Pint sized fitness guru

October 11, 2011 1:47:48 PM PDT
Get ready to meet "the workout kid." C.J. Senter is just 10 years old, but he's already got his own line of exercise videos, and an impressive six pack to go with them. But is ten too young to be training so hard?

Just 10 years old, C.J. has motivated 450 students at Heard Mixon Elementary School to get on their feet.

C.J. Senter is the workout kid, a pint sized fitness guru whose videos promise to make kids everywhere into mini gladiators like him.

Very few adults could ever hope to have a six pack like his.

He's been on the fitness kick for half his life, starting at age five!

C.J.'s parents say his self-discipline extends to his diet. He says he has even taken it upon himself to try and avoid junk foot to an extent.

"I eat candy, but just a little bit, not a lot," said C.J. "I like eating fruits and vegetables."

C.J. isn't the only kid fixated on getting lean and mean. While there's legitimate worry about obesity in American Kids, there is also concern now about kids training and dieting like Olympic athletes.

"In my practice now, I've seen doubling of injuries to young kids, age 10 or nine or eight, with overuse injuries because they're doing more now," said Robert Gotlin, Director of Orthopedic and Sports at Beth Israel Medical Center, "Tendonitis is the first thing we see that's most prevalent. We see bone bruise and bone injuries. We see ligament injuries."

Dr. Gotlin says a lot of this is due to the hours of practice at organized sports. It is surprising to find so many little kids who are so body conscious.

For extreme mini-athletes, physical damage can be layered with emotional harm. Richard Sandrak, also known as little Hercules, was 8-years-old when he became famous in the 1990s for his stunning physique. His appearance prompted claims that his parents were putting him on an excessive diet and exercise program and exploiting him. His parents denied the charge.

"In this case with CJ, hopefully, this is for the right reasons and we're seeing the positive results, so I always have a word of caution that these young children who are in these positions aren't being pushed for the wrong reasons," said Dr. Gotlin.

C.J.'s parents say it wasn't anything he set out to do on purpose. Just with exercising and really just normal play for a child, he developed a physique.

The only thing they say they push C.J. into doing is going to school, making great grades and respecting others and treating them the way he would want to be treated.