WEIGHT TRAINING MYTH AND FACT SHEET
Myth #1 Young children do not need strength training.
Fact: For over 50 years, test results of children in the U S have revealed poor upper body (arm and shoulder) and abdominal strength; considerably worse than European children. Strength in these areas is critical to adequate performance of daily chores, performance in a wide variety of physical education activities and sports, and in the prevention of soft tissue injuries. Widespread use of weight training and other strength training programs in physical education, recreation, and home fitness programs can easily eliminate the problem.
Myth #2 Strength training will stunt growth in children.
Fact: Properly supervised strength exercises do not place excessive pressure on the growth plates of children. In fact, such training favorable affects growth both during the preadolescent and the adolescent period.
Myth # Strength training is not safe for children.
Fact: Properly supervised programs provide an atmosphere every bit as safe as other activities engaged in by children.
Myth #4 Young children do not like strength training.
Fact: One of the problems with this type of training is that young children like it too much and, if left unsupervised, will engage in horse play and attempt to lift as much weight as possible. With sound leadership, this motivation can be channeled into very positive results.
Myth #5 Strength cannot be increased in young athletes.
Fact: Significant strength gains do occur in young athletes and women who engage in weight training although both groups produce little testosterone.
Myth #6 Strength training is suitable for young athletes and not other children.
Fact: Strength training is suitable for everyone and all young boys and girls can receive the benefits discussed in this section.
Myth #7 Strength training will make you inflexible.
Fact: Strength training actually improves flexibility providing athletes go through the full range of motion on each exercise and stretch before and after each workout.
Myth #8 Strength training will convert fat to muscle.
Fact: Fat and muscle are separate tissue types. One cannot be converted to the other. When you burn more calories than you eat, fat cells shrink. Strength training increases muscle mass, raises metabolism and is a key part of any weight control program.
Myth #9 Strength. training has few health benefits.
Fact: Strength training adds muscle mass, increases resting metabolism, and is a key factor in maintaining muscle mass and controlling body weight throughout life. The American Heart association indicates that it improves heart and liver function, reduces coronary disease risk factors and enhances glucose metabolism. Studies also show that strength training improves bone mineral density and decreases the risk of osteoporosis. All this in addition to increased strength and endurance, less lower back pain, improved appearance, body image and self concept.
Myth #10 Older men and women should not use weight training.
Fact: Older coaches and parents of coaches, ages 50-90, need weight training the most to prevent loss of muscle mass, prevent the slowing of metabolism, and to increase strength and endurance to maintain independence and continue to do daily chores and enjoy life. Although the skeletal muscles of the elderly respond more slowly to strength training, you can maintain muscle mass and even add new lean muscle tissue to become stronger at any age. Without a strength training program, muscle atrophy occurs along with loss of strength and endurance and gains in body fat and total weight.