A weightlifting course at Crowborough Leisure Centre has been designed to teach 14-18 year olds how to use free weights correctly and safely and to respect the gym environment.
Youngsters are expected to attend at least two of these sessions each week, totalling a minimum of 16 sessions to complete the course. While on the weightlifting course they can access the cardiovascular equipment and resistance machines as part of their 1418 membership during the specific hours allowed for young adults.
Once a student has passed their initial assessments, Freedom Leisure trainers then give them a personalised programme to follow under supervision with strict guidelines on weight loading. The staff monitor this on a daily basis and regularly check with individuals that they are not just lifting correctly, but also keeping within the weight limits set.
Those who show proficiency and maturity will pass the course and then be able to access the free weights area of the gym. A small group of six youngsters is taught over eight weeks. The sessions include a warm-up followed by a series of compound strength exercises with a pure focus on technique. The course runs from 4.30pm-5.30pm each Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the designated eight weeks.
Steve Collins, Freedom Leisure Fitness Manager explains more:
Teenagers want to lift free weights but we saw many using them without adequate proficiency. Rather than ban them from the free weights area, we decided to give them the chance to learn the right skills and teach them how to respect the weights and observe gym etiquette. Both boys and girls have followed the course and are now successfully using free weights and benefitting from this type of training.
The Freedom Leisure fitness team really enjoys working with teenagers who they find receptive to information and quick to learn the movements and technique. “I’m a great fan of youngsters using free weights provided they do so with good technique and keep within safe weight limits for their age and strength,” says Steve. “So far 15 youngsters have completed the course and they are now using the free weights area very successfully here. Furthermore, they have respect for the gym and other gym users which is greatly appreciated by all our members.
There are many health benefits for teenagers using free weights correctly including strength, coordination, bone, muscle and tissue health and improved athletic ability to support sports they play. Psychologically it can help build their self-confidence and self-awareness.
The Strength Academy is taught by experienced strength and conditioning coaches who are qualified to adapt fitness for adolescents. The next Strength Academy course starts in September. To find out more or book on visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk or call Crowborough Leisure Centre on 01892 665488.