Dispelling the Myths of Youth Sports Conditioning

Youth Sport Conditioning Facts!

Myth:  Weight Training Stunts growth

Truth: No Clinical record showing correlations between heavy weight training and bone damage.  In fact bone density increases!

Myth: Strength Training is ineffectual at producing strength at younger ages because of their hormonal profile is not adequate

Truth: High intensity programs have been shown to increase strength in preadolescences in 6 weeks or less (Wescott 1979, Mersch 1989, Nielsen 1980, Ozmun 1991)

Myth:  Injury rates with weight training are a continual source of concern and have been proposed as one of the major rationale for precluding children’s training with weights.

Truths: Injury rates are lower in weight lifting than in other sporting activities (Stone 1990)

Weight training programs are safe with athletes as young as 7 (Pierce et al, 1999)

Weight lifting can reduce the likelihood of injury in other sporting activities (Faigenbaum&Schram, 2004)


Despite the previously held belief that strength training was unsafe and ineffective for children, health organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Strength and Conditioning Association now support children’s participation in appropriately designed and competently supervised strength training programs. (John A Bergfeld M.D.)