Does weight training really stunt growth?
Never has a myth been more harmful to your chances of beating Osgood Schlatters!
Lifting weights won’t stunt the growth of children and teenagers – when programming in an age appropriate way.
It’s actually a myth born out of some old research that looked at explosive Olympic Weightlifting in adolescents. While that study did show young weightlifters created damage to their growth plates, this is an extreme form of weight training, and it is not the style of weight training used in our program The Secret to Curing Osgood Schlatters.
When used correctly and scaled for intensity and complexity, performing strength training movements can have the exact opposite effect than seen in the weight lifting study.
We talk more about this myth and where it came from in our Podcast, Episode 54.
One of the most common arguments we hear against strength training in children and adolescents is that the intensity of the lifting is too great, and their young developing bodies will not be able to tolerate the stress on their growth plates.
The evidence of research shows this is simply not the case. After implementing age-appropriate strength training with 3,000+ athletes over 20+ years, our first-hand evidence backs this up.
The math of growth plate loading
When athletes sprint, cut, jump and land, the muscles and joints can be exposed to forces of up to 8x bodyweight in ground reaction force. For an average 12-16 year old weighing 45-65kg (100-150lbs) this can be 300-600kg (660-1300lbs) or more in force passing through their knees while playing sport, and that is on one leg at a time!
Even the most aggressive of strength training programs would not have a child that young lifting anywhere near that much weight. In fact the world record for any double leg squat isn't even 5x bodyweight for the world's most elite adult powerlifters.
In reality, learning great shapes and patterns with only bodyweight, or a small amount of external load will help build robust and strong bodies better capable of moving well in sport, and better coping with sporting demands.
Throughout The Secret to Curing Osgood Schlatters we utilise primarily bodyweight movements and targeted exercises with no more than 5kg (12lbs) of external load to develop strength in the lower body and core, targeting the muscles that support and stabilise the knee and lower leg.
Now is the perfect time to start strength training.
If you are currently experiencing Osgood pain, now is the perfect time to get started with sensible strength training.
Yes: even if you are still in pain.
When done correctly, certain strength training exercises can actually help relieve your knee pain while also building strength and endurance in the muscles. These exercises form the foundations of our seven week Osgood training program.
While you are taking some relative rest from sporting loads, use that spare time to start performing regular strength exercises to build the muscles and tendons of the lower body, helping relieve your pain and preparing you to return to full activity levels.
Professional support is available
In order to make your strength training as effective as possible, you will need guidance on which exercises to do, how to perform them correctly and how many reps to do each week.
This is why we have built the Secret to Curing Osgood Schlatters. A seven week training program that takes you every step of the way to beating your Osgood Schlatters pain now and forever. Complete with a Facebook support group, detailed video instructions on how to perform the exercises and a step by step plan to get you back stronger and fitter than ever.