Sure there are some people out there who thrive on exercise and would probably say the more the merrier (who are these people and how do they have so much time on their hands?) But for most of us, we want to get the most bang for our buck with the least amount of time and effort.
So then this new study is music to our lazy ears, with researchers finding that 13 minutes is all it takes to see results.
So that’s pretty vague, we know, so let’s look at exactly what “results” they speak of.
The study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at 34 guys who each participated in one of three exercise routines. All three groups performed the same seven exercises – which leg and chest presses – and they all performed 8-12 reps of each. However the first group did just one set totally 13 minutes, the second group did two sets totally 40 minutes and the third group did three totally 70 minutes.
Researchers from Lehman College in the Bronx found little difference between the groups according to The New York Times.
The only gain was muscle mass, the participants who stopped after 13 minutes gained as much strength as the other two groups.
So sure, if you’re aiming to boost up your biceps and get bigger muscles, then more reps are what it takes, but if you’re looking to get stronger and stay fit, then there’s no point pushing yourself.
The only catch is that the weight has to be heavy enough to fatigue you – or basically, reach the point where you physically cannot do any more.
“A lot of people probably do not push themselves that much” during a session at the gym,” Brad Schoenfeld, the director of the human performance program at Lehman College and the study’s lead author told The NY Times. “You have to reach failure”.
“It looks like 13 minutes in the gym can lead to significant improvements” in strength, he adds. “That’s less than a fourth of someone’s lunch hour. Most of us can probably find that much time in our day.”
This article originally appeared on InStyle.
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