first_imgNUTRITIONIST, FITNESS COACH & GYM OWNER NEIL BARRETT CONTINUES HIS SERIES ON TEENAGE FITNESS:LET THEM LIFT WEIGHTSJust because your teenage son or daughter hasn’t done sports since national school doesn’t mean they won’t get involved again. Maybe team sports wasn’t for them or maybe it wasn’t the right time or with the right group of  people.Our activity during adolescence shapes our attitude towards activity into adulthood.At Fit-Hub we have seen an increase in the number of teenagers, girls and boys, some involved with sport and some not, trying weightlifting.For the purpose of this article I will use the term weightlifting as a reference to describe resistance training using both bodyweight & external resistance (barbells, dumbells, kettlebells etc.). For decades there has been this myth that lifting weights is bad for teens or children.Let me clarify, if your child is lifting weights unsupervised or supervised by someone who is not qualified or experienced enough to do so then yes, it is dangerous! (This goes for everyone, not just children or teens).However, if your child is in a controlled environment, under expert supervision & working within strict parameters & guidelines, I can think of no better activity than weightlifting.Interestingly, it is also an activity where a 14,15 or 16-year-old can start now.They don’t need to have gone to training sessions since they were in national school. They don’t have to be a member of a team. They don’t have to join in a group. Weightlifting does not stunt growth, it does not have a negative impact on joint health, it does not make you bulky, (I will clarify this point later).It can lead to injury but no more so than any other sport including running, football, basketball, rugby etc……However, the benefits of lifting far outweigh any risk involved.Firstly, assessing this from a physical health perspective. Increasing lean muscle tissue in teens will directly reduce adiposity (body fat %).More lean muscle tissue equals a higher energy demand at rest, therefore metabolic rate (metabolism) is increased.Simply put – one hour of weightlifting 2-4 times per week can have an even more positive effect on body composition than any other type of training in that same time period.Secondly, and this may seem a little off topic but I will get to the point, osteoporosis and related fractures in the elderly is a current health concern worldwide as it has an indirect effect mortality rates.Basically, what this means is that falling and breaking a hip when we get old has a very negative impact on quality of life, and usually marks the beginning of a rapid decline in health.What has this got to do with adolescents?Well we acquire most of our bone mass during childhood & adolescence which is crucial to achieving peak bone mass into adulthood.A higher peak bone mass during adulthood means stronger bones in old age thus significantly reducing our risk of fractures or breaks, leading to a longer, happier life.What has shown to increase our peak bone mass most effectively?? Weight bearing exercises like jumping, running and lifting.Thirdly, weight training improves cardio respiratory health & directly reduces markers for cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders & cancer later in life.The benefits of weight training far transcend just the physical, it also has a hugely positive impact on self-esteem, self-worth & confidence.Teens are faced with so many pressures and unnecessary stress these days, negative body image should not be one of them.We live in a society that has an unhealthy obsession with appearance, you can’t pick up a magazine, newspaper, tablet or phone without being bombarded with sexualised images of females (& males) with perfectly (airbrushed) toned bodies.I must be clear here, I do NOT endorse this superficial view of self-image, but trying to tell an insecure teen that REAL people don’t look like this is an absolute waste of time.Instead give them a healthy focus like weight training that will help them achieve a healthy, lean body & indirectly improve self-esteem without all the associated aesthetic BS.They will thank you for this later.Now I must distinguish between weightlifting for strength & weightlifting for bodybuilding.  Weightlifting for strength does not make you bulky, it will however give the appearance of leanness & have positive effects on almost all aspects of physiological & psychological health.  Bodybuilding on the other hand uses different sets, reps, volume & rest ranges to elicit a hypertrophic effect (muscle bulking).If your teenager is already an athlete, weightlifting is designed to take them to the next level by teaching proper mechanics, recovery and movement patterns.If your teen is not an athlete, weightlifting is guaranteed to help them establish healthy lifestyle habits, and convert them from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active, prolific one.(Whether your teen is looking for a stand-alone strength and conditioning program, or additional training to supplement their sport specific training, Fit-Hub Teens is committed to helping them achieve their goals in a fun, judgement free environment surrounded by their peers & supervised by trained professionals) For more information contact Ruairi on:086 1970 325Email [email protected] BARRETT’S TEEN FITNESS HUB: LET THEM LIFT WEIGHTS was last modified: May 21st, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalfitnessNeil Barrettteen fitnesslast_img

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