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High "Rep" Weight Training Best for Child Athlete

Monday, 03 November 2008 18:44
What type of resistance strength training regimen, if any, is most beneficial for children? To answer that question, investigators looked at 11 girls and 32 boys aged 5.2 to 11.8 years. The children were divided into three groups. One cohort trained using 1 set of 5 to 8 repetitions with a heavy weight. A second set of youngsters engaged in 15 repetitions with a moderate weight. A final control group did not participate in resistance training. Training lasted 8 weeks.

Although both intervention cohorts exhibited increased strength and muscular endurance, the high repetition-moderate load group showed significantly more improvement, compared with the low repetition-heavy load group. The study concluded, "These findings support the concept that muscular strength and endurance can be improved during the childhood years and favor the prescription of higher repetition-moderate load resistance training programs during the initial adaptation period."

Faigenbaum AD, Westcott WL, LaRosa Loud R, Long C.  The effects of different resistance training protocols on muscular strength and endurance development in children   Pediatrics 1999 (Jul);   104 (1):   e5