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

Scientists debate whether a few short gym sessions or a long one are the most effective

If you set aside time in your day to exercise, chances are you want to get the best results in the shortest amount of time possible – because who has tomorrow time to spend at the gym?

The good news is that science may have the answer for you as to whether shooting one long session or multiple short sessions is the best option for your health and well-being.

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Researchers from 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, some exercise every days is the solution.

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

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

Scientists debate whether a few short gym sessions or a long one are the most effective

Image credit: iStock

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

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

“People think they have to do a long resistance training session in the gym, but they don’t. Just slowly lower a heavy barbell once or six times a day.

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

“In this study, the 6×5 group had two rest days per week. Muscle adaptations occur when we rest; if someone were able to train 24 hours a day, there would actually be no no improvement Muscles need rest to improve strength and muscle mass, but muscles seem to like being stimulated more frequently.

Now that you know the best way to exercise, go ahead and conquer – a little each day.

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