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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 07-07-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
Joe Proulx
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Toddlers and Fitness

My son will turn four in October. I used to lift in an unfinished basement gym in my old house, in a section that we didn't really allow him in (as it was near storage area and the boiler and whatnot). We just moved into a new house and now my gym (power rack, adjustable bench, rings, plates, treadmill) is in a finished bedroom on the lower level. He has never once watched me work out, but two weeks ago he asked if he could go into the gym. We went in there, he played on the rings, whatever. Last night during dinner, out of the blue he said "Daddy, after dinner let's go down to the gym." So we did.

I set the elite rings about 3" above the ground and he did a toddler variation of ring pushups. Then I gave him some 2.5lb plates and showed him how to curl. I raised the rings up a bit and he did rows laying on his back (kinda), then looped his feet through the rings and pulled his upper body up until he was sitting in the rings. I banged out a couple sets of pullups, and he'd count my reps out loud. One time, when I finished my set, he said "ONE MORE DADDY, YOU CAN DO IT!" He was ear to ear smiles the entire time. Again, he has NEVER seen me work out, but somehow he LOVES going down there with me.

Now I'm not trying to be Earl Woods here. But he is very athletic (can already ice skate with full equipment, can hit a pitched ball), and he truly seems to enjoy being in the gym with me. What is the right way to approach this? I know Crossfit Kids exists, but Crossfit Toddler? Is there any protocol for something like this, or should I just make sure he stays safe while he explores himself and the equipment? I'm not looking for a routine, but where I'm just a slacker part-time crossfitter myself, I'm worried that I don't know enough to teach him properly. Is there an age that I should wait for before actually trying to work with him on form and whatnot?

Thanks for all your help. I know I'd catch a rash of crap from the outside world for this kind of thing, but if my son loves to work out, why would I ever discourage it? I would love for him to lead a healthy, fit lifestyle for his entire life!

Joe
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:43 AM   #2
Jeff Martin
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

Joe,
We run a CrossFit Preschool class and have had kids as young as 2.5 years old in the structured class.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:50 AM   #3
Joe Proulx
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

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Joe,
We run a CrossFit Preschool class and have had kids as young as 2.5 years old in the structured class.
Without giving away your methodology for free to the internet, can you give me more info on that class? California is a long way from New Hampshire. I would love for him to be able to do bodyweight exercises whenever he is ready, I'm just not sure when I'll know when that is.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:53 AM   #4
Jason Wallis
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

I'd say keep his exercise voluntary, and present it as play. Our job as parents is to provide them the opportunity to run/chase/bike/swim/climb/swing/explore/etc to the point of exhaustion, and in a relatively safe way. If you really think about it, child's play is really just crossfit without all of the complications.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
Thomas Covington
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

My daughter is only 2 3/4 so nothing structured as of yet, but she absolutely loves to play on the rings, medicine/yoga balls, and the thera-bands. I'm sure her interests would be further reaching that those 3 but I do not let her play with the rest for safety reasons.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:02 AM   #6
Joe Proulx
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

Yeah, I guess that's part of my question too - what are some things I can do as far as exercises, safety approaches, tweaking my equipment, etc that will allow him to explore and learn and foster a relationship with fitness without breaking his neck?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #7
Shane Skowron
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

I'm not a parent, but I would say teaching how to throw and catch a baseball and football should be really high on the list of priorities.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:28 AM   #8
Joe Proulx
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

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I'm not a parent, but I would say teaching how to throw and catch a baseball and football should be really high on the list of priorities.
He's been doing this stuff for 3 years
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:40 AM   #9
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

My kids are 5.5 and 3.5. They play on the rings. My daughter can do pullups. We have a gymnastics mat, and she does handstands and HSPUs. My 3.5 year old likes doing dumbbell push presses with 2 lb DBs that he picked out at Target. They both love burpees for some reason.

They know that they are not allowed to touch the rower or the barbell at home. At the gym, they know there are different rules for safety reasons.

I mean, they love riding their bikes and swimming and kicking a soccer ball and doing all the other sports stuff that we do. But, they also love watching videos of people lifting heavy crap. My daughter watched the video of Chris Solinsky winning the 10K about 5 times the other day. She loves running.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:49 AM   #10
Tom Reyes
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Re: Toddlers and Fitness

Sorry for Hijacking, but....Tamara, so glad you found a use for those 2lb dumbbells.
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