The perfect endurance coaching routines for teenagers (and perhaps you too)

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For years, my kids have followed me into the gym in my garage. (Even before we had a proper home gym, they would steal those misplaced dumbbells or yoga balls I thought I bought for myself.) I would encourage interest. theirs, but I wonder: THEYCan I encourage them to create an exercise routine? It took a while, but I think I figured it out.

My three kids are now between the ages of 6 and 12. The oldest is definitely ready for structured strength training :He wants to get stronger for the sports he plays, and he’s organized enough to have a daily routine that includes visiting the gym in the garage. However, when I try to guide him in training, he easily gets bored or frustrated. (Imagine the “are we there yet?” whine about a car trip, but here it is “how many feet are left?”) I would rather let him enjoy himself and build a habit than do something I decided to be optimal for training.

Young people still go to this game for fun, which is great, but then they’ll hang out in the gym while I try to lift and ask me to train them, also. So I’m looking for a workout routine that’s simple enough to suggest in the moment, but fun and enjoyable enough to avoid whining while I’m trying to work out on my own. And I think I’ve found it.

I wrote this, or something very similar to it, on the whiteboard in the gym:


2 sets of 5 pieces: squat in cups

2 sets of 5 pieces: dumbbells

2 sets 5: bench press machine

2 sets of 5: Kroc goods

2 gills, any weight of your choice

The set/rep name and scheme is defined from a book I’ve heard of it but have to admit I haven’t read it. (There is a version of the Easy Strength program here, if you want to know where it came from and how you can modify it for more serious athletes.) I want to make it clear that any modifications to the program that I have made are not be the author; and I don’t know what they are either because I just grab the central ideas and run after them.

The basic structure that I stole is as follows:

  • Each exercise is performed in ten reps, here divided into two sets of five.
  • There are always 5 exercises that fit the genre: squat, hinge, push, pull and carry.
  • You can do this every day.
  • Add weight when it feels too easy.

It was a resounding success. The oldest broke the habit a few times, but always returned to it without any prompting from me. Sometimes his little brother would chase and they would practice together. And even my youngest can do the five board exercises, although he needs my help with some.

Why does my child like this

First, they were sold on the name. If you’re a kid who easily gets frustrated or bored in gym class, the idea that exercise can be “easy” is fascinating, even revolutionary. According to a paper To describe the Easy Strength program, the first time you do an exercise, it should be easy enough for you to feel like 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. In other words: you are doing 5 times per exercise. with weights that you can do nine or 10 reps, if you want. (You can add more weight if you are feeling uncomfortable, but it should never be felt hard.)

Second, we choose exercises that they enjoy. I’d love to see my kids do more push-ups, but the older kids love the push-ups (and they know how to do it right, with the safety items in our rack. ). They hate all squats except the squat, so: fine. Better than a cup than nothing.

Third, and I think this is the key, we chose the exercises No setup time required. We have small, medium and large dumbbells. Depending on the child, they use medium or large for deadlifts, and small or medium for squats. At first I thought they could start chaining small discs to kettlebells to add more weight, but they like to keep working with the same bell until it feels too easy, and then they Will try with the next larger size. Hey — that works.

Why it’s secretly a really solid training program

At first, it looked almost funny. Only two sets of each exercise? The first time my oldest did it, he was in and out of the gym in less than 15 minutes. Now that he knows where to find everything and how to do the minimal setup, he can do it in a few days with under 10s.

But here’s the thing: BILLIONHe’s a good point for building muscle and strength is considered to be somewhere in the ballpark with 10 to 20 sets per muscle per week, with beginners able to work out with a little less. If you do two sets per day, that’s 14 sets in a week. If you only train for 5 days and take the weekend off, that’s still 10 sets. And if you’re a kid who wanders to the gym a few times a week and forgets about it the rest of the time, that’s still six sets per week, more than zero.

Don’t they need a day off? I hear you muttering in front of your screen. Unnecessary. Remember that if you’re doing a fair amount of work that you’ve adapted to (or it’s small work to begin with), you can pretty much do it every day. For example, you can go for a walk every day. Manual workers have to go to work every day.

Or think about it another way: nobody cares about a program that has three or four exercises for each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is the same thing, just spread over more days. It’s the same amount of work. (And no It’s not a natural rule that you need to take a day off between strength training sessions; rest days just for convenient scheduling.)

How to start doing this with your child (or yourself)

If you want to set up something similar for yourself or your family, here are a few tips to get started.

The most important thing is that the kids (or you) know how to do the exercises in the program. If a child has to learn how to squat and how to deadlift and everything else, the odds are not good for getting through the first day without crying. But if you’ve guided them through some aerial squats or prompted them to keep their backs flat when they’re curious about your weightlifting, then they may be willing to include those exercises in their routine. If you’re not sure where to start, ask them what they did in gym class.

Once they know the exercises and can do them safely, you can let them do the routines on their own, if age allows. This is where the zero rule comes in: CODEake make sure they can step in and get started without having to ask you to load the bar. Warm and stationary (non-adjustable) dumbbells are great for this, but don’t forget that bodyweight movements also require little or no setup.

For example, you can have the kids do push-ups with their hands on a bench. As they become stronger, they can make them on the floor and then graduate to put feet on the bench. Step lifts are a great option when the process of squatting in the air becomes too easy. Reverse rows are a good “pull” exercise, and they can work their way up if you have a crossbar. Watch Our list of good bodyweight movements for strength buildingand pick out a few that will work for your little ones (or not so little).

And if you’re doing this for yourself, consider the version called “Even Easier Strength” explained here. You will have the opportunity to do one heavy lift per week and sometimes do sets of 10. And when your kids can value familiarity in exercises, you can swap things out every two weeks or whenever you feel like it. For example, in a squat-specific position, you can cycle through squats, sit-ups, step-ups, and weightless single-leg squats into a box (or whatever variation attracts friend).

Is this the best way to build strength and muscle? I mean, I wouldn’t train for a powerlifting competition this way. But any habit you will really do beat the hell of doing nothing. So, if you don’t want to challenge yourself with harsh training plans, go for it live healthy Take it easy on yourself by establishing a routine that’s quick enough to fit into your day and that you’ve designed to be enjoyable. After all, why should children have all the fun?

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