Getting My Son Into Fitness

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    Mar 18, 2010 2:33 AM GMT
    My son is 5'10," 188 lbs. and is interested in working out. The issue is that he is only 12 years old. (His pediatrician said that he will be at least 6' 6 1/2" when he tops out!) He isn't fat but full all over. He is naturally slimming down of late and is interested in fitness. His body is big but still developing. His mother wants to buy a gym membership for him and I'm willing to pay for the trainer. He needs the positive body image and he doesn't have it now. I want to encourage him but not push him.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
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    Mar 18, 2010 2:59 AM GMT
    My thought is about how young he is. His bones arent knitted yet. So I would say check out the PT's qualifications for working with someone so young. ....physiologically and psychologically, too. He's a kid.
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:04 AM GMT
    Caslon13000 saidMy thought is about how young he is. His bones arent knitted yet. So I would say check out the PT's qualifications for working with someone so young. ....physiologically and psychologically, too. He's a kid.


    Agreed. I wonder if it's too early or if the right trainer can go easy on him to get him interested in fitness but not hurt his developing body.
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:06 AM GMT
    BigDude6ft6 saidMy son is 5'10," 188 lbs. and is interested in working out. The issue is that he is only 12 years old. (His pediatrician said that he will be at least 6' 6 1/2" when he tops out!) He isn't fat but full all over. He is naturally slimming down of late and is interested in fitness. His body is big but still developing. His mother wants to buy a gym membership for him and I'm willing to pay for the trainer. He needs the positive body image and he doesn't have it now. I want to encourage him but not push him.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?


    Get him going the gym where his peers are going so that it becomes intergrated into his lifestyle. His bones will be strengthed by the activity (stronger lattices) and you shouldn't be too concerned as long as proper lifting method is emphasized. What's important is that he learn proper lifting method, and, not over train, or train in a sloppy way and get hurt.

    You should be careful about lateral motions injuries (things like hits in football), or injury from over stretch or ballistic / rapid movement. Moderate to high rep weights will be fine.

    Bone under load grows stronger, and is not a bad thing.
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:09 AM GMT
    Good job on your son wanting to workout and be fit.

    I would tell him to just get active and play some sports or something but the gym works too. Being 12 years old and weighing as much as some grown men might be an issue at such a young age. Have him mend and mold it to his advantage and he'll be a knock for sure in whatever sport he decide to play.

    Best of luck to him.
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:19 AM GMT
    I have 3 sons...the oldest is 24, the middle one just turned 18 on tuesday and the youngest turned 15 last week.....
    When the middle son, Ted, was about 11 or 12 his dr suggested that I put him in a "training activity", but said it should not really be hardcore weights or running , but more of a self defense or gymnastics type of program to give the muscles and the mind a place to focus and strengthen and learn some self discipline and to worry about proper, safe, good "form"....the physical strength training would be more appropriate when he was after about 15 or so when his body was more developed.....so I put Ted in Taekwondo....He needed the time to mature and it gave him an activity and an outlet for his teen angst...along with giving him some confidence and the ability to protect himself.......
    I would hold off the trainer and the gym and get his pediatrician's opinion on weight training vs like gymnastics or self defense type activities for a few years.....he's still a kid and if it doesn't involve working his thumbs on a video game he's gonna get bored real fast....LOL! GOOD LUCK!
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:21 AM GMT
    This is all that I have found online...

    What is the ideal age to start exercising?

    Answer
    Usually, fitness instructors advise to start exercising only at the age of 16 (for males, I'm not sure about females).

    You should also not over-exert yourself. Do only around 60-80% of your limit for any exercise. You can find out what your limit just by pushing yourself until you pretty are dead tired. Please do NOT hurt yourself; think twice before doing anything.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_ideal_age_to_start_exercising


    But there are lots of physical exercises he can do that dont involve lifting weights.
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:28 AM GMT
    http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/articles-submit/raymond-kelly/weight-lifting-kid.htm

    You can start at any age, but, in males, there won't be much muscular development under after puberty (doh).

