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Nine Seconds Of Exercise A Week Can Increase Strength, Study Finds

Nine Seconds Of Exercise A Week Can Increase Strength, Study Finds
Amy Golby
Writer and expert1 month ago
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There have been a few studies in recent years looking at how much time you need to commit to exercise to see meaningful changes.

A 2023 study looking at “weekend warriors”1 (ie people who exercise within 2 days per week) found that exercise within these days was enough to see similar heart health benefits as more frequent exercise.

Another study from 2014 found that just 3 minutes of all-out exercise performed within a 30-minute session including a warm-up and cool-down was enough to improve muscle and cardiovascular health2.

The Study

Now, a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology has found that it may take just 9 seconds of exercise per week to see significant strength improvements3.

Following up on previous research that showed 3 seconds of exercise performed 5 days per week was enough to improve muscle strength, researchers set out to determine whether less frequent exercise would result in similar findings.

They took 26 healthy young adults and split them into two groups: one group performed eccentric biceps contractions for 3 seconds 2 times a week over a period of 4 weeks, and the other did the same but 3 times a week.

The Results

While no significant changes occurred in the first group, those on the three-day programme saw a 2.5% increase in concentric strength and a 3.9% increase in eccentric strength.

And although modest compared with the results from the researchers’ previous findings, which showed up to 10% increases in strength, the findings are still notable, showing that it’s possible to get stronger doing less than 10 seconds of exercise a week.

Take Home Message

So, there it is then. It seems there’s no need to spend all your spare time in the gym if you want to get stronger. With a little bit of targeted exercise for just 3 seconds 3-5 times per week, you could enjoy strength gains.



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Amy Golby
Writer and expert
View Amy Golby's profile