In the past you probably could have been forgiven for thinking that gyms were off limits to some people and that there must be some gruelling form of physical examination to get past if you wanted to join this elite group. Obviously that is nonsense. All sorts of people are going to the gym regardless of age, gender and level of physical fitness.
But when we say regardless of age, we often think that means there is no upper age limit and forget about a lower one. As the gym-going community grows it is only logical to assume that we will see more and more younger people working out regularly in our gyms. So that got me thinking. Is there enough information for young teenagers who are serious about hitting the gym?
If human history has told us anything then it is that if you tell somebody not to do something they are only going to want to do it that much more! So telling a child, in particular teenagers, that they are too young to be lifting weights in the gym will probably have the opposite effect to what you want. Fortunately, I can’t think of a whole load of people who believe that children should be banned outright from working out. And when I do hear it I can’t help but think how hypocritical it sounds. If any age group in society takes a battering for having an unhealthy lifestyle then it is our teenagers, so criticising them when they want to become healthier is madness!
Getting bad advice in the gym is never a good thing but it is especially worrying if young people are getting poor information. Their bodies are changing a whole lot quicker than an adults and one simple mistake can cause problems that can last a lifetime.
When it comes to cardio, teenagers usually have a lot more options open to them. Participation in almost any cardiovascular sport is a genuine possibility in today’s world, not to mention the fact that they have friends to get involved with and more free hours in the day to use up. Being involved in a sports team from a young age can help to promote an all round healthy lifestyle, as well as helping children to make friends.
The fact is that kids have been playing rugby, football, cricket etc. for years and years now. It is in the gym where we are seeing a real change. Firstly, more adults are visiting a gym regularly, which means so are more parents. So children are seeing their mums and dads working out and thinking that they wouldn’t mind having a go.
When it comes to lifting weights, young teenagers are best sticking to compound exercises such as squats and dead lifts. Developing your whole body from a young age can give you the platform to take it further once your body has fully matured, not to mention your mind. The mental discipline required to train successfully shouldn’t be underestimated and young people will develop this at different stages.
All young people grow up at different ages and this is what will determine the level at which it is best to train. What is really important is teaching teenagers to be able to know what there body is telling them. Doing too much too soon can have a real adverse effect on the way that their body will continue to develop. This means that you need to be consulting with your doctor and someone who knows specifically about training. A personal trainer can ensure that a young person is not doing too much work in the gym and jeopardising their physical future.
The amount of stick that young people receive for a number of things is colossal and a lot of that centres around the healthiness of their lifestyle. Whether it is because they are eating the wrong kinds of things or sitting in front of the television for too long. So when a young person expresses a desire to adopt a healthy lifestyle and develop their body, it needs to be encouraged. As this industry gets bigger and bigger so will the number of teenagers that take it up. What we have to do is make sure that they have the right information to allow them to succeed.