With developing communication tools, increased awareness and curiosity to sports that started at a young age, I have now seen young people doing bodybuilding in gymnasiums.
Is this harmful for young people to do bodybuilding? Does bodybuilding shorten your height? What should be bodybuilding training for young people? questions like young people and their families.
Teens and bodybuilding
Although the bodybuilding sport mentioned in this article is not at the competition level, it includes endurance and strength exercises. Heavy and unconscious bodybuilding exercises pose a risk for all individuals, large and small. This current risk is higher for young people and children.
There are many speculations about the recommended physical activity before, during and after adolescence.
These questions often result in parents keeping young people away from gyms. Let’s examine these questions one by one.
Does bodybuilding prevent height growth?
In order to more accurately examine the effect of bodybuilding on height growth, we first need to examine the mechanism of height growth.
Growth plates in the pineal layer are found at the ends of the bones of children and adolescents in the growing age. The cells in these plaques proliferate, allowing the bones to grow longitudinally and lengthen. Many people claim that bodybuilding damages pineal plaques, and accordingly, growth slows and stops.
The truth is quite different from this belief!
Recent studies of the American pediatric association have shown that weight exercises do not change the risk of height growth and cardiovascular disease in young people. Of course, there are a few distinction points in this regard.
Exercise should be done with body weight or low weights.
Exercises with body weight do not exert more pressure on pineal plaques (growth plates) than in normal life. Thus, you can guarantee your development by protecting your growth plates. However, even if a fracture occurs in the growth plates, the growth may not stop (Research on this matter continues.)
In addition, exercise positively affects hormone levels. For this reason, correct exercise at a young age positively affects the growth of height.
For detailed information about growth hormone: Growth Hormone (GH) Guide
Attention should be paid to the technique and attention should be paid to the number of repetitions.
The pressure points created by the exercises on the bones and muscles are very important. In order to keep these pressure points in the right area, technique should be paid attention and exercise should be done under the supervision of the trainer. The number of repetitions should not be less than 5 or more than 15.
Is it harmful for young people to do bodybuilding?
Applying endurance and strength exercises in the right amount and with the right technique is not harmful for children and adolescents.
Research has shown that the frequency of many diseases that may occur in older ages decreases in individuals who start to exercise at a young age.
At what age should bodybuilding be started?
American pediatric association experts state that the age of starting endurance and strength exercises should be at least 8-9. Earlier power and endurance sports can be mentally and physically harmful.
Can young people use supplements?
When many supplements are used at the right time and dosage, they contribute to performance, especially in professional athletes aged 15-18. In addition, proper use will not harm young people.
Of course, before using supplements, you should talk to your doctor, determine the needs and use supplements in the right direction.
The benefits of weight training for teens
There are many benefits of weight exercises recommended for a healthier body. I have reviewed some of these.
Studies have shown that weight exercises support neurological development in young people and accordingly, their coordination ability increases.
The development of the communication skills, sharing and trusting of young people and children who show up in the gymnasiums, outdoor exercises and all other social environments at an early age accelerates. However, young people and children who learn to take care of themselves feel confident and are one step closer to being successful in society.
This psychological effect seen in all sports is very important for the development of children and young people.
Body mass index
It is observed that weight exercises initiated at a young age prevent obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular and similar diseases that may occur in later ages.
Click to calculate your body mass index.
Things to pay attention
There are a few points to consider when exercising in children and young people. Let’s examine them together.
Handle weights with care
More weight does not mean faster development. Trying to increase weights before your muscles, joints and tendons are ready increases the risk of disability. For this reason, before increasing the weight you use in your exercise, you should be able to perform 15 reps with the current weight. You should also increase the weight by 10% of the current weight.
Avoid explosive strength exercises
Experts do not recommend doing these exercises that require instant strength and are called “explosive strength exercises” before bone and muscle development is completed. These types of exercises can cause frequent injuries and disruption of your development.
Strengthen large muscle groups
Instead of isolated exercises that focus on one or more muscle fibers, consider compound exercises that run multiple muscle groups. This reduces your risk of injury, and your muscle and bone development is positively affected. We have an article about isolated and compound muscle groups: Which Exercise Type to Choose? Isolated vs Compound
Take care of your diet
More attention should be paid to nutrition in youth and childhood, when cell growth and proliferation reaches its peak. After the training, you should calculate and meet the protein, carbohydrate and fat deficit, which increase with the increasing nutritional needs.
During this period, avoid dieting and pay attention to a healthy diet.
Do not train excessively
Your body, which continues to develop rapidly, may have difficulty in damaging the damage caused by excessive training. For this reason, never exercise too much. This interrupts both your development and mental performance. Keep your exercises between 20 and 60 minutes.
There is an article about overtraining syndrome seen in athletes as a result of excessive training: Overtraining Guide
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