much as helping educate the parents on how to make cleaner meals for them. Make sure they aren't eating food that comes from a window several times a week, etc. I think kids that become more active, and eat a 75% clean diet, are naturally going to lose weight and develop a better metabolism. If you have kids focusing on exact calories at a young age I would worry about the possibility of them developing some eating disorders.


#5

+1
I was a super active fat kid. My parents knew nothing about nutrition.


#6

Point and laugh at them


#7

Kids in that age group are going to require 40-90 kcal/kg/day. However, as has been stated previously, I would help educate both the parents and the children on healthier eating options. The gross calorie requirement will be met, rest assured. The quality of food is what is most likely lacking. By choosing healthier foods, their goo will be peeled.

As for their exercise program, 5th to 7th graders can start lifting. Start them with something basic. 3 days a week: Squat, Bench, Deadlift, with appropriate accessory work. By appropriate, I mean quad, ham, glute, & lower back work with squats and deadlifts, and upper body work with bench. An ab movement a day sounds good too. Rotate exercises frequently since they are kids and will get bored easily. Mini-competitions are also a good idea (e.g. most sit-ups/push-ups in a minute, fastest shuttle run time, etc.) On other days, have them do gymnastic-type activities and play games (tag, kickball, etc.)


#8

I have to agree with everything thats been posted. I suggest a 3 prong approach.

1) Educate the kids/parents on nutrition. I wouldn't say put them on a diet just show them healthier options. I think having them keep a food journal would be a good idea. You can find a lot of decent ones online that look up the food for you and since it's on the internet, it may be more interesting to them. Perhaps get the parents to take part too.

2) Being at the Y I assume you have access to gym equipment. I would teach them the basics of lifting as the poster above suggests. This way they will not be intimidated or lost as much when entering a gym... and they may get interested enough to have some lifting days.

3) I would keep much of the activity at playing games and such. Being 5th to 7th graders they are still young and probably don't want to dedicate as much time to straight lifting as we do. Games like flag football and soccer should keep them active. Other fun ones would be softball, capture the flag, and volleyball (if you have access).


#9

Why the fuck are 13-15 year old kids squatting and deadlifting again? This is TERRIBLE advice. I train a lot of young athletes, this isn't warranted. If they are a bit heavier, they can benefit much more from bodyweight exercises. Start bilateral, then move to unilateral. If it is a group, so a circuit and include fun exercises to keep their attention.

As for food, bitchslap their parents and take them shopping. Kids don't care, they eat what's in front of them.

I have trained many groups of young sports teams, and trying to teach proper squat techniques takes too much goddamn time. And don't get me started about deadlifting.
Remeber, you "volunteer" at the Y, so don't put them under the bar unless you want to be liable.

Think about being a kid, and what you liked to do. Do that.

Save the big lifts for the adults.

My 0.02.


#10

[/quote] Why the fuck are 13-15 year old kids squatting and deadlifting again? This is TERRIBLE advice. I train a lot of young athletes, this isn't warranted. If they are a bit heavier, they can benefit much more from bodyweight exercises. Start bilateral, then move to unilateral. If it is a group, so a circuit and include fun exercises to keep their attention.

As for food, bitchslap their parents and take them shopping. Kids don't care, they eat what's in front of them.[/quote]

Why do you feel that 13-15 year olds should not be squatting and deadlifting? Most people have mentioned to keep in fun activities, and I must agree. However, if you are in a weight room, you should be doing those two movements. I also agree with your nutrition assessment. But I think you might be underestimating kids at that age. 15 was when I started taking a real interest in the gym and what I ate, and I think more kids could benefit from that exposure.


#11

i taught for a year in the county of essex in england, and i did an after school weightroom thing with a bunch of kids. while the main aim was to give me and a few other teachers a place to work out, we also had year 9 (grade 8) and older kids in there for a few days of the week. at that age, i found that although a lot of them were just goofy boys (as should be typical for that age), some of the kids were remarkably dedicated to learning proper technique and putting together some sort of a program. based on my experience, i would say that it is possible to teach 13-15 year olds to squat and deadlift, but it's probably only going to be successful with the truly dedicated minority. if they don't have an interest, it's going to be hard.

in general, i think the key is opening their eyes to as many possible forms of physical activity as you can. while my older brother wasn't nearly coordinated or interested enough to be a sports guy in his younger years, he really got into weight training in high school.

as for the issue of childhood obesity, i think the entire food culture of north america (and increasingly, europe) is largely to blame-- the is a very limited understanding among the general public regarding what is a healthy food choice and what isn't, and most food-related media helps to keep it that way.

qlso, what is an understated contributor to these problems is the fact that many people have no idea how to cook inexpensive and healthy food.


