If You Want to Get Stronger, You Should Lift Less

man weight lifting
 Matthew Leete/Getty Images

If you’re lifting to build strength, you don’t have to do it as often as you’d think. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that men who weight trained three days a week got just as strong as those who lifted twice that amount, as measured by their one rep max—so long as the total weekly volume and intensity were equal.

This is particularly useful info for those who want to introduce more conditioning or recovery into their schedule. This research shows you can double down on your lifting days to work it all in. However, if your aim is to get bigger, the extra sessions could still help.

“Frequent stimulation may be more beneficial when it comes to gains in muscle mass,” says Bill Campbell, an exercise physiology expert at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

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