The aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of a resistance-training program on muscle strength of the back and neck/shoulder muscles, relative physical workload, muscle fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort during a simulated assembly and lifting task. Twenty-two workers were randomized over an 8-week resistance-training group, and a control group. Isokinetic muscle strength was assessed using the Cybex dynamometer, muscle fatigue was measured using EMG, and perceived discomfort was measured using a 10-point scale. At the follow-up, we found no effect of the resistance-training program on isokinetic muscle strength of the back and shoulder muscles. Furthermore, we did not find any effect on EMG data, nor on musculoskeletal discomfort during the simulated work tasks. However, trained workers performed the lifting tasks for a longer time before reporting considerable discomfort than those in the control group. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.