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How long should you work out?

Torso of muscular fit woman

Having a good workout program is essential. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or get in shape, having a structured plan is crucial in helping you maximize your training without doing too much or too little. And part of having a good plan is sticking to a consistent duration each time you go to the gym. 

I’ve been a coach for many years, and one of the biggest questions I still get is: “How long should you work out?”. And truthfully, there isn’t one simple answer to this question, as it all depends on your individual variables and the goal you want to achieve. 

However, in all my years as a coach, I’ve trained thousands of individuals with different goals, and I’ve found what I believe to be the best workout duration for achieving your goals at the most optimal rate for most people despite their experience level.

In this blog, we will go over the most common durations of workouts and which one I think you should follow if you want to optimize your training, time, and gainz. 

1. HIIT workouts (15-30 minutes)

Woman taking a gym class with two men lifting weights

The first duration is high-intensity interval workouts, also known as HIIT. The whole idea of high-intensity workouts is that you work very hard for a short time, then rest for a short time and repeat. This has you going back and forth between high intensity and recovery, making it so you can complete an entire workout in about 15-30 minutes. 

While HIIT has gained a lot of popularity over the years and can produce good results with the right intensity, it isn't the best option for the average person that is new to training, as HIIT is more designed for people who are more advanced in their training.

For that reason, if you’re starting out and are looking to get into shape, HITT isn’t necessarily the best option right off the bat, even if it is a shorter duration, as it can push you too hard too quickly. For most people, it is something that you have to work up to and train for beforehand before you can see any results. Otherwise, it will just be a very difficult workout without many benefits, and you’ll end up overworking yourself. 

2. 45-60 minute workouts

Muscular woman holding kettlebell in gym

The next option is 45-60 minutes per workout. This duration is good for the average person who is just looking for a good overall workout. 

This is the most optimal option for most people as it’s not super high intensity but still allows you plenty of time to get the maximum training and recovery benefits. It is also something that most people have time for in their day, and it isn’t going to be so intense that you burn yourself out for other activities later on. Not to mention, this amount of time is perfect for beginners, intermediates, and advanced people alike and can be customized to fit your experience level better to ensure you’re constantly growing stronger. 

So, whether you go to the gym 3 days a week or 5 days, 45-60 minutes in the gym is a great way to help you push forward toward your goals steadily and help maximize your results. For more information on this, you can find some of our example training splits in our other blog posts that follow this structure and duration of training that can help you optimize your time and get the maximum benefit out of your training every time you go to the gym.  

3. Over an hour 

Woman working out in gym with pull machine

Lastly, the last workout duration is any workout that lasts longer than an hour. That means anywhere from an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and thirty minutes and beyond. 

Generally speaking, anything over an hour can be too much and can push you into the detrimental zone with your results. This is where your body is doing too much and isn’t going to recover properly. At this point, you’ll start wearing yourself out, getting into the zone where it becomes less optimal for your body, hormones, metabolism, and, of course, results. Not to mention, overworking yourself is likely to increase your chances of injury and a loss of motivation, which you can read more about here.

For that reason, you should never go over an hour on your workout unless a coach has recommended this for a specific reason, as this is a sure way to burn yourself out and set yourself back.

So, how long should you really work out? 

In my opinion, the best workout duration is between 45 minutes to an hour at most. This is because this workout duration has the perfect ratio for training and rest, takes care of most people’s goals, and is the best route to go for the most consistent results. 

Of course, finding the best workout duration will differ depending on the person and their individual variables. Some people will prefer HITT, and that’s fine. Some people will want to train longer and will still be able to recover properly, and that’s great, too. But for most people, this will be the best and most beneficial route to get the results you want at a consistent and steady pace without doing too much or too little. 

But, since everyone is so different and results can vary, it’s always important to have a good coach helping you plan, train, and track so that you can figure out what the best workout duration is for you and for your goals so you can train optimally for your individual variables. If you’re looking to join a good program that will have you working out 3-4 days a week at about 45 minutes each, you can enter your email below to be notified of our next big program, which will be coming out soon.

No matter what you do, reaching out and working with a professional will be the best way to determine what your body needs to achieve your goals and set you up for success. And you can get started with that today.

While you wait for our next program to release, try out our FREE 7-day trial, where you can talk to one of our coaches right now with no strings attached, and we can help you figure out the right plan for you to get you training more optimally ASAP. 

Don't put your dreams on hold any longer. Reach out, and let's make some gainz.

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