Archive for the ‘Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance’ Category

I’ve said it a couple of times on Facebook and our Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance team/staff shirts say it on the back – “Because Youth Populations Are Not Just Smaller Adults”.

EYCP

As a result, I received a message asking – “What do you actually mean when you say “youth populations arent just tiny/smaller adults”?

I thought that would be a good opportunity to clarify – I’ll tell you then I’ll show you.

The absolute need for specific training for the youth population is becoming clearer and clearer. Which is a good thing. But of course, with all good things, come some not so good ones, of course.

One quick side note – youth population is generally 6-11/12 – older than 12 really isnt youth anymore as their training needs change noticeably as they reach 13, 14, 15 etc and under 6 would require an advanced attention span for that age (with that said, we have a 5 year old in our program because he can – it really just depends on that lower end). So things that market “youth training” with the top end being 14-16 is missing the mark.

Back to what we mean by the statement.

The youth population is a growing market so there are more programs popping up, but the problem with a lot of the programs is they simply take the training methodologies and modalities they use or are being used and make the youth population do them some just ineffective and some downright dangerous – but at that age they need a completely different type of training – hence youth populations need trained like youth populations because they are different than adults.

Crossfit-Kid

This young lady probably isnt ready for that… Not out of the realm of possibility but highly unlikely for a lot of reasons.

Some quick examples and differences…

– Both populations need strength but what strength they need is not the same. Adults need load (load of course being a relative term to the individual) to create stimulus. That stimulus for youth is movement, motor control and “core” development.

A good analogy is a Gray Cook line meant for mobility vs stability but applies here also – “You cant shoot a cannon out of a canoe” – adults should be a ship of some sort so they can and need a cannon, but youth are canoes, they do not need a canon at all, they need to build their canoe into a ship.

– Adults generally have known how to move they just dont so much anymore. Youth havent necessarily and need a lot of movement based fundamentals. Patterns and movement need to be established, not recovered. It’s completely different.

– Adults need a good amount of mobility work to get their joints and movement patterns back to optimal, because age and life has “broken them down” and speed and movement work, while not bad “end game” choices, are certainly not in their beginner or intermediate workouts. Youth populations dont need that mobility work, as sitting, inactivity, stress and “being a grown up” havent taken a toll on them yet and they do need and can sustain speed and movement work more easily and readily.

– Coordination needs to be built differently. Same as movement, adults it needs woken up and recovered, youth it needs developed.

– Attention Spans and Motivation. Adults do “adult type” training because they have the motivation and diligence to do so. They cant be bored but they cant get things done because things need to get done. Doesnt quite work like that with youth populations – they need engagement, they need competition and they need to want to pay attention, not have to.

There are other differences but those are the big rocks. So to tie in all of that with an example, we have a video of a game we call “Bucketz”. You have to points 5-10 feet on opposing sides of bucket, one bucket and one tennis ball per participant. A popular variation we use is you have to stand on one leg and throw with only the opposite hand and make as many buckets as you can in 15-30 even to 60 seconds depending.

Here’s what it looks like…

What does it do?

– Hand eye, coordination.
– Single Leg Stance Strength
– Single Leg Stance Speed or Quickness
– Building blocks for moving side to side aka stabilizing lateral movement
– Low Level Reciprocal (opposite patterns – think walking or skipping) Patterning
– Overall Speed and Quickness
– Anaerobic (think short duration) Cardiovascular training
– Easy ability to progress, get better and increase confidence

All while being uplifting, engaging, competitive and fun.

Getting our youth populations, healthy and active but most importantly, confident so they can excel in whatever it is they want to do, outside of school, inside of school, inside of sports and outside of sports.

And that is a quick look at what we mean when we snarkily say, “because youth populations arent just tiny adults”.

Thanks for reading and if you would like more information on the way we are changing the way youth fitness is done or want to join the program while the summer session is still on – Fill Out This Application and we’ll get back to you.

#ConfidenceOn

EYCP Squat

For those who follow Twoguns Training Systems and I closely, you know that Geoff and I also co-own Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance where we combine my passion for youth, fat loss, fitness and movement with Geoff’s passion for youth, sport and athletic development and movement to form a program that specializes in training the youth population, ages 6-11/12 for movement, fun, play and life.

