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Monday, April 17, 2006

Does Weight Lifting Stunt Growth in Height?

I get this question all the time: "I'm in my teens and I want
to start weight lifting. But someone recently told me that
weightlifting can stunt my growth. Is this true?"

It's seems this myth will never die. But I will try again to
kill it.

The whole notion of growth being stunted by weight lifting is
a myth. It didn't stunt the growth of Shaquille O'Neal, David
Robinson, Karl Malone, Michael Vick, etc. They all started
lifting in their early teens, and all have gone on to be well
over 6' tall and star in professional sports.

Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger started lifting very
young and both are 6'1" or taller. Lou Ferrigno started
working out at 14 years old at the height of 5' 9" and grew to
6' 5" - taller then anyone in his family!

So the answer is no, weightlifting does not stunt height growth, or
any other kind of growth, for that matter. There is no scientific
evidence to support such ideas and, in fact, books such as the
Russian, School of Height, suggest that weight training may
stimulate growth. The latest weight training studies done on
teens showed only positive effects.

I'd also point out that activities such as running and jumping
create forces on the body that are six to eight times one's body
weight. The compression forces on his legs and spine are far
greater in running and jumping than they will ever be in
squatting or pressing over head.

Not only will proper weight training not stunt growth, it allows
teens to grow up with stronger muscles and bones, along with a
healthy lifestyle. It certainly benefits any other sport they
engage in.

Even though proper weight training protocols will not inhibit
growth, the risk for such occurrences and injuries are just like
anything else. If you have proper instruction and a
well-organized program,,your chances are very low.

It is important to learn the basics of weight training and get
medical clearance from your doctor before you begin.

Careful attention should be paid to correct weightlifting form, and
not using too much weight or too much stress placed on the
joints. This is still true, of course for everyone, regardless
of age, and no one should ever try to do more weight than they
can reasonably lift, otherwise injury can occur.

Correct technique will reduce any risk of injury and develop your
strength more effectively than not training with proper technique.
The greatest benefits and smallest risks occur when 8 to 15
repetitions can be performed with a given weight before adding
weight in small increments.

Remember if you are going to exercise regularly always do a
warm up followed by some stretching. After your workout take
5-10 minutes to cool down and do some more gentle stretching.
Studies have shown that people who warm up and cool down
adequately have far fewer injuries.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Steve Reeves Workout - How Steve Reeves Trained

Steve Reeves had a classic physique body that is still admired
to this day. To many it is still the greatest physique of all time.
What's even more impressive is that Steve won the Mr. America,
Mr. World, and Mr. Universe titles with out ever using stroids.

His top form measurements were:

height 6'1"
weight 215lb
shoulder breadth 23 1/2 in
neck 18 1/4 in
chest 52 in
waist 29 in
hips 38 in
biceps 18 1/4 in
forearms 14 3/4 in
wrist 7 1/4 in
thigh 26 in
calf 18 1/4 in
ankle 9 1/4 in.

Note that his calf, biceps and neck are the same measurement. He
did this deliberately based on the concept of Grecian ideal
proportions.

He also worked to get his shoulders as wide as possible and his
waist as small as possible in order to exaggerate his upper
body width. He didn't do shrugs or side bends as he thought large
traps took away from the visual illusion of shoulder width and
large obliques thickened the waist, spoiling his v-taper.

Steve Reeves Training Methods

I found one of Steve Reeves training routine in an old booklet
and was happy to see he trained briefly, infrequently and
intensely to make the fastest progress. He trained full body
workouts three times a week, doing about 3 sets for each
exercise. He choose mostly basic exercises that worked the
part of the muscle he wanted to bring out.

Steve Reeves once wrote that 12 reps is the ideal number,
but never at the expense of good form!

Of course he had great genetics, but he also trained the right
for a natural bodybuilder.

Exercises of Steve Reeves

1. Shoulders - Press Behind Neck
2. Thighs - Hack Squat (toes pointed at 'ten and two' heels closed)
3. Calves - Toe Raise (on block of wood at least 6" thick)
4. Chest - Dips on parallel bars
5. Back - Chin behind neck
6. Triceps - Pressdown on lat machine
7. Biceps - Incline dumbell curl

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