Why is it that so many teen boys worry that lifting weights will stunt their growth, but are less worried about the reality that SMOKING will stunt their growth?

Are you a teen boy afraid that lifting weights will stunt your growth? Stop Worrying!

Some teen boys on the short side who wish to get stronger muscles will avoid lifting weights due to concern that it will stunt their growth: namely height.

The irony is that these same teen boys will do exercises that don’t involve lifting weights, such as pushups and pull-ups, since they believe that weight workouts will stunt growth.

First of all, when you do those pushups, are you not pushing against your body weight?

You won’t bench press a barbell due to fear of stunting growth, but you’ll gladly do the pushups. But a pushup is an inverted bench press.

A pushup is a form of weight lifting: You are using chest, shoulder and arm muscles to push against a weight: your body.

In the case of a bench press, you are using chest, shoulder and arm muscles to push against a weight: the barbell! It’s the exact same principle. The only difference is that your body is flipped!

A teen boy concerned about weight lifting stunting his growth might avoid lat pull-downs, but will gladly do pull-ups (and chin-ups).

But a pull-up is the same as a lat pull-down. In a lat pull-over, you are grabbing something above your head (the bar) and pulling it down.

Everkinetic, CreativeCommons

In a pull-up, you are grabbing something above your head and pulling downward to lift your body upward.

The only difference is that the result of the pull in a pull-up is that your BODY moves, rather than the BAR moving.

Recently I read a blog of a teen boy who stood 5-6 and feared that lifting weights would stunt his growth, so he described his routine that did not involve any dumbbells, barbells or machines.

The routine included seated dips. If you clicked on this article, you probably know what seated dips are:

You get between two benches, prop feet on one, hands on the other, and lower yourself down and push back up to work the back of the arms.

Though no dumbbells or barbells are used, this is every bit as much of a weight lifting exercise as using a barbell: You are pushing against YOUR own weight.

Where did the idea ever arise that lifting weights can stunt a teen boy’s growth?

Perhaps it’s because it’s common to see in gyms short but very muscled men. I have another explanation:

Short teens and short young men, feeling self-conscious about their height, take up bodybuilding to compensate.

In an attempt to compensate for lack of height, these teen boys and young men go all-out with their workouts, and hence, develop impressive physiques.

Shutterstock/miami beach forever

Tall men, not feeling insecure or a need to compensate, may not throw themselves as much into working out, and hence, why you don’t see as many tall men rippling with slabs of muscle.

Intense strength training will increase production of human growth hormone (HGH). This has been proven by science; it is a medical fact.

A teen boy who seriously trains with dumbbells, barbells and machines will spur production of HGH.

However, this does not mean that a 5-4 teen boy will sprout to 5-11 in two years. The greatest determinant of his final height will be his parents’ height.

But because intense strength training raises production of HGH, teen boys can be very assured that lifting weights will never stunt growth.

The extra release of HGH will maximize the height that your genetic blueprint has in store for you.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.