For many years it was thought that pre-adolescent children were incapable of improving strength through resistance training.
A specific strength & conditioning program can have significant improvements in, speed, power & endurance. And more importantly, injury prevention! Over the past 25 years, several studies have shown the pre-adolescent …children are capable of safely improving muscle strength with appropriate training regimes. No matter what age!
6 months ago at Kenmore PB, we started a Strength & Conditioning program for a youth’s football AFL team. The program consisted of 2 strength sessions & 1 speed & agility session per week. In this program the boy’s ages ranged between 13 & 16. The program begun with the basic fundamentals of strength conditioning, in line with their respective sport – AFL.
In this period there have been significant changes to all the boys’ strength, speed & power. Up to 4kgs of weight gains (lean muscle mass) and 20%-50% improved times in their repeat sprint efforts. With their chin up averages being the biggest improvement.
One project player, (just happens to be my son Billy) required this type of program given his size and endurance base. Since Oct 2013 he has added 4kgs of lean muscle, and with a growth spurt, he also grew 2.5cms. Being only 14 and playing in the U16s, he needed it! And to be a part of an elite training team of his age group (Brisbane Lions Academy) there’s a number of boxes that he needs to tick. So come testing days with the Brisbane Lions Academy, the tests comprises of ,agility, 20m & 40m sprints, vertical leap and a 2km time trial. This is where the S&C program has paid off. Every discipline has shown a significant improvement, with the 2km time trial being the most improved. Just last week he shaved 60 seconds off his previous time.
There’s still more to do!
So – If you have a child athlete, in any type of sport, there is a huge advantage to get him or her started in a strength & conditioning program. The earlier the better!