Many people believe that muscle building stunts height growth for teenagers.
That’s why you will find many doctors telling teens not to pump iron.
Old Ideas On Muscle Building / Height Growth Die Hard
The scientific basis of this idea has never really been tested. Still, you may run across people in their 40s and 50s who said the reason why they never grew was only for one reason.
That reason was they lifted weights – did muscle building – and it did them in.
This idea is like saying the dog ran away because he was mad at you. In reality, there were many reasons why the dog ran away:
- the gate was open and the dog saw an opportunity
- he knew the girl dog across the street was in heat
- he was unhappy with his life with you
- the mailman was in the neighborhood – and he hates the mailman
Was it only because he was mad at you? No, certainly not.
Real Reasons Why Height Growth Is Stunted
So why did these people end up with stunted height growth? Here are many reasons that could cause it:
- didn’t eat enough protein in the diet
- didn’t drink enough milk
- was sick with constant infections that drained the body’s resources
- had a pituitary problem
- had multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Around the year 2000, studies began showing that resistance training programs were effective for children as a workout – but they didn’t look at whether or not muscle building would stunt height growth or not.
Nevertheless, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons decided that the key for teens is age of the child, size, knowledge of how to lift weights, and sport the child is training for.
How To Prevent Stunted Height Growth During Muscle Building
Here are some guidelines for teens working out with weights for muscle building:
1. Disease-Free Means Give Muscle Building A Go
First, check with the doctor to see if he/she can physically handle the physical exercise associated with weight lifting.
2. Learn The Ropes Of Muscle Building
Next, sit down with him/her and explain how weight lifting is done. Give him ‘the ropes’. Then test him on the ropes.
Make sure you cover the important things, such as what never to do, what will get you hurt, and how to know you are lifting too much (monitor your heart rate.)
3. Turn Muscle Building Into Brain Building
Have your child check out some books from the library on the topic. Don’t just plunge into the actual workouts.
4. Schedule Workout Sessions
Set up a schedule of exercises for him/her. If you aren’t knowledgeable on this, then hire someone who is. Include only three or four exercises that will work multiple muscle groups.
For example, by working the quadriceps, he could also be working the hip. By working the chest muscle, he could also be working the back muscles. By working the calves, he could also be working other leg muscles.
Stay away from any squats and power lifts or deadlifts.
When he can sufficiently lift a weight 10 times for three sets, that’s the time to move on to the next level of higher weights. Increase only by 2 pounds, never 5 pounds.
Schedule only three or four sessions a week, never daily.
5. Always Supervise Him In His Weightlifting Workouts
Teens and children may not yet have developed the thinking skills they need that helps them remember what to do.
For example, sequential thinking skills help a person determine what to do first, second and third.
Higher order thinking skills help a person understand why it is important to do specific things, and they also help categorize things, such as all the exercises that will work a certain part of the body.
You can’t expect a child to have the full understanding of anatomy at his young tender age. Left unsupervised, he could workout the same body part three times with different exercises. Supervision is always required.
More Muscle Building Recommendations
How does all this help your child if he wants height growth? Well, by not overdoing the exercise, you will keep his metabolism in balance.
Exercise adds stress as the process of oxidation burns up antioxidants and other nutrients that could be used towards height growth.
This is why it is so important to make sure your teenager is eating a proper diet – and taking his dietary supplements.
Since no one can get EVERYTHING they need from food these days, a supplement is always needed.
Extra B complex and protein in the diet will help smooth out the days when he needs more energy.
By keeping the muscle building exercise workouts to a point where they are more like a day with a little extra activity.
Instead of workouts that force him to sleep longer to recover, you create the best situation for him to experience the height growth.