IS IT SAFE FOR KIDS TO LIFT WEIGHTS?
Lifting weights for kids has long been a topic of debate in the world of health and fitness. Weightlifting can be incredibly beneficial for kids, both physically and mentally, but one common misconception is that lifting weights stunts a child's growth. This myth stems from concerns about damage to growth plates, but research shows that when supervised by professionals and executed with proper technique, weightlifting promotes healthy bone and muscle development.
What are the benefits?
Strength, Endurance, & Coordination - It improves their performance in sports and daily activities, making them more capable and confident.
Bone Health - Weight-bearing activities stimulate bone growth and density. This is especially beneficial during childhood and adolescence when bone development is at its peak.
Injury Prevention - Proper technique reduces the risk of injuries by enhancing stability and teaching kids to move correctly, preventing injuries during sports and other physical activities.
Mental Resilience - Kids learn to set goals, work hard, and celebrate their achievements, boosting their self-esteem and mental toughness while teaching them discipline, focus, and determination.
Why technique and coaching are important?
Technique - Teaching kids proper lifting techniques includes correct posture, breathing, and movement patterns to minimize the risk of injury, focusing on executing movements precisely rather than lifting heavy weights and gradually increasing the weight as they progress.
Coaching - Experienced coaches provide guidance and ensure that children are lifting weights appropriate for their age, size, and abilities, while monitoring safety and encouraging growth in strength and confidence.
Weightlifting is not only safe but highly beneficial for kids when done with proper technique and good coaching. It also fosters a healthy relationship with fitness from a young age, building a strong foundation of physical well-being.
If you are interested in enrolling your child in an exercise program that incorporates lifting weights, follow the link to learn more about our Built Kids program.
Baltimore Built Strength & Conditioning
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Here‘s the RUNdown (pun-intended):
6 weeks worth of running sessions, 1x/week on select Thursdays throughout April, May, and June.
*My running clinics have been SO much fun and many have seen improvement in their running form, breathing, mile times, and overall conditioning.
*Sessions are for beginner, intermediate, or advanced-level runners of all ages.
*All sessions will be at Baltimore Built Strength & Conditioning.
*See attached flyer for details on session days/dates and pricing options!
*Deadline to signup before the start is April 21st.
For Option 1 Sign Up HERE:
For Option 2 Sign Up HERE on the day of the session:
*Message me with questions or concerns*
Our team at Reach Strength has been building detachable deadlift/CrossFit platforms to help out our local DMV lifting community. Our goal is not to make a ton of money off of you and take advantage of a crisis, but to provide you with the best equipment within two to three days. We now have an online shop where you can purchase the platforms for contactless local delivery or pickup. We’d be happy to help anyone who needs one, just give us a shout or purchase one from our website and we’ll be in touch.
I am very excited to announce CrossFit Baltimore's first CrossFit Kids Preschool program a.k.a the Lil Beasts! The purpose of this program is to introduce Preschool and Kindergarten aged children to the concepts of CrossFit. The skills taught during class are focused on the very basic foundations of functional movement and age appropriate developmental motor skills for the average 3-5 year old. Feel free to call, email, or message with any questions.
If you are interested in signing up your Lil Beast, you can sign them up by following the link below:
Baltimore Built is Baltimore's premier strength and conditioning facility.
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IS IT SAFE FOR KIDS TO LIFT WEIGHTS?
"Built Kids" - A Fun, Friendly, and Functional exercise program for your kids. Fall Session is in full swing with classes every Thursday from 6pm to 7pm. Join us tonight! Message us if you would like to drop in and try out a class.
BUILDING STRENGTH THROUGH PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD
In the world of strength training, there's a fundamental principle that stands as the cornerstone of progress and growth: progressive overload. Understanding and implementing this concept leads to consistent strength gains.
Progressive overload, in simple terms, is the gradual increase of resistance or intensity in your training program over time. It's not about randomly adding more weight or repetitions haphazardly; it's a strategic and systematic approach to continuously challenging your muscles and pushing your limits.
