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20 minutes of training per week provides substantial strength gains

20 minutes of training per week provides substantial strength gains

Just one weekly 20 minutes workout is enough to significantly improve muscle strength. This has been shown by the 'fit20 study' done by Solent University and published by the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. The Dutch franchise formula fit20 has 170 studios in 10 countries that specialize in this 'minimum effective dose' training approach.


It is the largest study ever done within sports and exercise science. Nearly 15,000 people have participated in fit20's 'minimum effective dose' training approach over seven years.The research team led by associate professor Sport and Exercise Sciences James Steele (Solent University, Southampton, UK) used the data from these participants and used it to model people’s strength progression over time. They found that fit20 members were making substantial strength gains in the order of 30 to 50 percent in the first year, regardless of age, gender, and fitness level. The participants did just one weekly 20-minute workout of six exercises consisting of a single set of five to six repetitions. The study shows that muscle strength can be significantly improved with just one 20-minute workout per week.


Unique study


''This study is unique in its kind,'' says Steele. A typical resistance training study would be lucky to be twelve weeks long and maybe have 30 or 40 people involved. Usually they are male students as they are easiest to recruit. Here, almost 15,000 people were followed for up to seven years. These are real data from real people out there training in fit20 facilities. It’s not a lab based study that feels somewhat detached from the real world. 50 percent is a substantial improvement in strength. Even 30% is a huge improvement that will likely impact people’s lives and health in a very positive way." The study is getting international attention. Last week, the Washington Post wrote an article about the fit20 study.


The study


The title of the study is: Long term time course of strength adaptation to minimal dose resistance training: Retrospective longitudinal growth modeling of a large cohort through training records.  Steele, J., Fisher, J., Giessing, J., Androulakis-Korakakis, P., Wolf, M., Kroeske, B., & Reuters, R. (2021, January 27).

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport:

The study can be also be viewed via this link: