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At what age can you start weight lifting?

USMCRabi

USMCRabi

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Feb 26, 2012
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So my son is about to turn 13. Is he to young to lift? Researching online I find mixed reviews. I have been having him do situps and push-ups right now. I would like to add in some weights. Nothing crazy. Just show him correct form and go super light. What are your thoughts and opinions?
 
Lizard King

Lizard King

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Sep 9, 2010
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I do bar only work with my son who is 13, if any weight it's like. All about, form and reps and not straining.
 
DieYoungStrong

DieYoungStrong

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May 27, 2013
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I started my sons in 6th grade - so 12. I have a lot of coaching experience with younger kids and teens, and I'm a believer that it takes 2-3 years for a kid to really learn how to lift. So if a kid starts training when he's a freshman, he really won't have the technique to really start pushing the weights until he's a JR/SR.

So I started my oldest in 6th grade with extremely light and manageable weights - everything was technique. Now he's 14 and heading into his freshman year repping squats with 315. Most of the kids in his grade still can't do a proper squat in the football weight room. So I feel like I shrank his learning curve from JR to Freshman year. Now he's into puberty and ready to start loading the bar while the other kids on his team will still be figuring out form for another year or so before they are ready to really start pushing it .
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

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Dec 28, 2015
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I do not know how the high school is in your area, but I would start training him at 13 just to get him in good form. The high school my kids went to made it mandatory for all students in sports to have a weights and conditioning class, so yes, if you did sports all four years you had weights and conditioning all four years or you could not compete. The teacher here was not exactly the best at his job and my son would argue with him constantly to the point my son, a three sport varsity kid, was getting a C in the class. He always explained, "I train with my dad and he says my form is fine." Where the teacher disagreed. I set up a meeting and as soon as the teacher (5'7" 165 lbs 20% BF) sees me (5'9" 220 lbs 8% BF) he realized I probably know what the f*ck I am talking about and he let my son do whatever form he wanted for the rest of the year.
 
gunslinger

gunslinger

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Sep 19, 2010
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I started lifting at age 15. I think its fine for a kid to start at 13-14 these days as long as they aren't using super heavy weights. Body weight exercises are great too. IDK how it is where you live but around here most 14 year olds are already well over 6 feet and 200 + pounds. They seem to reach full adult size around 13-14 these days.
 
Wallyd

Wallyd

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Dec 10, 2013
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I’m with gunslinger, I started at 15 & I don’t think 13 is too young. Like everyone else has said MAKE sure his form is right! No ego lifting, sloppy shit.
 
DieYoungStrong

DieYoungStrong

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May 27, 2013
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I started lifting at age 15. I think its fine for a kid to start at 13-14 these days as long as they aren't using super heavy weights. Body weight exercises are great too. IDK how it is where you live but around here most 14 year olds are already well over 6 feet and 200 + pounds. They seem to reach full adult size around 13-14 these days.

It really is nuts. My oldest is in 8th grade, 14 yrs old, and he's 6', 250lbs. I was 5-5, 120lbs in 8th grade haha.
 
BovaJP

BovaJP

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Feb 15, 2013
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oh this thread is great! I love how you are so thoughtful and encouraging to your loved one. I don't think this is too young at all. He is still growing, and is a great time. Also would teach some focus and goals, etc. Also a place to vent any and all stress. Being a kid today is hard.
 
gunslinger

gunslinger

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Sep 19, 2010
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It really is nuts. My oldest is in 8th grade, 14 yrs old, and he's 6', 250lbs. I was 5-5, 120lbs in 8th grade haha.
Yeah I think I was 5'7" 115 in 8th grade. Now I have two kids in my Jiu-jitsu class that are 14 and 15. One is 6'1" 225 and the other 6'2" 260
 
Rock Diesel

Rock Diesel

Member
Mar 16, 2022
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I started when I was 15. I don't 13 is too young, just be mindful of the weights and his form. I think it's great to get him started young. I'm thankful everyday that I started training so young, as it's made me into the person I am today. I see so many people who have lived their whole lives with absolutely no regard to their overall health. A lot of it is just lack of knowledge and experience. They followed the same path as their parents, who followed the same path as their parents before. Getting him started in the gym now is handing him one of the best gifts you could ever give him in my opinion.
 
Mike_RN

Mike_RN

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Aug 13, 2013
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If you are concerned about stunting his growth, then I’d wait until 15-16. Not everyone stops growing until puberty ends so too heavy training (or just too intense) can force the epiphysial plates in kids bones to close too soon.
My daughter is a gymnast and has been competing since she was 7. I’m 5’8” my wife is 5’ so my kid never had much chance of being over 5’2”. . That said I want to give her the best chance of breaking 5’ she can have.
Stick to body weight work and mastery of moving themselves through space (running, climbing, pull ups, push-ups etc). An athletic well coordinated kid can really make a TON of progress once they turn 16 and have the hormones kicking in and bone growth completed.
 
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