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Powerlifting Stunts Growth?


So recently i have heard that powerlifting stunts growth. I know weightlifting does not stunt growth but someone who was big into bodybuilding when they were younger said that powerlifting and using heavy weights for low reps (3-5 or lower) will stunt my growth because of the stress it puts on my bones. I don't really believe this but after googling it I have gotten mixed responses. For example i've found websites that say its perfectly safe, and other who say that going with too heavy of weights and going below 8 reps in your teens can stunt growth.

Can someone clear this up once and for all for me?

I'm 16 and follow a 5x5 as of now.


If your were 10 years old then maybe heavy weights wouldn't be so good for you...You are 16 tho so lift away. I'd have to be on some serious shit to enjoy the gain you will get IF you get your shit together and follow a well thought out program that suits your training wants / needs. Lift hard, eat hard, sleep harder!

disclaimer: I am not an expert but this is the internet..sooner or later one of these 'experts' will chime. in.


Not an expert here either, but what I have heard/read and what seems to make sense, is there is less chance of damaging the epiphyseal plates with lighter weights. Any injuries are likely to be less severe, and this in turn leads to what the nay-sayers are referring to when they say it is safer using non-maximal weights. I believe folks who have damaged the growth plates, are what the whole discussion of stunting growth is about.

As long as you lift safely, there should be no problems. The potential for problems is greater however with heavier weight, of course.


Unless there is damage to the growth plates or the spinal cord there will be no hindrance to growth. Bones actually respond to stress by becoming more dense. Continue the 5x5, eat like a motherfucker and sleep well. You're at an age where you can get strong as shit fairly easily if you do good things consistently.


We all know that all great power lifters are like 5' so stunt your growth man!



That's exactly right. In fact, since all great basketball players are like 6'5" you should focus on becoming really good at basketball to grow taller.


Start taking your wheaties!


How tall are you? I'm the same age as you and I'm barely 5'7". I've been lifting heavy for about the past year and a half.



Presence of androgens during teen years is what leads to the hardening of growth plates and to growth stopping.

The stigma of lifting stunting growth came from teens using steroids, before they had even stopped growing. This caused a premature flood of androgens and halts growth.

At least that is what I had read.


I'm 6'3 and I started lifting when i was 14


Luke, I am about 5'7" as well. And as for injuries i would feel that right? Like something bad would happen and it would completely mess me up because from what i got from reading around multiple sites (which may or may not know wtf they're talking about) was that the growth plate hardens and you just stop growing so it's not like would realize anything.


Damn! Imagine how tall you could have been if you had waited until you were 20 to start lifting.



But then again, I shouldn't say anything in this thread, because I'm only three apples high.


Stress on a bone= Wolff's Law of Bone Density. A healthy bone adapts to the loads placed upon it. Heavy loads= A shit load of bone growth.

Heavy squatting, deadlifting, and even benching to a certain extent cause increases in releases of testosterone and GH. More GH means more bone growth. Thats why midgets are midgets... because they have low GH... and they don't squat heavy enough.

I am willing to bet your bodybuilding friend is weak and has never read a book without pop-up pictures in it. All the bullshit about lifting heavy weights and growth being stunted is just that, bullshit. If your form sucks and you try to lift weights that are too heavy for you and you break your leg because you are stupid, then that is a different story. A program focused on good form early on and not lifting like a flex magazine dumbass will keep you from breaking bones while you lift weights.


I've got a training partner who's a little person. I'll have to tape that to his gear... maybe he'll squat more :stuck_out_tongue:

OP: I wouldn't worry about it. I started lifting at 13 and am about 6'1..... 6' even the day after squats, but thats a different story...




This myth is both hilariously stupid and offensive. So apparently it's a terrible idea to lift heavy weights, which as mentioned will increase bone density without subjecting the bones to excessive impact stress. Conversely, we're all perfectly happy to force our kids into gymnastics before they enter elementary school and put them in a situation where they are constantly subjected to high-impact, extreme loading-rate activity. It all makes such perfect sense.


More kids should be lifting heavy weights at your age.


There is zero scientific evidence that lifting weights stunts total height. Kids have been working hard for years (think of kids on a farm lifting stuff, is that terrible for them?) There are more forces involved in most contact sports than lifting. So this idea is just dumb and check it off of your list as one less thing to worry about.

As a side note, it seems possible that large amounts of steroids MIGHT stunt growth by telling the long bones to seal off once a very high level of Test is in the body.