Physicians used to tell patients with heart disease not to pump iron for fear of putting added stress on the heart, but a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association says some resistance training can actually be good for them. According to Mark Williams, professor of medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine, "Just as we once learned that people with heart disease benefited from aerobic exercise, we are now learning that guided, moderate weight training also has significant benefits." As recommended for any fitness program, resistance training is seen as a complement, not a replacement for aerobic exercise. What does "guided, moderate" weight training mean? Lift free weights or use machines in rhythmical, controlled speed, work through a full range of motion, and avoid holding your breath or straining during lifting. Alternate between upper and lower bodywork, allowing for rest in between exercises. Is this sounding familiar? That's because these are good guidelines for anyone adding weight training to his or her workout program. But especially for people battling heart disease, the benefits of resistance training increases muscle mass which can help in weight control.