5-Year Old Powerhouse, A Sensation (Watch)
Don’t Encourage This At Home… Unless You Know What To Do!
I WATCHED the video (below) of five-year old Romanian Giuliano Stroe (now living in Italy) with a genuine mixture of awe and concern. Awe over what a child can achieve. Concern over how his parent(s) (gotta be his father) had to have push him to achieve his astonishing feats of strength and balance. And even more concern over how this effort might negatively affect the skeletal and muscular system of one so young.
So, these were my thoughts as I began some research to collaborate what my head was telling me. What I discovered was that, like much in life, it’s not all black and white: strength training can offer kids some benefits if certain caveats are employed.
Two bottom line rules from the Mayo Clinic taken from the link above:
- Age 8 is about the earliest that strength training should be begin (not 2 when Giuliano began).
- Keep the weight light so that 12 to 15 repetitions can be done. Seems that this would exclude Giuliano’s headstand push-up training, as he’s using his full weight and thus can “only” (yeah, like if only I could) do a few repetitions. (Watch the video below.)
As you marvel over what this kid can do, know that there’s a physics principal regarding “strength-to-weight ratio” in play. This says, and is observable in nature, in gymnastics and on the basketball court, that the smaller you are (all other things being equal), the stronger you are relative to your weight.
Yes, my example is the sports of gymnastics versus basketball. You would expect that an Olympic gymnast, being small, short limbed and light, could perform more pull-ups than a 7-foot NBA player, who is tall, long limbed and heavy. Any you’d be right. Even though Shaq is undoubtedly stronger than gold medalist Yang Wei in an absolute sense, he can’t do as many pull-ups. (Not even close!)
OK, on to the video of our Romanian, via Italy, sensation: