Can a 12-Year-Old Go to the Gym?

Can a 12 Year Old Go To The Gym?
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The obesity rate in children has been rising by a gigantic margin from the year 1975. It has risen from 4% to more than 30% over the span of 45 years. Because of that reason, to keep their child healthy; parents are paying interest more towards involving their children in various activities. And as for a number of years, gyms are a place for adults to get themselves in shape; a small curiosity has surged in parents’ heads to join their kids in a gym for keeping them in good shape. But, is it okay for a kid as old as 12-year-old to go to the gym and do strength training?

So in this blog, I am going to share if it is possible for a 12-year-old to go to the gym and if the answer is yes how it can be done more safely.

Is it safe for 12 year old to go to the gym?

Except for the obesity rate in the age of social media when fitness and other influencers make everyone feel like the easiest way to get a girl or money or fame is having a good physique; most teens heading towards strength training. Teens want to look muscular to impress their crush in school or get more attention on social media.

Now coming to the question that if it is safe or not my answer will be if it has been done with proper guidance then yes, it is possible to train in the gym at 12-year-old. For kids, light resistance training is both healthy and beneficial for overall development. A child can do exercises with their body weight and with light weights too.

There are numerous myths and rumors about strength training for kids. Every type of sport carries some sort of risk factor with it. The most common and largely known myth is its effect on growth plates. A well-administered training program has no greater danger than any other sports activity.

* To know in detail check this blog by the National Library of Medicine.

Here are some benefits that I have come across while researching strength training for kids.

Benefits from strength training

  1. Strength training can increase a child’s muscle endurance and health.
  2. Strength training can help in strengthening the joints.
  3. It makes a child less likely to get injured in other sports.
  4. In terms of looks, it obviously helps.
  5. Exercising help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  6. Strength training can boost a child’s overall confidence.

How a 12-year-old should be trained in the gym

As said before training under proper supervision is required for a risk-free experience in the gym. A child’s training program should not be as detailed as adults. Their training should focus on simpler and more effective forms of movement. Make sure to look after these few concerns before joining your kid in a gym.

#1 Train under proper guidance

Parents must consult with professionals before letting their children join a gym. A child needs proper training guidance before they do any exercise to avoid any life-long injury. They should train under someone they know or have knowledge about weights and training.

#2 No ego lifting

Ego lifting is a killer. A child’s bones at the age of 12 are not ready to lift heavy weights, so they need to start slow by focusing more on forms rather than the weight.

#3 Proper food

Proper nutrition is necessary for a child’s overall mental and physical growth. For that, a diet with balanced nutrition is really necessary for a kid. Make sure to feed them more vegetables, fruits, and foods full of good macro and micronutrients.

Know how to create a personalized diet plan without any nutritional knowledge by clicking on this link.

#4 Do not go for too much intensity

Fitness influencers always say train till failure to get the best result from an exercise but that’s not the case for kids. They have no need to push themselves to failure. It can make them more likely to get injured. So performing fewer sets (1-2) with 12-15 reps is enough for them to build muscle.

Any better and safer alternative?

After researching this topic I found everyone either suggesting body-weight movements(Calisthenics) or other sports. To be honest there is no better alternative. As said before every sport carries risk factors; so there is no sense in not doing it.

For instance, in the case of calisthenics, a kid’s bones have to carry his whole body weight which is way heavier than a 10-20lb dumbbell.

Author’s opinion

To be honest, if I have to join my child or my little brother at a gym that early I will not do that. I rather ask them to run or join them in a sport like – football, cricket, etc. Instead of letting them go to the gym at 12-year-old, I will rather let them join after 16. Though I know training will not affect them negatively but it is just my personal preference.

Disclaimer – All the information provided is based on my research. The way someone’s body will respond totally varies from person to person. So if anything bad happened the author is not responsible for that.

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