MOUNT PROSPECT, IL — More Americans are pumping iron than ever before, according to a National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) survey.

Classic fitness activities included in the survey showed healthy growth in 2005. The fastest growing fitness activity was weightlifting, which increased 35.4 percent to 35.5 million participants and a spot in the top 10 for the first time at No. 9. Working out at a club ranked 10th with 34.7 million (up 9.2 percent), aerobic exercising ranked 11th with 33.7 million (up 14.4 percent), and running/jogging ranked 14th with 29.2 million (up 9.5 percent).

Exercise walking, which experienced 1.5 percent growth in 2005, remains the No. 1 exercise, a ranking it has held since 1990. Data contained in NSGA's annual “Sports Participation — Series I and II” reports, which are now available, shows 86 million Americans walked for exercise in 2005.