“How Long Should My Workout Be?” (Ideal Workout Length)

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“How Long Should My Workout Be?” (Ideal Workout Length)

What is the proper workout duration for a bodybuilding style training session? Is it 40 minutes, one hour, 1.5 hours… more?

As with most training and nutrition questions, there really is no single black and white answer, and there is no such thing as one absolute “perfect” workout length that you should abide by. If you’re one of those who has asked me “how long should my workouts be”, the simple response I’d give is this…

Your workout should last as long as is necessary for you to:

A) Complete all of the necessary exercises and sets included in your routine.
B) Do so without training for an excessive period of time that causes your energy, strength and focus to significantly decline.

If the latter does occur, that is what I would consider your personal “workout time limit”. Getting to this point means that the exercises toward the end of your session will not be carried out as effectively as possible, and it also means that your chances of injury will be increased as well.

As an overall ballpark figure, a standard workout duration for most people will be anywhere from 45 minutes up to 90 minutes, excluding warmups.

Some experts will try to give you a set workout length by saying that you should never go beyond 60 minutes due to the effects of cortisol (a stress hormone) which breaks down muscle and lowers testosterone. However, this is not something to be concerned about as elevated cortisol is an inevitable result of hard training and is not going to measurably impact you.

So, how long should your workout be? The proper workout duration for you is that it should last as long as you need it to in order to complete your entire workout while being able to give every set 100% focus and intensity.

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