Slowing the Aging Process with Weightlifting

By: Neel Duggal

This article was originally posted on

Fitness Dogma says weightlifting makes you stronger and larger, which is good for men and bad for women. New research says that regular resistance training can do much more than make men more muscular: it can boost heart health and fight aging in both men and women. Additionally, a recent study indicates that there are unique biomarker benefits to sticking with that regular weightlifting program long after you get start a program. Below we examine why you want to adopt a weightlifting program- and stick with it.

Weightlifting and Anti-Aging

Strength training, also known as resistance training, is a type of physical exercise that uses resistance to contract skeletal muscles such as biceps, triceps, and quadriceps. Its main purpose is to build strength, increase the size of muscles, and improve anaerobic endurance (i.e. quick, powerful exercises such as sprinting). The most common forms of strength training exercises are weight-bearing movements that use dumbells or barbells, such as bench press and deadlifts, or bodyweight such as pull-ups and push-ups. Other forms of strength training include plyometrics, kettlebells, and powerlifting.

Historically and culturally, resistance training is associated with increasing strength in athletes and physical attractiveness in men. However, many studies conducted in both men and women of all ages have shown a variety of positive health effects resulting from regular resistance training. As a result of credible research, the American College of Sports Medicine has included strength training in its annual list of recommendations since 1998 for maintaining optimal cardiovascular health and overall wellness.

Why was this Study Done?

Despite rigorous research on strength-training, few research studies have assessed if these changes are influenced by prior experience with resistance training exercise. As a result, researchers designed a study published in the highly regarded AGE Journal in October of 2015 and sought to evaluate two main questions:

  • What positive health effects are observed in people who start resistance training?
  • What differences in strength, body composition, and biomarkers are noted in people who are committed strength-trainers versus those new to resistance training?

Before we look at the study’s interesting results, though, we need to examine how the study was designed.

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