It sounds ridiculous, but new research shows that lifting weights for as little as three seconds a day can have a positive impact on muscle strength. In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, researchers had almost 40 college students perform one muscle contraction at maximum effort for three seconds per day, for five days a week over four weeks. For the participants who did the one rep, a bicep curl, in an eccentric fashion – essentially doing a negative rep in which you resist the downward pull of the weight – their muscle strength increased 10 percent. The researchers speculated that if you did a similar three-second contraction for other muscle groups of the body, you might be able to do a whole-body “workout” in less than 30 seconds. This has special implications for older adults, for whom a loss of muscle mass and strength can lead to injuries and poor overall health.