I am passionate about being the best damn strength coach there is, understandably it pains me deeply when I watch young men come into the gym and attempt to go through training routines that they pulled off from a body building site. Now I have nothing that profound against body building, it’s just not my cup of tea. Volume training is not that useful for young athletes. I get pissed when I see healthy young men (and women) destroying their bodies with improper technique, and poor training plans.
According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine over 970,000 people reported weight lifting injuries in the last year. 82% of the population was males and 47% was youths 13 to 24 years in age. The rate of lifting related injuries in females have gone up 143% over a twenty year period. This is a great trend in terms of health (more people are weight training), but the amount of injuries young athletes are sustaining is inexcusable.
This is costing kids their time and athletic ability; in the long run it results in chronic injuries that limit function and quality of life. I know this because I am seeing it around me. There are a lot of washed up high school athletes that have sustained a chronic injury when some goomba put them on a generic weightlifting program and failed to instruct them in proper technique. Sadly these coaches usually have the best of intentions; they usually think that written instruction is the same as demonstration. It isn’t. Then there is the kid that comes into the gym to pump Iron after school. If it is a guy he usually focuses on chest, bicep and triceps, sometimes abs. All of the muscles that society has said are important for being sexy. Young women are usually on the circuit machines doing useless amounts of repetitions and low weight that doesn’t tax their muscles at all.
Both of these methods are fairly useless, girls are working fix plans of motion and guys are working fairly minor muscle groups (in the scheme of athletics and functional strength) with improper form and too much weight. This leads to over use injuries, that later translate into chronic problems.
There is a solution; Get girls off of useless machines and into athletic based training programs, and guys off of their vanity plans and into athletic based training programs. Young people (those going through puberty) respond better to neurological training (not super heavy weights). Get kids with personal trainers who will get them using sandbags, bodyweight, kettle bells, tires and dumbbell work. Work their posterior chains, and help them build strong cores. Train these youths in proper form and build them a strong foundation of strength, speed, and athleticism and you will make them strong for life, in body and mind.
Don’t settle for training that doesn’t bring results and trainers that don’t give a damn. Wherever you are find the Trainer that is building strong, fast people with conditioning that doesn’t quit, that is who you want. You owe it to yourself. If you are a parent who is looking into training for your child you obviously want what is best for them. If you are having a hard time knowing who is good and who is full of it drop me a line; I would be thrilled to help you out.
Yours in strength
*Epidemiology of Weight Training-Related Injuries Presenting to United States Emergency Departments,1990 to 2007, American Journal of Sports Medicine, Published online February 5, 2010. Abstract viewable at: http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/0 /01/0363546509351560.abstract?sid=faad3c98-2915-4379-89b8-993f73c3d9f3