Frank Mikulka's

Weekly Fitness Tip

June 13, 2004

With all the talk about overweight children, if I wanted my child, a boy, to strength train, what are the guidelines to follow? (Carol, Greenvale)

Yes, it is a good idea for children to strength train. Safety precautions must be taken, however, because children are physically, anatomically and mentally immature. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Supervise and instruct children with trained personnel during sessions
  • Teach proper warm-up and lifting techniques
  • Do one to two sets of 8-10 different exercises (8-12 reps) including major muscle groups
  • Perform multi-joint exercises
  • Limit training to 2X per week (2 to 3 days rest in-between sessions)
  • Encourage other sports and activities
  • Do not exercise to complete fatigue!
  • Keep resistance light enough to perform at least (8-10 reps). When the child gets stronger, increase reps first, then resistance
  • Tie it all together with good nutrition.

By following these guidelines, children will have fun and reap the health benefits that will become lifelong habits.

Listen to Frank Mikulkaís Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandelís Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Sunday morning from 7:30 to 8:00 AM on WHLI 1100 AM. Also available on