Female Teen weightlifting

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Female Teen weightlifting

Postby f.Channell » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:40 am

My 14 year old has been after me to train her with weights in the basement.
I've been trying to focus on core such as benchpress, rowing (upright and bent at the waist) and squats. Not being enough for her, I throw in curls, shoulder presses, shoulder raises etc... Problem is she wants to lift every night, which I know is not good, I tell her just abs every night. Are there any special concerns with young women? I'm trying to focus on low weight high reps, but she's a strong girl, she wants to throw around some steel. Doing some bag work after too. Striking power is growing rapidly also.
Any advise welcome as always.

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Postby Shana Moore » Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:44 am

I found this article which confirmed other items I've read before. Basically, it's not that teens under 15/16 shouldn't do any strength training, but they should do so with caution/restraint because intense training risks harm to growing bones, muscles, and joints. Some sources mention stunted growth as well as injury, but I'd defer to our medical experts on the forum,re: validity of that last concern.

This article had some reasonable guidelines,which I've copied below along with link. I believe alternating muscle groups days/rest days, and going slow are best bets. Hope this is helpful:

Here are some basic rules to follow in strength training:

1. Start with body weight exercises for a few weeks (such as sit-ups, pushups, and pull-ups) before using weights.
2. Work out with weights about three times a week. Avoid weight training on back-to-back days.
3. Warm up for 5–10 minutes before each session.
4. Spend no more than 40 minutes in the weight room to avoid fatigue or boredom.
5. Work more reps; avoid maximum lifts. (A coach or teacher can give you specifics based upon your needs.)
6. Ensure you're using proper technique through supervision. Improper technique may result in injuries, particularly in the shoulder and back.
7. Cool down for 5–10 minutes after each session, stretching the muscles you worked out.


http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness ... ining.html
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Postby Jake Steinmann » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:44 am

Maybe put together a split routine for her? Work on different body parts/areas on different days.

I realize it's not necessarily the ideal, but if she really wants to lift every day, it might be easier to convince her to do that than to try and keep her from lifting.

"5. Work more reps; avoid maximum lifts. "

I'm not at all sure I understand or agree with this. Maximum or near-maximum lifts are very good for developing strength. Maybe there is something about a younger persons physiology that would make that a bad idea, but I really can't understand how.
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Postby Shana Moore » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:43 pm

Jake Steinmann wrote:
"5. Work more reps; avoid maximum lifts. "

I'm not at all sure I understand or agree with this. Maximum or near-maximum lifts are very good for developing strength. Maybe there is something about a younger persons physiology that would make that a bad idea, but I really can't understand how.


It's my understanding that the biggest risk is to bone/joint development...so you don't want to even come close to maximum stress load!

That's why power lifting at this age is considered a bad idea. You can build strength, endurance, and muscle fatigue with lighter weights/more reps...I don't think this means 3 lbrs...just far from max...My guess..and I am not a medical expert...wouldbe 40-60%max vs a more mature body goal of 60-80% as regular load...lets see if we can get some input from our medical and weight experts out there...
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Postby Jake Steinmann » Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:27 pm

Shana Moore wrote:
It's my understanding that the biggest risk is to bone/joint development...so you don't want to even come close to maximum stress load!

That's why power lifting at this age is considered a bad idea. You can build strength, endurance, and muscle fatigue with lighter weights/more reps...I don't think this means 3 lbrs...just far from max...My guess..and I am not a medical expert...wouldbe 40-60%max vs a more mature body goal of 60-80% as regular load...lets see if we can get some input from our medical and weight experts out there...


Ah. That could make sense, I suppose.

Lifting, I know a bit about. Kids, not so much. I'm sure when my own come along some day, I'll look into it more. :-)
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Postby f.Channell » Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:52 pm

It seems to be a fine line. Benchpressing with dumbbells for example she can do 25+ easily with 10 pounds. Yet needs assistance to go 12 reps with 15. Then she can do 8 with the 45 pound straight bar. I worry certainly about the points Shana brings up, and of course tearing a muscle in the shoulder. If I was training a grown man like Jake I'd push him to exhaustion and be ready to yank the bar off him. But I don't think the same is true with a young teen.

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Postby Shana Moore » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:08 pm

Fred, I think the 10/15 db press is a good example . With dumbells she's working each arm independently, eventhough simultaneously...which is why she can do heavier with straight bar, as there the muscles are working in concert...Which you probably already know...so bear w/me....

If it were me, I'd do different muscle groups on different days, low weight/high reps/lots of different angles on same muscles to keep workout challenging and interesting. In other words, the goal being fatigue instead of failure...different approach/goals to protect still developing bones, etc.

