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Thursday, December 20, 2012

When Children Pump Iron



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From Hercules to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the image of the muscular hero has inspired children for generations. And now, perhaps more than ever, physical education experts at the National Strength and Conditioning Association in Lincoln, Nebraska, are encouraging kids to beef up. Children are spending less and less time playing outdoors and more and more time watching TV or tapping at their computers, according to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in 1996. As a result, they're getting heavier.
Over the past two decades, the number of American children who are overweight shot up from 10 percent to 25 percent, according to a 1998 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only half of U.S. children get as much exercise as they need, the researchers found, and as a result, kids are displaying signs of heart disease and diabetes before they even reach their teens.
Fit or Fat
The good news is that almost any kind of vigorous physical activity can help stem the tide of obesity. In addition, studies published in numerous journals, including the 1996 issues of the American Journal of Public Health and Nutrition Review, have found that physically active children are far less susceptible to emotional problems, are more likely to stay away from drugs, resist smoking cigarettes, delay sexual activity; develop more self-confidence and higher self-esteem, and even get better grades.
Weight training offers particular advantages to children who are overweight and struggle to keep up with their peers in more traditional childrens' sports, such as soccer and running. By lifting weights, these kids can improve their strength, endurance and coordination, enhancing their performance in other sports. And when they lift weights, children can exercise in privacy, away from the critical eyes of their schoolmates.
On the other hand, the impetus for weight lifting should come from the children themselves; children who prefer to spend time doing other types of physical activity should be encouraged to do so.
The Right Way
As with any sport, however, children can injure themselves if they take on too much weight or lift in the wrong position. Children should not be treated as miniature adults, particularly in terms of intensity. And training principles for adults must not be imposed on them.
In 1996, the National Strength and Conditioning Association laid out guidelines for children who want to lift weights:
Children should use machines that are properly designed for their size. Machines designed for adults are not safe for most children because children's arms and legs are not long enough to use them correctly. Many children can use only light free weights. Weight-lifting equipment specifically designed for children is available, but even doing squats while holding a broomstick may be a good starting point.
Children must be supervised by professional trainers. Supervising trainers should encourage children to achieve at their own personal best and discourage children from competing with their peers.
Children can begin around the time they would participate in organized sports (about age 7), but each child's readiness needs to be evaluated on an individual basis with careful attention given to their ability to follow directions.
Fitness professionals must closely supervise all children during resistance-training exercises. Children must be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.
Copyright 1999 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.
Strength and Power are at the core of any improvement in performance. If your child or a child you know is active in sports. get them started with a Youth Fitness Program from US Sports Strength and Conditioning also for athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages Get a leg up on the competition with your very own customized Strength and Power Program.


Youth Strength Training

Youth Strength Training Programs are designed for overall health and the achievement of a leaner, stronger body. These programs are an excellent first step in helping a young person learn how to lift weights safely. Done correctly, and with adult supervision, weight training can be an excellent form of exercise that, once learned, can provide a lifetime of health benefits.

Throughout the length of the Youth Strength Training Programs, the manipulation of the sets and repetitions for each exercise will be based on periodization concepts that involve changing the intensity and the volume of the workouts. The weights are lighter and the repetitions will be higher for added safety!

As with all the programs, the starting point of the workouts are based on the child's initial fitness level. With feedback, the actual progression of the program will follow the child's unique adaptation process to exercise.

Fine tune the programs to include various exercises that can be matched to equipment at home or in the gym! In addition to strength training, encourage children to participate in their favorite sports for a well rounded fitness program. Have fun and get healthy!


Select a Program

3 Day Youth


Custom Strength and Power Programs

These are a group of Custom Strength and Power Programs with some great additions and variations to the original Strength and Power Programs.


The programs with the word "Olympic" in the title will have the Olympic lifts (power clean, snatch etc) added in. The programs with "Advanced" in the title will use something called "phase jumping". Phase jumping means it includes a set that calls for one rep at an intensity level that is 5-10% higher than the work sets. This set has been added at the end of the descending warmup for the "bigger" or primary strength exercises like squat, power clean, bench etc. The set combinations for these exercises appear rather long, but usually half of them are actually warmup based! These phase jumping sets allow the body to neurally adapt to the training poundages that will be experienced in the next phase of training in the workout.

Included as one of these Custome Programs is an ACL "Functional" Rehab Program that is designed to bring strength levels back up over a 12 week time period. This ACL Rehab Program should not be done unless full range of motion exists in the knee joint, and physician clearence has occurred.
Select a Program

3 Day Back To The Basics - Strength and Power
3 Day Olympic with Strength and Power EXPRESS Advanced *
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