Fred Hahn: Strong Kids Healthy Kids

Hot off of the presses, and just in time for the holiday season, Fred Hahn has done it again.

The author of The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution has anted up.

But this time, it’s for the kids.

Strong Kids Healthy Kids: The Revolutionary Program for Increasing Your Child’s Fitness in 30 Minutes a Week makes a splash where few others have dared to go: strength training for the younger set, coupled with a healthy, lower carb eating plan.

From the inside cover:

A popular misconception is that young athletes shouldn’t engage in strength training because it can stunt their growth oreven cause injury. Nothing could be further from the truth. Current research indicates that strength training is the single most effective exercise method for improving strength and fitness, and can dramatically alter and improve a child’s body composition.

In what seems to be a ridiculously short amount of time to work out and lose weight for a largely sedentary (and spreading) demographic of children who can be seen as obese, says Hahn, “In strength training, specifically, slow and controlled speed strength training, you do each exercise very slowly using the appropriate weight or resistance until the muscles being worked are totally fatigued or exhasted after several repetitions, generally lasting for 60-90 seconds per exercise. Why slow? Instead of letting momentum take over for a portion of the exercise (as happenswhen you jerk or toss a weight too fast), you push or resist the weight under control, asking the muscles alone to do all the work, which reaps a proportionally greater reward.”

Sounds different from what we learned in the 80’s from pumping iron, doesn’t it? The idea of slow, controlled movements with lower weights, for less sets and with longer reps (not more) seems to fly in the face of convention. Add kids to the mix, and one might wonder if the ginger-haired Chuck Norris may have lost his martial arts marbles.

Arguably, kids could teach us a thing or two about fitness if parents are willing enough to look at careful strength training as a viable option to aerobics, melting suits and restricted calorie diets. In Fact, Hahn has been working with kids in his Serious Strength studio for some time now, and says the results of his program have resulted in some pretty tremendous success stories.

In just two 15-minute strength training classes per week, Fred was able to transform 12-year-old Michael H. from a pre-teen who was very active and overweight (the combination sounds unlikely according to conventional wisdom, but it isn’t) to one who healthfully lost 33 pounds by incorporating the carefully-planned regimen detailed in the book.

The healthy eating portion of the book promises grass-fed meats, vegetables, fruits, dairy, the importance of good fats and drinking water. And, let’s face it–any guy with a black belt can use the words “Pee Pee” all he wants to, honey.

The book promises recipes, unconventional thinking, references to studies and resources, an easy-to-read layout, little-known facts, and a whole lot of promise to a generation of kids more at risk for type II diabetes than ever.

Pictures of the exercises (form) are provided, and Hahn, conscious of both financial needs of families as well as time constraints, has put together two, distinct regimens for safe, slow fitness: one for the gym, and one for the home.

With pictures of kids performing safe workouts in both scenarios, parents will have a pretty sound idea of good form, and getting kids to not rush through the program and to take their time is what distinguishes the proper age of the young person ready for a strength training routine. After all, it takes a bit of maturity and willingness for a young person to make it through even 15 minutes of strength exercises twice per week, let alone using the proper, careful techniques Hahn has laid out in this book.

Still, what is 30 minutes a week of strength training to a nation of young people who spend more time than that texting friends and playing World of Warcraft?

Above: Video of Fred Hahn discussing his strength training plan for kiddos.

Number of pages: 157
Size: 7X9, standard binding
Publisher: Amacom, New York
Publication Date: 2009

To order, learn more, and check out more Hahn goodness that correlates to this book: visit

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