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Strong Kids, Healthy Kids

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Overview

Praise for Fredrick Hahn and Strong Kids, Healthy Kids:

“Fred Hahn presents sound, well-researched facts on the importance of strength training for youngsters. Furthermore, Fred Hahn tells parents what to avoid in the areas of warm-up, flexibility, simulating sports skills, and fitness tests – which I whole-heartedly applaud.”

    Ellington Darden, Ph.D., author of 47 fitness books, including The New High Intensity Training and The New Bodybuilding for Old-School...

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Strong Kids, Healthy Kids

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Overview

Praise for Fredrick Hahn and Strong Kids, Healthy Kids:

“Fred Hahn presents sound, well-researched facts on the importance of strength training for youngsters. Furthermore, Fred Hahn tells parents what to avoid in the areas of warm-up, flexibility, simulating sports skills, and fitness tests – which I whole-heartedly applaud.”

    Ellington Darden, Ph.D., author of 47 fitness books, including The New High Intensity Training and The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results

“Fred Hahn hits the nail on the head with this commonsense book. The best way to build strong, healthy adults is to start them out as strong, healthy kids, and Fred's book will show you how. Using the methods Fred uses to train his celebrity clients will help your kids improve their strength, agility, and posture, all of which will increase their self-confidence and better their athletic and academic performance. You owe it to your kids to read this book and apply it.”

    Michael R. Eades, M.D., New York Times best-selling author of Protein Power

“If every parent read this book, if every kid tried this book-—imagine what would happen! Our world would change, and for the better. There are not many books we can say that about. I’ve known Fred for years, and I trust him. You should too.”

    Seth Godin, author of Tribes

“Indeed, if there is one activity that boys and girls in our sedentary society should be doing for strength and health it is sensible strength training. Strong Kids, Healthy Kids by fitness expert Fred Hahn presents essential information and excellent guidelines for safely, effectively, and efficiently achieving these most desirable goals.  

            — Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., Fitness Research Director, South Shore YMCA

“Childhood strength paves the way to the mature enjoyment of an active lifestyle. I can think of no safer way to advance adolescent strength than using Slow Burn strength training.”

            — Lucy Perrotta, M.D., Associate Director of Neonatology, Beth Israel Medical Center; and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814409428
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 11/12/2008
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Fredrick Hahn (New York, NY), a professional exercise trainer for over 20 years, founded Serious Strength, Inc. in 1998. He is certified by the American Council on Exercise, and is president and cofounder of The National Council for Exercise Standards.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

“For the children will inherit our earth.”

—FREDRICK HAHN

Have you ever said (or thought) any of these things about your

kid:

• She needs to be in better shape.

• How come he seems to be out of breath during a game

even though he’s at practice five days a week?

• He’s got to get stronger if he wants to make the team.

• They spend too much time watching TV, texting, and

playing video games.

• How come he’s so involved in sports, and is still too fat?

• She’s skinny, but if she had to run anywhere, I think she’d

keel over.

• I think what I’m feeding him is right, but how come he’s

still so heavy?

What are you doing about it? Perhaps you’ve read all the

articles, watched all the specials, spoken to all the coaches,

and now you have a plan—or, at least, you think you do.

If your child is overfat* you know you should send your child

to soccer camp, make him or her try out for the basketball

team, throw out the television, insist on long family walks,

and banish all fatty foods from the home.

If your child is weak and skinny, your plan is to do almost

the same thing. If your kid’s athletic, you do everything the

coaches tell you and encourage your kid to follow the coach’s

advice. Do all this, and your son or daughter will slim down,

beef up, improve athletic performance, and live happily,

healthily ever after, correct?

Let me say right here and now that I will tell you—sometimes

bluntly— that many widespread beliefs about fat loss,

athletic performance, diet (a nasty little four-letter word),

and exercise for kids are completely false, dangerous, and

inane. I’ve got two daughters of my own whom I love as

you love yours and I’ve had it up to here with the lies and

misinformation.

Truth be told, almost all the so-called fitness programs

for getting kids lean and strong are either wrong or misguided.

Almost all the books on the subject of how kids should eat are

wrong. As we all know, kids today are more unfit than ever

before in history. Fewer kids walk or ride their bikes to school,

work on farms, or carry heavy books. Mass transportation,

minivans, and electric scooters have decreased the amount of

*I use the term overfat instead of overweight throughout the book because

a child’s weight isn’t the real issue. Having too much fat is the issue. And by

using this choice of words, we keep our eye on the target. Remember, there

is nothing wrong with body fat. A certain amount is healthy and vital to

health. But too much can be unhealthy. What your child weighs doesn’t really

matter; however, his body composition does matter. A large-boned, tall child

may weigh in as overweight for his age, but he may be perfectly healthy and

possess a normal and healthy level of body fat.

locomotion kids do: farming is now almost entirely motorized

and electronic; heavy traffic makes riding a bike to school

too dangerous in many places; and heavy textbooks are often

replaced by their electronic counterparts. This is not, however,

the main reason so many children today are overfat and

unhealthy. Well, what should we do about it? What can we

do about it?