Nate Delycure is a coach for both Geoff in Lewis Fitnes & Performance and myself in Twoguns Training Systems but he is primarily the Program Director of Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance and the primary coach of those sessions and he is putting together a series of guest blogs ranging from his passion to education to what drew him to Geoff, our programs and I. The first one up is his Passion for Coaching and Youth Sports. It’s a good read, definitely check it out and let us know what you think.

Nate Rot Clean 1

“Most of my earliest childhood memories revolve around spending time with family and friends playing and watching different sports. I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood that not only had roughly ten kids fairly close in age but also the town’s youth baseball and football fields in it. Needless to say all our summers were spent playing backyard sports.

Once I got into kindergarten, I could finally sign up for T-ball and could play organized ball with all my friends. Baseball was the first sport offered where I was from and I quickly grew to love it. My coach at the time was my neighbor’s dad from right across the street and he was a great youth coach, he included everyone, the kids had fun, everyone did and wanted to play, he knew basic skills of the game and I believe that is what makes you a good coach at the younger level (< 8).

Years later, I remember the day came in third grade which a form went home with us for youth wrestling sign-ups and I remember thinking, “Hey I remember my dad saying he wrestled, I should check this out”. I was hooked after the first practice and after that first practice my dad (he had wrestled at Edinboro University) asked if I wanted to do some more drills at home. I obviously said yes and little did I know that was my first practice with the best coach I would ever have. Up until this point, I had only had good coaches which not only motivated me to get better but also helped me develop a passion for the sports, I had thought until this point that all coaches were like this, looking back I realize that I was “spoiled and wrong”.

My first Little League coach (I was 10 years old at the time) was a tough coach that would yell and not always got along with parents. One instance we had come back in the bottom of the sixth and won a game, and us as players started celebrating after we scored the last run to win and our coach came running into the dugout and yelled at us “This was a win but it wasn’t a win”, he followed up with a speech about how we shouldn’t of won the game and everything we did wrong but I wasn’t paying attention to him because I was trying to decipher his first statement.

Bad Coach

Even at a young age I thought that winning is the ultimate goal of any sport and we had done that. I didn’t understand why he would try and take it away from us. Even though we were a good team that won a lot of games, I wasn’t enjoying it like I used to, it was the same sport, same field, same rules, and mostly the same outcomes (wins). But it was a Passion Killer.

I could also tell you about the time he allowed his son to throw 23…yes 23 walks in an inning without pulling him. I was the catcher for this and I can tell you it was the worst half an inning of my life and I’ve been 30 runned in slow pitch softball. The difference here was a coach that could not communicate with the athlete to allow them to enjoy the game and develop a passion for it, even though he was very knowledgeable of the game of Baseball, he was not a good coach since he couldn’t transfer that to his players. This made me stop playing baseball for a season.

My first real taste of coaching came when I was a senior in high school, one of our graduation requirements was a graduation project where we had to complete 50 hours in job shadow/project type assignment and present on it. I decided to coach in our town’s youth football league (4th-6th grade).

I saw it as a chance to give back and help out the league that had started my football career. Long story short, I ended with over 100 hours, an undefeated team, and the realization that this is something I really enjoyed.

Following football season, wrestling season was starting and within the month I was diagnosed with was essentially a career ending shoulder injury. Now, I had begun to receive college interest my junior year to wrestle past high school (which had been a goal since third grade) but now that was no longer in the picture. Even though this had crushed me for a little bit I had to think about all the coaches, especially my dad, and teammates who helped me tremendously along the way to get to where I was. It was then that I realized that I wanted to help other athletes achieve their own dreams/goals.

After my injury, I was no longer able to participate and having many new and inexperienced bodies in the room, I became sort of a “student coach.” Even though I physically could not be out on the mat and help out the team, I could still use the many years and training and learning to help the team. That year, we had gotten a new coach and one of the first terms he used with us was “I am not a cookie cutter coach”.

