The benefits of weight training are plentiful no matter the age. Whether you’ve been doing it for decades on end now, just getting started later in life or you’re at the very beginning of this journey and youth is on your side, the reasons to train are endless. Some will say that if you start weight training too early on, that you’re going to do irreparable damage to your body, and you will end up stunting your growth. To that I say, prove it? The only way that could happen is if you damage a growth plate and there’s a far greater chance of doing something like that while playing contact sports such as hockey or football at an early age, so save that argument for someone else. If you’re in the age range of 11 to 15 years old, this would be the opportune time to start weight training now! My advice would be to find someone knowledgeable at your local gym to show you the ropes so that you can learn how to do things right from the very beginning of your journey. Take it from someone who started his own weight training journey at 10 years old and have spent an entire teaching career showing our youth how to train, it’s the best place to start and to strengthen this argument even more so, here are my top 4 reasons to get to a gym to start working out now.
Reason #1: The Experts are Waiting
Probably the best reason to start out at a gym when you’re young is because there are literally expert weight trainers every where you look. From the people you’ll be working out alongside with all the way to the Fitness Trainers who are there to provide guidance and expertise, you will have all the knowledge you’ll ever need under one roof. Your best bet is to simply hire a trainer once you sign up at the gym or take advantage of any free personal training sessions that may also be available as a sign-up bonus so that they can take you around the gym, show you where everything his, give you some tips on how to start and point you in all the right directions. Secondly, if you want, you can sign up for a certain number of sessions with that trainer per week and have them customize your new plan for you. However you want to do it, hook up with a trainer so you have the proper instruction given to you while you’re still a beginner.
Reason #2: Mindset Matters
You have most likely heard about those of us when we were younger, working out in our basements or out in the garage and just throwing around the weights at will with no real purpose other than to lift more than the day before. While that’s great and all and some awesome memories have stemmed from those times, when thinking back there were a lot of wasted days simply because we didn’t have the right mindset in those times to really make a difference when it could have counted the most. As soon as you possibly can, learn what intensity means, understand the difference between purposeful lifting and just going through the motions and also find out what you need to shift gears to a whole new level when you’re trying to accomplish something greater than maybe you even realized you were capable of doing. Being in a gym, surrounded by others who are already great at doing these things, will rub off on you and make you better as a result.
Reason #3: Finding Focus
When you’re young and there’s lots going on around you, it’s easy to become distracted. Maybe it’s your phone that’s taking up a lot of your attention when you should be mentally preparing for the next set, or you find yourself getting into conversations with your friends there not realizing it’s been ten minutes since your last set or you’re really good at finding reasons to skip the gym for something else, you need to really learn how to focus if training is going to be a priority in your life. A great trainer can definitely help with this and also an older mentor or someone you’ve seen in the gym that you aspire to be like some day, can also help in this regard. Watch what they do; keep track of their preparation in between sets or work with a fitness trainer who keeps you on task and rarely gives you a break to mentally wander off. If you can find your focus and learn how to lock in when you need to on a second’s notice, then you’ll see the true benefit of what your mindset can help you accomplish in the physical realm.
Reason #4: Now that You’re Focused, Put Your Energy To Good Use
You could be the young person who people always say has so much energy that you don’t know what to do with it all. Maybe you aren’t great at focusing on school work and sitting down for even twenty minutes to complete a math problem, just sends you over the edge. Well, perhaps you just need an outlet to help you out with those things and chances are, the gym would be a perfect fit for you. There is a direct positive correlation between weight training and working out and better grades in school, improved focus and even better sleep at night. How do I know this? Well, because I’ve seen it many, many times and have been told by teenagers who battle ADD and ADHD that the gym literally changed their lives, and they don’t know what they would do without having that outlet so they can get all their energy out and bang weights every day. If any of this sound like you, I highly suggest you go pick up a barbell for the first time and see what power it beholds.
Far too many people have limited themselves to only playing sports at a young age when the truth is, you should be doing that and weight training all at the same time. The benefits of doing both are too plentiful to ignore so it blows my mind when I hear older and supposedly wiser people, telling kids who are twelve and thirteen years old to wait until they’re at least sixteen before they start lifting weights. If you start weight training at a young age, with safety being of paramount importance and a trained eye watching over you, all that will happen is you will get stronger, improve flexibility, get faster, increase your bone density thereby making your structure and frame even stronger, feel awesome about yourself, improve your sleeping patterns, increase your appetite for healthy and nutritious foods, enhance your mood, make you focus better on all of the other things you’ll have to do at that age like school and doing your chores and set you up for a lifestyle that will pay you back over and over again with dividends when everyone else around you is getting sick and unhealthy. So again, I ask, how can this be a bad thing? It’s not so parents, get your kids a gym membership and a trainer, we have lots here at Brickhouse Gym, and sign them up for the best activity they will ever do in life. It will prove to be an investment you won’t regret!
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Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member