Stronger in 13 Minutes? New Study Shows Benefits of Shorter Weight Training Workouts

“I don’t have time to workout!”

This is absolutely the most commonly cited excuse for avoiding what we all know is good for us – exercise. So we’re always looking for ways to workout smarter in order to reap the benefits of fitness. And a new study published in the medical journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise may hold the key to solving the time crunch problem.

Traditional weight training workouts are comprised of multiple sets of each exercise, resulting in routines that often take at least an hour to complete. In this study, however, researchers found that a single set of each exercise resulted in comparable strength gains to lifting for multiple sets.

The key? Training to failure in each set, meaning participants were physically unable to complete another rep at the conclusion of the set.
In the study, 34 men that were already regularly completing resistance training workouts were split into three groups. Each group was assigned to 8-12 reps of basic exercises, such as bench press and leg press, 3 times a week.

But each group had to complete a different amount of sets. The first group did five sets of each exercise, meaning ~90 minutes at the gym. The second did three sets of each, or ~45 minutes. The last did just one set of each, which took only 13 minutes.

After 8 weeks, the results were in: all the men had experienced similar strength gains. Even more interesting, all showed equivalent improvements in muscular endurance as well.
This is huge news for personal fitness – even with busy schedules, we can get significantly stronger with short workouts.

So what were the exercises?

Here is the complete list:

  1. Machine bench press
  2. Machine military/shoulder press
  3. Wide-grip lateral pulldown
  4. Seated cable row
  5. Machine leg press
  6. Unilateral machine leg extension
  7. Unilateral machine leg curls
  8. Bicep curl machine
  9. Triceps press-down machine
  10. Low back/back extension machine
  11. Ab crunch machine
  12. Calf raise machine

These dozen exercises comprise a total body program and the number of exercises can even be pared down a bit if you still can’t find 13 minutes to tone your entire body (!) Do you want to recreate this workout at home so you can get stronger, fast? If so, many of our units allow you to perform this entire spectrum of exercises using compact and affordable equipment in the comfort of your home.
Check out our broad selection of workout equipment, including weight training machines and free weights. We’ll help you find the right home gym equipment for your workout needs. If one of your workout goals is getting stronger WITHOUT WASTING ANY TIME, we’ve got you covered. Our in-store fitness experts will be happy to take you through a complete workout and show you the proper technique for achieving maximum results in minimal time.

No More Excuses!

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