Both may be true, and then you ask yourself: Is it worth strength training at all if I can only do it one or two times a week? The answer is yes.
Studies have shown that there are definite benefits to strength training on a limited basis – 'limited' meaning one or two times a week. It may not enable you to develop the massive biceps you secretly desire, but it has many positive benefits. But first, let's take a quick look at why strength training is good for you.
There are a multitude of reasons to lift. It can improve your physical performance and movement control. For that matter, it can provide a boost to your cognitive abilities and self-esteem.
It also decreases your chances of getting injured because strength training increases bone density and strengthens your tendons and ligaments.
Here's another benefit: Research has shown that men who did weight training had a smaller increase in belly fat than those that did cardio exercise for the same duration.
As mentioned earlier, strength training provides benefits even if done only once or twice a week. Again, you may not develop a Hulk-like physique, but you'll strengthen muscles and preserve your fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Lifting also increases your endurance. Scientifically speaking, it increases your lactate threshold, the amount of time it takes for your muscles to fatigue. For endurance athletes, strength training once or twice a week helps the body cope with repetitive stress that comes with running, cycling or swimming. Even if strength training once or twice a week is your only exercise, studies show that it still stimulates muscle growth while improving endurance.
Two Is Better Than One
While strength training once a week can have benefits, many experts say that training twice a week provides much better benefits. Research has shown that sedentary men and women who lifted once a week added 0.7 pounds of lean weight, while those who lifted two to three times a week added over three pounds of lean weight.
Lifting twice a week is also less of a shock to your body, giving it proper time to adapt to your training. And an added bonus of a twice-a-week regimen is that it gives your body time to recover, as opposed to over-training.
The bottom line: It's always better do something rather than nothing, and small gains are better than no gains. Make the most of your workout time by joining the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo. We’ve even got a full staff of personal trainers to help you develop a strength training plan to meet your goals.