Strength Training for Young Athletes - 2nd Edition
By William J. Kraemer & Steven J. Fleck
$19.95 (Available thru Human Kinetics)
REVIEW by Coach Newton
One of the most solidly referenced books on youth resistance training is Strength Training for Young Athletes - 2nd Edition. Kraemer and Fleck were pioneers when their first edition appeared in 1993. Youth resistance training continues to grow in popularity, as evidenced by middle and high school weightrooms popping up in most modern schools and by the number of sport coaches advocating training for improved sports performance.
Kraemer and Fleck provide their usual excellent review of recent scientific papers on the topic of youngsters and lifting weights. All too often youngsters are negatively influenced by questionable writings in popular “muscle” magazines or by folklore in public fitness facilities.
There’s nothing flashy about this text, just good solid information needed by coaches and parents when attempting to answer questions raised by youngsters wanting to lift weights. I reference this book frequently when asked by parents for rational training information for their kids. Despite the increased research in this field, many parents still hold to the old wives’ tales such as resistance training causing premature closure of the epiphyseal, or growth, plates of the long bones of the body. As the authors note, growth plate injuries may occur, but weight training does not automatically cause them. Many skeletal injuries result from overuse, whether it’s excessive pitching in baseball or high volume loads in swimming.
The bulk of the book is devoted to safe and effective exercise technique, along with sample programs for many popular sports. The exercise technique section addresses bodyweight and/or partner (manual) resistance moves, safe basic lifting exercise techniques, and advanced, total body lifts.
Any parent or coach needing additional ammunition for their case for improved sports performance through scientific strength training need look no farther than this text. This book remains a solid source of great information on a sometimes controversial topic.
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