The minimum time you have to devote to strength exercises to see results
We know how hard it is to stop watching your favorite series on the couch to go to the gym, or simply stop doing anything to make the sports bag and also go to the gym. Or maybe you are one of those whose exercise is based on running and the day you decide to set foot in the gym you tremble muscles that you did not know or existed.
Whether that’s why you don’t step in the gym or just because you don’t have the time (or that’s exactly the same for lack of motivation), you’re sure to have asked yourself exactly the same question we did in a given instant: Will I really see results if I only do strength training once or a couple of times a week? Since well, now we solve the doubt.
Why should I do force training?
There are many compelling reasons, redundancy permitting, to remove the fear of entering the weight room, even if your goal is not to gain volume in your arms and end up like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Strength training has many benefits for our health: it improves physical performance, cardiovascular health, functional independence, cognitive abilities and even self-esteem. In addition to this it can lower blood pressure and help reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Surprised? Since there’s still more.
Gaining muscle strength reduces the risk of being badly injured if you suffer a minor accident such as a fall, blow or dislocation. It also increases bone density and increases the strength of ligaments and tendons, thus strengthening muscles and eluding injuries.
If your purpose is to lose weight and for this reason you discard lifting weights, you are mistaken. Doing cardiovascular exercise alone does not increase your chances of losing weight or reducing fat. However, multiple studies have shown that exercising strength twice a week, accompanied by a balanced diet, helps to reduce the percent of fat. So you can stop focusing only on aerobic exercise and also get rid of the fear of weights.
How much time per week do I have to dedicate to training in order to see results?
Within the relativity of this question, there are certain factors such as the intensity and volume of training that greatly influence when deciding how much time to devote to exercise. It’s not exactly the same to train three days a week, making twenty-minute treadmill rides as it is to dedicate exactly the same time to workout more working with weight and more intensity.
In those cases in which the lifestyle or exactly the same genetics do not encourage a proper restoration, it is better not to overdo it with strength training (two-three days). It is advisable to train for more than three days to those people (athletes) who have more discipline, desire and their way of life is suitable for high-intensity training without damaging their day after day.
If you have little time per week to devote to exercise, it is advisable to choose one day or 2 per week for strength training and one day of cardio LISS (low intensity) or the rest of the days be sure to walk for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. The time that we dedicate to training, we must worry about training to a suitable intensity to provoke the muscular adaptation and later to return to training after having recovered completely. The adaptation to a stimulus, in such a case the training, requires a total restoration to continue advancing. If you don’t allow time for your body to recover after high-intensity exercise, you may soon become stagnant.
Full body training can be very effective once or twice a week. For the average person, a strength training once or twice a week is enough to break the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. It’s enough to encourage muscle development, increase cardiovascular endurance, and help build endurance.
However, although you can potentially gain strength by doing just one intense workout, it is more bearable to do 2 per week because spreading the intensity of the workout over a couple of days has less impact on the body.
Getting the most out of a training program
When you want to do a full body workout, whether it’s a day (high intensity) or a couple of days (high intensity but less than if you only do one day), you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. The trick is to choose the right exercises.
Good full body training must involve as many muscles as possible. The more muscles are involved in the execution of the exercises of our routine, the more calories we will burn.
- A key factor that is often overlooked is overheating. A good warm-up before high resistance training is vital and especially if you are sedentary the rest of the week.
- Another essential factor is to have a convenient diet, there is no point in taking too much care if you are going to throw everything away by eating badly. Above all, consume protein accompanied by quality carbohydrates after training to restore glycogen levels and help muscles recover faster.
You got 15 minutes? We teach you an all-terrain routine based on three complete exercises involving countless muscles.
To sum up:
Doing something always and at all times is better than nothing, but that’s not enough if what you really want is to get in shape. Exercising once or twice a week is not going to make you a competitive bodybuilder but to be in shape and look strong and healthy if you really take it. Including a strength routine will let you see important changes in your body. So don’t just focus on doing LISS cardio (low intensity and no weight) and lose your fear of weights because you think you’re going to be a Hulk.