Example:
Mon=>arms and shoulders,abs
sample workout(guessing at weights, should be to fatigue by last set)
bench press 3s12 or 15, 10lb db
seated shoulder press 3s12 or 15, 8 or 10 lb db
lateral raise 3s12 or 15, 8 lb db
front raise 3s12 or 15, 5 or 8 lb db
bent over row 3 s 12 or 15, 8 or 10 lb db
bicep hammer curls 3 s 12 or 15, 8 or 10 lb db
rotating standing bicep curls 3 s 12 or 15 (palm down,
curl, palm up, curl down, palm up, curl, palm down,
curl down, etc.), 8 lb db
tricep overhead extension 3 s 12 or 15, 5 or 8 lb db
tricep dips 3 s 12 or 15, body weight
push ups (diamond, normal, wide), body weight

Tues=>chest/back
Wed=>cardio, abs
Thurs=>glutes/hamstrings/legs
Fri=>cardio, abs
Sat/Sun=>rest and fun/normal weekend activities or begin cycle again on Sun

Again, just a thought and based on my limited experiences, readings. In a prior thread on women and weight training, I recommend a book that is specific to female strength training. I think it has some good stuff in it. It doesn't address the specifics of teens, but it does address some anatomical specifics for females.

Hope this is helpful!
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Postby Laird2 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:46 pm

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Postby Shana Moore » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:38 am

Thanks Laird! Great book suggestion. I went on Amazon and read the summary and some of the reviews. I liked this comment: "It is not a book for body building. Children should not be trying to "bodybuild". This is training for "strength and power". "
It also mentions taking into account physical as well as emotional maturity and the sport for which you are training....

GREAT recommendation!
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Postby f.Channell » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:40 am

Looks good. I'm going to try to get it through my library.

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Postby IJ » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:08 am

Here's some stuff from a quick pubmed search. I personally know nothing about children except I understand they are sometimes transmitted by sexual activity, however, I might be able to look at the actual articles from work. If there's interesting material I'll post it, this is pretty vague.

Clin Sports Med. 2000 Oct;19(4):593-619.Links
Strength training for children and adolescents.
Faigenbaum AD.

Department of Human Performance and Fitness, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA. avery.faigenbaum@umb.edu

The potential benefits of youth strength training extend beyond an increase in muscular strength and may include favorable changes in selected health- and fitness-related measures. If appropriate training guidelines are followed, regular participation in a youth strength-training program has the potential to increase bone mineral density, improve motor performance skills, enhance sports performance, and better prepare our young athletes for the demands of practice and competition. Despite earlier concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of youth strength training, current public health objectives now aim to increase the number of boys and girls age 6 and older who regularly participate in physical activities that enhance and maintain muscular fitness. Parents, teachers, coaches, and healthcare providers should realize that youth strength training is a specialized method of conditioning that can offer enormous benefit but at the same time can result in serious injury if established guidelines are not followed. With qualified instruction, competent supervision, and an appropriate progression of the volume and intensity of training, children and adolescents cannot only learn advanced strength training exercises but can feel good about their performances, and have fun. Additional clinical trails involving children and adolescents are needed to further explore the acute and chronic effects of strength training on a variety of anatomical, physiological, and psychological parameters.

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1990 Oct;37(5):1187-210.Links
Strength training in children and adolescents.
Webb DR.

Center for Sports Medicine, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco, California.

Strength is the ability to exert muscular force against resistance. It is a fundamental requirement of most daily physical activities of children and of adults. Strength training is the use of progressive resistance exercise methods specifically to increase strength. Strength training for children and adolescents is not without risk. Proven medical concerns relate to back, shoulder, and other joint injuries and to hypertension and related diseases. However, the rate of injury is probably rather low, comparable to many youthful activities that are considered safe. Also, the incidence and severity of injury can probably be minimized by adherence to the guidelines presented. Children may be expected to become stronger with appropriate training. Increased strength can enhance their performance in those athletic activities in which strength, power, or speed are required. It may reduce the incidence and severity of overuse injury in sport. However, it cannot reasonably be expected to protect against serious, acute injury in sport.

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001 Jan-Feb;9(1):29-36.Click here to read Links
Strength training for children and adolescents.
Guy JA, Micheli LJ.

Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Strength, or resistance, training for young athletes has become one of the most popular and rapidly evolving modes of enhancing athletic performance. Early studies questioned both the safety and the effectiveness of strength training for young athletes, but current evidence indicates that both children and adolescents can increase muscular strength as a consequence of strength training. This increase in strength is largely related to the intensity and volume of loading and appears to be the result of increased neuromuscular activation and coordination, rather than muscle hypertrophy. Training-induced strength gains are largely reversible when the training is discontinued. There is no current evidence to support the misconceptions that children need androgens for strength gain or lose flexibility with training. Given proper supervision and appropriate program design, young athletes participating in resistance training can increase muscular strength and do not appear to be at any greater risk of injury than young athletes who have not undergone such training.
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Postby Shana Moore » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:31 pm

thanks Ian for checking pubmed..seems to hint at necessary guidelines...if you find more specifics, we'd be grateful!
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:58 pm

Thanks for the PM invite, Shana.

Fred already has some good suggestions and comments here. There's only a little that I disagree with, and I see a developing consensus on the disagreements.

My wife was one of the earliest women bodybuilders. She won "Miss Richmond" (as a Charlottesville resident) in the mid-1980s, and was written up in the Richmond Times Dispatch. It was such a novel thing for women at the time (in THIS country) to be engaged in working with weights.