So, why is progressive overload so effective in the development of strength?
When you engage in a consistent training routine, your muscles become accustomed to the stress you're putting them through. Without the introduction of new challenges, your progress will plateau. By gradually increasing the demands placed on your muscles, you force them to adapt and grow stronger.
Think of it as a staircase to a stronger you. You start on the ground floor with a certain weight or resistance level, and as you achieve that, you move up to the next step. This continuous progression is what keeps your muscles engaged and ensures ongoing development. Sometimes the steps are very small mini steps, but with consistency, you are still climbing up the stairs. Similarly if you take long and/or frequent breaks in training you will go back a few steps and will be starting from there when you return to training.
Progressive overload is effective in strength training because it triggers muscle hypertrophy. When you consistently challenge your muscles, they respond by increasing in size and strength. This growth is a result of the micro-tears that occur in muscle fibers during strenuous workouts. As these fibers repair and adapt, they become denser and more robust, contributing to enhanced strength.
If you're serious about building strength, sign up for a free intro at Baltimore Built and start a structured and progressive training program that will ensure you steady advancement towards your strength goals.
Join us in congratulating Rakel, our October 2023 Athlete Of The Month.
Rakel has greatly improved her Olympic Weightlifting in the last several months since joining the Baltimore Built Barbell Club. She has an incredibly positive attitude and work ethic that she brings to every training session and it has led to great improvements in a short time.
Congratulations, Rakel, and keep up the great work!
Follow the link to read a little more about Rakel.
Mobility in Olympic Weightlifting
Mobility is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion, and in weightlifting, it's primarily about the hips, shoulders, ankles, wrists and thoracic spine. Your mobility directly impacts your ability to get into the ideal positions for the sn**ch and clean and jerk. Proper technique demands these positions, making mobility an essential component of your training.
While stretching and specific mobility drills have their place, spending more time in the actual positions you want to improve is often more effective. Specificity is key. For instance, to enhance your overhead squat mobility, practice overhead squats regularly. Spend time in the bottom position, allowing your body to adapt to the demands of the lift.
For sn**ch and overhead squat mobility, regularly practice bottom holds. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as your mobility improves. This not only stretches the necessary muscle groups but also strengthens them in the improved position.
In the clean and jerk, achieving a solid front rack position is crucial. Spend time with the barbell in the front rack, working on wrist, elbow, and shoulder mobility while in that position. Practice driving the elbows up and out while maintaining your grip on the bar. Practice this while standing and while holding the bottom of a squat.
Improving ankle flexion and hip flexor mobility will help in achieving a deep squat position. Incorporate exercises like ankle dorsiflexion drills and hip flexor stretches into your warm-up routine, but also just spend more time in the bottom of a squat.
To achieve the overhead position in the sn**ch or jerk, prioritize shoulder mobility. Incorporate exercises such as pass throughs, banded pull-aparts, and wall slides to strengthen your upper back and open up your shoulders and chest.
As always, consistency is key. Make it a daily practice, and over time, you'll see significant improvements. Remember that gains in mobility can be slow but are well worth the effort and necessary to achieve optimal positions.
If you are looking to improve your mobility for weightlifting or just improve your weightlifting in general. Follow the link for a free consultation.
Sign up for a free introductory class it might just "change your life".
THRESHOLD TRAINING FOR MAXIMAL RESULTS
What is threshold training?
Threshold training is training at the highest sustainable intensity level where your body can still clear away the lactic acid being produced. Training at or just below this threshold challenges your body to improve its ability to clear lactic acid efficiently. This is the highest intensity level that can be maintained without diminishing for a particular exercise for a particular length of time.
Why does spending more time at your threshold make you fitter faster?
When you train at or just below your lactate threshold, you're working at an intensity that forces your body to adapt. Your cardiovascular system improves, and your muscles become more efficient at using oxygen. This translates to enhanced endurance and overall fitness gains.
