Monday, September 04, 2000

Learn proper form, technique before lifting weights

By David Patania
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        QUESTION: My son is 14 and plays basketball. He is 6-foot-1 and weighs 150 pounds. His coach wants him to beef up, and I have no experience with weights. Any suggestions?

        ANSWER: The first thing to do is to take your son to the nearest fitness facility and have a staff member show him how to lift correctly.

        The most important thing to teach first-time lifters is the importance of proper lifting form and technique. All too often, teen-agers get caught up in trying to impress one another by lifting as much weight as they can. They do this without ever having had proper instruction, which in turn, leads to bad lifting habits and injury.

        Be sure that the staff member explains to your son that while it is important to be as strong as he can, it must be in relation to his form and technique. If he can't lift any given weight slowly, smoothly and without jerking, then he needs to go down to a weight that will allow him to do so. The objective is to lift weight that will get him as strong as possible yet not sacrifice technique.

        Along with teaching him how to lift, the staff member should also teach him how to keep record of his workouts to track progress and the importance of nutrition.

        Taking the time to do this will give your son a great foundation to start from, as well as an advantage over other boys who don't incorporate lifting and proper nutrition into their lives.

        Q: I know this may be a stupid question, but why is whole milk bad for you?

A: I wouldn't say bad but I will say that if your goal is to stay fit, trim and healthy, drinking too much whole milk isn't a good idea. This is because whole milk has a lot of saturated fat. For example, one cup of whole milk contains eight grams of fat, with five of those grams being saturated fat.

        Too much saturated fat leads to an increased risk of heart disease and other problems.

        Try milk with no higher than 1 percent milk fat. If you can't handle the lower fat milk's thinner texture, try fat-free milks that have thicker consistencies.

        Dave Patania, a certified personal trainer, welcomes your questions at


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