Ask Davey: Am I Too Young to Lift Weights?

Hey Davey,

I’ve been working out for about a month now, and have been losing quite a bit of weight, mostly inspired by you and the blog. I’m 17, and my parents keep going on about strength training and how I’m too young to do any strength training, but they can’t seem to tell me why its bad for someone of my age. I’ve been doing a bit anyway, with fairly light weights, but I’d like to go onto bigger ones. Is there any truth to being to young? If so, when can I start?

From,
Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

If you put yourself in your parents’ shoes, it’s easy to understand their concern. They probably want to know your motivations. They may worry that you are insecure with your appearance. Or that you are being picked on at school. Or even that you’re giving in to peer pressure. From their perspective, they may be concerned about an underlying problem, and so it’s best for you to be open and honest about why you’re interested in lifting weights. Communicate with your parents.

Moreover, like most people, your parents probably don’t fully understand strength training or any possible risks.

The truth is, strength training is perfectly healthy for young people, and it provides a number of great benefits such as:

  • Increased strength
  • Improved endurance
  • Faster metabolism
  • Promotes healthy body weight
  • Stronger bones
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Healthier cholesterol levels and blood pressure

Much of the concern about weight lifting in younger populations surrounds the myth that strength training stunts growth. The myth is rooted in some truth: If proper form isn’t maintained and/or the youth is engaged in excessive lifting, growth plates could be damaged. To ensure safer lifting, pay special attention to your form and don’t overly exert yourself.

Strength training is safe for young people, even much younger than yourself. And it’s certainly much safer than almost any other sport that your high school might offer. But you don’t have to take my word for it: The Mayo Clinic, The National Strength and Conditioning Association and American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend strength training in children for the above reasons.

It’s always wise to consult a physician, whether you’re an adult or child, before starting a new fitness routine. And with younger populations, supervision is recommended and heavy bodybuilding or power-lifting should generally be avoided until certain developmental criteria are met.

Hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. taylor lautner is extrenely hott haha also ya, i was in weight traianing class in sophomore at school, so ya if even schools offer weight training to even freshmen, then 17 would be fine

    glad you covered this davey =>

  2. Gee Mr. Davey, why weren’t you around when I was 17? 🙂 My next door neighbor friend was lifting weights before he was 17, and at that time I was a scrawny kid who wanted to build up my body. My parents didn’t say I couldn’t or shouldn’t but they didn’t encourage me either. I lifted weights for awhile, but didn’t realize much gain in bulk, so I sort of lost interest. I think diet is very important when undertaking a strength building program, and so while I did build endurance and stamina, I didn’t build bulging muscles. I still looked like a scrawny kid, but I could run fast 😉

    So, I’d recommend paying attention to your diet and investigate what sort of diet is best for a young person adopting a strength training program, then following through accordingly.

    Most importantly, be happy 🙂

  3. Starting at 13 or 14 is fine. 17 isn’t even an issue.

  4. I’m having another problem where they are convinced it’ll stunt my growth. Going to the gym and doing whole sets of dead-lifts, squats, bench presses and stiff legs freak them out though

  5. This is an arctile that makes you think “never thought of that!”

  6. Naja, das ist ja eher youtube-Standard. Wo ich hin will, ist Scientology. Da mal einen herlocken und dann 2000 Kommentare, darunter machen die’s ja nicht, das wäre was.

  7. adipex…This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want�HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great st…

  8. Hi GuysIs fab to hear about all LR getting out and about. I haven’t been down for the past couple of weeks and been struck down with tonsillitis and then a sickness virus but hope to be up and running again tomorrow. Can’t wait to get back into it again!! See you all then.Helen