Why is spending too much time below and/or above your threshold less effective?
Training below your threshold feels comfortable, but it doesn’t push your limits enough to drive significant improvement. It will take you much longer to adapt to the training and therefore reach your goals. Conversely, training above your threshold leads to premature fatigue and potential injury, and is unsustainable for extended periods. You risk overtraining and extreme soreness with little to no results.
How do you discover where your threshold is?
You can do a test that actually measures your blood lactate levels at different points while performing exercise, but there is a much simpler way. Every once in a while, you should push your training past your lactate threshold . Pushing beyond it for short intervals allows you to pinpoint exactly where it is for a particular exercise. It is the point where you can no longer sustain the intensity level for that exercise for that length of time. It is important to know what that point “feels” like because then you can tailor your training to spend more time precisely at or just below that feeling for maximum gains.
Finding and training at your threshold is one of many training methods we use at Baltimore Built to maximize training efficiency so that you reach your fitness goals faster. Sign up for a free intro and join a class today.
Accountability Drives Action & Commitment
When it comes to achieving fitness goals, whether it's shedding those extra pounds, gaining muscle, or improving overall health, accountability plays a pivotal role in determining your success. The significance of accountability is often overlooked by people starting a new fitness routine.
Picture this: You set ambitious fitness goals with great enthusiasm, but as time passes, motivation dwindles, and you find yourself skipping workouts or indulging in unhealthy habits. This is where accountability steps in.
Accountability serves as the backbone of consistency. It involves committing to a plan, tracking progress, and being answerable for your actions.
The science behind this is fascinating. Our brains are wired to seek immediate rewards and avoid discomfort. This means that when faced with the choice of hitting the gym or lounging on the couch, your brain might incline towards the latter because it's less taxing in the moment. Accountability rewires this thought process.
When you have a personal trainer holding you accountable, your brain perceives the workout as an obligation rather than an option. This shift in mindset is crucial for long-term success. The brain's reward center is activated not only when you achieve your fitness goals but also when you fulfill your commitment to accountability.
Accountability fosters a sense of responsibility. You're no longer just answerable to yourself but to your trainer. This external pressure might sound daunting, but it's incredibly effective in driving consistent action.
Accountability bridges the gap between intention and action. It keeps you on track, prevents procrastination, and boosts adherence. It's the driving force that pushes you to show up, push that extra rep, and ultimately, realize your fitness goals.
So, if you've been struggling holding yourself accountable to your fitness goals, consider reaching out for accountability from elsewhere. At Baltimore Built we can help you with this through personal training. Sign up for free consultation and let us help you reach your goals.
Real World Core Strength
When it comes to achieving a strong and resilient core, the common misconception is that endless repetitions of sit-ups and crunches will get you there. However, there is a different approach – one that involves lifting heavy weights and bracing for compound movements like deadlifts and squats. Having a strong core is not about having a six-pack, it's about building a solid foundation that enhances your performance in the gym and in life.
The Heavyweight Advantage
Lifting heavy weights is more effective at building core strength than traditional ab exercises. Heavy lifts engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, requiring your core to work overtime to stabilize your spine and protect your lower back. This engagement is crucial for developing functional core strength.
Consider the deadlift… as you lift that barbell off the ground, your entire core is activated to prevent spinal flexion and maintain proper posture. This dynamic engagement not only builds strength but also teaches your core to function under real-life stress.
Bracing for Impact
Bracing is a key component of heavy lifting, and a secret weapon for core development. When you brace properly for movements like squats and deadlifts, you're essentially creating an internal girdle around your midsection. This intra-abdominal pressure protects your spine and strengthens your core muscles.
When squatting with a heavy barbell on your back your core has to work diligently to support the load and maintain proper position. This constant demand for stability is what strengthens your core creating a solid foundation.
Beyond the Gym
Having a strong core plays a pivotal role in everyday activities like lifting groceries, playing with your kids, or even just maintaining good posture at your desk. A solid core contributes to better balance and stability, reducing the risk of injury during physical activities. It also improves your posture, which alleviates back pain and enhances your overall well-being.
