Strength training can benefit just about anyone

Strength training can benefit just about anyone, from say age 8 to 88. Who knows, maybe there are even some 100-year-olds who do light arm curls or leg lifts.
When some people think of weightlifting they might picture the hulks on the cover of muscle magazines, or mammoth football players who look like they could lift a small car out of a snow drift.
But the truth is that weightlifting can help people of all ages, men and women alike. Even youths can start learning strength training, but before puberty they should work with very light weights and high repetitions – and only after consulting their doctor.
Recently, my mother-in-law who is in her 60s was told she should begin a controlled weightlifting program to strengthen her muscles after being diagnosed with early stage osteoporosis
If you’re interested in weight lifting but aren’t sure how to go about it, here are some basic tips you should know:
* Before starting a weightlifting program, or any new fitness regimen for that matter, check with your doctor. A doctor can help decide if you face any risks or need to make modifications for your health and safety.
* Talk to a trainer or research on your own by reading books or magazines to find a beginner’s program that fits your goals.
* Emphasize proper form over trying to lift the most weight you can. it’s much more important to use proper form because if you’re doing exercises wrong there is a much greater risk of injury.
* For beginners, make sure you can do 12-15 repetitions of an exercise several workouts in a row before considering to increase the weight you’re lifting.
* Remember that diet is just as important as the effort you put in at the gym. You will make the biggest strides if a healthy diet is combined with a strong weightlifting program.
* If you work out at a gym, don’t be intimidated by other weightlifters. We all start somewhere and all have our adversity we face from time to time. Work hard, do your best and you can feel just worthy of being there as the next guy or gal.
* Find a workout partner if at all possible. This will help give you added motivation and also a spotter during the lifts who can give you feedback.
* Write down your workout records in a log book. This will help you chart progress, set goals and provide motivation.
* Remember to schedule at least one or two off days during the week as recovery time is crucial to building muscle.
* Finally, don’t give up. Stick with it and you will see results in no time. A strong, muscular body will help make you feel years younger and better support your spine and the rest of your body.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at