    Bones are strengthened under load, and so long as there aren't ballistic movements, any age is fine to start. In the case of your son, you might well be doing him a favor by developing his underlying bone structure to support his approaching size.

    Lateral motion injuries are much more an issue with young guys. I've seen so many young kids with blown out knees from getting hit from the side.

    Here's more from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

    http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_fit/fitness/strength_training.html
  • calibro

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    Mar 18, 2010 3:29 AM GMT
    Can't you get him involved with some sort of sport?
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:31 AM GMT
    If he's concerned about injuries, sports, especially football, with its lateral motion, would be more dangerous.
  • ajw18

    Posts: 141

    Mar 18, 2010 3:46 AM GMT
    calibro saidCan't you get him involved with some sort of sport?


    Agreed! Getting him into an organized sport (rec or school teams) will help him get healthy. Once he hits high school, the sports teams will begin to take the students to the weight room and teach them proper form. By that time, his body will be ready to take the stress.
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:52 AM GMT
    calibro saidCan't you get him involved with some sort of sport?


    Totally agree. Because of his eventual height, basketball and volleyball are the obvious choices. But, another sport he could thrive in, while getting a ton of really good exercise and eventual weight training, is swimming. Glad to see some of today's youth is interested in more than sitting in front of a screen all day. Kudos
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    Mar 18, 2010 4:37 AM GMT
    I usto be a gymnast. 22hrs a week when I was 12 years old. If he does things right he won't have a problem with working out. show him hands on how to do things right to start and check up on him periodically to make sure he aint being a dumbass bench press whore like i was.

    and chucky said it right
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    Mar 18, 2010 5:17 AM GMT
    Ya, sports are a great way for a younger kid to stay fit. That's what I did when I was that age, and still do.
    But workout wise, using machines and free weights isn't what he needs. Just getting him to do stuff with his own body weight will probably benefit him more right now. Things like push ups, pull ups, walking lunges, ect. And getting him to train using resistance instead of weight. Those resistance bands would be perfect. And you can find tons of good and unique exercises for those bands on the net.
    But yea, with just his own body and a resistance band, he can get himself on the track to build up his body.
    And if losing weight is the issue, just getting him active will help with that.

    The only issues with the gym is
    1) Most the things in the gym he shouldn't be using yet anyways
    2) It can be a fairly intimidating place for some adults, let alone a kid whos 12 lol. Unless he is with like an adult.

    If your son needs somebody to help him along the way, then a trainer would be beneficial. Just make sure they know how to train a kid, because I have seen alot of trainers at gyms, train kids from 12-16 like they were adults. So, if you find a trainer, make sure he knows what he's doing and won't just throw your kid on some cookie cutter workout plan you can find in a magazine icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 18, 2010 5:48 AM GMT
    I think it's great that your son is getting into weight lifting. I did martial arts when I was that age and only got into weight training when I was 15. I'd have liked to have started as early as your son but I think my way worked out for me too. As long as your son is at least pubescent his body should be fine with hitting the weights.

    Might have to have that talk with him a little earlier though. He's definitely going to be popular when he gets into mid-high school, him being in the gym as early as he is. icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 18, 2010 5:57 AM GMT
    BigDude6ft6 saidMy son is 5'10," 188 lbs. and is interested in working out. The issue is that he is only 12 years old. (His pediatrician said that he will be at least 6' 6 1/2" when he tops out!) He isn't fat but full all over. He is naturally slimming down of late and is interested in fitness. His body is big but still developing. His mother wants to buy a gym membership for him and I'm willing to pay for the trainer. He needs the positive body image and he doesn't have it now. I want to encourage him but not push him.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?



