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Rest and Recovery Time Critical for Youth Strength Training Programs

By Human Kinetics, 12/18/18, 12:00PM CST

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Youth coaches should realize that the “more is better” attitude is counterproductive and will likely result in injury, burnout or poor performance.

While more has been written about how to design strength-training programs than how to recover from practice and training, working with youth of any age involves balancing the demands of training (required for adaptation) with recovery (also required for adaptation).

Although some parents, teachers, and coaches still have a “more is better” attitude, the perception that boys and girls can recover from hard workouts faster than adults is not supported by research.

Since children and adolescents are still growing and developing, we believe that youth may actually need more time than adults for recovery between high-volume and high-intensity training sessions. Although a day off between workouts might be adequate for youth who participate in recreational strength-training programs, training to enhance sport performance involves higher levels of physical as well as psychological stress.