Have you been toying around with the idea of starting a strength training regimen but keep putting it off, waiting for the “perfect” time?

Well, there really isn’t a perfect time to begin training with weights, but you certainly know you’re READY to start lifting weights for fitness when certain things are happening with you — whether you’re a woman or a man.

It’s Time to Start Strength Training When …

• Every time you look in the mirror at your arms, you grimace or shake your head.

• You have a habit of grabbing the flappy part of your upper arm and staring at it in disdain.

• You sometimes find yourself deliberately making your “bat wings” jiggle by patting them with your fingers.

• You do the same thing with your inner thighs.

• Every time you see a woman with a super toned body, you think, “Why can’t I look like that?”

Shutterstock/Jacob Lund

• You’re sick and tired of asking men – and even women – to carry heavy things for you — definitely a clue it’s time to start hitting the weights!

• You can’t pick up your 125 pound wife or girlfriend.

• You dread carrying your preschooler or toddler around, especially when it’s time to set them in the car seat.

• You let garbage pile up for someone stronger to take out.

• You avoid doing tasks that involve lifting something weighty like removing a box of books from a high shelf.

• Your jeans no longer fit but you haven’t gained weight on the scale.

• You’ve heard at least one person call you “skinny fat” — a clear indication it’s time to start strength training.

• You’ve gained fat despite not increasing your caloric intake.

• Your back is beginning to ache for no apparent reason.

• Your back and/or body aches after doing housework, yard work or participating in an unexpected play session with the kids.

• You dread helping a friend move despite the free pizza and beer – not because you’d rather be relaxing on your deck on a Saturday afternoon reading a book but because you know that the physical work will drain you for the next three days.

• You make your seven-year-old shovel the snow in the name of contributing to the household when you know the real reason is that it would kill your back.

• You stomach is mysteriously increasing in size even though you’ve cut back on the beer and donuts.

• Your young child lovingly says you’re “squishy.”

• Your child says your thighs remind her of the waves of the ocean.

• You pay markedly close attention to the TV whenever a commercial comes on for a health club.

• When you find nicknames like “Beanpole,” “Skones,” “Teddy Bear” and “Chubs” no longer endearing.

• When friends suggest you enter a Mr. Puniverse contest and you know you’d win.

Oh, and one more: When people keep telling you “Eat a cheeseburger!” or “Eat a salad!”

If you’ve answered “Yes” to even one of these bullet points, you know it’s time to begin strength training!

Though there’s never a perfect time to begin lifting weights, there is always a right time to start a weightlifting program for a fitter, healthier body composition, stronger joints, a boosted immune and cardiovascular system, better balance and better brain function.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.