Strength and conditioning expert speaks to parents

Chronicle Staff

By Jessica Barzilay

Strength training decreases the risk of injury and is psychologically beneficial for adolescents, a leading researcher on strength training said March 10 in Ahmanson, and training will not stunt the growth of youth participants. The Strength and Conditioning program initiated the presentation by a professor at the College of New Jersey, Dr. Avery Faigenbaum, to educate parents about the effective and safe training available to student-athletes, said upper school head of strength and conditioning Gregory Bishop.

Faigenbaum dismissed common misconceptions about the risks of weight training, including the damaging effects of squats, dead lifts, and Olympic lifts on young lifters. He did, however, address the risks of overtraining and substandard sleep and nutritional patterns, promoting a healthy lifestyle across the board.


Bishop said that Faigenbaum was chosen specifically due to his notable research and publications in the field of lifting and conditioning over the last 20 years and also for his extensive knowledge and experience specifically focused on adolescent populations.


“It was an educational/informative session to dispel any misinformed opinions, with the added support of scientific data,” Bishop said.


All members of the school community were notified of the opportunity to learn about youth conditioning by the Parents’ Association and welcome to attend, as well as a number of orthopedic surgeons who have professional connections to the Wolverine strengthening department. The Parents’ Association meeting presented an ideal opportunity to inform a wide range of parents about the scientifically-proved importance of conditioning and the preeminence of student-athlete safety in the weight training program, Bishop said.


“I think that having an independent observer come into our community and critique our strengths and weaknesses is part of the process of becoming better,” he said.


Faigenbaum tailored his presentation to the audience of mostly parents, and took questions before concluding his speech.


“I think that anytime you have a professional that is one of the best at what they do, people will listen and begin to think as a result,” Bishop said.