We all want to exercise – or at least we say we do – but we don’t always do it. Often we blame our schedules. It’s true. We are busier than ever, and work and family commitments can keep us from the gym. How can we work out despite our lack of time?
Is a short workout as effective as a longer one?
An interesting study published recently in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that we don’t always need an hour or two every day to get in shape.
Researchers looked at young adults and put them into three groups that each did workouts involving seven exercises. One group did five sets of each exercise, while another group did three sets of each exercise, and the last group did just one set. The groups doing five sets had a workout that lasted over an hour three times a week. The one-set group completed their workouts in 13 minutes.
What was interesting was that the men in each group gained the same amount of muscle strength. The only difference was that the adults who did more sets got more muscle size, even though strength was the same.
How to work out when you’re busy
Just like high-intensity interval workouts for cardiovascular training, short, intense weightlifting sessions can be beneficial, as this study shows. If you goal is simply to get stronger, you might not need long workouts. And even if your goal is to get more muscular, doing a shorter, intense workout even now and then won’t cost you or set you back.
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