This all started with a statement from a teacher of mine about how "weight training could potential produce an entire generation of midgets."
Well I decided to do my own research. Here is what I came across.
A 2007 study tested a group of males around the age of 24. These men were tested on 30 min of cycling at 70% VO2max and free squatting at 70% of 1-RM. Blood tests were taken to measure the amount of human and IF Growth Hormone in the body after these exercises. The research showed a much more significant spike in GH towards the end of the resistance training, when compared to the aerobic activity.
A 2000 study was searching for a way to help with growth retardation in humans. Tests were conducted by treating certain rats with GH and IGF-1 and measuring results of the growth. Results showed an increase in epiphyseal plate width, longer noses, longer tails, and more weight gain in the rats treated with GH and IGF-1.
Based on these two studies, one may be inclined to assume that weight training may actually cause a person to grow BIGGER rather than stunt their growth. From a hormonal stand point, it may still be inconclusive as to whether or not weight training could be deemed a direct cause of stunted growth.
Various other studies have shown that injury to the epiphyseal plates could cause stunted growth in humans, however with proper diagnosis and treatment, the damage is repairable. One such study, from 1990, stated that the occurrence of these types of injuries are rare and therefor undocumented.
From a physics stand point, weightlifting as a sport is relatively low impact when compared to other sports such as football, rugby, and many more. This would lead one to believe that the fracture of a growth plate would be more likely to occur during one of these sports, rather than during weightlifting.
In conclusion, the effects of weight training in regards to growth and bone development, from a hormonal stand point, are still inconclusive and more research needs to be done. From a physical stand point, stunted growth is more likely to occur during high impact activity via plate fracture.
Caine, D.J. (1990). Growth plate injury and bone growth: an update. Ped. Exerc. Sci. 2: 209-229.
Consitt L, Bloomer R, Wideman L. The effect of exercise type on immunofunctional and traditional growth hormone. European Journal of Applied Physiology [serial online]. June 2007;100(3):321-330.
Edmondson S, Baker N, Oh J, Kovacs G, Werther G, Mehls O. Growth hormone receptor abundance in tibial growth plates of uremic rats: GH/IGF-I treatment. Kidney International [serial online]. July 2000;58(1):62-70.
I am not trying to start an argument with anyone on here. I am trying to share information I have found and allow others to voice their opinion and research so that we may try to extinguish false information about weight training.