I get this question a lot.
I am never entirely sure how to answer it because I am not ever entirely sure that the person asking the question even knows what they are asking.
That was a mouthful.
Do you know what I mean though?
A training session doesn’t have to carry a time limit. However long it takes to get the work done is how long it will take for you to train for that particular day.
I had a question from a friend who read my most recent blog post where I stated, “eat clean and you won’t have to workout 6-8hrs per week”. I meant that statement. I will never deny that eating is the foundation of a body recomposition program. What you put in your mouth determines what you look like, and too some extent, how much of what you put into your mouth.
If you eat like shit, you are going to look like shit. Sorry, but that is the truth. The truth hurts sometimes.
Now that I am off of my nutrition tangent, let’s get back to how long a workout should last. I advocated a shorter workout duration daily because most people will either:
a) Lose interest if the workouts take to much of their day.
b) Don’t have the time (so they think) to commit 6-8 hours per week to physical activity.
c) Waste less time spacing out in the gym.
The interesting thing about “b” is that somehow people can find 12-18hrs (or more) per week to plant their ass in front of the TV and watch ridiculous reality TV shows while eating toxic processed food. It truly is the evolution of man (and women).
But, I can ask these people what is consuming so much of their time and they will fight to the bitter end to justify every second of that reality TV watching. That is a tough battle for a trainer to be in my friends. That is another situation where the truth needs to be told, and the truth often hurts.
So, I have managed to evade the title of this post until now…
How long should a workout last?
Well, in my opinion, it is dependent on the person, their goals and timeline, but I really think that 30-45min is the sweet spot. My general training template calls for 60min exactly, but I still feel like that it too much for most people. And by too much I mean that they will view that 60min as “too much” of a time commitment to get themselves fit and feeling better.
So, when I tell someone they can train hard for 30-45min 3-4 days per week, it is a lot more appetizing to them.
But, I always tell folks that if you are going to shoot for the 30min mark, you are going to be sacrificing some valuable components of a complete training program. You see, training is about a lot more than just looking good. It is completely possible to walk around at 5% body fat with ripped six-pack abs yet be completed unbalanced with chronic pain and a ticking time bomb for a massive training injury (I will touch on this in my book). A lot of injuries are preventable with a proactive approach to life and more specifically training.
I believe this down to my core.
I know what I am up against. People aren’t going to change, so sometimes it is necessary to meet in the middle. I am willing to do that assuming a person is willing to put forth one hell of an effort in their training and in their eating.
It’s crazy. Most of us walk the fine line between having a body we can be proud of and one that we are ashamed of, yet most choose to go the unhealthy route until it is too late. The statistics don’t lie, we have never been as unhealthy as we are now.
Time for a change I suppose.