• Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Position Paper: Resistance Training in Children and Adolescents

      Behm, David G.; Faigenbaum, Avery D.; Falk, Bareket; Klentrou, Panagiota (2008)
      Many position stands and review papers have refuted the myths associated with resistance training (RT) in children and adolescents. With proper training methods, RT for children and adolescents can be relatively safe and improve overall health. The objective of this position paper and review is to highlight research and provide recommendations in aspects of RT that have not been extensively reported in the pediatric literature. In addition to the well-documented increases in muscular strength and endurance, RT has been used to improve function in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy and burn victims. Increases in children’s muscular strength have been attributed primarily to neurological adaptations due to the disproportionately higher increase in muscle strength than in muscle size. Although most studies using anthropometric measures have not shown significant muscle hypertrophy in children, more sensitive measures such as magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound have suggested hypertrophy may occur. There is no minimum age for RT for children. However the training and instruction must be appropriate for children and adolescents involving a proper warm-up, cool-down and an appropriate choice of exercises. It is recommended that low-to-moderate intensity resistance should be utilized 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days, with 1-2 sets initially, progressing to 4 sets of 8-15 repetitions for 8-12 exercises. These exercises can include more advanced movements such as Olympic style lifting, plyometrics and balance training, which can enhance strength, power, co-ordination and balance. However specific guidelines for these more advanced techniques need to be established for youth. In conclusion, a RT program that is within a child’s or adolescent’s capacity, involves gradual progression under qualified instruction and supervision with appropriately sized equipment can involve more advanced or intense RT exercises which can lead to functional (i.e. muscular strength, endurance, power, balance and co-ordination) and health benefits.
    • Do Neuro-Muscular Adaptations Occur in Endurance-Trained Boys and Men?

      Cohen, Rotem; Mitchell, Cam; Dotan, Raffy; Gabriel, David; Klentrou, Panagiota; Falk, Bareket (2010)
      Most research on the effects of endurance training has focused on endurance training's health-related benefits and metabolic effects in both children and adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the neuromuscular effects of endurance training and to investigate whether they differ in children (9.0-12.9 years) and adults (18.4-35.6 years). Maximal isometric torque, rate of torque development (RTD), rate of muscle activation (Q30), electromechanical delay (EMD), and time to peak torque and peak RTD were determined by isokinetic dynamometry and surface electromyography (EMG) in elbow and knee flexion and extension. The subjects were 12 endurance-trained and 16 untrained boys, and 15 endurance-trained and 20 untrained men. The adults displayed consistently higher peak torque, RTD, and Q30, in both absolute and normalized values, whereas the boys had longer EMD (64.7+/-17.1 vs. 56.6+/-15.4 ms) and time to peak RTD (98.5+/-32.1 vs. 80.4+/-15.0 ms for boys and men, respectively). Q30, normalized for peak EMG amplitude, was the only observed training effect (1.95+/-1.16 vs. 1.10+/-0.67 ms for trained and untrained men, respectively). This effect could not be shown in the boys. The findings show normalized muscle strength and rate of activation to be lower in children compared with adults, regardless of training status. Because the observed higher Q30 values were not matched by corresponding higher performance measures in the trained men, the functional and discriminatory significance of Q30 remains unclear. Endurance training does not appear to affect muscle strength or rate of force development in either men or boys.