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If you’re a lifter like me then you probably like working out, which often means you’ll train for a long time.

One hour is way too short, and typically a 2 hour stay at the gym is your minimum.

But, is working out for that long good for you and your gains, or is there some sort of sweet zone?

Short answer: it depends what you’re doing and what your goals are.

For example, if you’re a powerlifter, or train in that style of training because you want to get strong, then your workouts will probably be longer, and often last a couple of hours because you’ll be lifting heavy and will require long periods of rest.

In contrast, if you are a crossfitter or a busy person in demand and time is precious, then your workouts will be short and to the point making every minute count.

Is one better than the other?

No.

Why?

Because it depends on what your goals are, and what you are trying to do.

If you are like me then you want to get stronger, put on muscle, and lose fat.

Most of us right?

So, what should you do?

Well, first thing is to experiment, experiment, and experiment, especially if you’re new to lifting and starting your strength journey.

What exactly are you experimenting with?

Experiment with your workout tempo and training time duration, with different styles of training, and pick what works for you, based on what your goals are.

For example, if you value strength above all else, then you want to follow a powerlifting type of program or workout structure. This will mean you will train in one of the big compound movements first (bench press, squat, or deadlift), with something like a traditional 5×5 model. From there, you might do some hypertrophy training after, following bodybuilding training styles (higher reps, moderate weight, and focusing on muscle contraction above all else).

With a combination of this style of training your workout will probably last in the neighborhood of 75 to 120 minutes just from experience.

With that said, I’ve had great workouts that only take about 25 to 30 minutes that leave me exhausted, while other types of workouts have took me 3 hours.

Why is there so much of a discrepancy?

Because each of those workouts had a different goal for what I was trying to achieve, hence the extreme difference in time. The shorter one focused on endurance and conditioning for my whole body, while the other one focused on strength and muscle building targeting various muscle groups.

Despite this, both were great in making my body stronger and better conditioned.

To summarize, look at the table below, as they are loose guidelines for a typical workout based on my personal experience, in addition to my time training people.

Workout Time Chart

Training Goal (objective) Time (duration of workout) Example (style of training)
Power 60 to 120 minutes Weightlifting, plyometrics
Strength 60 to 120 minutes Powerlifting, Pilates
Hypertrophy 60 to 90 minutes Bodybuilding
Circuit/Conditioning 30 to 60 minutes Crossfit, Athletic sport training
Aerobic 30 to 120 minutes Long distance running, typical cardio training
Flexibility 30 to 60 minutes Yoga

Again, these are generalized duration times of different styles of training that you may do. There will be variation, so do not freak out if you go longer or shorter based on your particular style of workout. We are all different, so there is no reason that your workout should only last 45, 60, or 90 minutes for any one thing.

That is why it is so important to experiment and play around with different styles and combinations of training, and how they affect you to determine a good tempo for your workout that will dictate your total time at the gym.

Sometimes, increasing your tempo to get more work done is better. Other times, lengthening your workout to add more volume or work will lead to more gains.

That is why I think it depends on what your goal is, and how your body reacts to it.

Now, what do you think?

Comment down below and me how long your workout is, and what has and hasn’t worked for you.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Until next time, be strong and be you!

(Photo Credit)

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