What’s An Ideal Age To Start A Bodybuilding Program?

ideal age to start a bodybuilding program

Every father wants what is best for his children, right? There shouldn’t be much debating this. We work hard so that they can have the lives we never did. We train in the gym and eat healthy so that we will be alive and healthy to spend time with them and our eventual grandchildren. In the same way, many of us bodybuilders are quite proud of our physiques. We know that as we enter our 30s and 40s, we look better than our peers, and it’s a great feeling. We may want the same for our children – for them to be healthy, strong, and vibrant, just as we are.

Spending time with our children is very important. Making time to train is very important. Sometimes, these two can collide and parents may feel tempted to bring their children with them to the gym. If your facility offers child-care, take advantage! Leaving your child within view, with a good book or hand-held entertainment system will allow you to train. However, if your temptation is to bring your child into the weight room with you, it may be time to reconsider. Personal trainers who are parents are often the worst offenders. Despite their advanced knowledge of the human body, the fact that they spend so much of their lives in the gym (with their children often present) means they often will encourage or simply let their children play on the equipment. Aside from any injury risks, they may be halting limb growth, which could cost their child an inch or two of height in later years.

Assuming your child is old enough to safely use some equipment without injury, activities such as slow treadmill walking are great choices. Kids of all ages, from 2 onward, need to walk for good overall development and health. As they get older, you can add more to their plate. Body weight exercises are fine for children aged 8 to 13. Pushup, sit-up, crunches, sprints, rope climbing, and other movements help to develop muscle and tendon strength. If you are looking to release your child into the weight room, you should at least wait until he begins high school. By the age of 14, their bones are still growing, and you still may negatively influence their vertical growth, but they will be able to safely lift at this point. Their testosterone levels will naturally be very high at this point, so they will see some very good beginners’ gains (more so than if they began lifting at age 30). They may be awkward and ‘gangly’ at this point, so take special care to ensure they have a spotter and never exceed their capabilities.

The development of connective tissues and bones is something you, as a parent, should take very seriously. You want your child to be healthy, strong, athletic and active, but you should never push them too much, too early. Let their bodies develop. You can spend time with them being athletic, but you should never have them going for broke on the iron until age 14.