When it comes to the duration of a workout, less tends to be more. To get stronger and build muscle, you need to hit the gym hard, get your time under tension and progressive overload, and then get out of there.
You shouldn’t spend more than an hour at the gym, and that doesn’t include warm-up time.
Once you start training, if you’re a neophyte, your body naturally jumpstarts those testosterone amounts much higher than what they normally get to. For most people this enhanced testosterone output will peak about a half hour to forty-five minutes into your workout.
However, I can’t tell you the last time I personally had a workout that was under an hour. I do tend to train longer than many people without sacrificing intensity. I know of many high level lifters that train up to 2.5-3 hours a day and I’m fairly certain their testosterone levels are through the roof (naturally).
With being said, I also know of many high level lifters that hit it unbelievably hard for 45 minutes sometimes less and are done. These particular guys are also stacked and exert mad amounts of energy.
Basically, get in the gym, stay disiplined and pay attention to what your body tells you. When I train solo, I’m often on a workout to workout basis as far as duration is concerned. I never go into the gym saying to myself “I’m gonna hit it for 30 minutes on the dot.”
I go in there with a strategy, intensity and hit it like a mad man. When my body say it’s time to go, we go.
Test Levels Peak at 45 Min
Researchers in the Eastern Bloc determined that your testosterone levels peaked out at the 45-minute mark.
Many scientist have also come out saying that after about one hour of intense training, our bodies body start to produce more cortisol and less testosterone, which is no good.
Almost every test has confirmed that Cortisol will actually eat your muscle tissue and increase the fat storage in your body. This is definitely something you want to stop from happening.
If your nutrition is really good, you might be able to dull the cortisol effect somewhat. It might not be much of a concern to you. Still keep it in mind, however, and don’t push the workout’s limits just because you have good nutrition.
When your workouts go for more than an hour, it becomes easy to get into overtraining, and recovery from one session might be a lot more difficult. If your body is in really good condition, you’ll likely be able to get a lot of high-quality work done in just an hour.
Let me clear the air on something right now.
Overtraining is not so much the fact that you are pushing yourself too hard in the gym, but rather that fact that you are UNDER-recovering.
We get bigger and stronger when we sleep/recover, not actually in the gym. Obviously we are recovering from what took place in the gym, but that actual growth takes place when recovering.
Another benefit of shorter training sessions is that they allow for training sessions that are a whole lot more frequent, and that can lead to improved gains in strength and size.
Mind Muscle Connection
One more reason to keep your workouts relatively short is that your concentration will start to wane a little. Itâ€™s much easier to have an awesome training session if you know that you only have to do 45 minutes of working out. You can zoom in with a pinpoint focus on what you’re doing, and you can tackle every set like a muscle building ninja!
I understand that it’s nearly impossible to turn off distractions like cell phones for too long in today’s world.
You can definitely leave your phone in the car for 45 minutes though. That’s not too much to ask. You can’t possibly be so busy that you don’t have 45 minutes away.
Rememer to start every training session with an awesome ten-minute warm-up, or more if you’re really tired. Do different activation exercises, mobility drills, deep breathing and stretches.
Then, do a 45 minute strength training session and another ten minute finisher session consisting of sprints, jump rope, and sled work if you have the means. <— One of my favorite ways to end a workout
-David “Don’t Overtrain” Aston