#12

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#13

^ i agree with bushidobadboy

as for the 'golden rules', if you can help them understand the dangers of refined sugar and its effect on insulin production/resistance and how this effects weight gain, i think you'll go quite far. when i was in about grade 6 or 7, i read/heard that the body doesn't naturally crave as much sugar as the average person feeds it. i sort of took that as a challenge on myself and stopped eating candy throughout the day to see if i'd crave it as much... after a few weeks, i didn't.


#14

Why the fuck are 13-15 year old kids squatting and deadlifting again? This is TERRIBLE advice. I train a lot of young athletes, this isn't warranted. If they are a bit heavier, they can benefit much more from bodyweight exercises. Start bilateral, then move to unilateral. If it is a group, so a circuit and include fun exercises to keep their attention.

As for food, bitchslap their parents and take them shopping. Kids don't care, they eat what's in front of them.[/quote]

Why do you feel that 13-15 year olds should not be squatting and deadlifting? Most people have mentioned to keep in fun activities, and I must agree. However, if you are in a weight room, you should be doing those two movements. I also agree with your nutrition assessment. But I think you might be underestimating kids at that age. 15 was when I started taking a real interest in the gym and what I ate, and I think more kids could benefit from that exposure.
[/quote]

Squatting and deadlifting comment - Risk vs. Reward. That's what it always comes down to. Those two lifts take a while to learn, especially like bbb said, when they are uncooridinated kids. You are telling me that in a group setting, you would teach these lifts?

Show me one of those kids that can do 8 (just throwing a number out there) consecutive pistols on each leg, then you can make decisions like that. Body weight exercises are always a better option.

What are these kids training for again?


#15

Teaching a kid to lift and teaching an adult to lift, all coordination aside, are two completely different monsters. An adult has reinforced shitty motor patterns over years and years, whereas with a kid, you have more of a blank slate with which to work. Plus, these are basic movements. You aren't teaching the Olympic lifts. Get a box and a broomstick, and have them squat down to it, and come back up. Then, with a flat back and driving with the legs, pick up a broomstick out of a rack. I have seen the majority of kids pick this up within one 1 hour session where I train.

I would struggle to find many people period that can do 8 consecutive pistols on each leg, including people with an extensive training background. Many a healthy, "fit" person has trained without learning to do 8 pistols. I would shy from saying body weight exercises are always a better option.

These kids are, from what I can deduce, some teenage girls that are carrying some extra goo. The OP wanted to have these slightly chubby kids do something other than group activities. Plus, being a little overweight, it is going to be decidedly more difficult having them execute bodyweight exercises than someone with a more reasonable BMI. I would argue that teaching them to squat with a barbell is less risk and greater reward than teaching them to pistol squat. It is a much more difficult exercise, with a far more complicated pattern of muscle recruitment.


#16

To each their own. I'm not getting into an internet pissing match about how to train kids. This guy wanted advice and I gave it to him. I am training very elite teen athletes right now, and what I am doing is working, as they are the best in their respective sports and more and more people are coming to the Studio I work at to get the results that I produce.

If you want kids axial loading before their maturity, you do what you do. It's not practical in my opinion. I used the pistols as an example. I just don't get the point of squats and deads for overweight teen girls (or boys for that matter) so just keep doing what you are doing.

Just please don't use the term "BMI" again.


#17

Congrats on your success.

Two things need clarification though:
1. I want you to consider the axial loading of any middle school football player going in for a tackle. He is clearly not fully matured, and the forces involved are also clearly higher than the weight he would be using in an appropriately supervised weight training program. Any text in pediatric orthopedics will agree with me.
2. Numerous studies have looked at the validity of the BMI, and across populations, it is an accurate predictor of total body fat and fat percentage. It just breaks down at the level of the individual. So I will continue to use it in speaking on populations.


#18
  1. These girls aren't high school football players.
  2. You win.

#19

Cheryl Haworth. Just one of many.

TNT


#20

Has anyone even read the original post?? This is funny.