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How long should a workout last in the gym

In this article, I will touch on one very important topic in bodybuilding. Now we will talk about what should be the correct duration of training in the gym. Since everyone answers this question differently, people get confused in their heads. Someone says that you need to train for 1 hour, others say – from 1.5 to 2 hours, still, others say that it makes no sense to train for more than 40 minutes. So who should you believe? Now I will try to answer this exciting question for everyone.

The question is not unambiguous and individual, since the duration of the training depends on many factors (body type, age, metabolic rate, etc.). First of all, you need to listen to your body. Someone is more genetically gifted and can train more, someone is less gifted.

Pre-workout: warm-up

Whichever fitness program you choose, you should always start with a warm-up. The length of a standard warm-up is 5-10 minutes. Stretch and do some cardio. The goal of a warm-up is to gradually raise your heart rate, warm up your muscles, and get your joints to move. With strength training, you can do a few repetitions with weights to get your body used to the load.

The main thing is to come to the result gradually, without rushing your body. A good warm-up will reduce the risk of injury.

Training experience

If you are a beginner and came to the gym for the first time, then your workout should last about 40-50 minutes (no more). At the initial stage, this will be enough to give the body the necessary stress, which will eventually trigger the process of muscle growth. If you initially start training for 1.5 – 2 or even 2.5 hours, then, most likely, this will only bring negative consequences, and you can very quickly enter the overtraining phase since the body is not able to digest such a long training (such great stress ).

But, if you have been training for more than 6 months, then here you already need to look individually and listen to your body. Perhaps this time is enough for you, and you are making great progress. Or maybe you increased your training time to 75 minutes and saw that your muscles started to grow faster. That is, when you complete the course of a young fighter, you can experiment with the duration of the training. Try 75 minutes, then 90 minutes, then come back again for 60 minutes. See where your progress has been better and find the best timing for you.

How often do you need to go to the gym – the optimal number of times a week to have a result

The frequency of sports activities determines the goals. In most cases, they are formulated as:

· Weight loss;

· Strengthening muscles and endurance;

· Muscle building.

Fat-burning cardio workouts can be done 3 to 5 times a week, as they are easy enough and do not take long to recover. Strength training is another matter. It is not recommended to carry it out more than 3 times a week, while it is necessary to ensure that after each load the muscle group “rests” for at least 72 hours.

Important! It is worth considering the individual characteristics and the type of constitution. So, in mesomorphs with a high recovery rate and strength sensitivity, the increase in muscle mass will be faster, while in ectomorphs and endomorphs, the recovery process will take longer.

The best watches for sports: morning, afternoon, evening

Physiology and human activity are associated with the phenomenon of circadian rhythms. In essence, these are fluctuations in natural biological processes, for example, body temperature, hormone levels, blood pressure. A person’s activity, including motor activity, depends on these indicators.

The answer to the question of when is it better to go to the gym, in the morning or in the evening, is closely related to the type of workout. So, in the morning hours, there is a significant production of cortisol, which is responsible not only for waking up quickly but also for mobilizing strength during physical exertion. The best option for exercising at this time is cardio training. Due to cortisol, metabolism is accelerated and energy expenditure is significantly increased.

Some athletes prefer to visit the gym in the afternoon. And circadian rhythms also contribute to this. In the period from 4 pm to 6 pm, most people experience a slight increase in body temperature. As a result, muscles are warmer, more elastic, and prepared for work. At this time, anaerobic exercise will be effective, including due to increased endurance and a decrease in the risk of injury.

In the evening, do not resort to heavy muscle-building exercises or intense aerobic exercise. This will affect the quality of sleep and impairments in the functioning of the immune system. Most often, it is at this time that people are engaged in relaxing yoga or breathing exercises.

Post-workout: cooling and recovery

For a full and effective workout, remember to take a few minutes to cool down and gradually lower your heart rate. The best way to do this is to do stretching exercises – it will help you prevent muscle soreness.

Your recovery time also matters! Your muscles need to recover from exercise.

For best results, do not constantly load the same body parts or the same muscle group for two days in a row. Listen to your body and stick to the training program that you or your fitness trainer put together.

Why bother looking at the clock in the gym?

Imagine a situation, you have filled the car’s tank with 100 liters of gasoline, and in order to get to the desired destination, you need 110 liters. It makes sense that you won’t be able to get where you need to go. Now let’s look at our body, you went to the gym to destroy the contractile protein, they vomit and injure muscle fibers so that they overgrow and increase in volume. During training, your body is fed with fuel: nutrients that you loaded into yourself after eating 1-2 hours before the gym.

If you load less than your body needs during training, what will happen to you? You will not stop like a car, no, the body knows how to make decisions on its own, it will begin to feed on protein, which will take from muscles, and not from fat. And now imagine the absurdity of the picture: you went to the gym to build muscle mass, but you are trying to do this by breaking down the protein in muscle fibers, which is needed to restore them.

Therefore, there are two options: consume more nutrients, or reduce the intensity of the training, do less exercise, as an option to use less fuel.

In the first 45 minutes of training, the level of good hormones in our body grows, during which time we really force the body to produce all the elements necessary for muscle growth. After 45 minutes of training, the level of the hormone cortisol rises sharply, which kills our muscles, they begin to destroy what we are trying so hard to build. Of course, it is worthwhile to understand that this is not a mark that has not been verified exactly to the seconds when it is worth throwing the bar or barbell and going to change.

Training experience

If you are just starting to exercise regularly, then each time you need to devote at least 1-1.5 hours to classes. Beginners spend a lot of time learning the correct technique, so at the same time, you will have time to do less than the experienced athlete. Also, beginners take longer to rest between sets than experienced trainees due to their lower endurance.

For those who have been training for about a year, 45 minutes of strength training is enough. Naturally, provided that you do not waste time talking on the phone, resting for 5 minutes between exercises, etc. If you have enough experience, a clear training plan has been drawn up, then in 45-60 minutes (taking into account the warm-up), you can carry out a full-fledged intense strength training.


Resistance training is stressful for our bodies. For our lazy calf, the best pastime is lying on the couch. Therefore, when we tear it off the soft pillows and move it into the gym, the body, in response to the stress experienced, begins to release hormones into the bloodstream.

And along with testosterone, insulin, and growth hormone, which help to gain muscle mass, cortisol, the “stress hormone”, enters the bloodstream. Its task is to preserve the body’s energy in any way. And if that means destroying our precious muscle volume, cortisol will happily do it.

According to scientific studies, cortisol levels peak approximately 60 minutes after starting strength training. In other words, the effectiveness of long-term exercise is inversely proportional to the blood cortisol level. The longer the date with the barbell lasts, the less likely you are to gain muscle mass.

But the level of mass-gaining hormones: testosterone, insulin, and growth hormone rises and reaches its maximum value after 35-45 minutes of training with a barbell and dumbbells.

Conclusion: you can spend time in the gym for as long as you like, but the duration of weight training, according to hormonal surges, should not exceed the same 45 minutes. A short workout increases the chances of muscle growth, while a long workout, on the contrary, reduces them.

What beginners need to know:

1. The use of a large number of simulators does not guarantee high results. Normally, three basic and two isolating exercises are enough for a workout;

2. Long-term training has a negative effect on the state of the hormonal system, which is responsible for the progress of the athlete: they activate catabolism and prevent anabolism;

3. Short sessions (less than half an hour) do not have a significant impact on the result, because the body does not have enough hormones and other substances to quickly build muscle tissue and burn fat, and the muscles themselves do not receive optimal stress.


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