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I am looking for advice or material on young weightlifters. My sons are 10 and 9 and daughters are 7 and 6. I have a track background (decathlon, pole vault coach at local Div. III college) with a little Olympic weightlifing experience (1 open meet where your son Casey was competing,it was a farewell meet for Wesley Barnett, 5 yrs training, a lot of reading and research). I use kettlebells, rings and other equipment with my pole vaulters. All of my children have participated in gymnastics and other available sports to help coordinatin and allow them to be kids and develop interests. My question (finally) is when shouold I start weight training, what exercises or learning progression should I follow, and what are your recommendations for beginning programs? Thanks for your time.

Eric Pingel | 2005-10-04

all my children started at a very young age. mostly because they enjoyed being in the gym with the big lifters. i made them use pvc pipe until their tech was good enough for a 15 lb bar which i purchased from bigger faster stronger. the bottom line is that you kids are in gymnastics and other sports....i would make sure they are functionally strong....can do push ups, sit ups, chinups, walking lunges, step ups, kettle bells wings and pulls etc.....then i would teach them the lifts with the pvc pipe making sure all the muscles are balanced and structured so there are no core problems. i can remember sage playing soccer, basketball, softball and lifting weights......she would come in the gym and do a snatch with pvc pipe and run out to play with her dog.......2-3 min later come back in the a cln and jerk and run back out. we made it fun...if she wanted to be there she could....if not she did not have to be there. i think the nsca has a paper on pre pubescent strength training. coach b
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Eric Pingel
Thanks for you quick response.
David Santana
Hello I would like some information on weight lifting over the winter months... im 14 yrs old and 190lbs strong im 5'10 and can bench around 231 and leg push around 511. But I am really interested in working my abdominals and bi - triceps.... send me a e-mail at with the tips... because alot of the sports i play are going on right now and I want to be in premium fitness for them.