Time vs Effort at the gym
September 9, 2012 12:09 PM Subscribe
Exercise n00b here. For strength training, is it better to A) work the muscle to exhaustion, or B) work the muscle for a long time? (I have asked my physical therapists and received conflicting answers, hence this question.)
posted by ook to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
(For context: I'm doing PT after a back injury, and need to increase my core strength and stability to help prevent the problem recurring. I'm not at all interested in weight loss or visible musculature, nor do I particularly care about aerobic benefits -- I'm in reasonably good shape in that sense -- my only goal here is reducing stress on my spinal column.)
So, for example, I can very quickly exhaust my abdominal muscles by lifting and holding a crunch position for longish periods of time; or I can do a whole bunch of crunches and have to spend a lot of time at it to feel like I've done the same amount of work.
For my purposes is one of these methods substantially better than the other? (My inclination is to get them over with quickly, because I'm more likely to actually do the exercises than if I have to block out a big chunk of the day for them, but I want to make sure that it's not wasted effort if I do it that way.)