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Train with your Kids

Why should you make your child your training partner? Have you ever considered resistance training with your child? Did you know that updated research has shown that resistance training for children/adolescents is recommended?

You should expose your child to a gym environment, let them see you work out, or have them work out with you!! A child’s brain operates differently than an adult's. A child uses a much larger neurological potential and capacity of their brain. They grow exponentially, taking in massive amounts of input learning how to feel, think, memorize, judge, and give labels to things, themselves, and others. This input develops their neurological networks, becomes ingrained, and creates their experience.

As a child, you mirror your parents/guardians. Essentially, you do what they do.

Exposing your child to the gym early can allow them to see and process resistance training and gyms as being normal and safe. The gym setting and exercise, in general, are still viewed as an intimidating and uncomfortable atmosphere, even for adults. It should be viewed oppositely! Getting children exposed to this type of environment at a young age can begin to build a foundation of an active lifestyle towards resistance training.

Resistance Training for Children/Adolescents

Resistance training offers incredible mental, emotional, and physical benefits for all ages - especially children and adolescents.

2020 WHO physical activity guidelines for children and adolescents (5-17 years old) strongly recommend 3 days a week of intense-vigorous aerobic activity and activities that strengthen muscle and bone (2). Most children and adolescents can achieve their aerobic activity recommendation by participating in sports and playing outside with their friends at school or home. For the activities that strengthen muscle and bone, resistance training is recommended for children and adolescents. Resistance training is a form of exercise that includes movements using free weights, machines, resistance bands, plyometrics, etc (1). Any gym you walk into should have the proper equipment for proper resistance training. Resistance training aims to build muscle, muscular strength, endurance, and power (1).

The benefits of resistance training in children/adolescents have been shown to (1):

  • increase strength

  • Build strong bones and reduce the risk of injury

  • Increase motor unit activation

  • Strengthening tendons

  • Increase of self-esteem

The benefits of resistance training in children/adolescents are not just for children/adolescents who play sports. If your child plays an instrument, likes to draw, or is into theater acting, the benefits of resistance training are still applicable to whatever they enjoy doing. Furthermore, now that we know that resistance training benefits children/adolescents, we must take a smart approach to properly training them to reap all the benefits.

Resistance Training for the Parent

Resistance training is just as important for you, the parent/guardian!

In a systematic review and meta-analysis by Saeidifard et al.(2019), resistance training lowered the chance of all-cause mortality by 21% without aerobic exercise (3). Resistance training with aerobic exercise lowered the chance of all-cause mortality by 40% (3). Resistance training can decrease the chance of death by any cause.

This is important data for a parent!!

That last thing a parent would want is to leave their child too soon. You want to be present and to be able to experience the growth of your child/adolescent. To remain active in their life for as long as possible. The same benefits that resistance training has for children/adolescents, apply to adults.

Benefits of Having a Training Partner