Skip to main content

Are Shorter Workouts More Effective? Here's What Science Says

Fitness-forward individuals usually have certain goals in mind for their exercise "end game." Whether the focus is to burn fat or build muscle in a certain area, it's easy to jump right in and start performing an aggressive workout schedule. Hey—the more you work out, the faster you'll see results, right? Think again. Are shorter workouts more effective? Yes! When it comes to exercise, it's all about quality, not quantity, according to recent research. Don't hate the messenger, because science says so! Keep reading to learn more.

It's more productive to exercise for short periods each day rather than performing longer workouts scattered throughout the week.

woman demonstrating side plank crunches to reduce fat in your midsection

Are shorter workouts more effective? Well, according to a new study performed by Edith Cowan University in partnership with Niigata University and Nishi Kyushu University in Japan (via ScienceDaily), it's much more productive to exercise for short periods of time each day rather than performing long workouts scattered throughout your weekly schedule. This is especially true when it comes to muscle strengthening. Now, let's delve into the research.

Related: The 5 Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat and Slow Aging, Says Fitness Expert

Scientists measured changes in muscle thickness and strength of participants who performed an arm resistance movement.

close-up woman performing bicep curl

During the four-week-long study, scientists observed, measured, and compared changes in muscle thickness and strength in three groups of participants who completed an arm resistance movement. Specifically, they did "maximal voluntary eccentric bicep contractions" using a machine. An eccentric contraction is similar to the lowering part of a bicep curl with a heavy dumbbell. The machine recorded the muscle strength of every single muscle contraction. Participants in the research were required to perform at their highest level for the one exercise. Now, let's go over the specific workouts.

Related: The #1 Bat Wings Workout To Tighten and Tone Those Arms

The group that performed six contractions for five days a week experienced an increase in both muscle strength and thickness.

mature man lifting dumbbells at home demonstrating the question, are shorter workouts more effective

Group #1 performed 30 contractions each week; six per day for five days a week. The results after four weeks' time? This group revealed over a 10% increase in muscle strength, along with around a 5.8% increase in muscle thickness.

Group #2 performed 30 contractions per week, completing all prescribed contractions in one day per week. After the four-week time period was up, this group did not experience a rise in muscle strength. However, their muscle thickness increased by 5.8%.

Group #3 performed six contractions, completing all prescribed contractions in one day per week. After four weeks, there was no change for these participants in either muscle thickness or strength.

Based on the research, Ken Nosaka, ECU Exercise and Sports Science Professor, explains exercise performed on a routine basis with an easily maintainable schedule can have a positive impact on one's strength. He notes, "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," adding, "We only used the bicep curl exercise in this study, but we believe this would be the case for other muscles also, at least to some extent. Muscle strength is important to our health. This could help prevent a decrease in muscle mass and strength with [aging]."

If you're unable to get to the gym for a certain amount of time, it's basically a moot point to try to "make up" for lost time.

mature man working out on a rowing machine

It's still not understood why the body reacts more positively to eccentric contractions resistance workouts in smaller bouts over bigger workouts not as often. Professor Nosaka explains it may have something to do with how frequently the brain has to make a muscle act in a certain way. He stresses the importance of taking breaks in any exercise routine. "Muscles need rest to improve their strength and their muscle mass, but muscles appear to like to be stimulated more frequently."

Professor Nosaka also points out that if someone was not able to work out for a certain amount of time, it's basically a moot point to try to "make up" for that lost time by working out harder after the fact. "If someone's sick and can't exercise for a week, that's fine, but it is better to just return to regular exercise routine when you're feeling better." he advises.

It's important to make working out part of your daily routine rather than fulfilling a certain amount of time each week. "If you're just going to the gym once a week, it's not as effective as doing a bit of exercise every day at home," he says, adding, "This research, together with our previous study, suggests the importance of accumulating a small amount of exercise a week, than just spending hours exercising once a week."

The post Are Shorter Workouts More Effective? Here's What Science Says appeared first on Eat This Not That.


Eat This Not That

Popular posts from this blog

lose weight No-exercise No-diet – super fast weight loss drink

To day in this post i will share with you A MAGICAL SLIMMING DRINK TO BURN FAT FAST .This Natural Drink to help SUPER FAST WEIGHT LOSS & also help to NO-EXERCISE NO-DIET WEIGHT LOSS FAST.

When Should I Take Creatine?

Creatine is probably the most well-researched supplement on the market today. Numerous studies have found positive adaptations in strength, power and muscle mass thanks to creatine supplementation—especially when it's combined with resistance training. Although the benefits of creatine are well-known to lifters, the best time to take it isn't common knowledge. Which leads us to some important questions:     Does an optimal time for consuming creatine exist?     If it does, should you take it before or after your workout? According to a new study published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition, the timing of creatine ingestion does indeed play a role in getting bigger and stronger. Creatine supplementation before resistance training increases muscular strength and lean muscle mass. Interestingly, taking creatine immediately after lifting weights results in greater muscle growth than taking it immediately before. However, in terms of strength gains, no difference betw

Actress Gabourey PRECIOUS Sidibe Shows Off Her AMAZING Weight Loss . . . She’s Already Dropped 75 POUNDS

Peep the before and after pics actress Gabourey Sidibe underwent weight loss surgery, to get her weight under control. And it’s been a HUGE success. Gabourey has stuck with her diet and exercise regimen and already lost 75 pounds.