Should Children Do TapouT XT?

Your child's been asking if they can do TapouT XT with you.  Should you let them do it?  Is doing an exercise program like that going to hurt their growth or make them look like little body builders?  How young is too young?

If you do let them do the workout program what type of benefits would they get from doing it?  Why is TapouT XT a good fit for kids?

Myths About Children and Strength Training


Strength Training will Make Your Child Short
The idea that kids should not do strength training has become a popular myth.  It all stems from a study done in the 1970s done on child laborers.  Among other things these children were unusually short, and it was concluded that hours of moving heavy weight had stunted their growth.  Many experts now believe there were other variables not accounted for.

Dr. Faigenbaum, , of the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s 2009 position paper about children and resistance training, says. “It will not stunt growth or lead to growth-plate injuries. That doesn’t mean young people should be allowed to go down into the basement and lift Dad’s weights by themselves. That’s when you see accidents.”

You Don't Want Your Kid Looking Like a Body Builder
A more recent review published in Pediatrics reviewed more than 60 years of children and weightlifting studies from the Institute of Training Science and Sports Informatics in Cologne, Germany.  These studies covered both boys and girls ranging from age 6 to 18.

What they found was that the children of all ages got stronger.  The increase in strength was linear based on the age of the child.  This means that older children got stronger than younger ones. 



As these children got stronger they rarely bulked up.  "Adults, particularly men but also women, typically add muscle mass when they start weight training, a process known as muscular hypertrophy (or, less technically, getting buff). Youths do not add as much or sometimes any obvious muscle mass as a result of strength training"

What Age Should Youths Start Strength Training?


Dr. Faigenbaum said,“Any age is a good age. But there does seem to be something special about the time from about age 7 to 12. The nervous system is very plastic. The kids are very eager. It seems to be an ideal time to hard-wire strength gains and movement patterns.”

Benefits of Children Doing Strength Training


According to the Mayo Clinic, children who strength train see a variety of benefits.
  • Increased muscular strength and endurance
  • It helps protect your child's joints and muscles from sports related injuries
  • Stronger bones
  • Helps promote a healthy blood pressure and cholestoral
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Improved self esteem and confidence
Also, findings presented recently at the American Psychological Association's 120th Annual Convention found that kids who are more fit do better on math and reading tests.  The study was conducted on 1,211 middle school children in Texas.  According to co-author Trent A. Petrie, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Sport Psychology at the University of North Texas, "Cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor that we consistently found to have an impact on both boys' and girls' grades on reading and math tests." 3

Children Gain Strength and Confidence Through Exercise

Why TapouT XT is Great for Kids


Strength training doesn't mean weightlifting, bodybuilding or power lifting.  "These activities are largely driven by competition, with participants vying to lift heavier weights or build bigger muscles than those of other athletes. This can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and areas of cartilage that haven't yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight."2

TapouT XT is great because the focus of the workouts and exercises is to create an athletic level of fitness by creating
  • Increased cardiovascular endurance through most of the workouts but especially Plyo XT and Cardio XT
  • Building strength and muscular endurance through high repetitions resistance band and body weight, like push-ups, exercises. 
When properly supervised TapouT XT is safer than traditional gyms.  There are no heavy weights that could drop on to toes or cable machines that their fingers could get caught in.

You will have to help your child by
  • Showing them the techniques for using resistance bands
  • Go over the Strike DVD so they have the basic moves down.  Pause the DVD and do the strikes a couple of times
  • Be supportive, patient and positive so they don't get frustrated and quit

Make It Something the Family Does Together

 


Make TapouT XT something you do together.  Besides it being something you have in common, you can supervise the workouts and make sure they are done safely.  Proper technique over wildly doing the exercises is critical so no one gets hurt.

If you have a younger child that thinks doing TapouT XT will make them "ripped" or "huge" like the adults in the video, then you need to explain to that physiologically it will mostly likely not be possible until they get older.  Be supportive in their new found interest in being physically fit but keep their expectations realistic. Explain how they will get stronger and be in shape but until they are older their muscles are not designed to be like that.

Most of all have fun.  Exercise and an active lifestyle should be seen as something enjoyable.  Help make your children fit for life.

If you found this content helpful, please sign up for the email list to get TapouT XT workout content like exercises, fighting techniques, diet help and equipment reviews.  Also, join me on Google+ , Twitter and like me on Facebook.


References:
(1) Physically Fit Boys And Girls Score Higher On Reading And Math - Medical News Today
(2) Strength training: OK for kids? - Mayo Clinic
Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. - Department of Health and Exercise Science
Phys Ed: The Benefits of Weight Training for Children  - New York Times
Effects of Resistance Training in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-analysis - Pediatrics
Fitter Kids, Better Grades? - WebMD Health News

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