Only 11% of Americans over age 85 engage in any kind of physical conditioning, even though most of them could do so safely and with the potential for great benefit, according to the National Institute on Aging. That potential -- particularly for the key measure of strength in the elderly -- is evident in the progress 102-year-old Ray Clark has made in the past three years on a program that has him curling 40-pound dumbbells. "If I had to do only one thing for the frail older person, it would clearly be weightlifting exercises," said Maria Fiatarone Singh, a professor at the University of Sydney School of Medicine.

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