Let’s get back to the initial question. To address this issue we must consider certain factors. These factors are physical development, character development, environment and present fitness level.
It’s no secret that all youths develop physically at different rates. This applies to siblings as well as non-siblings. There are youths that have the physical capabilities to engage in various levels of weight training very early in their development. I’ve literally seen 11 year olds that could easily be mistaken for fourteen-year-olds. Likewise, there are youths that are slightly behind the development curve and will need to wait until their bodies develop further. Although this is generally the rule, the next paragraph will take a look at the exception.
When we talk about character development, elements such as drive, focus and work ethics come to mind. Like physical development, character development in youths also develop at different rates. Character development, in quite a few cases, also serve as equalizers for youths that may not possess the physical development of their peers. Youths more than physically able to engage in weight training may not have the drive or desire to do so. Because of their character development, youths who may not appear physically capable of engaging in weight training are more than eager to participate. This is a good thing because proper weight training can aid in a youth’s character as well as their physical development.
All environment mediums will have an impact on how soon a youth will engage in weight training. However, none has as profound an impact as the sports environment. Youth sports at lower age levels has become very competitive. As a result, youth athletes are likely to engage in progressive weight training at younger ages to gain the edge over their competitors. Word of caution to parents and guardians wanting their kids on a weight training program to enhance athletic performance. A youth athlete must be a willing participant of the weight training program.
Despite the physical development, character development and environment, a 10 year old obese youth can’t wait until these factors are ideal. They must participate in a fitness program and the sooner the better. The longer a youth remains obese the harder it is to overcome it. The beauty about weight training is if done properly it can be scaled up or down to accommodate anyone. Including youths at practically any age. It also establishes good fitness habits that can carry over into adulthood.
This subject has its share of gray areas. Hopefully, this article has shed light on some.