Good news: weekend athletes lose as much weight as regular athletes!

Good news: weekend athletes lose as much weight as regular athletes!

Impossible for you to do sports during the week? Rest assured, according to the results of a new study, exercising intensely on weekends also helps you stay in shape. Explanations from Vincent Roche, physiotherapist at Kiné Kléber, in Paris.

If you work so much during the week that it is impossible for you to exercise, it is possible to make up for it on the weekend. But be careful, these workouts must also be more intense and longer, in order to respect the official WHO recommendations which recommend doing 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week or 75 intense minutes.

A study specifically targeting abdominal fat mass

In this work, scientists analyzed the body composition – and in particular the fat mass – of more than 9,600 volunteers aged 20 to 59. All were part of a US federal study, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which studies the nutrition and health status of adults and children in the United States.

For this analysis, the researchers used a particular tool: a DXA scan which makes it possible to analyze the bone, muscle and fat composition of an individual. This therefore allows a more precise and in-depth examination, which goes well beyond the simple Body Mass Index or BMI.

Weekend athletes with better results

After analyzing these data, the researchers showed that 772 participants who were used to doing sports intensively on weekends, as well as 3277 volunteers who exercised regularly, presented:

  • A lower abdominal fat level, measured by the DXA scan;
  • A smaller waistline;
  • Lower body fat;
  • A BMI lower than the 5580 volunteers who did not exercise regularly.

Better yet, weekend exercisers who trained even harder at that time – doing nearly 150 minutes intensively – had even lower levels of abdominal fat.

Is this a practice that can be done by everyone?

Asked about the results of this study, Vincent Roche, physiotherapist, explains that doing sport only on weekends can be an alternative, but perhaps not suitable for everyone: “We often look for a miracle solution, but there is none. Everyone must adapt their sporting practice to their needs, their schedule… It’s a multifactorial question, in reality“.

The professional activity of the week comes into account. “If you are tired at the end of the week, it will be difficult to achieve two or more hours of intense physical activity on the weekend.” he estimates. “Not sure that the body accepts such constraint and the risk of injury is then increased“.

What is the solution then? “Exercising intensively only on weekends is possible, but you need to prepare your body for this. If we set a deadline, over several months, it is possible to achieve this objective, by imposing rigor on ourselves and maintaining the pleasure of physical activity.

To find out more, read our article:

  • Sport on the weekend would be as beneficial as during the week