Ditch the endless sit-ups and start lifting heavy. Sign up for a free introductory workout at Baltimore Built Strength & Conditioning. Your core will thank you for it.
Building Confidence Through Fitness
Confidence is about feeling strong, capable, and empowered in any situtation. When it comes to building and cultivating confidence fitness is a very powerful and effective tool to accomplish this.
Physical Strength = Mental Strength - When you start to build physical strength it translates into mental strength. Achieving fitness goals, whether it's lifting a heavier weight or running a faster mile, instills a sense of accomplishment that spills over into all areas of life.
Setting & Achieving Goals - Whether it's mastering a new exercise, hitting a personal record, or simply sticking to a consistent workout routine, achievements contribute to a sense of self-efficacy. As you see progress in the gym, you start believing in your ability to tackle challenges outside of the gym.
Improved Self-Image - Regular exercise leads to physical changes (increased muscle tone, improved posture, and enhanced body awareness) that boost your self-image. These changes lead to a more positive self-perception, making you feel better about yourself.
Stress Relief & Mental Clarity - Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever. A good workout releases endorphins, reduces tension, and clears your mind. This mental clarity helps you approach challenges with a calmer, more confident demeanor.
Embracing Challenges - Fitness isn't always easy, but that's where the magic happens. Embracing challenges in your workouts teaches you that you're capable of overcoming obstacles. This mindset shift extends beyond the gym, empowering you to tackle life's challenges with determination.
Community and Support - At Baltimore Built, we emphasize the importance of community in fitness. Having a supportive network of like minded individuals who share your fitness goals is an immediate boost to your confidence because you know that you do not have to do it alone. This support and sense of belonging provides reassurance that together you can conquer your goals.
Sign up for a free introductory class and get started working towards a stronger, healthier and more confident you.
3 Common Mistakes in Olympic Weightlifting and How to Fix Them
While there are numerous technical nuances in Olympic lifting, let’s focus on three of the most significant errors and their remedies.
Poor Start Position - Many lifters fail to set up correctly, leading to poor positioning through the other phases of the lift. This happens due to a lack of understanding or mobility and rushing.
How to Fix It - Begin with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Maintain a neutral spine with your chest up and shoulders back. With your shoulders over the bar and your weight midfoot, engage the lats and take all of the “slack” out of your body. A great drill to practice this is the “Lift Off”.
Lack Of Hip Extension - The hips are the powerhouse. Not using them effectively will hinder your performance. Many lifters rely too much on their upper body strength, neglecting the explosive power of the hips.
How to Fix It - As you initiate the movement, push your hips back, keeping them lower than your shoulders. As you drive up, be patient. At the last possible second explode through your hips, transferring that power to the bar. Some great drills to practice this are “High Hang” variations and “Seated Box Jumps”.
Early Arm Bend - This common mistake robs lifters of both power and technique. It often occurs when trying to muscle the bar up or when lifters have long arms, long legs, and a short torso.
How to Fix It - Focus on keeping your arms straight during the initial phase. Let the legs do the work to get the bar moving. Only when the hips have reached extension should the arms bend to pull yourself down under the bar. For the long arm, long leg, short torso lifter, consider widening your grip so that the bar is closer to your hip when you reach extension. Some great drills to practice are the “Tall” sn**ch and/or clean and “Pulls”.
These 3 mistakes will significantly impact your performance. Consistent practice and attention to these technical aspects will lead to improved lifts and overall success. If you're interested in refining your technique further, sign up for a free consultation with the Baltimore Built Barbell Club.
Let us welcome you in and get you on your way to being healthier and stronger.
Try a class for free. https://baltimorebuiltstrengthandconditioning.com/
Making Fitness Fun for Kids
Fitness is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and instilling good habits early sets the foundation for a lifetime of well-being. Understanding the importance of making fitness enjoyable for kids often gets overlooked. There are many creative ways to ensure that kids not only stay active but also have a blast while doing it.
