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Strengthening Your Muscles

Strength training is a key part of a complete exercise program. Learn exactly what it is and how to get started.

The Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training (also called weightlifting) builds lean muscle mass. This makes both your muscles and bones stronger. It is very important as we age because it may reduce the signs and symptoms of:

Examples of strength training include:

How to Get Started

If you have not lifted weights before, see a certified athletic trainer to help you come up with a safe strength-training program. You can find a trainer at a local gym or by asking your doctor or a friend. Tips for getting started:

Note: Before starting any type of exercise program, check with your doctor about any health problems that would limit your exercise program.


American Council on Exercise

Shape America


Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine

Health Canada


2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed January 29, 2021.

Exercise: how to get started. Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(12):2095-2096.

Growing stronger—strength training for older adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/growing_stronger.pdf. Accessed January 29, 2021.

Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board  Last Updated: 1/29/2021