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Will weight training stunt my child's growth?

Before you read this blog please answer this poll.

Do think weight training can stunt the height of children 10-13 years old?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Maybe

  • I don't know

Since I started training, parents have told me, "I do not know if I want my child to do weight training because I heard it stunts his growth?" or "I don't want her to get hurt so please don't give any weights to lift."

Look parents I get it. This is your child and you must protect him/her at all costs. I can only imagine if you were expecting a 6 foot 10 inches specimen of a child but ended up with a 5 foot 5 inches athlete instead. But strength training will never be the reason for someone not being able to grow.

There is just no scientific evidence to suggest that weight training when done properly and with appropriate supervision, can stunt growth in adolescents. Strength training can be beneficial for young people when done with proper technique, appropriate supervision, and age-appropriate loads.


In a study, Twenty-two reports dealing with strength training, in pre- and early-pubertal youth (8 to 9 years old), were reviewed in the context of subject characteristics, training protocol, responses, and occurrence of injury.

The results of the experimental programs found significant improvements in muscular strength during childhood and early adolescence. Strength gains were lost during non-training days. Experimental resistance training programs did not influence the growth in height and weight of pre- and early-adolescent youth, and changes in estimates of body composition were variable and quite small. Only 10 studies systematically monitored injuries, and only three injuries were reported.

It was concluded that the experimental training protocols with weights and resistance machines and with supervision in a relatively safe environment did not negatively impact the growth and maturation of pre- and early-pubertal youth.

It is the job of a strength and condition coach to

  1. Distinguish between age-appropriate strength training and inappropriate,

  2. Monitor excessive weight-loading

  3. Correct improper form with technique management

The benefits when adolescents engage in age-appropriate strength training programs,

  1. Improved muscular strength, endurance, and bone density.

  2. Can help prevent injuries in sports

  3. Promotes overall health and fitness.

Again, it's crucial to follow guidelines and ensure that adolescents are supervised by qualified individuals, such as certified fitness professionals or coaches who understand the unique needs of young individuals. It's also essential to focus on proper technique and gradually increase the intensity of the training over time.

Always consult with a healthcare professional or me before starting any strength training program, especially for young individuals. I can provide personalized advice based on the individual's health, maturity level, and specific needs.

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