I’ve been given the opportunity as a new personal trainer to take on training a friend’s 14 year old daughter as a “client” over the summer. A 4-6 week program focusing on building her strength as she is active in sports (she does not have a weight issue). Her father is looking for approaches through training that will challenge her and keep her interested. It sounds like motivation is also an issue. Any recommendations/resources any one may know of and can suggest would be greatly appreciated! thank you!
There’s a lot of good advice here. Personally, I work with adults over 40, so this is not my area of expertise. However, I just started training my own 13 year old daughter & am learning on the fly! I did not push this – she came to me. Like your girl, my daughter is a pretty good athlete – volleyball & softball. But once we got to the gym initially, her motivation level was not great. It was definitely a challenge for me – I’m used to people listening to me! But once I convinced her of how the training was going to take her game (particularly volleyball) to another level, she started coming around. As much as I had to bite my tongue at times, I only offered positive motivation. It took a little bit for her but I’m happy to say that she’s doing well – she definitely became internally motivated to do this & that was the turning point. That’s what you need your girl to do!
As far as the programming goes, I try to mix it up a lot but keep it simple. I keep the reps high (15 to 20) & stay away from exercises that stress her spine vertically (overhead presses, barbell squats, etc.) We do about 12 – 13 strength exercises per workout – upper body, lower body, core exercises – you know the drill. We also add in about 20 min. of cardio – whatever she feels like doing that day – I do it with her. And the exercises that mimic some volleyball skills – they’re a big help in terms of motivation.
As I said, there’s a lot of good advice here but Dr. Kosich (Daniel) makes the most important point: Kids this age are not done growing and you need to be aware of the existing bone growth/plate issues. Just keep it light, nothing crazy (especially overhead movements) & you should be good. Dad had it right in wanting her to start training with you; you just need to help her find her own reasons for doing it. Good luck – you’ll be fine!