Just Three-Seconds Of Weight Lifting A Day Could Actually Help Your Muscles Grow

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A new study may just prove that you don’t need to spend hours, or even minutes, exercising every day to make improvements to your muscles. In fact, scientists have proven that by doing just three-seconds a day of lifting weights is already enough to strengthen muscle.

A research group in Australia and Japan conducted a new study where they discovered that by doing just one downward bicep curl a day, using a heavy weight, can actually increase muscle strength by an impressive 11 percent, or even higher.

Scientists add that this could also mean that doing a whole body workout could be done in only 30 seconds, for as long as the findings hold up in the other muscle groups.

During the study, the research group took 39 healthy university students and asked them to complete one muscle concentration per day ‘at maximum effort’ for only three seconds, five days a week, for only four weeks.

The 39 participants were placed into different groups that were also made to do three different kinds of bicep curls.

One group was made to use their biceps to lower a weight down to the floor, which is called eccentric bicep curl by fitness experts. The other groups were made to do the concentric curl, which is when the weight is lifted up, or also made to hold the weight parallel to the ground – which is called an isometric contraction. Another group, which consisted of 13 volunteer students, they were made to do no exercise at all.

The students that did the downward bicep curl had the best results, which showed muscle strength growth of 11.5 percent.

The participants that did the other types of curls also grew stronger, but they had a smaller increase in their muscle strength that those that were made to do the downward bicep curl. As for the group of volunteers that were part of the “no exercise” group, they did not see any muscle strength increase at all.

According to Professor Ken Nosaka of the Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, who also designed the study, explained that the study results show that people don’t need to spend long amounts of time exercising in order to gain stronger muscles.

He explained, ‘The study results suggest that a very small amount of exercise stimulus – even 60 seconds in four weeks – can increase muscle strength.”

He added, “Many people that you have to spend a lot of time exercising, but it’s not the case. Short, good quality exercise, can still be good for your body and every muscle contraction counts.”

The researchers made sure to measure each group’s eccentric, isometric and concentric strength during the study. And what they found was the it was only the group of students who did the downward or eccentric curl who had an increase in all three types of muscle strength.

As for the participants that were made to do the concentric lifting only saw some improvement in their isometric strength, but no improvement in the others. Meanwhile, the isometric group only saw an increase in their eccentric strength, and nowhere else.

Prof Nosaka shared, “The findings are exciting for promoting physical fitness and health, such as prevention of sarcopenia – a decrease in muscle mass and strength with ageing.”

“We haven’t investigated other muscles yet, but if we find the three-second rule also applies to other muscles then you might be able to do a whole-body exercise in less than 30 seconds. Also, performing only one maximal contraction per day means you don’t get sore afterwards,” he added.

If you’d like to see the study results, you can find them published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.