No matter what age, there are many benefits to following a good strength-training routine. Exercises should be customized according to your age, goals and current physical stature. Here are some guidelines to consider at your age when preparing to incorporate weight-lifting into an exercise routine:
For the Young
A lot of kids want to go pro or “Be like Mike.” But, with sports injuries so frequent on today’s campuses, it’s important to remember that children develop muscle at a different pace than adults do and their exercises must be customized to their age.
How to Properly Prepare Your Child to Gain Muscle the Healthy Way
A good age to begin lifting weight is around 13 or 14 years. Before that, a child can begin strength training by using resistance bands or their own body weight. Keep the weight light with high reps and slowly increase what a child can handle so not to damage growth plates with too much heavy lifting.
At 15-16 a teenager can begin adding more weight and build muscle under close supervision. The goal isn’t to max-weight. It’s to build muscle slowly over time in a healthy way through repetition.
A good rule of thumb is to be able to lift a weight 10 times without too much strain. Rest. Repeat.
A lot of the same rules that apply to children should be followed as they get older. The goal is never to max-weight and cause injury, but to build muscle slowly over time. This is accomplished through the following methods:
- Proper Technique
- Correct breath control
- Warm up and cool down
- Rest and Moderation
Always remember that no matter your age, doing too much too soon will cause serious problems as you develop.
Seniors and Safety
As a senior, regular exercise will build your endurance and improve breathing and mobility. It also reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure. While it’s especially important at any age, seniors (and children) especially need to follow proper safety measures.
- NEVER hold your breath
- DO NOT push through the pain
- Never exercise a set of muscles more than 3 times per week
- Never add more than you can handle
Don’t forget to rest! Consider an every-other-day workout routine with days of rest in-between. Visit your local gym to get educated, inspired and in shape!