SURPRISE! Kids Can Lift Weights

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Time was, public-health advocates argued against exposing children to resistance training. And while kids lifting weights without supervision is a recipe for disaster, an exhaustive review published in Pediatrics in October 2010 reveals sizable benefits. German researchers, after analyzing 60 years of studies on 6- to 18-year-old children and weightlifting, drew the following conclusions: In general, they benefit from it. They get stronger. Older ones gain a bit more strength than younger ones, but puberty doesn’t necessarily provide a big boost in that area. And young ones who lift consistently — at least twice a week for a month or more — experience bigger gains than those who lift only once a week or for smaller periods. M&P’s conclusion? Forget “Take Your Kids to Work Day.” Try “Take Your Kids to the Gym Day.” And do it regularly for healthy, happy, hearty kids … who may one day bench more than you do.