Whether it be teens’ build and body type or their dedication to getting stronger, many teens take the route of powerlifting and strength training. Not only is the argument of teens taking supplements and pre-workout an issue (Read about that here)
Generally, you would hear that teenagers, especially in the younger demographic, need to stay away from heavy weight lifting. Often, it is recommended that you get the bodyweight basics down. This helps create the form and strength needed in order to progress to heavier weights.
However, after those basics are down and under control, is it okay for teens to power lift? Is it good practice for a teenager to strength train? Or is it bad for a teen to power lift?
All of these questions will be studied and answered in this article on if it is bad for teens to power lift.
Doing The Weight Lifting Basics
As mentioned before, most weight lifting veterans will recommend that when starting out as an adolescent, strength training is not recommended. It is good practice to start with bodyweight training and building endurance by running and performing cardio exercises.
Although it is good practice to start out with bodyweight exercising without any other weight lifting involved, a study shows that it is not a bad thing to implement strength training alongside your bodyweight exercises.
A study conducted by Sports Health back in 2009 stated:
“Strength training in children, in combination with plyometric and/or agility training, has become an increasingly popular tactic for athletes to gain a competitive edge during the off-season.“
Although this is related to teenagers and young children that already are involved in physical activity, this can be applied to the majority of others. The study continues to explain that it is becoming more widespread to implement a balanced combination of cardio and strength training.
Keep in mind that this study was done by training these adolescents in the correct and healthy way. They had been trained with great form and minimalized cause for injury.
Should Teens Power Lift?
We have established that strength training and cardio paired together can and have been working. The study that was done practiced good form and professional help when training these younger individuals. Given this information, what are the results, and are there benefits to teens’ powerlifting?
The same study by Sports Health:
“Children can improve strength by 30% to 50% after just 8 to 12 weeks of a well-designed strength training program. Youth need to continue to train at least 2 times per week to maintain strength.“
The results of adolescents’ strength training was an overall positive addition to their overall health. Over a considerable amount of time, it helped the participants gain more strength and retain a stronger physical ability threshold.
The study also stated:
“The case reports of injuries related to strength training, including epiphyseal plate fractures and lower back injuries, are primarily attributed to the misuse of equipment, inappropriate weight, improper technique, or lack of qualified adult supervision.”
The reason why most advice is to stay away from strength training at a young age is that, without proper supervision and teaching, injuries are bound to happen.
Is it Bad for Teens to Power Lift?
The main issue we need to address is whether it is bad for teens to power lift. The issue is not that if it does not work, we know it does. The issue is if you should practice this and whether you have proper teaching and form structure.
The science shows that, yes, teens practicing strength or power training is beneficial in a contained and supervised environment.
If you do not have access to professional supervision and or a gym veteran to help you with form and keeping you safe, it is not advised that you train with heavyweights in the early stages of your workout journey.
If in the case that you have the resources to train properly and with professional or experienced supervision, weight training will benefit you incredibly. Make sure you pair cardio and weight training when working out. The study shows to weight train at least 2 times a week for the optimal results.
Helpful Guidelines When Strength Training
Here are some helpful general guidelines when weight training. Some of these points won’t apply to you personally, but they will help you to consider these guidelines.
- Warm-up (At least 5 minutes)
- Body weight training (Push up – Crunches – pull up)
- Resistance training (Limber up the muscle fibers with rubber band resistance belts, etc..)
- Weight train within your ability to lift with PROPER FORM
- Practice cardio
- Cool down / rest
These are some quick steps in order to help you stay safe and effective when practicing your strength training.