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Dear Cassey: Am I too young to work out?
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February 22, 2021

Dear Cassey,

I started my fitness journey in the beginning of quarantine, and I’ve been doing bodyweight workouts ever since. I heard how beneficial strength training can be, and as a 14 year old, I want to try it out myself!

However, my parents are not so convinced by this idea, they think it might stunt my growth. I am not very tall to begin with, and I still have more time to grow, but I was wondering if using light dumbbells (1-3 kgs) and resistance bands could affect my height?

Sincerely,

Wants To Try Strength Training

Hey Wants to Try!

It’s so cool that you’re interested in fitness at such a young age! Hopefully, exercise has been a good way to burn off some steam during such a tough year.

I loved your question because the Blogilates community has a lot of girls your age! I’m sure plenty of them have the same question – is strength training safe for younger girls? 

FIRST! Before you do anything, I want you to talk to your doctor! He or she will be the best judge for what’s best for YOU.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), resistance training actually has plenty of benefits for adolescents! But this is key – it has to be done appropriately. That means proper form and technique, a healthy plan for training, and using weights appropriate for you. In other words, it’s not a great idea to throw around the heaviest weights you can lift with no real plan. It’s also not a good idea to train too hard!

Another thing to consider is that bodyweight training already puts some resistance on your muscles. If you feel okay doing the workouts you’re already doing, then I would say light weight or resistance bands are probably fine.

Back to the guidelines from the AAP – to address your parents’ concern about stunting your growth, weight training won’t harm or slow how your body grows as long as you’re being safe. So again, I think light weights are perfectly fine!

So here are my tips before you get started:

  • Talk to your doctor and don’t start until he or she gives you the green light
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with bodyweight training before you add weights
  • Stick with lighter weights for a while
  • Give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover between workouts
  • Fuel your body with healthy foods

I hope this helps! Oh, and the resource I linked is a great guideline if your parents want to learn more! Fitness is important for people of all ages. It’s just super important to make sure you go about it in the right way!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

22 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: Am I too young to work out?”

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  1. Manmeet Kaur says:

    Hey there!
    I have started my journey since June last year. I have lost 7kg by now, but my body measurements are the same. Can I know why has this happened?

  2. husna says:

    dear cassey,
    do i still have to go to the gym when i’m already following your calendar? i seem to have this insatiable need to lift weights but after your workouts my arms pretty much hurt already. i’ve been wanting to tone them and my whole fitness journey started with my abs which like you, is i think the last to tone since my legs seemed to have become more lean the most. i’m turning seventeen, because of my “lean” legs i feel like most of my weight? has gone to my upper body, starting with my lower abs. i mean no offense? but sometimes i feel like the calendar isn’t enough? that i need variety? until one point last month i found myself following four plans at once and now i can barely do one because of how tired and hungry i get after.
    i know it’s about consistency, i’m facing the most important exam this year and am planning to follow your calendar as a minimal compared to the last times until i didn’t exercise until i had a disease 🥲
    i also know it’s about my sleep, water and diet. i have to admit my diet isn’t the best because my family isn’t crazy about healthy ingredients and am planning to have hopefully one when i move out.
    do i need to work out more? also another question would be how much water do i actually have to drink, my average now honestly would be about one litre a day, quite little but my family doesn’t seem to like me hogging all the water, i try to drink two and found out you drink four? and other people more?
    sincerely,
    girl without abs

  3. Axa Maria Alphonsa says:

    Dear Cassey
    I am turning 12 y/o this march, so, I have been working out for almost a year now trying to lose weight, I got my abs but couldn’t lose any weight, my mom says I cannot diet in such a young age, but I really want to lose weight in a month. My current weight is 73 kg and I want to be at least be kind-of 30 kg in a month(or 2). So, Cassey can you please help me out with this situation
    Sincerely
    Wants to lose weight

