How Long Should Your Workouts Be For Optimal Muscle Growth

So how long should your workouts be for optimum effectiveness? Is it one hour? Two hours? More?

If you believe that more is better, than you may want to re-consider your workout strategy to promote better muscle growth.

The length of your workout varies based on many factors and from person-to-person, but this article will attempt to give you an idea of what is the optimal length that your workouts should be.

So What Does The Research Say About The Ideal Workout Time?

Research has shown that testosterone levels and growth-hormone levels gradually increase for 30 minutes into a workout before coming back to baseline at about 45 minutes.

At about 60 minutes into a workout, the body begins to produce even less testosterone and growth hormone, and more cortisol.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that promotes fat storage and decreases muscle tissue. In regards to muscle growth, testosterone and growth hormone are good, and cortisol is bad.

So In summary, as your progress to the range of 60 minutes and beyond:

  1. Testosterone decreases
  2. Growth hormone decreases
  3. Increased cortisol production
  4. Greater risk of injury
  5. Greater chance of overtraining
  6. Less time to do other things

10 Ways To Decrease Training Time And Increase Effectiveness Of Your Workouts

1. Less Rest Time Between Sets

Instead of sitting around for a couple minutes between sets, perform supersets in which you workout opposing muscle groups back-to-back with no rest. For example, you can go back and forth between push-ups and pull-ups.

2. Leave The Phone In The Car?

Our phone often acts as an extension of our bodies, and it feels uncomfortable leaving it in the car or at home, but if you really want to improve the quality of your workouts, being away from your phone is a great way to start.

This will allow you to be more focused at the task at hand so you can get in and out of the gym quickly.

3. Have A Workout Planned Before Getting To The Gym

Planning your workout before going to the gym is a great way to reduce thinking time during your workout. If you already know what you are going to do prior to entering the gym, it will allow your workouts to be way more efficient, and focused.

4. Go To The Gym When It Is Not Busy

If you go to the gym during peak hours, you will find it difficult to use the equipment you need. Try and get to the gym, if possible, when it is quieter and empty, so that you won?t have to unnecessarily wait to use the equipment.

5. Stop Watching TV

Most gyms have televisions throughout the workout area. This can often make working out very distracting, especi

ally if something you like is on. If you are watching television, your workout times are likely to be longer and your mind will probably be wandering.

To really increase the efficiency of your workouts, so that you can get in and out of the g

ym quickly, and be more focused, stop watching television.

6. Don?t Do Cardio And Weight Lifting On The Same Day

This can help decrease your workout time so that you can focus all your energy on one or the other. It might be a good idea to lift one day and do cardio the next day. Another option can be to go for a jog in the morning and lift weights at night.

Do whatever is comfortable for you, and if you really want to do cardio and weight lifting on the same day, it is okay, it just might not be the most effective muscle building, fat burning workout.

7. Bring A Water Bottle

Having water with you will limit the time it takes to constantly go to the water fountain. Bringing a water bottle from home will help you to not waste valuable time in the gym.

8. Bring A Stop Watch

Time your rest intervals so that you do not rest too much in-between sets. For example, if you are performing a hypertrophy-based workout in which you are resting for about 90 seconds between sets, bring a stopwatch and time your rest interval.

This will prevent you from resting for too long between sets.

9. Perform High Intensity Interval Training

In this type of workout, you will perform very intense exercise for a certain amount of time or repetitions, followed by a lighter intensity exercise, followed by intense exercise, etc.

This is great for increasing testosterone and growth hormone levels, as well as a variety of other benefits that I will not get into in this article.

An example cardio workout using HIIT would be:

  • Sprint for 30 seconds
  • Jog for 45 seconds
  • Sprint for 30 seconds
  • Jog for 45 seconds
  • Continue this pattern for 20 minutes total

An example of a leg workout would be:

  • Intense set of squats for 45 seconds
  • Rest for 45 seconds
  • Intense set of squats for 45 seconds
  • Rest for 45 seconds
  • Continue this sequence for 20 minutes

These type of workouts will really take a lot out of you, and are a great way to really push your body to the limit in a shorter period of time.

10. You can make your strength workout into a cardio workout!

This is personally one of my favorites. My favorite type of cardio-based, weight lifting workout is where you set up a variety of exercises and perform them one after the other for a specified period of time, such as 5 minutes, before taking a 2-3 minute rest.

For this type of workout, it is important to set up the equipment before beginning the set in order to eliminate valuable time during the set.

An example of a full body workout would like something like this:

  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Weighted Lunges
  • Pull-ups
  • Plyo Box Jumps
  • Dips
  • Plank Marches

So you would perform the above exercises as intensely as possible while taking as little rest break as you can. You would set a timer for 5 minutes and complete exercises for the entirety of the 5 minutes. You would then take a 3 minute break and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

It is a really intense workout, so do not do it every day and only do it on days when you really have a high energy level!

In summary,

when it comes to bodybuilding, less is more. Get in and get out. Come to the gym with a plan, execute that plan, and leave.

Try to limit distractions as much as possible. Leave the phone at home and keep your eyes off the TV.

Really bring the intensity, and attempt to limit your workouts to about a 10 minute warm-up, 45 minutes of intense exercise, and a 10 minute cool-down, for optimum effectiveness.

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About Danny Maman My name is Danny Maman. I have a real passion for health and fitness and enjoy having a life that revolves around this. I have my bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in allied health. I am also a certified personal trainer with ACE and am a former college basketball player.

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