124 Reasons Why Weight Training Is Safe for Young Athletes

Compelling research proves weight training is safe for young athletes

Published: Summer 2004
Mass communication teachers often tell their students that the only way to change someoneís opinion is if that opinion is based on ignorance. And if thereís ever been an opinion based upon ignorance, itís the idea that weight training cannot be a safe activity for young athletes.
Since Dr. Greg Shepard held his first seminar in the early Ď70s, BFS has provided countless testimonials from coaches about the value of weight training for young athletes. Their experience has proven that an early start in weight training not only will improve an athleteís performance, but also is a key element to prevent injuries and can teach discipline and instill self-esteem. But for some skeptics, empirical evidence is not enough. They want research. For this we can turn to Dr. Avery Faigenbaum.
Dr. Faigenbaum is an associate professor of exercise science at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and is an appointed member of the Massachusetts Governorís Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports. A respected lecturer to the medical and coaching communities, Dr. Faigenbaum has amassed a compelling body of research that supports the BFS philosophy of safe and effective strength training for our youth.
The following is a list of 124 books, chapters and research articles that Dr. Faigenbaum has agreed to share with BFS readers to reassure coaches, athletes and parents that strength training can be a safe and healthy activity for children and teenagers. Please make copies of it and have it available to future weight training skeptics you might encounter. Who knows, you might be able to change a few opinions!

AAPHERD. (1999). Physical Best Activity Guide. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2001). Strength training by children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 107: 1470-1472.

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. (1988). Proceedings of the conference on strength training and the prepubescent. Chicago: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
Baechle, T. & Earle, R. (2000). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (2nd ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.

Bailey, D., Martin, A. (1994). Physical activity and skeletal health in adolescents. Pediatric Exercise Science, 6: 330-347.

Bass, S. (2000). The prepubertal years. A uniquely opportune stage of growth when the skeleton is most responsive to exercise? Sports Medicine, 30: 73-78.
Blanksby, B. & Gregor, J. (1981). Anthropometric, strength, and physiological changes in male and female swimmers with progressive resistance training. Australian J Sport Sc, 1: 3-6.

Blimkie, C., Gisolfi, C., Lamb, D. (1989). Age- and sex-associated variation in strength during childhood: Anthropometric, morphologic, neurological, biomechanical, endocrinologic,
genetic and physical activity correlates. In: Perspectives in Exercise Science and Sports Benchmark, 99-163.

Blimkie, C. (1993). Resistance training during preadolescence: issues and controversies. Sports Med, 15: 389-407.

Blimkie, C., Martin, J., Ramsay, D., et al. (1989). The effects of detraining and maintenance weight training on strength development in prepubertal boys. Can J Sport Sci, 14: 104P.

Blimkie, C., Rice S., Webber J., et al. (1993). Effects of resistance training on bone mass and density in adolescent females. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 25 (suppl): S48.

Bompa, T. (2000). Total Training for Young Champions. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Borra, S., Schwartz, N., Spain, C., et al. (1995). Food, physical activity, and fun: inspiring Americaís kids to more healthful lifestyles. J Am Dietetic Assoc, 95: 816-818.

Brady, T., Cahill B., & Bodnar, L. (1982). Weight training related injuries in the high school athlete. Am J Sports Med, 10: 1-5.

Brown, E. & Kimball, R. (1983). Medical history associated with adolescent power lifting. Pediatrics, 72: 636-644.

Bulgakova, N., Vorontsov, A. Fomichenko, T. (1990). Improving the technical preparedness of young swimmers by using strength training. Soviet Sports Review, 25: 102-104.

Cahill, B. & Griffith, E. (1978). Effect of preseason conditioning on the incidence and severity of high school football knee injuries. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 6: 180-184.

Caine, D. (1990). Growth plate injury and bone growth: an update. Pediatric Exercise. Science, 2: 209-229.

Cassell, C., Benedict, M., & Specker, B. (1996). Bone mineral density in elite 7- to 9-yr-old female gymnasts and swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 28: 1243-1246.

Chu, D., & Jordan, P. (1996). Plyo play for kids. Ather Publishing Company, Castro Valley, CA.

Clarke, D., Vaccaro, P., & Andresen, N. (1984). Physiologic alterations in 7- to 9- year old boys following a season of competitive wrestling. Research Q Exercise Sport, 55: 318- 322.

Conroy, B., Kraemer, W., Maresh, C., Fleck, S., Stone, M., Fry, A., Miller, P., & Dalsky, G. (1993). Bone mineral density in elite junior Olympic weightlifters. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 25: 1103-1109.

Corbin, C., Dale, D., & Pangrazi, R. (1999). Promoting physically active lifestyles among youth. J Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 70: 26-28.

DeRenne, C., Hetzler, R., Buxton, B., et al. (1996). Effects of training frequency on strength maintenance in pubescent baseball players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 10: 8-14.

Dietz, W. (1990). Children and television. In Green, M. & Hagerty, R. (eds). Ambulatory Pediatrics IV. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 39-41.

Docherty, D., Wenger, H., Collis, M., et al. (1987). The effects of variable speed resistance training on strength development in prepubertal boys. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 13: 377-382.

Dominguez, R. (1978). Shoulder pain in age group swimmers. In Erikkson, B., & Furberg, B. (eds). Swimming Medicine IV. Baltimore: University Park Press, 105-109.

Faigenbaum, A., (2003). Youth resistance training. Presidentís Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest, 4(3): 1-8.

Faigenbaum, A., (1999). Youth strength training: benefits, risks and program design considerations. American Journal of Medicine and Sports, 1: 243-254.

Faigenbaum, A. (2001). Preseason conditioning for high school athletes. Strength and Conditioning, 23: 70-72.

Faigenbaum, A. (1995). Psychosocial benefits of prepubescent strength training. Strength Conditioning, 17: 28-32.

Faigenbaum, A. (2002). Resistance training for adolescent athletes. Athletic Therapy Today. 7(6): 30-35.

Faigenbaum, A. (2001). Strength training and childrenís health. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 72: 24-30.

Faigenbaum, A. (2000). Strength training for children and adolescents. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 19: 593-619.

Faigenbaum, A., et al. (2001). Effects of different resistance training protocols on upper body strength and endurance development in children. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 15(4): 459-465.

Faigenbaum, A., & Chu, D. (2001, December). Plyometric training for children and adolescents. ACSM Current Comment.

Faigenbaum, A., Kraemer, W., Cahill, B., et al. (1996). Youth resistance training: position statement paper and literature review. Strength & Conditioning, 18: 62-75.

Faigenbaum, A., LaRosa Loud, R., OíConnell, J., et al. (2001). Effects of different resistance training protocols on upper body strength and endurance development in children. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 15(4): 459-465.

Faigenbaum, A., Micheli, L. (2000). Preseason conditioning for the preadolescent athlete. Pediatric Annals, 29: 156-161.

Faigenbaum, A., Milliken, L., LaRosa Loud, R., Burak, B., Doherty, C., & Westcott, W. (2002). Comparison of 1 and 2 days per week of strength training in children. Research Quarterly f