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Weekend Warrior Workouts: The Surprising Path to Fitness Success

Updated: May 2


In today's busy world, finding time to exercise during the week can be challenging. Many people rely on the weekend as their primary opportunity to squeeze in a solid workout. But is this "weekend warrior" approach effective for fitness? Recent research suggests that it might be more beneficial than previously thought.

Weekend Warriors vs. Regularly Active Individuals: The Study

A study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) examined the effects of physical activity distribution on measures of body fat. Participants were categorized as inactive, regularly active, or weekend warriors based on their exercise habits. Surprisingly, the results showed that weekend warriors, despite their condensed workout schedule, enjoyed similar body composition benefits as regularly active individuals who spread their exercise throughout the week. This is especially important nowadays where people are often seeking the most ''optimal'' way to workout to maximize their progress. The issue is, most people simply have a busy schedule, and people need to make the most out of what they have.

Benefits of Going to the Gym Only During Weekends

Active individuals, including weekend warriors, had lower body fat metrics compared to inactive individuals. This finding challenges the notion that exercise must be evenly distributed throughout the week to be effective. Instead, it suggests that concentrating physical activity on weekends can still lead to significant improvements in body composition. The most important thing here is to make sure you have enough volume over the weekend. By this I mean that you do enough sets for each muscle group. Generally for most people doing 10-16 sets per muscle group per week should maximize results. In case of only working out over the weekend, this means focusing on compound exercises that train multiple muscle groups at the same time to maximize the efficiency of the workout.

Practicality and Viability of Weekend Warrior Workouts

For most health and fitness goals, being a weekend warrior appears to be a viable option. This approach becomes especially attractive for those with demanding weekday schedules, making it difficult to find time for regular exercise. However, there are limitations to consider. Weekend warrior workouts may not be ideal for endurance-related goals requiring high weekly mileage or for those aiming for elite-level competitive sports.

Conclusion: Finding the Right Workout Routine

In conclusion, the study highlights the importance of finding a workout routine that fits your lifestyle. While consistency is key for some goals, such as endurance training or elite-level sports, for many people, being a ''weekend warrior'' can be a practical and effective way to maintain health and fitness. So, if your weekdays are packed with work and responsibilities, don't underestimate the power of weekend workouts – they might just be the key to achieving your fitness goals.


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