Misconceptions Versus Evidence

A child is unable to increase strength before puberty.Prepubertal children are able to gain strength by an increase in neurologic recruitment of muscle fibers, and gains in strength can be made with low injury rates if resistance training programs are well supervised with an emphasis on proper technique.
Young boys and girls may get “muscle bound” if they resistance train.Prepubertal strength gains occur by neurologic mechanisms, and pubertal gains may augment muscle growth by actual muscle hypertrophy enhanced by pubertal hormones.
Resistance training may decrease aerobic performance in youth.Improvements in aerobic performance have been shown with combined aerobic and resistance training programs, and combined aerobic and resistance programs do not appear to impair strength gains in children.
Resistance training may stunt growth.Well-designed resistance training programs have not been shown to have a negative effect on physeal (growth plate) health, linear growth, and cardiovascular health in youth.
Children are stronger now than ever before.There is a need to target strength deficits and build strength reserves due to declining measures of muscular fitness in modern-day youth.
1 RM testing is unsafe for youth.1 RM testing may be a safe method for assessing muscular strength in youth provided that qualified supervision is present and appropriate testing guidelines are followed.