Sep 17, 2022

Scientists Weigh In On Whether A Few Short Gym Sessions Or One Long One Is Most Effective

If you make time in your day for exercise, chances are you’d like to get the best results in the shortest amount of time possible – because who has more time to spend at the gym?

The good news is that science may have the answer for you on whether shooting for one long session or multiple short ones is the best option for your health and wellness.

iStock 1320391277 Scientists Weigh In On Whether A Few Short Gym Sessions Or One Long One Is Most Effective

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Researchers at Edith Cowan University, Niigata University, and Nishi Kyushu University say that while both approaches provide a similar level of muscle tone, if you’re looking to build strength, a little exercise every day is the answer.

They published their findings in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, reporting that they assessed 36 participants who were divided into three groups of twelve.

Two of the groups did bicep curls – which are considered “eccentric contraction” – 30 per week. One of the groups did six curls every day while the second did all 30 curls in one day. There was also a third group, who did six curls total over the course of a week.

iStock 1309886139 Scientists Weigh In On Whether A Few Short Gym Sessions Or One Long One Is Most Effective

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Four weeks later the first group had increased their muscle strength by 10 percent, while the second and third groups showed no increase at all.

Co-author Professor Ken Nosaka thinks these are convincing results.

“People think they have to do a lengthy session of resistance training in the gym, but that’s not the case. Just lowering a heavy dumbbell slowly once or six times a day is enough.”

According to the study’s findings, short bursts of exercise will keep you fit but to build strength, frequency is necessary.

“In this study, the 6×5 group had two days off per week. Muscle adaptations occur when we are resting; if someone was able to somehow train 24 hours a day, there would actually be no improvement at all. Muscles need rest to improve their strength and their muscle mass, but muscles appear to like to be stimulated more frequent.”

Now that you know the best way to exercise, go forth and conquer – a little bit every day.

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