  4. J FREE says:

    Dear Cassey,
    This isn’t a question but a comment on this post. (Hopefully that’s ok!) I myself am a 14 year-old girl who FREAKIN LOVES TO EXERCISE AND EAT HEALTHY AND DRINK TONS OF WATER (even though I get sore sometimes and have to pee approximately 15 trillion time in one day I LOVE IT!) My friends and fam have always called me “weird” for loving all this stuff since I was born but it’s just the way I am! I recently started going into depth about how to improve myself even more; in terms of exercise, diet, mentality, and emotions. You have inspired me to dig deeper into my journey. I realized that I wasn’t “the best version of myself” even though I was totally good enough, when someone accidentally broke my ankle last year! I wasn’t able to work out much or do alot due to the injuries. People kept telling me mean things and comments like, “If you excercised and drank milk maybe your bones wouldn’t of broke!”. And I was like “Thanks for the comment?”. I was getting mad about people commenting things like that to me at school! I wanted to tell them “Like what?!? Mind your own beeswax bro. It’s not my fault my ankle is broken!”. I obviously didn’t but sooooo many people commented things like that to me, but inside it made me sad and ashamed of who I was and I felt so insecure and started to convince myself that what they said was true! I believed I didn’t excercise enough or eat healthy! Which made me sad and kinda mad at myself and the only thing I did was point out the things wrong with me! Eventually I got my cast off and went to P.T and was given the green light from my doc to excercise again. That’s when I found your videos! You have helped me to be more positive, excercise properly, and overall just stickin love myself! So when I saw this article pop up on youtube it hit home interms of my age and how much I love to exercise. I am continuously reaching me goals and lately have been talking to my mom about adding weights and resistance bands to my exercise but was alittle hesitant and this post was a sign from the universe! Thanks so much for everything you do!
    (I know I typed alot but me finding you and eveything you continously do and have done, as cheesy as it sounds, has made me a better person!)
    Thanks Cassey-
    Lots of Joy and Love,
    J FREE

  5. Fitness fanatic says:

    Cassey, what do I do if my parents won’t let me work out? I am restricted to 30 minutes a day(on weekdays) , and no more under any circumstance. As a dancer, I like to have time to dance, workout, and stretch, but half an hour a day just isn’t enough for this – they don’t seem to understand. Thankyou <33

  6. Waffle says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I have been doing ballet for 11 years now. I also love doing your workouts and was wondering if I’m hurting my body somehow? I’m also pretty skinny because I have a fast metabolism, but I do keep my calories up!
    Thank you! Never stop making videos please!

  7. Kiele says:

    I feel like this is such a controversial subject. I am 15, and i was a gymnast for 9 years. So naturally, most of my training was conditioning. And yes, we used weights. We would hold them and do squats, or do curls, or use resistance bands for certain exercises. And we started with that at 9 or 10 years old. And it really wasn’t a problem if we were properly instructed and the weights were to our size and ability (which they were). I personally love weight training, but i’m not super focused on that right now, being in the 93rd percentile for weight in my age group. So i’m focusing on more cardio and pilates for weight lose. But that’s beside the point. I totally agree with Cassy that it’s important to do it correctly, but i definitely wouldn’t put an age on it 🙂

  8. Latte says:

    Dear Cassey,
    First of all, can I just say how GRATEFUL I am for your influence on media, by that I mean being so NICE and SWEET and loving diversity 😀 You are such an inspiration to me!! So for me I am kind of in this in-between state where I’m not “fat” but I’m not super “toned” or anything and I was wondering if you had any advice on loosing that stubborn fat that I just have and maybe leaning up a little bit?
    Sincerely,
    In-between

  9. A says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’ve been consistently working out for more than a year now, but a thing I did not expect happened: I’ve started by focusing on my abs, not because I wanted a six pack, but rather a flatter stomach, with maybe the lines typical of the eleven abs, nothing crazy. However, even if I can now see the lines a basically a “two pack” in my upper abs, despite all of the dedication, there’s no flat stomach unless I pull my belly in, which I have to say, feels really constricting.
    I’ve also started working on my posture a couple of months ago, but still there’s that little pouch which doesn’t go away…it is not fat, when I flex it’s actually hard, I mean you can feel there’s muscle, but it’s there, and my belly almost makes a “double dune”: basically it “pops” out in my upper and lower abs, and goes back in in the middle (is that a thing like I don’t know, probably doesn’t make ANY sense but whatever lol).
    I only wanted to get toned and leaner, but now a pair of jeans doesn’t fit as well as it did before I started my fitness journey and it drives me mad. Why everyone is able to work out and get a flat stomach or at least get leaner and overall smaller, while I can’t do that? I eat as balanced as I can and I don’t lift weights to avoid growing too much muscle, which I don’t want, but I constantly feel as if I were like 3 months pregnant (just to give you an example of what my lower abs look like, despite the exercise, which can be focused or total body).
    I’m not obsessed over this, but I don’t understand it and I want to be able to use my beloved jeans!
    Sincerely,
    a girl without a flat stomach

  10. M says:

    Hey! Idk if the person who asked this question will see this, but I’m 15 and just wanted to share my experience. I have quite a few dumbells (up to 50 pounds) and do strength training. Other than proper form and adequate calories/food (these are big ones, please do not compromise!), I don’t really see why strength training as a teenager would be any different unless your doctor says not to.

  11. Kelly says:

    Is there a certain way to submit a “Dear Cassey” of my own? I’ve been looking and can’t seem to find it. Thanks!!

    1. blogilates says:

      You can just submit them here!! I’m always reading these!

  12. Athira says:

    Dear cassey,
    I am 14 year old with rather very strict Indian parents
    For indians it is considered as a taboo for girls to work out or do any physical activities during periods.
    So basically, my parents don’t allow me to work out for a week…..and during my periods I have severe sweet cravings and bloating, which I obviously hate a lot. During this period I always almost regain my wieght and loose my confidence .I really wanted to workout but my parents are too strict that is why I wake up at 5 and workout during that time without anyone knowing. But i feel very guilty while doing so. I seriously want to tell my parents about this but I am too afraid and scared to choose my own path .I am really into fitness and I love working out .whenever I cant workout I feel so bad .can u give an tips to stay confident about what I want to do without feeling soo guilty
    Thanking you,
    A girl who loves working out

    1. Kiele says:

      I definitely sympathize! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and fit, especially on your period. I personally love to workout even more when i’m on my period. I really don’t understand the situation, because i don’t have any rules about this subject. But, i do believe that personal responsibility is important and it’s amazing that you want to take charge of your fitness and health! As for it being prohibited, i would look more into why there is such a custom as that, and try to understand their point of view. Then you can decide if you want to bring it up, or keep doing it early. Like i said, i don’t know anything about your customs, but if you understand them, then i think it’s your choice. And also, you are beautiful as you are, so if you can’t workout every day or even every week, you are still amazing! Keep your head up queen!

  13. You are my driving force!

  14. Jaiden says:

    thanks cassey but my question is sort of similar to this dear cassey.. how can I lose weight at 15. I love my body and I am on my journey but sometimes I’m not motivated like yesterday I checked my weight and instantly felt unmotivated and not that happy with me.. my parents think I’m doing it because I don’t love myself is this true? I just want to make my body the best physical way possible..

  15. SM says:

    I just entered a comment as SM and I didn’t know it would publish my picture! Can the picture be removed? I want it to be anonymous. I was the one who posted about healthy eating while living with my boyfriend. Thank you!!

    1. blogilates says:

      Couldn’t remove the pic but I deleted the other one and re-pasted your question here!! And just letting you know that I see it!!

      I have a question for a “Dear Cassey”
      I used to be a very healthy eater- I ate very few processed carbs, only lean meats, and lots of legumes and whole grains. I was happy with how healthy I was being but also saved some room for sweets- just in moderation. However, I moved in with my boyfriend a while ago and his habits are different from mine. Since then, I have significantly cut my vegetable intake, and my meals have much more pasta/white rice/red meat etc. I want to eat meals with my boyfriend and cook together but he doesn’t like what I like, and I don’t feel as good as I did when I had healthier habits. I will admit, he has been doing much more cooking than I have recently (I know I am very lucky!) and he does make an effort to eat healthy but his definitition of healthy is not the same as mine.

      I know I am in charge of myself and responsible for my own decisions, but do you have suggestions on how to keep a healthy diet while still being able to bond over meals with my boyfriend? And how to resist when there is a lot more junk food in the house than I am used to?

      Thanks 🙂

      1. SM says:

        Thanks Cassey! You’re the best 🙂

  16. Amira says:

    Thanks soo much Cassey for this!!

  17. Peyton says:

    This was so helpful!

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