There was a really interested study published about the remarkable effects of strength training which showed that just three seconds of resistance work a day was enough to cause measurable strength gains. Isn’t that incredible!
Now, before you start thinking you’ve found your new exercise routine, remember that this probably isn’t how you should exercise and this 3 second workout probably wouldn’t continue to provide improvements forever – but, this study does highlight the amazing effects of strength work.
It reassures you that if you were to create a routine of 45 minutes strength training even twice a week, you’d see improvements to your strength, health, fitness, mobility, posture etc etc – and surely this is a realistic amount of exercise to commit to for the long term?
There really is no other form of exercise which provides the same broad benefits as strength training.
If you’re interested, let’s look a little closer at what this study involved.
Each of the participants did one of two types of muscle contractions at maximal intensity for 3 seconds. Some did an isometric (static) biceps hold, and some did a controlled biceps extension (i.e. the eccentric / straightening part of a biceps curl, and not a triceps extension).
Those who did the controlled extension movement increased their strength by 10% by the end of the study. That’s a lot of improvement in 3 seconds a day!
This eccentric movement was more effective, I think, because you can control four times more weight in this part of the movement – and so this means the participants were able to use more weight for the exercise, which would have caused the most damage to the muscles, which would increase the changes they saw.
Interesting stuff hey – isn’t strength training amazing!