There are a number of reasons why teenagers or parents of children might want their child to join a gym. It is important to understand both the policies of gyms with respect to minimum age but also the impacts that certain training styles can have on the health of young people.
Minimum Age Policy
There is almost always a minimum age to join a gym. Most clubs will allow members aged 14 and up. Anyone under the age of 18 is usually required to have approval from their parent or legal guardian. In addition, there may be restrictions for members under the age of 18. It’s therefore important to check with the gym you are looking to join to see how it may impact you or your children if they are under 18 years of age. Refer to this summary of guidelines for ‘Kids in Gyms’ for more information.
Weight Training for Under 18’s
It is also important to do some research into the impacts of weight training for people under the age of 18. There are a number of views on the benefits, side effects and type of training that should be undertaken. It is important that you build an awareness of:
- The type of training and exercises that are suitable;
- The amount of weight recommended to be used and how often to increase the training load;
- How often should you train;
- What is the recommended recovery time between training sessions;
- How long should you train for in each session; and
- What is the recommended number of sets and repetitions of each exercise to perform.
I would recommend reading a paper by Narelle Sibte, Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport to help with the above. The paper provides some great advice from a trusted institution. You should also extend your research to make a fully informed decision on whether weight training is the right thing for you or your child. It should be noted that cardio training and body weight exercises are different to weight training and can be performed by people of any age. It is always recommended that you discuss training options with an expert before you begin your fitness journey.
Where do I find out more?
You should contact gyms in your local area to find out what their minimum age policy is and ask any questions you may have. Just enter your address or postcode below to find all the gyms in your local area and their contact details.