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Sport Performance and Resistance Training for Young Clients

Participation in organized youth sports and training for performance is occurring at increasingly younger ages in recent years. There are various sport preparation clinics as well as high-intensity group exercise programs currently available that specifically target young aspiring athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This has raised concern among parents, clinicians, coaches and other fitness professionals as to the competency of these groups as well as the potential negative implications of participating in such programs. The key question arises – how young is too young to safely engage in specialized physical training involving high-intensity weightlifting activities? There are a number of factors that must be considered to properly address this question such as chronological age, sex (gender), psychological maturity, current training age physical experience and the specific activities/programmatic stresses being prescribed. The term youth refers to children (approximately up to age 11 among girls and 13 among boys) and adolescents (approximately ages 12-18 among girls and 14-18 among boys). The term preadolescent refers to boys and girls who have not yet developed secondary sex characteristics.

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