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In the past, strength training was used primarily by athletes to improve performance, or for physical rehabilitation after an injury. This kind of training used to be considered unsafe for populations like the elderly or people with cardiovascular disease, but recent studies have shown that strength training can be safe and effective for both of these groups when appropriately prescribed and supervised. A balanced exercise program is one in which cardiovascular exercise, resistive/strength training and stretching for flexibility are combined.

To prevent overexertion during your strength training sessions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these guidelines for strength training with weights:

  • You should be able to do two sets of 10 repetitions in good form.
  • You should need to rest after doing a 10-repetition set before you do your next set. If you can do 20 repetitions without a break, you should use heavier weights.
  • If you can do more than 10 repetitions without a break in your first set, increase the weight you lift for the second set only.

Additional strength training guidelines.



Contributed by

Dean Ornish, MD.
Program Founder

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