If you can only get to the gym on the weekend, you’re not alone. But fear not. New research shows that ‘weekend warriors’ can still reap significant benefits from their binge workouts.

With many of us struggling to cram exercising into our busy weekday schedules, this is great news.

‘Weekend warriors’ are those who meet the recommended volume of physical activity per week through only one or two sessions. This is currently 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise.


The nine-year study, published at Loughborough University recently, analysed more than 60,000 people aged 40 and over. Many did no exercise, some did the recommended 150 minutes a week, and 2,300 ‘weekend warriors’ exercised only once or twice a week.

Results showed that those who exercised for only one or two sessions a week reduced their risk of death to a similar level to those who spread the same amount of exercise over the whole week. Their overall risk of death was 30% lower than the sedentary adults.

The number of sessions you spend exercising appears to be less important than how long you spend working out overall, and possibly how intense those workouts are.

It’s the same message again - any physical activity done at any time will boost your health.


If you’re going to workout on weekends, why not get the most from them?

  • Go for longer. You’ve got more time to exercise, so make it count. Go for an hour-long gym session, followed by a relaxing swim. Try out a dance workshop or increase your running mileage.
  • Add variety. You don’t always have time during the week to devote to all fitness areas. So take advantage and focus on strength or stretching that you might miss otherwise.
  • Go further. With extra weekend time, travel further on your workouts. Maybe try that gym across town you’ve always fancied, or find a new place for a long hike.
  • Workout to your workouts. Rather than driving to the gym, run, cycle or walk.
  • Workout with friends. Other people are likely to have the same two days off so get active together. Exercising with other people can motivate you to go harder.
  • Double-whammy workout. Challenge yourself to do two workout classes back-to-back. How about Zumba followed by spinning? It can be exciting to do and will ensure your entire body is worked out.

The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Debra G.
29 January 2017

Debra G.

most reassuring! At the moment with the dark evenings I really struggle to drag myself out after work. So it is good to know that my weekend effort are still worthwhile.

Michael A.
29 January 2017

Michael A.

That's actually quite surprising research results. I would have assumed that exercise was better spread out and done regularly. But good news, takes the pressure off weekday workouts!

Sean S.
28 January 2017

Sean S.

I do the 'work to your workouts' thing on the weekend by cycling to the gym instead of driving. Whatever the weather, I cycle. It's only about 20 minutes but it feels great to be outside before I go in the gym. I couldn't do this on the weekdays, as I normally stop on the way home from work.

Helen P.
26 January 2017

Helen P.

I often workout more on weekends so this is good for me. I love the feeling of a long exercise session and have never felt it's too much or bad for me. So nice to have it confirmed.

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