Nuface how long it takes to see results in the gym

Workout to build muscle: this is how long ideal strength training takes, according to a study

To find out how much time and effort it takes to get fit, a team of researchers gave 34 men a specific fitness routine over a longer period of time to find out how long they had to work out to get fit effectively.

The results of the study were published in the magazine 'Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise'.

Study with workouts of different lengths

All study participants performed the same seven exercises, such as leg and chest presses.

The weights used had to be heavy enough that with three workouts a week, eight to twelve repetitions were enough to exhaust the muscles.

The study period comprised a total of eight weeks.

The difference between the groups: the first did just one set of each exercise, while the second repeated the routine three times per session, and the third did the entire workout five times with each gym visit.

The length of the individual training sessions therefore varied: the participants in the first group only spent around 13 minutes training, while the members of the group with three sets needed 40 minutes to complete their exercises. Those prescribed five sets sweated for 70 minutes.

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A 13 minute workout is enough to build strength

When evaluating the results, the researchers were surprised that the increase in muscle strength hardly differed between the groups.

Those who completed only one set of each exercise benefited as much as those who trained five times as long.

So, according to the scientists, your time is “wasted” if the workout lasts more than 13 minutes.

The only difference between the groups was muscle mass: although all participants gained some mass, participants who did more than one set, i.e. three or five, of each exercise gained more mass.

The conclusion of the researchers: the more repetitions, the bigger the muscles.

So, unless your fitness goal is to build as large muscles as possible - in which case more sets are better - three 13-minute workouts per week will likely be enough to get you stronger.

Muscle exhaustion is a must

In order for this short workout to be really sufficient, however, according to the study, the muscles really have to be "exhausted" during training.

At the end of each set, you should have the feeling that you can't do any more repetitions without taking a break, the study's lead author, Brad Schoenfeld, told the New York Times.

Although more research will be needed to confirm the results for women as well, Schoenfeld said that "13 minutes in the gym can definitely lead to significant improvements".

Schoenfeld, B. et al. (2019): Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men, accessed on January 21, 2020:
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