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Training Brief -- BFS Position Paper -- Strength Training for Young Athletes

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In the BFS Magazine we regularly publish position papers that are aimed at helping coaches understand the reasoning behind much of the BFS Program. In the July / August issue we tackled the subject of young athletes using weight training. We are sure you find this article well thought through and we hope it will help you answer questions that concerned parents and administrators may have regarding weight training of adolescents and even pre-adolescents:

From "BFS Position Paper: Strength Training for Young Athletes"

One of the major concerns about weight training for young athletes is about its potential to damage the epiphysial (growth) plates, resulting in a failure to achieve normal height. Addressing this subject in many of his publications and lectures was the late Mel Siff, Ph.D., an exercise scientist whose doctoral thesis examines the biomechanics of soft tissues.

It has never been shown scientifically or clinically that the periodic imposition of large forces by weight training on the growing body causes damage to the epiphysial plates," says Siff in his book Facts and Fallacies of Fitness. "It is extremely misleading to focus on the alleged risks of weight training on children when biomechanical research shows that simple daily activities such as running, jumping, striking or catching can impose far greater forces on the musculoskeletal system than very heavy weight training."

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