"Eat up all your spinach so you grow up big and strong!" Growing up "big and strong" is the clichéd gold medal of achievement waiting at the end of a happy, healthy childhood. The Best family -- otherwise known as "The Strongest Family in the World" -- may be taking that old idiom to the extreme.
Recently featured on an episode of TLC's My Crazy Obsession, the Best family's fixation on strength can be traced back to dad Nick's traumatic years as a short and skinny kid in high school. Short and skinny, that is, until he started lifting weights (and had a growth spurt). TADA! Lifting weights = Happiness. 4ever.
Anyway, whatever floats that guy's boat. If he wants to dedicate his life to lifting things up and putting them down, that's cool. Except Nick now has young children, and, well, let's put it this way:
According to experts, small children should NOT lift weights heavier than 1 pound each. Guess how much 5-year-old Jessica can lift?
One hundred pounds. Five-year-old Jessica -- who weighs just 46 pounds -- can lift 100 pounds. YIKES! There's absolutely no way her tiny little body and still-growing bones can handle a load that heavy. While studies have shown that moderate strength training is beneficial to kids, weight lifting still carries some major health risks, such as herniated disks in the back, muscle strains and tears, bone fractures, growth plate injuries, and cartilage damage.
Therein lies the irony, of course -- Nick and his wife Callie think they're doing everything they can possibly do to raise healthy kids. Kids who will grow up big and strong.
Granted, the kids seem happy and look like they're doing great ...
What do you think?
Is this kind of extreme weightlifting safe for kids?
Image via TLC