Powerlifting : The Safe and Efficacious Way to Exercise
In the most literal explanation, exercise is the engagement in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to examine the opportunity costs of varying types of exercise. Why? Irresponsible engagement in high-risk activities with little benefits in contrast to other viable options result in injury and setback, which will do anything but sustain or improve your health and fitness. Powerlifting is not only a safer method of exercise compared to other popular sports, but also has such a larger array of benefits. The lack of popularity and widespread knowledge of this sport is very disappointing and unfortunate, as the injury rate for example for numerous athletes could be vastly reduced. Sustainability and longevity are crucial to maintaining exceptional health and fitness, and powerlifting is the sport that excels in those attributes.
Lifting in general for children and adolescents are notoriously looked down upon for false pretenses, whether intentionally or not. Exercise is a very broad subject and is an umbrella term for many varying methods that burn calories, build muscle tissue, and builds skills and attributes for the athlete. The author of Should Kids Lift Weights? debunked many widespread myths about lifting weights as a child. One well known myth surrounding weight training as an exercise method is how it apparently stunts the growth of children and injures their growth plates. Many popular competitive sports are up to four hundred times as likely to lead to a growth plate fracture than weight lifting! When deciding what form of exercise is most sustainable for increasing the health and fitness of an individual, it seems self explanatory that the one that is far less likely to fracture their growth plates is a more intelligent decision.
At first glance, the sport of powerlifting seems very dangerous. It’s the sport of competitive lifters battling to lift the most weight in their weight class, and in some cases, the competition of lifting the most weight at the least bodyweight. In Strength Training for Children and Adolescents: Benefits and Risks, the author digs into the benefits of strength training, which is the primary source of training for the sport of powerlifting. When pondering about what form of exercise is most efficient and optimal for an individual to pursue, it’s quite important to dig further into its benefits and look past its condescending connotations. It’s quite obvious that any form of exercise, certainly including strength training, is to be done with proper supervision and safety precautions, which current studies do not typically show any aversion towards for children and adolescents. Studies consistently prove the benefits of strength training in children and adolescents with the addition of a consistently low injury rate. Some of the benefits for young lifters include but are not limited to improved motor skills, better body composition in terms an increase in muscle tissue and a decrease in body fat, and improved bone health. What is strikingly important is how bone health is drastically improved if the athlete began strength training as a pubescent. With all of these benefits and a consistently low injury rate, it seems as if it should be the go-to for anybody looking to exercise regularly.
When people, specifically children and adolescents, are choosing a sport as their form of exercise in school, it is quite rare for powerlifting to be their first choice. Along with it not being nearly as popular as some of the top picked sports in schools, it’s not very common for powerlifting to be an available extracurricular to even pick in the first place. It doesn’t make that much sense for powerlifting to not be a popular choice when you really put your mind to it, especially when considering the benefits and considerably miniscule injury rate. Many other sports that are popular choices for children and adolescents are far more dangerous. The authors of Resistance Training for Children and Adolescents don’t hold back with proof of that statement. A study was done that showed an injury rate of 0.29 per 100 participant hours in adolescent powerlifters. To be more specific, these powerlifters were individuals lifting larger loads than the average gym-goer in the disciplines of back squat, bench press, and the deadlift. This study also included a contrast to an extremely popular heavy contact sport in schools: rugby. Rugby displayed an injury rate of 0.8 per 100 participant hours. When put into comparison, this study showed how the sport of rugby has almost three times the injury rate of powerlifting. It is also important to note how much more popular and available of a sport rugby is than powerlifting in schools. As explained previously, it seems like a far more intelligent choice to engage in powerlifting, which is evidently a safer and far more beneficial form of exercise than most of these popular high contact sports such as rugby.
The fact remains that exercise is not only recommended, but also essential for a human being to live in a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. However an individual chooses to engage in exercise in their choice entirely, and most people are in a position to choose from a vast array of methods to complete their exercise. At the end of the day, some forms of exercise, such as different sports, have more benefits and are safer than others while some are riskier and have less benefits. It all comes down to analyzing and comparing the opportunity risks when engaging in a form of exercise. Powerlifting is not only one of the safest forms of exercise available to most people, but has such an impressive resume of benefits that are proven to present themselves in all people, especially children and adolescents. This information would be more available and well-known if introduced and was made available in more curriculums, as it was proven above how some benefits from this sport are even more prominent when initiated at a pubescent age.
Should kids lift weights? should kids lift weights? – The Grove Fitness. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://thegrovefitness.com/blog/view/should-kids-lift-weights.
Myers, A. M., Beam, N. W., & Fakhoury, J. D. (2017, July). Resistance training for children and adolescents. Translational pediatrics. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532191/.
Barbieri, D., & Zaccagni, L. (2013, May 23). Strength training for children and adolescents: Benefits and risks. Collegium antropologicum. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?id_clanak_jezik=150931&show=clanak.