Is 13 Too Young to Start Bodybuilding?

Filed under: In The News

If you hear your kids saying "We're gonna pump (clap) you up" in the mirror while applying bronzer, flexing, posing and lifting weights you'd be afraid to even go near, it may be time for a body image intervention.

"Today" reports youngsters are working out like bodybuilders, even entering competitions, and experts are divided on the risks.

Some doctors, according to the news show, say, with the right supervision, weight training is fine for pre-teens, while others believe bodybuilding at such a young age can lead to perfectionism issues later in life.

"Body building is exactly the same thing as beauty pageants for girls," clinical psychologist Dr. Dahlia Keen, tells "Today."

The news show spoke with a 13-year-old boy named Richard, who recently won an amateur bodybuilding competition.

"I guess I have a good body, working muscles to perfection. That's what I like about it," Richard, who lifts with his dad, tells "Today." "I set ridiculous goals to see if I can reach them."

The boy is not alone. According to the show, the number of 6- to 11-year-olds with gym memberships has doubled since 2005, a recent study shows.

"The younger they are, the more susceptible the cartilage of the growth plate is to injury. A significant injury to a growth plate can lead to long-term consequences," Dr. Dennis Cardone, associate professor of orthopedic medicine at New York University, tells the show.

What do you think? Is it OK for boys and girls to body-build? Leave a comment below!


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.