Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
Is Weight Training Safe for Children? (July 19, 2005)

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My 12 year old son is a little overweight and expresses an interest in losing some of it and putting on some muscle. He is motivated by watching sports on TV. Is it dangerous for him to strength train at this age or should he wait a few years? (Mrs. C, Amityville)Answer

This is an important issue to address since one of our countryís biggest issues is overweight children. Itís a great time for your son to begin exercising and getting in touch with who he wants to become. Iíll keep it short and simple. First, he needs a physical checkup by his doctor. Once thatís cleared, he should join a gym and seek out a professional trainer who has experience training his age group. The trainer will talk to your son and together they will design an effective program that will work his body with resistance exercises targeting the muscles he will use for the rest of his life. His specialized program should consist of:

  • High reps, not heavy weights
  • Controlled resistance
  • Proper form and technique
  • Fun
This program will enhance your child mentally and physically because it will control obesity and improve coordination and balance. As a result, he will feel more confident in school and actually perform better academically. He will also be learning how to prevent cardiovascular disease when he grows up.

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