    make him realize all the pussy he will get if he looks hawt....lolz
    pussy can do wonders for a manicon_twisted.gif
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    Mar 18, 2010 6:02 AM GMT
    from a personal trainer and aspiring physical therapists perspective i would hold off on the trainer. slowly allow him to get into wieghts but nothing to crazy. he could definitely hurt his growth plates which is something you never want to do as you grow up. tell him to begin with the basic, body weight exercises. push ups, sit ups, dips, pulls ups etc. you have to be careful with the trainer cuase some trainers will forget hes only 12. just start him out slow...postpone the trainer for at least a year.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Mar 18, 2010 6:07 AM GMT
    From personal experience, all you can really do is encourage him, and offer to get him the membership if he so desires. If you get him the membership in order to try to motivate him to go, it won't work. It's the same story as people who keep their gym memberships because they think that paying however many hundreds of dollars a year will get them to go, but they never do. He has to want it himself. So be supportive, but not pushy.
  • gymguy81

    Posts: 455

    Mar 18, 2010 6:09 AM GMT
    for ftness your sone will have as much if not more chance of physical injury playing sports than being supervised by a trainner @ the gym
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    Mar 18, 2010 6:29 AM GMT
    ajw18 said
    calibro saidCan't you get him involved with some sort of sport?


    Agreed! Getting him into an organized sport (rec or school teams) will help him get healthy. Once he hits high school, the sports teams will begin to take the students to the weight room and teach them proper form. By that time, his body will be ready to take the stress.


    Clearly, you haven't spent any time reading any research on this......He's already "healthy" and growing like a weed.

    Children as young as 7 can train with weights just fine. In fact, the load will make their bones stronger, as well as their tendons, and ligaments, and PREVENT injury.

    This is one of the cases where I WOULD advocate a trainer who can teach proper lifting method, as opposed to someone who is clueless. The best professional for this would like be a P.T. or somone with a strength training / weight training / kines background. Learning from a grown up, who's completely clueless, is the wrong thing.
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    Mar 18, 2010 7:46 AM GMT
    In my opinion he's too young to start the actual fitness, as in building muscle or something. So starting off with cardio sounds like a plan to me.
    What i started with though, could be great for him. I've had my first fitness experience as a kid with air pressure machines. It's really good to start with at a young age. You let him start with many repetitions, with low air pressure. His tendons will grow very strong by that so he won't get easily injured later on. And the fun part is, he's actually 'working out' instead of standing on a treadmill.

    Good luck!

    P.S. great that you want to encourage him, instead of pushing him!
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    Mar 18, 2010 9:25 AM GMT
    12 seems a little young to start at the gym in the sense that going to the gym brings up a lot of body image issues. I would have thought starting a sport would be more congruent to a healthy body AND mind than a gym where he will be surrounded by people who he will associate as the ideal male which may be more negative to him at his age
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    Mar 18, 2010 9:32 AM GMT
    chuckystud said
    BigDude6ft6 saidMy son is 5'10," 188 lbs. and is interested in working out. The issue is that he is only 12 years old. (His pediatrician said that he will be at least 6' 6 1/2" when he tops out!) He isn't fat but full all over. He is naturally slimming down of late and is interested in fitness. His body is big but still developing. His mother wants to buy a gym membership for him and I'm willing to pay for the trainer. He needs the positive body image and he doesn't have it now. I want to encourage him but not push him.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?


    Get him going the gym where his peers are going so that it becomes intergrated into his lifestyle. His bones will be strengthed by the activity (stronger lattices) and you shouldn't be too concerned as long as proper lifting method is emphasized. What's important is that he learn proper lifting method, and, not over train, or train in a sloppy way and get hurt.

    You should be careful about lateral motions injuries (things like hits in football), or injury from over stretch or ballistic / rapid movement. Moderate to high rep weights will be fine.

    Bone under load grows stronger, and is not a bad thing.


    Chucky speaks the truth.
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    Mar 18, 2010 10:27 AM GMT
    Pop Warner??
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    Mar 18, 2010 3:41 PM GMT
    Being so obese, the original poster here should get off to the gym, too. The gym membership is the best idea for both the father and the son, and the sooner, the better.