I get asked constantly “When can my kid start coming to MaxOut?” We have a pretty defined answer to that question –“Go ask your pediatrician.” While our recommended starting age is 14 years old, the fact remains that children’s’ bodies develop at different rates and there is no real gauge to determine what age is the universal age to begin strength training at MaxOut. The thing we ask parents to ask their pediatrician to look for is the development of their growth plates. That will determine if, and when, a child is of age to begin a serious strength-training program like MaxOut. We take muscular-skeletal health of our kids very seriously and will not sacrifice their health just to make a quick sale.

Epiphyseal plates, more commonly known as “growth plates”, are areas of growing tissue near the ends of the long bones in children and adolescents. These areas determine the length and shape of the mature bones in their bodies. Your pediatrician can look at their growth plates and determine how tall your child might become once their bodies fully mature and they can determine when that peak height may be reached.

Growth plate injuries are quite frequent in children and adolescents, especially now that youth athletics are a year-round commitment. However, they are twice as frequent in boys than in girls, girls’ bodies mature earlier than boys, thus reducing the exposure to growth plate injuries. When a growth plate is injured it stunts the maturation of the bone it is connected to and this can have long term repercussions if left unaddressed or mistreated. But, if properly treated, most kids suffer no long term negative effects.

The younger the child, the more susceptible their bodies are to growth plate injuries.   We choose 14 as our age to startMaxOut Strength Training because it is universally considered a “safe” age for both boys and girls. We tell every parent that we still recommend that they talk to their pediatrician even if the child is 14 years or older.

How kids strength train, even when they are 14 or older, is also something every parent should consider. Any time you introduce additional external weight on the body of a young person who is just starting out with their strength training program, you run a risk of injury. We recognize that injuries happen, but you can limit those injuries if you teach proper form and implement proper programming. Traditional strength training exercises are done in a wide variety of ways. Whether you use free weights, pin/rack style weight machines or some other strength training tool, the amount of weight you place on the body, the amount of repetitions you ask each body part to perform and the pace of each repetition will have a direct effect on that specific area of the body – both positively and negatively.

I like to compare the body to a car. Your joints are like the brakes, struts and tires. If you spin your tires at every stop sign, slam on your brakes at every traffic light and place momentum stress on those struts, you will be replacing them all sooner rather than later. If you gradually accelerate after a stop sign, apply your brakes in a slow and controlled fashion and allow the whole car to absorb the momentum change between stopping and starting, you will save the wear and tear on those areas and extend their life considerably.

The body is very similar. Our joints are the most vulnerable areas of the human body. The goal of strength training is to essentially do two things – increase the performance of the body and protect it from injury. In traditional strength training programs, most encourage three to four days of lifting per week. In order to get a full body workout and achieve maximal strength results, most programs require a person to perform three to four exercises per body part (Legs, Back, Chest, Shoulders, and Arms) with three to four sets per exercise. Each of those exercises likely requires eight-12 repetitions per set. The total number of repetitions that a traditional strength training program will require to obtain the desired results is more than 900 total repetitions every single week. Do that every week for a year and the total number of reps eclipses 46,000! That is a lot of wear and tear on a young person’s joints and connective tissue – with no assurance that they will even reach their pre-lifting goals.

At MaxOut, we take a completely different approach to strength development. We took the science of the human body and maximized it’s capability with our proprietary programming and technology. We are able to deliver unprecedented strength results in a fraction of the time and do so without causing unnecessary wear and tear on the body. The most repetitions anyone does in one week are 248 total repetitions for the entire body. That number decreases each week while the weight lowered and lifted increases. In an annual strength-training program at MaxOut, the amount of repetitions on the body is less than 10,000! Almost 1/5th the number of repetitions compared to traditional strength training.

Our clients routinely average 15-30 percent overall body strength gains every 14 workouts. Imagine having 30 percent more capability to do something? Every client is trained like an athlete because we believe that the human body is best suited to act and react in an athletic manner. We keep our clients strong, we reduce injuries dramatically and frequently improve the quality of life for those who started with an ailment or injury and now have the ability to do things that were once not possible. We are proud that we have found a pathway for teens and young adults to attain strength and muscular-skeletal health, without compromising our morals and values.

By: Matt Cubbler

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