Slide show: Weight training exercises
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Previous Next 1 of 11 Starting a weight training program

Weight training is an important part of any fitness program. Combined with aerobic exercise, weight training can increase your strength and muscle tone, improve your bone density and help you lose fat. Ready to start a weight training program?

If you're new to weight training, consider working with a fitness specialist or trainer to learn proper form and technique to help avoid the risk of injury and get the most benefits.

Warm up with five to 10 minutes of stretching or brisk walking. Then choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after 12 to 15 repetitions.

With the proper weight, a single set of 12 repetitions can build muscle efficiently in most people and can be as effective as multiple sets of the same exercise.

To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group, and remember to complement weight training exercises with aerobic activity.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength training exercises of all the major muscle groups into a fitness routine at least two times a week, and at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

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