The Athletic Department was established by the School’s leadership group to ensure all students, regardless of ability, had the opportunity to participate in safe, structured and age-appropriate athletic development. At SPSC this includes many different modes of exercise, a key cornerstone being an introduction to safe resistance training (lifting weights) practices in the Burchnall Sports Centre strength and conditioning facility.
The thought of weight training for youth can conjure greatly varying thoughts and emotions in people based on their previous experiences, beliefs and any previous information they have absorbed related to this topic.
Opponents of this concept have previously contended that weight training can stunt your growth. As an example, they have highlighted that many athletes that have experienced success in weightlifting type activities are shorter in stature. However, this argument has no foundation or science behind it and if similar counterarguments were employed, we could state that Basketball training makes you tall and that you should train/play basketball if you wish to be taller.
Youth resistance training programs that adhere to the guidelines of qualified supervision with proper technique have lower injury rates than all sports that are played. The improved strength associated with resistance training has large benefits in tolerating the forces produced during those sports, subsequently lowering the risk of injury.
Additionally, rigorous scientific research such as a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics has refuted these claims stating that ‘appropriately designed resistance training programs have no apparent negative effect on linear growth, physical health or the cardiovascular system’ (Stricker et al 2020). Conversely, multiple research papers have reported on the wide-ranging benefits of a structured, supervised resistance training program including improvements in:
- Muscular strength and endurance
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Body composition
- Bone mineral health
- Blood lipid profiles
- Insulin sensitivity
- Increased resistance to injury
- Mental health
The Athletic Development team consists of extremely educated and experienced coaches who are excited to help our students begin their journey into resistance training regardless of their age or level development.
The Athletic Development Team
Source: Stricker et al. Resistance training for Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics. 2020; 145(6): e20201011.