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Oct 08

Kids are the future! Resistance Training is GOOD when they’re young

health and fitness boy 15

Kids are the future!  Resistance Training is GOOD when they’re young

                My days as an adolescent young boy were pretty rough.  I had kind of an interesting hand of cards dealt to me where there was not a lot of social support available to me.  So I ended up turning to something that I eventually turned into a career… and guess where that was.  THE GYM!  When I was a young buck around the awkward age of 12, I started to lift weights at a local gym.  I may have not had any idea what I was doingat the time because I did not have a personal trainer at my side, but I still performed exercises on the different machines and messed around with the barbells and dumbbells.  Some of these exercises I learned from just going in there and watching the grown men perform certain exercises.

                Over time, I saw something really cool happen.  The 10lb. dumbbell that my scrawny little butt was curling in the mirror became not as challenging as before.  So you know what I did?  I moved up to the 15 lb. dumbbell.  As I was curling myself away and becoming intrigued by how this phenomenon was occurring, a trainer who was working on the floor approached me and said, “Make sure to keep your elbows by your side.”  I then noticed that I couldn’t lift the weight properly without letting elbows flare out and arch my back to get the weight up past my elbow!

                So, I had an epiphany.  Go down in weight and get your form perfect.

                I kept my elbows in, braced my back and brought the weight up with perfect form.  At this point, I felt a strange sensation in my biceps.  A sensation that a 85 lb. 12-year-old boy probably hadn’t felt before.  Intrigued by this sensation, I drew a correlation between performing this exercise with correct technique and the sensation in my arms was my muscles performing work.  Over the next month or so, I graduated to the 20 lb. dumbbells.  I had just discovered that performing the dumbbell curl with correct form and experiencing the sensation of muscles performing work was making me stronger!

                Now, are bicep curls an obsolete exercise compared to some of the more advanced exercises such squats, push ups, pull ups, planks and dead lifts?  Absolutely.  What I’m getting at is the external influences of the social factors of the gym that helped me to learn from others around me.  I also observed the various exercises that the gym goers were doing for different purposes.  Some people did leg day.  Some people did arm day.  Some people were college athletes working to get better at jumping or throwing.  I wouldn’t have learned this unless I was surrounded by some sort of social interaction that was offered to me through exercising.   In addition, I also learned that the sensation I was feeling in my body was a GOOD thing.  The burning of my muscles and seeing that my arms wouldn’t go up as fast with more weight taught me the invaluable lesson that you have to push through to be successful.

                So, the point about the story of my first time of actually learning something from the gym leads to how the youth around us today NEEDS to be involved in some sort of resistance training regimen.  Does it need to be kipping pull ups, power cleans or Turkish get ups?  Not necessarily, they wouldn’t be horrible for them if instructed the right way… but those seem a little advanced.  Start on the easier exercises such as body weight squats, push ups or planks.  That’s it!  Tell them what proper form is on simple exercises so they can be exposed to these experiences that will improve their future.

                The point is that when young kids are growing up they should be exposed to situations in which they have never experienced before.  In correlating to this topic, it’s physical resistance.  Expose your kids to simple resistance training exercises that will allow them to experience sensations that are physically TOUGH.  Teach them how to properly perservere through resistance.  Tell them that the sensation they feel in their muscles when they exercise is good for their life.  Working out is tough.   Sports are tough.  Playing sports and exercising on the same day is tough.  But hey, so is going to work 8 hours a day and then exercising after you get off is tough too.  If an adult doesn’t adhere to some sort of an exercise program, they can suffer from physical and mental conditions that will hamper their quality of life.  So why not teach our brilliant future adults how to be responsible, strong and what perseverance is for. Their future lives by teaching them about resistance training.  Let’s all work together to enlighten our future adults shining young minds to have unbreakable will and an unbreakable body as well.