Resistance Training for Children and Youth:
A Position Stand from the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) 2007
The paper discusses about the use of resistance training by children (6-12 years old) and youth (13-18 years old) and gives its position stands.
Recommendation of training loading intensities and exercise selection strategies
Level 1: 6-9 years of age
- Modified bodyweight exercises and light resistance (brooms and bands etc.)
- Perform in the range of >15 reps
Level 2: 9-12 years of age
- Simple joint exercises with dumbbells and appropriate machine exercises for children
- Perform in the range of 10-15 reps
Level 3: 12-15 years of age
- Include more free weight exercises. Complex lifts such as cleans, snatches, deadlifts and squats should be done only if properly taught by a competent strength coach
- Perform in the range of 8-15 reps
Level 4: 15-18 years of age
- Moving towards an advanced adult programme involving split routines with appropriate and complex multi-joint movements, provided sound technique has been developed by a competent strength coach
- Perform in the range of 6-16 reps
This paper provides sound arguments and useful information & advice on this hotly debated topic. I strongly encourage readers to download and read through it.
One advice that the paper mentions is the use of Repetition Method (RM) instead of 1 RM testing to determine appropriate training loads or to monitor training progresses. Personally, I use the RM method in my trainings as well. 1 RM method may be confusing and not as effective for young beginners as they may be unable to find their true 1 RM in the test. Causes may be lack of experience and unable to push to their limits (stopping before they reach temporary muscular fatigue) etc.
If you are performing a straight set, for example, 3 sets of 10 reps, find a load that you can perform for only 10 reps and perform 3 sets of the same load. Progressively increase the load in subsequent sessions
For pyramid set training, for example, 3 sets of 15, 10 and 8 reps, adjust the load accordingly for the given number of reps. Lower reps = higher loads
All these can be done through trial and error till you become proficient and experienced enough to accurately estimate the load required for a particular rep range.
Website of the Australia Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA)
Website of Australian Sports Conditioning
All information presented on this site is meant for general purposes. It is not meant to replace health and medical advice from healthcare professionals.