Then he explained that each wrestler is different and unique with different style and he to be coached to take advantage of each wrestler’s strength. (This is something I have always thought and one of the reasons I stayed with the team I am now). I had grown up with this approach but no name to it with my dad as my coach but a former coach thought otherwise. His model was the 103 pound kids will be coached and taught the same techniques and moves as a 285 pound wrestler. Now, most people will realize from a size and movement perspective, 103lbs to 285lbs is a huge difference, not including experience and style. I feel that this cookie cutter approach should have died out with the dinosaurs.

Throughout the years I have competed in many sports with different teams, clubs, and most importantly coaches. While there was many different forms of conditioning and strength building exercises from each coach, many of them had the same answer (I always questioned on why we did things, I needed a purpose as an athlete) as to why we were doing that particular drill/exercise. Somehow most of the coaches had the same answer in “because/ I said so”.

Even as a kid I know that this was a bulls#$@ reason and I didn’t think I should do something because he said so, I needed to know if/why it made me better. This is one of the main reasons I got into the Human Performance field in college, I wanted to know why you do certain exercises and what they do. Now my goal is to develop the best athlete performance system backed by research and results to develop the best athlete and to be the coach that I would have wanted to have. This is what drew me to Geoff and Dan as they will always have an answer to “why” they do things. They “dont do stupid” and everything they do has a calculated reasoning behind it, as well as of, of course, making clients better and that is exactly what I want to do.”

If you would like more information on the Erie Youth and Conditioning Program, contact us on Facebook and we’ll be glad to help you out. The new summer schedule starts on June 8th.

My main and primary passion has always been fat loss and helping people towards those goals. As my progression went, that turned into female fat loss and eventually specializing in the “older” or as I like to say “more experienced” female population and I’ve written about that a lot on here and in my #1 best selling book, “Get With… The Program.” But I also have a passion for youth training for both performance and fat loss. Here is that story.

DSC_0016

As I write this, I am 29 years old but I have the injury history and the “wear and tear” similar to a 50 year old… I’ve been called an “old man” just about my whole life from my laundry list of injuries and ailments. When people say that their mother is a saint, for me that is an understatement. How my mother dealt with the stress and fear every time I played in a sport event, left the house or did something that wasn’t inside a bubble, I have no idea. I was a walking catastrophe.

My orthopedic once told my mother that she had to figure something out with what to do with me and how often I was in there that it was realistic I’d be dropped from her insurance.

If I were to list all of the injuries and ailments, we’d have an article so long no one would read, but I’ll list the major landmarks…

In 2nd grade, I broke my arm. Both bones of the lower arm (radius and ulna), the bone of your upper arm (humerus) and also dislocated my elbow in a fall on my elementary school playground.

Multiple and various injuries (stitches, shoulder dislocations, knee and hip injuries etc) occurred over the next 10 years but no other major orthopedic surgeries until…

In 12th grade/my senior year I “blew out” my knee in pre-season baseball (simply rounding 2nd base on a hit) and had an arthroscopic surgery to repair it.

One year later, I had a more invasive surgery on that same knee to fix what the previous surgery didn’t and had what they called an Osteochondral Transfer Graft surgery which in non-doctor speak could be described as a teenage knee replacement – they graft bone/muscle/ligaments etc from another part of my leg into my knee. The size of what they took out was bigger than I thought my actual knee was.

It was recovering from this surgery that prompted me to lose 100 pounds over the next year and officially started my journey into training (although I was doing everything wrong but that is another story).

I dislocated my right shoulder regularly during that time (as well as times before it) – totaling about 6 dislocations in that time period, 5 of which I was able to “pop” back in on my own, one of which a friend had to “set”. I in no way recommend this but it is what it is.

Then, one year later I had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum on my left shoulder (note – not the shoulder I constantly dislocated). I tore the left labrum/shoulder simply jumping into a pool and had to be ambulance’d to the hospital to have it set.

It was recovering from this surgery and the aftermath of which I began to regain the 100 pounds I had lost – and then a few more. When you don’t lose weight the right way, lose it too quickly etc, you destroy your body and inevitably gain the weight back – and that’s exactly what happened to me.

And that is what officially sparked my journey to learn anything and everything fitness – at first to fix myself and then leading to helping other people not have to follow the same path I did.

