Is There an Age Limit for Weight Lifting?

Posted January 23, 2009 in Your Questions 14 Comments »
Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Russel wrote:

“Is there an age limit to starting to do body building or can you start at any age?”


Well you certainly can start at any age, but you should put limits on the amount of strain you put on the body, and you certainly wouldn’t want kids and young teens competing in ‘bodybuilding’.

Kid Flexing

There isn’t any need for a kid to have to focus on symmetry, isolated hypertrophy, or dieting to get lean for a show. In fact that might even be child abuse.

As far as weightlifting, I wouldn’t want my kids doing much squatting, deadlifting, or Olympic lifting before the age of 13. I think a solid foundation should be built around bodyweight exercises, focusing on form and discipline, for younger children.

Real weightlifting probably shouldn’t start for most boys until age 13, but kids can do things like bodyweight squats, push ups, pull ups if they can manage it, and abdominal exercises as soon as they gain proper control over their motor skills.

Injuries Are Bad, mmkay?

I wouldn’t want a kid or young teen to mess up his back, neck, knees, shoulders, hips, elbow, or any other vital joint or muscle, just because he doesn’t have the motor skill, knowledge, or experience to train properly.

I mean, there’s really no limit to when you can start a kid in martial arts or gymnastics. I would rather see kids under 13 working on that type of training while practicing bodyweight exercises.

It Depends on the Person

I know a 3 year old that does flips, handstands, break dances, and can do a full split.

I know another kid who is almost 8 but can’t ride a bike without training wheels. It all depends on the person.

With my kid, he’s always trying to pick up my dumbbells, but they are just too heavy and he can’t grasp the concept of “lift with your legs” and “don’t round your back” quite yet. When he’s 12 or 13 I will begin to teach him the fine art of weight training. For now he just doesn’t get it and I don’t want him to get hurt.

Get Kids Involved with Other Sports

Some kids play hockey and football, which are both pretty rigorous and dynamic sports at times. Some other options are soccer and baseball, martial arts and gymnastics. These are all fun activities to be involved in and they don’t involve lifting 100 lbs over your head.

By all means, involve your child in whatever he or she wants to try, but if you plan to get a younger person into weightlifting or bodybuilding, I highly suggest you consult that child’s physician before attempting anything. That’s just my opinion.

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14 Responses to “Is There an Age Limit for Weight Lifting?”

    • Depends on if you start bodybuilding before you stop growing. Also, if you are bodybuilding from age 20-60 you will probably lose an inch or two, because that’s what people do when they get older.

  1. I believe kids shoouldn’t start lifting weights at least till they’re 13.Weightlifting puts a lot of preasure on ur joints and kids under 13 can get injuries in the joints because they aren’t fully developed.

  2. As a parent, we have different views on how to raise our child. At this moment, body building for my child is not yet in my vocabulary.

  3. In my opinion, i do not really think that pushing your child to do body building is a good idea. Well, there is time for everything. right?

    • The way I would push my child, is to be the best he or she can be at whatever he or she wants and needs to do. That means sports, school, morals, and integrity. Bodybuilding is definitely not on that list.

  4. Ashely:
    I’m not quite sure what you are looking for. Are you looking for a list of how many push up or pull ups you should be able to do at a certain age/weight/height? Write back and let me know.

  5. Do you have the limit results for women’s weight training??
    Like for this age, this height, this weight should have the result of …… .

  6. I don’t see any reason to push your kid into weightlifting but if he/she decides to do it on their own it could be a good thing. I got into the sport myself at the ripe old age of 15 and looking back I know for a fact it kept me out of trouble back in the day. Click on my name to link you to a website about beginner weightlifters. It’s very informative!

  7. who ever pushes their children to do anything that the child doesn’t support, is wrong from the beginning. always respect your children, as they do you.

  8. Thanks for the comment. I just don’t think it’s right to push your kids into bodybuilding at 10 years old. In fact that’s straight weird.

  9. I never really gave any thought about younger kids starting to lift weights, but I definitely think it would be better to not push it too much since those muscles and joints are still developing and you definitely don’t want any injuries! Great post, a definite must read for any parents with kid athletes!

  10. Last week, I started the 2009 National Body Challenge that Discovery Health kicked off for the new year. Some great exercise guides, diet tips, and recipes to start your new year on the right track! You can check it out and register for free here:

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