Over the past few weeks I've started to "fit in" a set or two of weight lifting / pull ups (to failure) throughout my day.

I don't have time to dedicate a full hour to working out, and I like to think this is better than nothing. That said, I don't want to be wasting my time.

I often do a set of lateral raises, pull-ups or bicep curls to failure, 3 to 5 times through the day - meaning there is often 1h+ between sets.

Is this a waste of time or will I eventually see progress?

1 Answer 1


You will definitely see as much, possibly even more progress compared to if you did the same number of sets to failure within a single session with only a few minutes of rest between sets. The reason why you may see more progress is that you'll be able to get more high quality sets in with this amount of rest compared to doing them all at once, where compounding fatigue will likely mean you'll get fewer reps in on your later sets.

The downsides of spreading out training like this are:

  • Multiplying your travel time to and from the gym. (Not applicable if you're able to do the exercises at home.)
  • Multiplying your warm-up time, or having to skip warm-up sets. (Potentially not a concern for chin-ups, bicep curls, and lateral raises, but I wouldn't want to try this strategy for squats or deadlifts. May also be more of a concern if you use an unheated gym in an extremely cold climate.)

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