The path of not only being overweight and obese my whole life but also being ridiculously injury prone up until that point where I figured out it simply came down to strength and I was able to “fix” what was wrong with me, get to a healthy weight and not be chronically injured at every turn.

I say none of this to impress or garner sympathy in any way, I simply say it to rather impress upon you that none of those injuries or issues were due to collisions or any sport-like activity or trauma like a card accident. They were all preventable. So let’s back track a little bit. Being constantly injured and being obese are two primary things that influenced the path I chose in life but they are also two things that could have been avoided completely.

A lot of fellow fitness professionals and strength and conditioning coaches can trace their passion back to a coach who drove them to success.

I don’t have that story.

The best coach I ever had was little league baseball (it was my dad) but after that and in other sports during that time I had coaches that ranged from “meant well and had good intentions but knew nothing about athletics” to just terrible and even dangerous. My “peewee” football experience and the coaches were so horrible that I don’t feel comfortable writing publicly about it – and resulted in me not playing football past the 6th grade.

Bad Coach

Not only did I not have that coach who empowered me, educated me and fueled my passion – I had the complete opposite the majority of the time.

Part of the reason I have such a passion about training the youth population (ages 6-11) is because I want to be the coach that I never had. The coach who empowers, educates and ignites passion.

Had I had the coach who taught me how to move well, how to run well and who took into account my individual needs, abilities and movement competency…

Had I had the coach who was able to influence me and create passion and motivation…

Who knows how much sooner I could have found my passion and how many injuries could have been prevented. And that is the most important part – every injury I had could have been avoided.

I remember one time my mom took me to the doctor because I ran funny. I did run funny, every step resulted in a knee valgus (inward deviation of the knee), moreso in my right knee (funny how that is the one that needed the major surgery) and every step looked like I was about to fall over.

It wasnt running funny, it was/is two things… It was weakness/lack of strength and it was never being taught how to run. I didn’t have anyone to help with that. I actually had coaches who would just make you run and run. And then run some more even though most of the team clearly couldn’t.

I want to be the coach who teaches you how to move well, then move often. How to run, sprint, jump and crush it – safely and effectively. To make your life infinitely better – now and 10-20 years from now. This goes for all ages, but especially the youth.

The coach who teaches you how to be strong. How to be confident. Because when you move, look and feel better you are more confident and when you feel like you can do anything, a funny thing happens – you can do anything. And they don’t teach you these things in school – but we can and we do.

Bad Trainer

Not This Guy…

And that’s why we do what we do and why after I got Twoguns Training Systems rolling and growing well, my next natural progression was to Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance. In a time where the youth population is incredibly more sedentary than my generation was, and 100x more sedentary that the generations that came before it, it is so incredibly important that we help address any and all issues that the youth population faces – and truly make a difference.

The person I wish I had when I was 10.

Let this be your call to action to get your son or daughter into our youth specific programs, you can contact me at (814) 882-8001 for more information and to get started.

In the first installment of this series, we looked at “Preserving the Growth Plates” and why that isn’t true at all.

Well this installment we look at the opposite end of the spectrum and the myth “Youth need the same training as adults, just lighter.” It may seem like it contradicts Myth #1, and it does to a certain extent but not completely. Some people actually do see the need for training in the youth population so they attempt it and they do it completely wrong because they think that the youth is just a smaller version of an adult and has the same needs as an adult does just with less load, no free weights and on a machine for some reason.

I never understood why people say kids shouldn’t lift weights and then put them on a machine and do machine leg press, machine rows, machine shoulder press etc. A machine loaded weight is essentially the same external load as free weights except you take away the integral part of having to stabilize the load away – taking out the core stabilization, part that is even more integral for the youth population. It isn’t safer as most think. It is actually infinitely less safe, the only major difference is it is far easier to teach, just sit them on the machine and push (or pull).

I once saw a “Youth Spin Class” being advertised – Same exact Spin class an adult would do except youth/children participate… We could argue that sitting on a bike that doesn’t move, training the lower body in one plane of movement, overemphasizing the already over emphasized quads/front of the leg, usually promoting bad posture and that makes your hip flexors tight is not really what an adult needs in terms of fitness and it could go either way, that is a debate for another day that I will not argue but in terms of what ages 6-12 need, it is not debatable that that is exactly what they do not need for exercise and one I will definitely argue.

