We all want to start our lifting journey as early as possible in our lives, with many of us aspiring to be like our favorite superheroes, wrestlers, or bodybuilders.
But the circulating belief is that lifting when you’re young, especially as a teen going through puberty, it might end up stunting your growth.
This belief grew common possibly from mothers reading an uninformed magazine article on weightlifting or that jealous friend that think lifting weights is a dumb idea.
So, what’s the rationale behind this belief?
During adolescence, long bones, such as bones in your legs, have small hyaline cartilages known as epiphyseal plates connected to each end. These plates increase the length of your bones through proliferation of ossifying cells we call chondrocytes.
This multiplying process is what makes your bones longer and you taller.
The concern here is that if you apply a heavy external force, like lifting weights, onto these epiphyseal ‘growth’ plates, you damage the chance for your chondrocytes cells to grow, cutting potential height growth.
But, what does the research actually say?
Well… nothing really, because there isn’t any.
In fact, some studies even suggest that weightlifting might help you grow instead, because of the increase we see in certain growth-promoting
The only time there is a connection between lifting weights and stunting growth is when injuries are involved due to improper lifting technique.
So, for you young kids that aspire to be the next Arnold or WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, pumping iron can be okay, just make sure you do right and do it safely!