Originally Posted by donheff
I thought I was wussing out too until I read Body by Science
which fed right into my laziness bias. They argue (with lots of supporting data) that we need a handful of core exercises done one set each, once a week to muscle failure.
I'm also a BBS believer--maybe you are the one who turned me on to it.
Here are two comments.
First, we should be clear that in this case, when you say "core exercises" that you are talking about a core set (the big five) and not exercises for the core.
Second, I'm a big believer in the once-per-week idea for strength training (see this
). That's why I started out doing my planks only once per week. However, now I think that perhaps core muscles are different from others (biceps, etc). They certainly have a different function (holding the body in one position and supporting the backbone). So I'm not confident that once per week is enough. It's apples and oranges.
I do my big five bowflex routines once per week, because twice per week would not double the benefit. That is, I'd be getting diminishing returns. However, I see the benefit from planks to be so important, that I'm willing to have some wasted effort. IOW, even if I'm doing twice as many but only getting 1.5 times as much back pain prevention, it's worth it.