I had such a hard time convincing my female karate students at the time (80s) to get in the weight room. The comment was generally something like "I don't want to look like Arnold!" Well... if a woman isn't doing anabolic steroids, she won't look like Arnold. She'll look like a fit woman.

FWIW, my wife quit that whole scene when she noted her competitors were getting deeper voices and stubble on the chin. Can you say modern pharmacology? <Sigh...>

Given Fred's specific questions, these are my comments.

1) Indeed NOBODY should be training the same body part every day.

Weight training is about taking one step back (the day you lift) and two steps forward (the day or days that you rest). So if your daughter really does want to lift every day, do the split routine method that Jake suggested. For what it's worth, I split routine. I have 3 different workouts that I alternate in-between. Most just have 2.

2) The two biggest issues here are the growth plates and overtraining.

If your daughter has finished growing, she can lift all she wants. If not, have her do less weight and more reps. Make her concentrate on the open chain exercises and tell her that form will be much more important than the amount of weight she lifts.

ANY athlete - male or female - can overtrain. I've been there, done that. For a male, signs of overtraining include an increase in number of colds caught, plateauing, etc. For a woman, a good thing to monitor is her period. If she's been through menarche, then she should be having regular periods. Sometimes female athletes will go through menarche a little later, and that's not necessarily bad. But if she's of age and the periods disappear, that's a warning sign that she's doing too much.

Just to give you an idea what CAN be done though... My wife got no help (zero, zilch, nada) when she was pregnant with my first son. She wanted to lift, but nobody would dare give her advice. But she was an athlete all her life, so she just listened to her body. She weight trained until a week before she delivered number 1 son. He was 9 pounds, 7.5 ounces. That's a big one!

So you see... women CAN lift and get on with their female functions.

3) Women can lift heavy just like men.

Note that I didn't say girls. I said women. They can benefit just like the men can, only in a slightly different way. If a woman is eating right and not overtraining, weight-bearing exercise will load her bones up with calcium. She'll be at lower risk for osteoporosis later on in life. The same cannot be said for aerobics, by the way.

Women will get stronger more by neuromuscular coordination than by size gains. But they will get bigger. Even women have some testosterone - some women more than others. FWIW, it's part of what gives a woman her sex drive.

Mostly women gain by making themselves stronger and immunizing themselves against certain types of injuries.

And just to blow holes in the stereotypes... Both my wife and one of my female karate students were notorious at UVa for lifting a LOT of weight. There were days when my wife (before we married) would go into the weight room near the 1st year dorms and do flies with 45 pound dumbbells. I can't count how many times I would see skinny guys get up and leave rather than be shown up by "a girl." And my wife looked just fine at the time.

Another female karate student of mine was well known in the weight room for benching 135 on a regular basis. (Two 45 pound plates on the bar.) She was the ONLY woman at the time doing anything near that on the bench. That by the way was the same time that she suddenly appeared in Playboy magazine (September 1983) in a "Girls of the ACC" special. Nothing left to the imagination. And yea, she looked great. (She's now a practicing attorney.)

4) Remember that your daughter is NOT doing bodybuilding. She is training with weights.

Weight training is a means to an end. She isn't trying to pose; she is trying to be a better athlete. Focusing on multiple muscle group, open chain exercises is key.

5) Abs are just like any other muscle.

I don't recommend people do abs every day. They need to rest just like any other muscle. Furthermore... If you are doing exercises like classic Olympic lifts, you are working the core pretty hard there already. The ab and lumbar work should be "clean up" work on those days.

6) Do not exercise within 2 hours after lifting.

If you insist on training and lifting on the same day, I suggest doing the lifting as the last part of your day's workout.

7) Stretch the muscles you are working - while they are warm.

Warm muscles stretch better. Martial artists in particular need flexibility as well as strength. Weight training days are a good time to work on flexibility. But don't stretch before lifting. Stretch in-between or after sets.

And finally...

8) You cannot spot-lose weight via exercise.

Some men and women want to work certain muscle groups (like the abs or hip abductors) to lose weight in certain parts of their body. Sorry... it doesn't work that way. Your genetic makeup will determine where you first put weight on, and where it will first come off. Some women put it on the breasts, and don't seem to mind that. Some men and women put it on the midsection, which isn't very healthy or beautiful. Some put it on below the waist, which isn't so bad even if not very aesthetically pleasing. But the most important thing to remember is that YOUR BODY will determine where you will gain or lose weight.

The good news is that more muscle mass gives you a higher basal metabolic rate. A high BMR means you burn calories even when sitting on your butt. And that isn't such a bad thing. In fact... A weight trainer can often get away with eating like a horse, and look fantastic.

Hope all that helps, Fred!

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Postby Shana Moore » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:23 pm

thank you Bill...just the type of guidelines we needed!
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Postby f.Channell » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:47 am

My blood runs cold
my memory has jus been sold
My karate student is a .........
sorry Bill couldn't help it! :lol:
Great advice thanks.
Daughter #2 and I are running a 5K thanksgiving morning, skiing Friday and Saturday.
So we've backed off the weights for running lately.
Back in the gym next week though.

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