Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Strengthening Your Muscles

Strength training is an essential 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 weight lifting) builds lean muscle mass, which increases your physical strength and your bone density. It is especially beneficial as people 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, make an appointment with a certified athletic trainer to help you develop a safe strength-training program. You can find a trainer at a local gym or through a referral from your doctor or a friend.

Tips for getting started:

Note: Before starting any type of exercise program, check with your doctor about any possible medical problems you may have that would limit your exercise program.

RESOURCES:

American Council on Exercise
http://www.acefitness.org

Shape America
http://www.shapeamerica.org/

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine
http://casem-acmse.org

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

REFERENCES:

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 October 13, 2017.

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 October 13, 2017.

Last reviewed October 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP  Last Updated: 12/1/2015