No, not really. Anything can be bad if you screw up hard enough, but there is nothing inherently wrong with weight lifting for kids. Many official boards of athletics and exercise physiology approve of it as an alternative to youth activity, and weight lifting does increase strength and endurance in youth while reducing body fat. If your child wants to lift weights, it should be fine; just make sure they know how to do it right.
Official stances of approval include the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology which tout that "(Resistance training) for children and adolescents can be relatively safe and improve overall health", the National Strength and Conditioning Association also is in approval for properly conducted weightlifting as a feasible alternative for youth activity.
Weight training, for children, doesn't appear to cause significant muscle growth like it does in adults. That being said, it can increase muscular strength and endurance. A 'higher rep' range of 6-15 repetitions seems to be most effective.
That being said, one meta-analysis did suggest that it is hard to get quality data due to methodology in studying this topic.
Resistance training can decrease fat mass in children and be a potential way to combat childhood obesity and can have effects in as little as 8 weeks. When constructed properly, they can be very safe as well.
- Why do my muscles get sore?
- Low-fat vs. low-carb? Major study concludes: it doesn’t matter for weight loss
- Can hypothyroidism lead to fat gain?
- Does aspartame increase appetite?
- How do I stay out of "starvation mode?"
- Measuring body fat percentage: It's an accuracy thing
- Is my “slow metabolism” stalling my weight loss?
- Does eating at night make it more likely to gain weight?
- My muscles are not sore after a workout. Am I working out hard enough?
- The lowdown on intermittent fasting
- I'm not too tired to stuff my face
- Does diet soda inhibit fat loss?
- Will eating breakfast keep you lean?
- What are the benefits of resistance training?
- Do you need to detox?
- Can you lose weight by turning down the heater?
- Does daily weighing help you lose weight?
- How do I get a six-pack?
- Is it really that bad to skip breakfast?
- Will my breasts shrink with weight loss?
- How does protein affect weight loss?
- What should you eat for weight loss?
- Exploring chia seeds for weight loss
- Can food have negative calories?
- I am a female. Will lifting heavy weights make me bulky?
- 5 little-known facts about protein
- Will lifting weights convert my fat into muscle?
- How do I lose fat around my belly?
- 3 Science-based steps to curbing your appetite
- Does high-protein intake help when dieting?
- Whey vs soy protein: which is better when losing weight?
- How important is sleep?
- How to minimize fat gain during the holidays
- Does resistance training work for the elderly?
- I have lost significant weight and now have loose skin. How can I tighten up my skin?
- Stepping up weight loss: Can walking help dieters shed fat?
- Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology position paper: resistance training in children and adolescents. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. (2008) Behm DG, et al.
- Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. J Strength Cond Res. (2009) Faigenbaum AD, et al.
- Effects of resistance training in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics. (2010) Behringer M, et al.
- The effects of different resistance training protocols on muscular strength and endurance development in children. Pediatrics. (1999) Faigenbaum AD, et al.
- Resistance training in children and youth: a meta-analysis. Res Q Exerc Sport. (1997) Payne VG, et al.
- Effects of different resistance training protocols on upper-body strength and endurance development in children. J Strength Cond Res. (2001) Faigenbaum AD, et al.
- Effects of resistance training on metabolic fitness in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Obes Rev. (2008) Benson AC, Torode ME, Fiatarone Singh MA.
- The effect of high-intensity progressive resistance training on adiposity in children: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Obes (Lond). (2008) Benson AC, Torode ME, Fiatarone Singh MA.
- Eight weeks of resistance training can significantly alter body composition in children who are overweight or obese. J Strength Cond Res. (2009) McGuigan MR, et al.
- The effect of duration of resistance training interventions in children who are overweight or obese. J Strength Cond Res. (2009) Sgro M, et al.
- Safety, feasibility, and efficacy of a resistance training program in preadolescent obese children. Am J Med Sci. (2000) Sothern MS, et al.