T he New York Times wrote an article on the benefits of weight training for children. They found that back in the 1970’s researchers in Japan studied child laborers and discovered that among their many misfortunes, the juvenile workers tended to be abnormally short. Physical labor, the researchers concluded, with its hours of lifting and moving heavy weights had stunted the children’s growth. Dr. Faigenbaum states that this is somewhat improbable, due to the scientific findings and other similar reports that have been recently discovered. He states that idea retains a sturdy hold in the popular imagination. As a recent position paper on the topic of children and resistance training points out, many parents, coaches, and pediatricians, remain convinced that weight training by children will “ result in short stature, epiphyseal plate” or growth plate- “damage, lack of strength increases due to a lack of testosterone and a variety of safety issues.” In other words most people believe children will not get stronger by lifting weights and will probably hurt themselves. 
H owever, a major new review just published in Pediatrics, together with a growing body of other scientific reports, suggest that in fact, weight training can be not only safe for young people, it can also be beneficial, even essential. In the Pediatrics review, researchers with the institute of Training Science and Sports Informatics in Cologne, Germany, analyzed 60 years’ worth of studies of children and weightlifting. The studies covered boys and girls from 6 to 18 years of age. The researcher found that, almost without exception, children adolescents benefited from weight training. They grew stronger. Overall, the researchers concluded, regardless of maturational age, children generally seem to be capable of increasing muscular strength.”

A ccording to Faigenabaum et al., during childhood and adolescence, physiological factors related to growth and development are in a constant state of evolution…
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About The Author 
David Abernethy is currently the assistant athletic director of strength training & conditioning at Furman Unversity. He is a certified member of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the National Association of Speed and Explosion, and is recognized by the American Fitness Professionals Association as a Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant. Abernethy is married to the former Kelli Iddings of Denver, N.C., and the couple has a daughter, Madilyn, and a son, Brooks David.
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