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2010 FIT Summer Camp Wrap Up!

7 Sep

My hope is the successes, skills and knowledge these kids obtained during the camp will last them a lifetime.

The 2010 camp was a great success! Our campers enjoyed a fulfilling fitness experience that left them with a great sense of accomplishment and Joy.  Each child set an individual weekly goal, such as a personal best for the 1 mile run, climbing the rope, or jumping higher, and I am happy to say almost every goal was met! The hard work and dedication that these young people showed was truly amazing.  Many of the attendees enjoyed the experience so much they signed up for multiple weeks of camp.  As a coach, watching these young kids work so hard was inspiring!  My hope is the successes, skills and knowledge these kids obtained during the camp will last them a lifetime.

I commend the parents for signing their children up for a camp that is focused around fitness. This is a great step in paving the way for the future health of their children. A child’s self perception of exercise is formed by their parents, as well as personal experiences and environments (Presidents council on physical fitness). If this view is tainted at a young age, our young people may shy away from exercise and digress into a sedentary lifestyle that will negatively affect them for a lifetime. Doctor Weiss stated
“Significant adults are primed to structure the environment and exhibit behaviors that
enhance children’s physical competency beliefs, self-esteem, and enjoyment of physical activity. In turn, these perceptions and emotions are the keys to solving the mystery of motivating kids in physical activity.” (Maureen R. Weiss, Ph.D.)

The youth programs at FIT strive to promote a healthy active lifestyle for all young people and will continue to offer year round programs for kids and teens. These goal based fitness programs will enable your child to be part of a positive group environment that will help them shape a healthy outlook for the future.  For more information and current camp schedules, please contact Frank Knapp

Research Digest-series 3, Volume 11. Sept 2000

Children and Strength Training

2 Jul

Myth #1 “Strength Training Will Stunt My Child’s Growth”
A common misconception concerning kids and strength training is: “Lifting weights will stunt their growth”. This, however, is completely opposite to the facts. The fact is that a well planned and supervised youth strength training program can be very beneficial for muscular development, neuromuscular coordination, and improved endurance, both cardiovascular and muscular. Additionally, strength training can provide numerous mental improvements.(Faigenbaum et al)

Myth #2 “Weight Training is Only for Athletes!”
Early exposure to a properly coached and structured weight training program can engrain a sense of belonging and self worth, no matter what a child’s skill level or athletic drive. There is always room for success in a training program.  Some children may grow stronger, get faster, become more flexible, or just feel better. The fact is that every child can grow on its own terms in a training setting. The harsh reality of sports is that some may not make the team, or they get picked last for a pickup game of basketball; this leaves kids with a negative view that can exclude them from activity for a lifetime. This lack of physical activity due to a negative early view of exercise can result in multiple issues such as, adult onset diabetes (type II) and heart disease.  Every child has the ability to expand his or her physical skills and have a positive self-view from participation in a supervised exercise program. The earlier children are exposed to exercise, the better their chances are for an active and healthy lifestyle in the future.

Myth #3 “Kids just get hurt lifting weights”
The fact is that most youth injuries occur in training when children are left unsupervised. (Kilgore). Bad lifting technique, too much weight, and overuse injuries are all preventable in a supervised and well planned youth program. The actual number of weight training* and weightlifting** related injuries are much less than any common sport played by our nations youth. For every 100 hours of training time, weightlifting has a far superior number than most sports.

Table from USAW.
Sport                                     Injuries/100 hours
Soccer (school age)                6.20
UK Rugby                                1.92
USA Basketball                      0.03
UK Cross Country                 0.37
Squash                                     0.10
US Football                            0.10
Badminton                             0.05
USA Gymnastics                   0.044
USA Powerlifting                  0.0027
USA Volleyball                      0.0013
USA Tennis                           0.001
*Weight Training                 0.0035 (85,733 hrs)
**WeighLifting                     0.0017 (168,551 hrs)

Fact– A well planned resistance training program for youth and adolescents can be a very safe and effective measure to ensure a healthy and positive approach to fitness that will last a lifetime.

1.)Misconceptions About Training Youth Knowledge To Share With Parents And Administrator
by Lon Kilgore PhD

2.) USAW Sports Performance Coach guide

3.)  Avery D. Faigenbaum, etal

FIT Summer Fitness Camp

4 Jun

Summer break is a time for kids to relax and enjoy their hard earned vacation. Pool parties, sleepovers and bbq’s fill many summer days. However, with at least two months of down time and the elevated use technological gadgets, such as  Xbox, Wii and PS3, kids can find themselves on the couch more often than not. A great solution to summer inactivity is summer camps. General fitness and activity camps can keep kids moving and provide lifelong positive experiences.