Another common mistake is that people will “just have them run”/jog/low intensity high duration which does nothing but make them worse. Especially since no one takes the time to teach them how to do it correctly. More on this toward the end. But bottom line, if you train them to be slow, they will be slow. This is why cross country during the off season for an athlete is not a good idea.

The youth population needs “the same, but different” training when it comes to the proper training of the adult or teenage population, it is actually a combination of the two. It is all based on the fundamental movement patterns that good exercise progressions for adults follow but how they are implemented is not the same.

Adults (for the most part) need mobility as longevity and sedentary lifestyles have limited their mobility/flexibility. The average female needs more stability than mobility and the majority of males need a lot of mobility work (there will be outliers both ways but for the most part that is accurate) but both genders and the majority of adults need to re-establish fundamental and foundational movement skills. Something essentially everyone loses over time and work on strengthening them as well as training primarily for fat loss and muscle gain to keep them healthier, leaner and living longer.

The youth population has none of those issues with the exception of the outliers. Through natural development they have the mobility we are supposed to have and they have the foundation and fundamental movement patterns already. As they reach the higher end of the 6-12 age range, you’ll see these decrease more and more through sedentary lifestyles, sometimes through being overworked in youth sports and not enough strength, conditioning and movement development and everything shifts and changes during puberty but for the most part, mobility is there, fundamental movement patterning is there in the youth population.

baby-squat

We don’t develop proper movement as we age, we lose what we already have.

But they lack stability, motor control and neuromuscular control and patterning. They need a training protocol based around those things. They need a training protocol that prepares them for what they are going to encounter growing up, which is likely some form of youth sports and hopefully some movement. They also need a foundation in which the rest of their life can be built upon. Learning how to move well and move often as early as possible will keep you far healthier and stronger for the rest of your life rather than getting into responsible training in your adult life and having to work on getting that foundation built then.

What does this mean?

– No machines. They need to be able to stabilize their bodies as they go through movements.

– They need to squat, hinge, push, pull, rotate and do things on one leg – and get a perfection movement foundation and strong at doing all of those. Sometimes with added weight (if this rubs you the wrong way refer back to the Growth Plates post above).

– What they do needs to be engaging and fun. Adults can stay occupied with certain things a lot longer than the youth population can. This is completely obvious until it comes to actual application and “youth fitness” expects a 10 year old to ride a stationary bike for 45 minutes… Movement skill development and fun can easily go hand in hand with certain games and fun competitive environments.

– They need direct and specific injury prevention techniques, specifically ACL strengthening, especially in females.

– They need to learn how to move properly and most importantly, run properly. And they need to be sprinting more and doing little to no jogging/endurance running that all youth programs seem to default to.

Most people do not know how to sprint and run properly because 99% of the people you see jogging aren’t doing it right. My opinion is that they never learned how to sprint, they just started jogging one day because it was easy and free but don’t actually know how to do it because they never learned. Also that they do not move well enough or are strong enough to be able to do it.

A few examples of bad running…

Youth Bad Runner

Very flexion/bad posture based foundation that promotes poor movement, underemphasizes the glutes and leads to pain.

Youth Running Posture

Over extended/excessive extension putting too much emphasis on the lower back

Another example, which I don’t have a picture of which is very common in females is when they are moving the shoulders rotationally like a bad dance move while not actually moving them front to back and constantly performing what looks like a torso twist. This jacks up the lower back and leaks energy all over causing overuse of the lower body. Running is meant to move you forward not side to side (though we should train that also) or up and down.

What should it look like?

Martin Rooney Sprint

Good tall posture, neutral lower back, strong stride, very importantly – opposite patterns from the arms moving front to back in opposition to the legs. It isn’t just lower body, it is total body. And it isn’t meant to low intensity, low duration – it is meant for short but intense bouts of power. Sprint more, jog less.

