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Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip - 01/18/2005


With all the talk about overweight children, if I wanted my son who is a bit chubby to strength train, what are the guidelines I should follow? (Carol, Greenvale)

Yes, it is a good idea for boys and girls ten years old and up to strength train because it will give them self-confidence at school and with friends. Also, it will teach them good life-long health habits. However, safety precautions must be taken because children are physically, anatomically and mentally immature. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Trained personnel to supervise and instruct the session.
  • Teach proper warm-up and lifting techniques.
  • Do 1 to 2 sets of 8-10 different exercises (8-12 reps per set) including the major muscle groups.
  • Use multi-joint exercises.
  • Limit training to 2 times per week that means 2 to 3 days of rest in between sessions.
  • Encourage other sports and activities. Strength training will actually help your child perform better
  • Never exercise a child to complete fatigue.
  • Keep resistance light enough to perform at least (8-10 reps). When the child becomes stronger, you can increase repetitions first and then resistance.
  • Include a flexibility program.
  • Good nutrition supervised by you will tie it all together. The key is to make fitness fun which will keep your child motivated.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on