Build Muscle by Working Out with Strength Training - dummies

Build Muscle by Working Out with Strength Training

By Jane Kirby, The American Dietetic Association

When you lose weight, you lose more muscle than fat. So, you need to engage in activities that help build muscle. Strength or resistance training, such as lifting weights or working out on exercise equipment, builds muscle.

Muscle weighs more, so if you are doing your job, the way your clothes fit might be a better indicator of your progress than that number on the scale. Strength training exercise isn’t just for body builders. Building muscle offers several benefits:

  • Your body develops definition and firmness.

  • You burn more calories.

  • Bones strengthen, which helps protect against osteoporosis.

  • Balance improves significantly.

  • The pain from arthritis decreases, and your range of motion improves.

  • Your spirits are boosted.

If you’re new to exercise, you don’t have to run to the gym; simply walking may be enough for you to increase your muscle mass. When you can walk easily for 60 minutes at a brisk pace, having followed the plan outlined in the following table, you may need and want to push for more of a workout. Adding resistance training is a good way to go.

Recommended Program for Weight Training
Training Factor Comments
Frequency 3 days a week
Resistance Use a weight that you can lift comfortably
Repetitions 12 to 15 in 30 seconds (The last lift should be
Stations Work 8 to 12 muscle groups
Total time 20 to 30 minutes