Crossfit training is a nationwide success. Hundreds of gyms and thousands of personal trainers are focused on delivering this unique style of circuit training to people interested in getting in shape and losing weight. Can you guess their newest market? Crossfit for children!
Crossfit (or CrossFit, if you prefer) was originally developed by Greg Glassman to develop strength and endurance. It delivers these results through a series of a series of widely-varied exercises. Each exercise is conducted until exhaustion. Literally, you repeat the exercise until you can’t do it even once more. Then you move onto the next exercise in that day’s routine or circuit. Each day is different, so your body is developed evenly and your muscles don’t get a chance to optimize around one particular movement.
Now children are taking on this challenging physical fitness program! A specially modified version of Crossfit, creatively called CrossFit Kids, is targeted at children ages 5 and up. Obviously, the weights and equipment need to be scaled back for youngsters, but the intensity and sweat-soaked tee-shirts are just the same.
Up until 2008, the accepted wisdom was that this type of exercise was not appropriate for children. But in that year the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its position on kiddy weightlifting. Now, they support a light weightlifting program for children 8 and older. They still warn against lifting substantial weights, though. The concern is that young bodies aren’t yet developed enough to lift a significant percentage of their body weight without endangering their spine.
To be safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends more repetitions with a lighter weight. They also suggest that the child not repeat each exercise until exhaustion. Doing a dozen to 18 reps is plenty, there’s no need to break the muscles down in young people.
So if your child is interested in Crossfit, or you enjoy Crossfit and want to share that excitement with your child, go right ahead! Kids don’t bulk up until puberty, so they won’t look like the amazing Hulk. They will, however, learn lifelong lessons about fitness and the glow that follows a good workout.