Interactive Games and Challenges
Incorporating games and challenges into fitness is a fantastic way to keep kids engaged. Activities like obstacle courses, relay races, or a friendly game of tag can make exercise feel like play. These games boost physical fitness and develop important skills like teamwork and coordination.
Variety in Workouts
Just like adults, kids can get bored with the same exercises. Kids need a diverse range of workouts and activities. From running to jumping to gymnastics to lifting weights, it is important to keep things fresh and exciting. This variety helps kids discover what they enjoy most, making fitness a joyful exploration.
Kids love to compete, and friendly competitions are a great motivator. Whether it's a mini-Olympics day or a push-up challenge, fostering a spirit of healthy competition makes workouts more exciting.
Fitness doesn't have to be a solo endeavor. Workouts where parents join the kids in some activities and exercises, sets a positive example and strengthens family bonds.
Celebrate Progress, Not Perfection
Emphasize that fitness is a journey, and it's okay to make mistakes. Celebrate the progress made, whether it's running a little faster or lifting a bit more weight. This fosters a positive attitude towards exercise.
Making fitness fun for kids is essential for their well-being. Built Kids provides a welcoming and enjoyable environment for our kids. By incorporating these creative and engaging strategies, we help kids develop a lifelong love for fitness while reaping the health benefits along the way. Remember, a happy, healthy child is a strong child, both physically and mentally.
If you are interested in our Built Kids program and would like more info, follow the link below.
We have the best members and we love to hear their stories! This month we are shining our athlete spotlight on Kelsey Roberts. We sat down to talk about overcoming injuries, new hobbies, and childhood ghost stories.
Sign up for a free intro to join our awesome community!
Personal Training vs. Solo Workouts
When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, personal training is a game-changer.
Workouts tailored specifically for your needs and goals. Whether you're aiming for weight loss, muscle gain, or improving athletic performance, your trainer designs a plan just for you.
We all know how easy it is to skip the gym when no one's watching. With a personal trainer, you have someone to hold you accountable. Knowing you have an appointment is a powerful motivator.
One of the biggest advantages of personal training is the guidance on correct form. This reduces the risk of injury and ensures you get the most out of each exercise.
Personal trainers keep your workouts fresh and exciting. They introduce new exercises and techniques, preventing plateaus and boredom.
Time is precious, and personal training maximizes your workout time. You'll see results faster because every minute counts.
Solo workouts also have their merits, especially for those on a budget and especially when used to complement personal training. Here's why:
Solo workouts provide the freedom to choose your schedule and exercise routine. This flexibility is ideal for people with busy lives.
Personal training is an investment, and solo workouts can help you save money while still staying active.
If you've learned techniques from personal training sessions, solo workouts allow you to practice what you've learned independently.
So, which is more effective: personal training or solo workouts? Well, that depends…on you, your goals, how fast you want to achieve them, and your budget. The key is finding the balance that suits your lifestyle and goals, making the choice that best aligns with your needs, and staying committed.
Consider using personal training to kick-start your fitness journey or break through a plateau, then supplement with solo workouts to maintain your progress. Whether you go solo or opt for personal training, taking action is the first step towards a healthier, stronger you. Sign up for a free consultation today.
The Muscle Metabolism Connection
Muscle hypertrophy, the scientific term for muscle growth, is a fascinating process that forms the foundation of strength training. Understanding the science of muscle growth can provide practical insights into how you can build muscle effectively. Muscle hypertrophy occurs when muscle fibers undergo structural changes in response to targeted stress i.e. training.
What kind of training?
Progressive resistance training is key. This involves gradually increasing the resistance (weight) you lift over time. Compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and are particularly effective, especially when combined with good nutrition and adequate rest
What is “good nutrition”?
