Day 168: Less is … the same

Day 168 - front

Day 168 – front

  • Weight: 137.0 lbs.
  • Workout C: 26 minutes, 19 seconds; next: Workout C, Feb. 18
  • Total inches: 124.0
  • Protein: 134 g (5 g over target)
  • Calories: 2,322

One of the keys to Project Bulk is frequency and duration of workouts. Author Tim Ferriss refers to this as Minimum Effective Dose in “The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon |iTunes aff. links].

I lift weights about an hour and 13 minutes a week total, split over Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. For the month, that’s about 5 hours.

I could exercise more, but the challenge is to build muscles with as little effort and time as possible. I could exercise less, which is what I did in October and November using different exercises. Those months resulted in higher body fat compared to muscle gain than I preferred.

Researchers at nearby University of Alabama at Birmingham studied exercise dosage with 72 women age 60 to 74. Split into three groups, they exercised by weightlifting and either jogging or cycling for 4 months. Group A did one of each a week, or two workouts; group B did two of each, or four workouts; and group C did three of each, or six workouts.

“The women working out twice a week had become as powerful and aerobically fit as those who had worked out six times a week.”

The study appears in this month’s Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

As you exercise to gain strength and endurance, to tone your body or to lose weight, you should ask yourself what the right dosage of exercise is. Can you gain more with less?

Day 168 - side

Day 168 – side