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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
Personal Trainer & Exercise Nutritionist3 months ago
View Amy Golby's profile

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 two 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 three 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 nine seconds of exercise per week to see significant strength improvements3.

Following up on previous research that showed three seconds of exercise performed five 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 three seconds two times a week over a period of four weeks, and the other did the same but three 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 three seconds three to five times per week, you could enjoy strength gains.



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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Amy Golby
Personal Trainer & Exercise Nutritionist
View Amy Golby's profile
Amy has been a sportswoman for over 18 years playing rugby and netball up to a national level, she has been a qualified personal trainer for 5 years and further her nutritional knowledge with a diploma in sports and exercise nutrition as well a psychology degree. She has been training in a gym and weightlifting for over 10 years and continues to learn and improve her training in order to reach her goals. She believes in both the physical and mental advantages of sport and fitness as well as a balanced diet and lifestyle. Amy has created programs around sport and fitness for Red Bull, Look magazine, Spartan UK, as well as Mental Movement UK around how fitness can help improve your mental health. In her spare time, Amy enjoys playing sport, socialising with friends, and fuelling her shopping addiction to gym wear. She can be found here -