How Long Should My Workout Be?

How Long Should My Workout Be? 45, 60 Minutes? Over An Hour? Why weight training don’t need to exceed 60 minutes?

At a gym, we are usually very slow to start the workout – we do the warm-up, then talk to others, do one set of exercise, and then return to our distractions. And there’s nothing wrong with that – depending on the goal.

If your goal is to have a good time and at the gym, this article is not for you. Here I’ll talk about people who try to reach a specific goal, for instance, increase body mass or lose weight. In such cases it is important to focus on both the exercise and the overall workout, but also on the breaks between exercises.

People often visit the gym with a partner to make exercising easier and have more motivation, but this extends the training from an hour to an hour and a half or even two hours.

So why is it important to train up to an hour?

First of all, beginning at the 45th minute of the training, your cortisol levels start to increase (cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, and ensures body regulation in stressful environments, also called the stress hormone), which means that the organism begins to be stressed out (the fat starts to deposit). Second of all, after an hour of training the body does not have enough strength left to do proper exercise, which is why 60 minutes would be the optimal duration of exercising.

Special attention to the duration of workouts should be paid by women with problem areas, for instance, the lower abdomen, upper thighs or hip area since cortisol, as previously mentioned, raises the body insulin levels and prevents burning the fat.

How to decrease the workout duration?

Breaks between sets.

Take breaks lasting up to a minute. If you’re up to it, decrease the duration even more (it is different for exercises aimed at gaining strength – there the recommended breaks are 3 minutes or even longer). If you find it difficult to measure a minute, start a chronometer in your phone.

Busy exercise machines.

If an exercise machine or lifts are busy, you can always ask when they’ll be vacant again. If your training program allows you to change the exercise sequence, do that while you wait.

Your training partner.

If you have a training partner, make an agreement on only focusing on the exercises during the workout. You’ll be able to chat during the post-workout stretching.

Believe me, the training will be much more intense and you’ll feel the change when using your maximum capacity and taking shorter breaks, focusing on the routine rather than different distractions.

If you want to check your cortisol levels, you can do that by taking a blood test at your nearest lab.