– Lastly, they need to move 3-dimensionally. This really goes for all ages groups and populations but it is incredibly importantly in the youth. They move in all directions, in all ways in everything they do, so why train simply front to back and up and down. Training the frontal plane (sideways movement) and the transverse plane (rotational movement) is imperative. Just because it is harder to teach and learn doesn’t meant it should be avoided, it means you need expert guidance to show you right way.

That is all for this installment of Youth Training Myth Busting. If you would like further information on anything you read here or you would be interested in our trial for Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance, feel free to leave me a message over on Facebook and I’ll answer as quickly as I can. Hope you enjoyed the read.

WHITE_TEASE

Training the youth population (ages 6-12) is one of the most misunderstood segments of the fitness industry. So I figured it would be beneficial to start a series on debunking youth training myths. The first one is one we get all the time…

“Kids shouldn’t train until they are 12/13/14/15 (or some other random and arbitrary number), we need to preserve the growth plates.”

This is one of the most popular ones and actually one of the most unfounded and incorrect ones there is.

I would actually make the argument that the vast majority of youth, ages 6-9 and the average/slightly above average amount of 9-12 year olds are far more prepared for movement and load than the average 40-50 year old is.

Who is better suited to do a loaded hip hinge pattern/deadlift pattern?

PA310104

or

Youth can touch toes

Hopefully you chose the second picture regardless of the fact that she is possibly 20 years younger than the first and has “room in her growth plates.” He doesn’t meet the biggest pre-requisite for a deadlift, she does. It doesn’t mean lets load a bar up to 135 and let her have at it, but she is certainly one step closer than he is.

Not too many, if any at all, high quality fitness professionals would disagree with that. Life, sedentary jobs and lack of exercise haven’t broken people down and they don’t move well, even though their “growth plates have closed.” For the most part, the younger you are the better you move. The 6-12 age ranges lack the coordination and neuromuscular control an adult does not lack but from a purely movement-based perspective, they are more prepared for functional training and movement than the average adult is.

So why wouldn’t we load them?

Obviously, if they aren’t ready physically. Ages 6, 26 or 46.

And if they are, do so. Movement competency (the ability to be able to do a movement safely), movement capacity (the ability for movement over a prolonged period of time) and exercise histories are far better indicators of a human’s need to load a movement pattern or exercise than age is.

Im in no way shape or form advocating to start throwing barbells on the backs of every 6 year old you can find – nothing of the sort. But I AM advocating that you/I have permission to load a client who is physically capable and prepared to do so, ages 6-96. That’s right 6 years old and 96 years old.

I haven’t met a 6 or 96 year old who comes into a training program and starts with anything except bodyweight and assisted exercises and movement patterning. But they could progress past that once a foundation is built. If it is what they need, it is what they should get, regardless of age.

So does a 6, 9 or 12 year old need to “lift weights” right away? If and only if they are physically capable and efficient at doing so.

I’ve seen and met a 12 year old who was a long way away from lifting a weight, he didn’t move well, he was deconditioned and he had a lot of work to do. That is completely okay and we got him to a point of being able to – and he did. He actually play competitively at the High School level.

I also have seen and met a 12 year old whose relative strength (strength in relation to their own bodyweight) was extraordinary – pull ups and push ups were easy, he couldn’t make himself tired if he tried and he moved perfectly through all functional movement, mobility and stability patterns. He needed added weight and he got it right away.

These are two outliers on opposite ends of the spectrum, so they are not the average by any means. But they are real people and they were both 12 year olds who the average person would say, “they shouldn’t lift weights.”

The bottom line is physical preparedness, movement competency, mobility, stability, functional movement patterns and training capacity are all far better indicators of how ready you are for added weight rather than chronological age. If you’re ready, you’re ready.

The reality is, in the era of youth starting sports earlier and earlier, contact based and competitive ones at that, it is not only a need to get them training and training with added load, but it actually irresponsible and unsafe to put them into those positions without being properly prepared.

Youth football

Notice the upside down purple uniform…

We think nothing of letting 10-12 year olds do this to each other but physically preparing them for it through movement and lifting weights will “damage growth plates.” It doesn’t make any sense.

