A poll run on Twitter @SURPASPORT ➚ over a 24 hour period, with a response of 546 votes on a question of When is the best time an early maturing girl should start strength (resistance) training?, indicates a high level of misconception amongst the general public.
Only 10-25% of respondents selected the appropriate stage in school, depending on whether early maturing girls also started school early. Literature suggests that strength training is indicated as opportune for girls starting when growth rate peaks, statistically around age 12, but at age 10 years for early developing girls. This corresponds to 4th Class as the best time, representing only 10% of responses to the poll. Our interpretation is that this shows a poor understanding amongst the public about the timing of conditioning for girls.
Adrian Geissel, Founder with SURPASSPORT, said: “strength training does not imply body building, but more about building skeletal strength through exercise and with some, naturally age appropriate, gym equipment, such as light weights or medicine balls. PE teachers have the skills and training, and in many cases the equipment, but the survey would indicate that their use is not as widespread as hoped. Perhaps this is because schools cannot easily identify the maturation status of their children, making lesson planning more difficult?”.
SURPASSPORT offers Maturation Assessment as a service to schools and sports clubs across Ireland, where skeletal measurements are taken for girls aged 7 onwards, to predict growth timing and determine biological age and consequently periods of accelerated adaptation for speed, stamina, flexibility and strength.
Could a deeper focus on resistance training for girls, appropriate to their maturation timing, help keep girls more active (#CantSeeCantBe #20×20) in sport? Perhaps being a little stronger can help bring confidence on a team, can help with self image and makes being active and strong more acceptable socially?