Written by Precilla Navarro
#kidswhopowerlift is now a thing! How cool is that?! But how do you know when your kid is ready to start powerlifting? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Age vs. Attention Span
Will your child pay attention? Are they trainable? There are children as young as 4 or 5 that can pay attention and learn technique without an issue. There are also some who aren't 100% interested, have a short attention span and just aren't ready. So it’s not really about how old they are, it’s about how well you know your kid. Just like adults, if the child isn’t really into it then they aren’t going to take it seriously and that can lead to injury.
Your kid is ready! Now what? If you have no clue how to train someone else or are a beginner yourself find someone else. The challenge is finding a coach who's knowledgeable and good with kids. It's amazing what a little encouragement and positive feedback from their coach can do for a child trying something new.
HOW TO START:
Start with technique. You can use a PVC pipe or simply just do the movements with bodyweight before you incorporate an actual barbell. Once your child has the technique down then you can add weight. You can with add weight to the PVC pipe or you can find lighter weight barbells on www.xtrainingequipment.com.
Adding weight to the barbell should be thought of like a promotion. Make sure to celebrate all their hard work as you go along. Learning all the cues for proper technique, breathing and bracing should always be a priority and continuously worked on.
Once you start adding weight, start with volume with low to moderate weight. Personally, we don't have our daughter hit heavy singles or doubles, we usually do triples towards the end of a meet prep but before that, it's sets of 6 or more. High volume training is great for perfecting their motor skills and allows them to perfect their technique. Once your little lifter understands proper bracing and the Valsalva maneuver, you can introduce a lifting belt for those heavier training days. We recommend ordering a custom sized belt from Pioneer General Leather Craft. Every coach should know their lifter and not force them to do anything they're not ready for, this is the same for kids. Some kids can handle lifting heavier for low reps and some aren't ready. Lifting heavy is very mental and can intimidate your beginner lifter. At the end of the day, make sure everyone is having a good time and celebrate each accomplishment.