Youth need to be physically prepared, move well and move often – this has nothing to do with age.

There is still time to take advantage of the summer months and join our Youth Training and Development Program. Please contact Dan at (516) 510-2665 for more information and to sign up.

I wanted to start with a couple of statistics that we often overlook…

Did you know…?

– 1 in 3 kids are either overweight or obese.
– Injury rates among children and adolescents are at an all time high with over 3 million+ sport relates injuries each year.
– Heart disease, cancer and diabetes are starting younger and younger and some among kids.
– Kid’s self-esteem is at an all-time low, bullying is at an all-time high and suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the 10-24 age group.

Youth Photo

Pretty awful, right?

How about a couple of positive did you knows…

– Kids and teens who take part in physical activity are less likely to get involved in drinking, drugs, violence, smoking, sex and delinquency than teens who spend a lot of time in front of the television. And kids and teens who take part in physical activity WITH their parents are even less likely for all of the aforementioned” – Pediatrics, April 2006
– A study has shown students perceived by others as having good athletic skills were more popular… while the seemingly uncoordinated often felt dissatisfaction and isolation. – “Perceived Athletic Competence, Sociometric Status and Loneliness in Elementary School Children” Journal of Sport Behavior, 2007. Janice Causgrove Dunn of the University of Alberta was quoted, “We knew there was a common-sense link between lack of athletic skills and loneliness.”

That may not be completely positive in nature as it is a depressing conclusion but it is redeeming because it 100% is something we can easily change. But simply putting them into sports isn’t enough. It is a great thing and something I believe everyone should participate in in some fashion but it isn’t enough.

“Why can’t kids just play sports?” is a scary one. The population as a whole, adults and children are becoming more sedentary than ever before and moving less competently and efficiently than ever before. Sports, play and athletic events are all amazing and should be the cornerstone of health, physical ability and movement for kids but they cannot be done safely or adequately if they cannot move properly, which is more and more the case.

When kids aren’t physically prepared to move – they get hurt. It used to be that most children/kids sports related injuries were contact related, now non-contact injuries are almost common unfortunately. Some injuries cannot be avoided, an awkward tackle, a collision, getting hit by something etc.

But to get injured simply moving and not being touched? It just isnt acceptable and is entirely preventable – if they move competently and have the adequate strength. Some do okay, but most do not. You need the foundation and movement competency. We have to not only get the youth moving but we have to get them moving well and competently THEN moving often. It doesn’t just happen naturally.

The youth market seems to be the most neglected market in fitness but it might be the most needed market we have but they simply don’t have formal help. Once they get to high school, they have more options (though most arent what the actually need) but what about when they need it most?

We now have the answer. Erie’s leader in fat loss training, Twoguns Training Systems and Erie’s leader in athletic and sports performance, LEWIS Fitness & Performance have expanded and teamed up to launch Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance. Just in time for some summer activity.
Erie Youth Conditioning and Performance is the only program in Erie 100% focused on youth fitness and performance. Self-esteem, fat loss, healthy movement, sports performance and building a strong foundation for everything life brings their way.

Youth Group Photo

You cannot train kids as if they are just smaller versions of adults. I’ve seen things “Kids Spin” and “Kids Group Fitness” but they don’t actually address the physiological and individual needs and differences kids have and prepare them for the things that are coming their way in life.

That is why we have a specialty program for ages 6-12 (with curriculums for 6-9 and 9-12) for all levels of experience and ability, we have a proven system for training that will be successful at helping develop our youth through…

– Increasing speed and agility
– Increasing strength and power
– Mobility and flexibility to prevent injuries
– 1st Step quickness and explosion for future athletics but also complete movement ability
– Weight training techniques
– Health, wellness and Bodyfat reduction
– Promoting camaraderie and team building
– And MOST importantly – Building confidence

Sessions launch and start on Monday, June 30th with a schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 11am and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm. We will be having a limit to this as the demand has been significant so don’t hesitate to get signed up. Contact Dan at (516) 510-2665 or on Facebook for more details and to get signed up. Also be sure to ask about how you can workout with your kids (obviously doing different programs as your needs are different) and get them better results while getting yourself some as well.

Comfort zone