All right, I’m going to tell you something shocking. Get

ready. There is one type of exercise program that will not only

solve all of these problems but also address, solve, and fix all

of the previously mentioned queries and questions that parents,

teachers, doctors, and other adults have. That exercise program

is weight training, which is also known as strength training or

resistance training.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF

STRENGTH TRAINING FOR KIDS?

The benefits of strength training are profound and comprehensive,

and include the following:

• Increased lean body mass (bone and muscle)

• Improved flexibility

• Improved body composition (less fat/more muscle)

• Improved base metabolic rate (calories burned)

• Increased muscle strength and power

• Decreased fat mass

• Gaining of confidence and self-esteem

• Improved general fitness

• Greater resistance to injury

• Reduction in the severity of injuries sustained during

other physical activities

• Improvement in all aspects of cardiovascular health

(cholesterol, blood pressure, aerobic endurance, power,

and strength)

• Improved coordination

• Help in stabilizing blood sugar to offset type II diabetes

• Improvement in the ability to perform physical activities

• Encouragement of kids to participate in physical activities

Why do you need this book? Well, if the previous questions

are ones that you’ve thought about, this book is your short,

simple, and safe answer to improving your child’s life in ways

that no other type of exercise or eating plan can achieve. If you

follow the program within this book, your kid will be given the

best chance possible to run faster, jump higher, trim down,

and gain confidence in ways that no other type of program

offers. All the information is grounded in science. The plan is

universal, meaning, all kids can benefit. The results, as you

will see in Chapter 2, are profound and heartwarming. And the

bonus is that it can work for you, too!

Strength Training for Kids

In this book, we are talking about a strength training program

designed for kids. And the best part? It takes only 30 minutes

of training a week.

This “miracle” cure is actually simple. In strength training,

specifically, slow and controlled speed strength training, you do

each exercise very slowly using an appropriate weight or

resistance until the muscles being worked are totally fatigued

or exhausted after several repetitions, generally lasting for

60 to 90 seconds per exercise. Why slow? Instead of letting

momentum take over for a portion of the exercise (as happens

when you jerk or toss a weight too fast), you push or resist

the weight under control, asking the muscles alone to do all

the work, which reaps a proportionately greater reward. And

theoretically it’s safer.

IS SLOW SPEED STRENGTH TRAINING

SAFE FOR KIDS?

The American writer Mark Twain is known for his witty and

poignant remarks. He is credited with having said: “The truth

is easy to kill. But a lie well told is immortal.”

I want to state up front and center that if done correctly

and with proper supervision, weight lifting or strength training

is completely safe for kids. I’m sure that you’ve heard around

the playground and in the schoolyard that weight lifting is

dangerous for children. Even some doctors still hold this myth

as a truth. The common thought by people who don’t know

better is a fear of damage to the bone growth plates. Yet there

has never been a single such case ever reported in medical

literature. Others say it can delay a child’s musculoskeletal

development, when the opposite is true. Studies have proven

that strength training actually benefits musculoskeletal growth

in kids—dramatically so. In an eight-week study on fifth

graders, 20 boys and girls strength trained twice a week for

20 minutes and improved their body composition almost twice

as much as their nontrained peers1. In a similar study using

11th grade ice skaters, almost the exact same results were

achieved.2 In another study conducted over one year with

nine-year-old girls, the results of strength training showed a

6 percent greater increase in bone density than those girls

who did not strength train.3 And while in this study a so-called

high-impact strength training protocol was used, no injuries

were reported. It is also important to note that the researchers

in this study, after scrutinizing the data, determined that

increases in muscle (lean) mass was the primary reason why

bone density and all of the other positive outcomes were

achieved.

DOES STRENGTH TRAINING DAMAGE GROWTH PLATES?

As mentioned earlier, one safety concern regarding weight lifting

or strength training in children involves growth plates.

The growth plate, also known as the epiphyseal plate, is the

growing tissue near the end of the long bones in pre-adults.

Every long bone has two or more growth plates at each end.

The growth plate determines the ultimate length and shape

of the adult bone. When growth is completed, which occurs at

some point during adolescence, the growth plates close and

are replaced by solid bone.

A common misconception is that strength training can

somehow injure a child’s growth plates. When and how this

myth got started is a mystery. It is simply not true. Perhaps the

myth was conjured up by the misconception of what strength

training is. According to an article by the National Institutes

of Health (NIH), the cause of most growth plate injuries is acute

trauma such as a bad fall (gymnastics), a strong blow to

a limb (football), or overuse (long-distance runners).

If you look at how most people lift weights, you see a

violent and high-impact scene. It could be that experts or

doctors knowing that growth plate injuries are caused by violent

acts warned people off weight lifting for kids assuming that

they could get hurt doing so. (Not bad advice if you ask me.)

But weight lifting doesn’t have to be such a violent affair.

Excerpted from Strong Kids, Healthy Kids by Fredrick Hahn. Copyright ©  2009 Fredrick Hahn. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Foreword ix

by Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D.

Introduction 1

C H A P T E R O N E

The Slow Speed Training Program Basics 19

C H A P T E R T W O

The Slow Speed Exercises 33

C H A P T E R T H R E E

The Strong Kids, Healthy Kids Eating Plan 91

Conclusion 117

Case Studies 119

Kid-Ready Recipes129

Endnotes 147

Appendix 149

Workout Progress Chart 155

Index 157

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