A good mix of lean protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats will support muscle growth. Consume an adequate amount of protein to support muscle repair, enough carbohydrates to provide energy for your workouts, and some healthy fats for hormone regulation.
What is adequate rest?
Seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night is recommended. Muscles repair and grow during rest periods, so ensure you get enough quality sleep and allow muscles to recover between workouts.
Building muscle isn't just about looking strong. It has a significant impact on your metabolism. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue. Muscle tissue requires energy to maintain itself, leading to a higher Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This means you burn more calories even when you're not exercising. Muscles use both glucose and fat for energy. With more muscle mass, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat during workouts and at rest.
This is why for most people the quickest way to getting lean is not hours and hours of cardio to burn calories but instead a smart and progressive strength training program that will add muscle mass. Building muscle, however, is not just about aesthetics. It's about improving your overall health and well-being.
Sign up for a free intro at Baltimore Built Strength & Conditioning and let’s get started adding some muscle and revving up your metabolism.
Your Mental Health & Your Fitness
Exercise has long been associated with the release of endorphins, often referred to as "feel-good" hormones. These neurotransmitters are known to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while enhancing mood. Engaging in regular physical activity is a natural way to boost your mental state, and group fitness classes provide a unique and motivating environment for achieving this.
One of the key benefits of group fitness classes is the sense of community they offer. When you work out in a group setting, you're surrounded by individuals who share similar goals and challenges. This camaraderie creates a support system that can significantly impact your mental health. It's a chance to connect with others, fostering a sense of belonging and reducing feelings of isolation.
Additionally, group classes often incorporate elements of teamwork and competition, both of which can be incredibly empowering. Achieving fitness milestones alongside your peers can boost self-esteem and confidence. Knowing that you're not alone in your journey can be a powerful motivator, making it easier to stay committed to your fitness routine.
Furthermore, group fitness classes provide structure and routine to your exercise regimen. This consistency can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with mental health issues. Having a set schedule for workouts helps establish a sense of stability in your life, which can be a crucial aspect of managing conditions like anxiety and depression.
At Baltimore Built Strength & Conditioning, we offer group fitness classes designed to cater to various fitness levels and interests. The sense of community, structure, and achievement that these classes provide can have a profound impact on your mental well-being. Our experienced coaches provide not just physical guidance but also a supportive and motivating environment to help you achieve your fitness goals.
If you're looking to prioritize your mental health and your fitness in a way that is both effective and enjoyable, sign up for a free introductory class with us and join our community today.
Basics Of Olympic Weightlifting
Are you new to Olympic weightlifting but eager to dive in? Let’s walk through the essential steps to getting started.
Seek Professional Guidance - It's crucial to understand that Olympic weightlifting is a complex sport that demands precision and technique. To ensure a safe and effective start, seek the guidance of qualified coaches.
Master The Basics - Begin with the two primary lifts, the sn**ch and the clean and jerk. While they may appear intimidating at first, breaking down the movements into smaller parts will make learning more manageable.
Technique Before Weight - As a beginner, prioritize technique over the amount of weight you lift. Proper form is essential for safety and long-term progress. Start with an empty barbell or light weights, and gradually increase the load as your form improves.
Consistent Practice - Repetition is key to mastering Olympic weightlifting. Regular practice sessions, under the guidance of your coach, will help you build muscle memory and refine your technique.
Video Analysis - Consider recording your lifts during practice. Reviewing these videos with your coach can provide valuable insights into areas that need improvement.
Strength & Mobility - Weightlifting demands a good balance of strength and mobility. Incorporate exercises that strengthen your core, legs, and back, along with mobility drills to enhance flexibility.
Patience & Persistence - Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are weightlifting skills. Be patient with yourself and stay committed to your training. Progress may be slow, but it's steady.
Join A Supportive Community - Being part of a weightlifting community can be incredibly motivating. At Baltimore Built Barbell Club, we offer a supportive environment where you can connect with fellow lifters, share experiences, and receive encouragement.
Don't hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation and take the first step toward your weightlifting goals.
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