More teens turning to weight lifting

If approached properly, weightlifting can be a very beneficial form of exercise


Ronald Wang

Dumbbells are placed on the ground, ready to be used during a workout.

I remember my first bench press. I could feel the exhilarating surge of adrenaline flowing throughout my body as I pushed the bar up. For many teenagers across the United States, they may share similar feelings.

A teenager might want to start lifting weights for a variety of reasons. Some might want to lift because they’re inspired by a role model or celebrity. Meanwhile, others might want to feel healthier, to build a muscular physique, or simply because they find the sport to be fun.

Even with different backgrounds, a general trend between teenagers can be seen: more teenagers are getting into lifting weights. According to a national questionnaire conducted in 2017 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,  51.% of high school students performed muscle training exercises three or more days of a week.

Is this a good thing? Should teenagers lift weights? Should parents be worried about possible injuries?

“I don’t want to say that students should do it, but it is beneficial to their overall health,” said physical education teacher Mr. Elwood Perry. “If students gain knowledge of proper use of equipment, sets, repetitions, and weights used, it can be safe and effective.”

Although the topic of whether a teenager should lift weights or not is sometimes debated, studies have shown that lifting a moderate weight can bring a magnitude of benefits. These include a reduction in the chances of contracting chronic diseases, improvement in muscle tone, an increase in bone density, and a plethora of other benefits that strengthen not only one’s physical health but mental health as well.

“Physically there are a whole bunch of benefits to training your muscles as well as the confidence you gain from seeing the results,” said senior Matthew Trbuza. “Overall I just feel great after a good lift session.”

However, as with most physical activities, injuries may arise that teenagers must be wary of due to the fact that their bodies are still developing. These injuries could cause serious complications in the growth of a teen, so before they jump into lifting weights, they should conduct some research and learn how to do certain movements, as well as get the approval a trained expert.

“Improper use of equipment and over-stressing the muscles can lead to injury. Teenagers should discuss their interest in weight training with their parents, guardians, and doctor, prior to starting any program,” said Perry.

With proper precautions, lifting weights should be fairly safe for teenagers, according to senior Kevin Clark, the Fitness Club president.

“I think anyone who wants to begin working out or lifting weights should try it and see if they like it,” said Clark. “I think it is safe for anyone as long as they lift properly and don’t try to lift more than they can do. You just have to be smart about it.”

Another piece of crucial information that everyone should follow when lifting is having proper form. This allows for an efficient workout while significantly reducing the risk of injury.

“Knowing how to properly use all equipment will help you to get the most out of your exercises including range of movement, breathing, number of repetitions per set, and the proper amount of weight applied,” said Perry.

Now with all of that said, where can teens go in order to lift weights in Stroudsburg? They have several options. Muscle Inc. and the YMCA, located on Main Street, and Retro Fitness on North 9th Street are all popular options within the community and the list doesn’t stop there.

Even within SHS, students can join the Fitness Club where they perform workouts in the school’s fitness room and play gym games.

When it comes down to which gym to choose, it all depends on personal preference. Each gym has different price points, equipment, trainers, etc. It really comes down to what students are looking for in a gym.

“Personally, nothing is better than the rusty iron of the stadium weight room, but if you want to lift weights I would recommend either Retro or Muscle inc.,” said Trbuza.

So, should teenagers consider weight lifting? To sum things up, it’s fairly safe as long as they take the proper precautions. The boost in physical health it brings can be quite beneficial. Teenagers getting into lifting can give it a try and see if it’s suitable for them. For more information about weight lifting in teens, check out these links:

A study conducted by NCBI:
Mayo Clinic study:
CDC’s information on physical activity: