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  1. #1
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    Default Strength training for tween/teen?

    DS (12) has expressed an interest in weight training or strength training. I'm not familiar with what kind of training is recommended and safe for a tween's growing body - any suggestions for a good program to look into to get him started? (Online/Free would be great!)
    Mom to Mr. Sunshine 9/08
    and Miss Happiness 3/11

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I would pay for a private training session just so they really understand the fundamentals and learn the correct movements. Don't want them injuring themselves. If you know how to correct form then maybe you can provide that coaching.
    I would start with body weight stuff- squats, push ups, planks...
    Hopefully someone has a good book or workout recommendation. I am drawing a blank at the moment.

  3. #3
    gymnbomb is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Context: I am an exercise physiologist, but not an expert in this specific area.

    I would pay for one or two sessions with a certified personal trainer or a certified strength and conditioning coach who has specific experience working with his age group. Let them assess his starting point and make a plan, then he can likely execute the plan on his own for a while, depending on if he is doing things that need a spotter or that need someone to observe and make sure his technique is correct/safe.
    DS 2/14
    DD 8/17

  4. #4
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    Definitely search out an in person resource for help.

    My DD is 11 years old and does strength training at a small gym. The owner runs all the classes with two assistants. He focuses on middle and high school athletes and takes a conservative and age appropriate approach to training. Lots of body weight exercises and getting correct form. Never "maxing out" on heavy.

    My older two sons had done his outdoor summer camp several years which focuses on agility and strength. DD adored summer and has now done year round in gym training for two years now.

  5. #5
    smilequeen is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    My two older boys started working with a personal trainer at around that age 12-13. We also had the option to do group classes for kids that age. If you have one of these near you, this is what we use and my kids both love it despite having very different goals.

    https://www.athleticrepublic.com/
    Mama to my boys (04,07,11)

  6. #6
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    I would look for an athletic training gym that specializes in young athletes. The franchise ones in our area are Parisi, Athletic Republic and Red Line. I know of at least two independent ones here as well. My boys have done Parisi and DS2 wants to check out Red Line since some teammates are working out there. Athletic Republic is further away so we haven't done anything there. I like these gyms because they work with a kid's age, development and goals to design a program rather than a one-size-fits-all larger fitness center.

    While many of the kids end up at these gyms to improve their sports performance, there are definitely kids there to gain strength and fitness alone.
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  7. #7
    Ceepa is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Our local rec center ran a class for teens to learn the gym equipment and develop workout plans. There were only 4-6 students and 1-2 trainers. Check at facilities near you if they run similar peograms.

  8. #8
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    The Y in 2 places we have lived have offered classes for teens to learn how to use the equipment, advise on form and help creating a strength program. We currently have some independent trainers in our area that focus on this age group.

    DC have a summer strength training program that is offered over the summer starting in middle school at their school. They staff the training center and have daily workouts for the kids. One hour for middle school and one hour for high school. They make sure kids are using the right form and using equipment correctly.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for the recommendations - you have addressed my concern perfectly: having him learn in an age-appropriate way to handle himself and the correct form. Off to look for local programs!
    Mom to Mr. Sunshine 9/08
    and Miss Happiness 3/11

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