The FIT Summer Fitness Camp is designed to accommodate all skill levels of children ages 7-15. Using general activities derived from sports and games, our camp will not only help your child maintain a higher level of fitness, but will also provide them with the sociological and psychological benefits associated with organized play. Positive self-esteem, teamwork, and confidence are just a few of the benefits gained from participation in the FIT Summer Fitness Camp.

Last years attendees had an excellent experience. As a coach, witnessing the pride of each child at being part of team and their excitement with the development of each new skills was an awesome thing to experience. Our goal is to provide a positive experience with movement that each child can carry with them for years to come.

For more information on the FIT Summer Fitness Camp, please contact FIT @ (650)947-9831 or visit

Fitness For the Future

5 May

Obesity, a term until recently was reserved for many older and extremely unhealthy individuals. This term however, is now applicable to the very roots of our country, our children. In a recent study conducted at Stanford University, it was found that nearly 1 in 5 of Americas youth are considered obese, 1in 5! That number is not only unbelievable, it is unacceptable.  Playing outside has given way to playing x-box live. Lunch time now consist of a trip to Starbucks for a large frappuccino and a scone. The numbers do not lie! The youth of this country have become some it’s most unhealthy.

On the other end of the spectrum, athletic kids are specializing in one sport at earlier and earlier ages.  While there are some obvious benefits to this, there are also some disadvantages such as increase stress due to competition and improper development.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Young athletes who specialize in just one sport may be denied the benefits of varied activity while facing additional physical, physiologic, and psychologically demands from intense training and competition”.

The simple fact is children need to exercise and benefit most from a well rounded program. The position of the National Strength and Conditioning Association released in 2009, states:

Despite outdated concerns regarding the safety or effectiveness of youth resistance training, scientific evidence and clinical impressions indicate that youth resistance training has the potential to offer observable health and fitness value to children and adolescents, provided that appropriate training guidelines are followed and qualified instruction is available. In addition to performance-related benefits, the effects of resistance training on selected health-related measures including bone health, body composition, and sports injury reduction should be recognized by teachers, coaches, parents, and health care providers. These health benefits can be safely obtained by most children and adolescents when prescribed age-appropriate resistance training guidelines.”(FAIGENBAUM etal)

The key to this statement is that the health benefits of a well planned and supervised program can help most children and adolescents when scaled according to age and ability. A well planned and administered youth exercise program will improve cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and increase bone mineral density. Increased self-esteem and a reduction in anxiety and stress have also been found to be affected from participation in an exercise program. Children and teens that are overweight or physically deficient are more likely to experience depression and anxiety in their adult life (Schmalz 2006). The effects of a sedentary lifestyle in both adolescents and teens will not only negatively effect them now, but throughout their lives.

As to the early specialization, Dr. Daniel Gould, professor of Applied Sports Physcholog at Michigan State University, explains, “En route to the college scholarship, or any other desired outcome that specialization is supposed to achieve, lie many physical, psychological and emotional pitfalls.  Physically, specializing too early may deprive youth athletes the chance to fully develop their fundamental motor skills, such as hopping, skipping, jumping and running, Gould said. Also, children are subject to overuse injuries, especially epiphyseal (aka growth-plate) trauma, he said.  An increase in doctors treating conditions such as stress fractures may be coming from kids doing too much too soon. Running excessive mileage or throwing curve balls can put stress on growth plates. There’s not always a pitch count for youth baseball.  Psychologically, early specialization may lead to burnout, which Gould defines as ‘formerly enjoyable activities becoming no longer enjoyable due to chronic stress.’ Of course, the psychological problem of burnout may manifest physically, as well, because children who quit sports may exercise less, or not at all.”

Physical activity for children and teens, is not only imperative in their lives currently, but also for success in their future. The physiological and psychological factors that are affected by poor health can cripple an individuals growth and development as an adult. Something as simple as completion of a simple exercise like a push-up, can send a child’s self esteem through the roof. The joy of physical success for children is not only an amazing thing to witness, but goes so far for their own metal health. Programs that range from general fitness to sports specificity, can be tailored to fit those that participate and help them take their own fitness and future to new levels. The health of today’s youth is the key to the success of us all in the future.

For information on kids fitness programs at FIT, please contact