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How Young Is Too Young to Start Training?

Myer, Gregory D. Ph.D., CSCS*D, FACSM; Lloyd, Rhodri S. Ph.D., CSCS*D, ASCC; Brent, Jensen L. CSCS; Faigenbaum, Avery D. Ed.D., CSCS, FACSM

doi: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e3182a06c59
  • To introduce an integrative neuromuscular training model that can be used to enhance the health, fitness, and wellness of all children and adolescents.
  • To understand the potential benefits associated with strength and conditioning programs implemented with youth to reduce injury risk and enhance motor skill development that will support a physically active lifestyle.
  • To comprehend the concept of “training age” and the implications associated with systematic training beginning during early childhood.

As more children and adolescents participate in organized sports and physical conditioning activities in schools, fi tness centers, and private clubs, it is important to establish age-appropriate training guidelines for the safe and effective initiation of integrative training activities that are purposely designed to enhance neuromuscular function, increase muscular strength, and improve a child’s capacity to participate regularly in sports and recreational activities

Gregory D. Myer, Ph.D., CSCS*D, FACSM, is director of Research and the Human Performance Laboratory in the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and holds primary academic appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Orthopaedic Surgery within the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati.

Rhodri S. Lloyd, Ph.D., CSCS*D, ASCC, is a senior lecturer in Physiology and Health at Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, and is pediatric lead for the UK Strength and Conditioning Association.

Jensen L. Brent, CSCS, is the owner and director of Training at The Academy of Sports Performance in Cincinnati, OH, and head strength and conditioning coach for the Cincinnati Kelts Rugby Football Club.

Avery D. Faigenbaum, Ed.D., CSCS, FACSM, is a full professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey, where his research focuses on the role that resistance exercise plays in the health and fitness of children and adolescents.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest and do not have any financial disclosures.

© 2013 American College of Sports Medicine.