Is my kid too young to start working out?
In short, no. The typical reason for advising against lifting for children is that the forces are too high and that it will damage their growth plates and stunt their growth. This is unfounded and there is no data to support this. In addition, this explanation is lacking a fundamental knowledge of biomechanics and the forces that the human body is capable of producing. Most notably, this argument ignores the fact that the human lever system produces more than 10 times the forces through high acceleration activities, like jumping, than it does through high mass activities, like squating.
That all being said, for long term success as an athlete, there are pros and cons to starting your work in the weight room at a young age. See the video from “Ask the Coach” below for more information on this subject to help you make a more informed decision about when your child should start lifting. The most important thing to keep in mind with beginning strength training before middle school should really be “does your child want to lift weights?”. If the answer to that question is “Yes”, than you should seek out professional instruction for him or her. For your child’s sake, unless you are an experienced strength coach, avoid the temptation to take your kid to the gym with you. Lifting to look good and lifting for athleticism are only similar in that they both involve weights. The wrong style of lifting, and improper technique, can ruin your child’s chances of that scholarship that you are dreaming of by plaguing him or her with injuries.
So yes, it is probably okay, but do it right. Again, see the video below for more information.