If your dad’s international soccer star David Beckham, you’d probably assume the desire to fast-track your athleticism would start at a young age.
Likewise, if you’re most people, you’d see this video of Beckham’s 12-year-old son “bench pressing” and think Why is a kid throwing around so much weight? or Wow, this kid benches more than I do!
Well, we’re here to shed some light on the video that garnered so many opinions, attention, and misguided “advice.”
Let’s start with the caption. Cruz Beckham wasn’t kidding when he said “No gains”: He’s lifting no more than a portion of the bar. Look closely at the video, and you’ll see that his brother Brooklyn and personal trainer Chase Weber are on either side of the barbell, lifting the weighted ends as Cruz “benches.”
“Cruz just does bodyweight,” a member of team Beckham tells Men’s Fitness. “He’s not ‘lifting weights.'”
He is absolutely keen to jump in the ring with dad for some sparring, though.
Oh, and for those touting the growth-stunting side effects of weight training at a young age, know that science actually shows weights and resistance training under supervision don’t negatively impact growth or delay puberty.
More research finds adolescents—defined as those who have adequate balance and proprioception and can follow directions—can improve their strength by 30-50% after just 8 to 12 weeks of an appropriate strength-training program. The researchers add participation in strength training has no greater risk of injury than playing sports, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association.