Are you or your child in their early teens and wondering if they are too young for strength training? In previous articles, we have touched on the myth of strength training and the false accusation that it stunts a child's growth. In this article, we want to dig deeper into the psychology of lifting for teenagers.
Adolescents are learning, absorbing information and adapting to the modern world. The rise of technology is keeping our juniors indoors and cultivated by their phones, laptops and messenger apps. 90’s babies remember as teens growing up the excitement of getting home and playing PlayStation with friends and dominating them in call of duty or racing home to video chat your friends. Whilst this may have a somewhat positive social impact on our adolescent’s lives, it is also indicative of poor exercise and health routines.
Depression, anxiety and complex mental health disorders are growing within our society. We are constantly exposed to the what-if. What if I looked like that? What If I climbed Everest? What if I bought those new shoes? Marketing experts predict that people are exposed to 500- 1600 ads per day! That's a lot of content for growing minds to absorb. As we know, ads display the idea of something “unique or something you must have ''. The new iPhone, the latest watch, the new fitness app. We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us what we should and shouldn’t have. Our teens are stuck with what they have with the constant feeling of needing more.
Young adolescents every day are battling with their physical appearance. Society portrays men to have big shoulders, V lines and teardrop Quads, whilst women are expected to be small, lean and beautiful. Whilst our perception of gender stereotypes are slowly changing, they put huge pressure on young adolescents to look a certain way. Our adolescents are fighting mental demons, making them feel insecure or “different”. If there's one heartfelt message we can give straight away to our young generation... It’s your differences that make differences normal.
So if our adolescents are fighting to keep up with the standards of the modern world, what does lifting have to do with helping them? It clearly understood that exercise, healthy eating and meditation play a very important role in limiting these negative thought processes plaguing the mental health of our youth. After the creation of our junior athlete hub only 6 months ago, we have had the pleasure of watching the mindset shift and improved confidence of young athletes.
Our female athletes are breaking stigmas, they don’t want to be skinny, they want to be muscular and strong. They want to show off their biceps and let their friends know about it! Our boys are filling out and growing in confidence when playing physical sports. They don’t let the fear of injury hinder their game and they set a whole new level of expectations on themselves. Strength training shows adolescents what they are capable of. They conceptualise where they began and where they are now. The best thing about strength training for adolescents is…. It’s only them that can make a change. Their body is a representation of their hard work and dedication to breaking their habits and being carefree of what society tells them to be. We have female athletes who are proud to have strong shoulders in their semi/formal dress, they want to be bigger than the boys! Who’s stopping them?
Strength training creates confidence and self-worth. Yes, it helps with sport and physical performance but it equally if not more so helps the mental clarity of our youth. We know that a strong mental game will maximise performance because you rock up to training every time. You come prepared to train at intensity. You love it. You love it because you know its benefits. Your friends and family start commenting on your muscles and how strong you are getting. For teenagers, there is no greater compliment. Recognition for something outside of Snapchat streaks and viral TikTok videos is truly rewarding.
Wondering if you should get into strength training? There are more benefits than just strength.