Your time is precious…make the most of your time in the gym.
There’s a misconception that in order to have a great physique you need to spend several hours every day working out. Certain goals, such as competing in a professional bodybuilding contest or at the Olympics, require more than an hour or two nearly every day to achieve.
For the average busy executive who doesn’t make a living from athletics, spending hours in the gym every day doesn’t make sense…and only adds to the stress of an already overstretched life. So how often and for how long should you work out?
That depends a lot on your goals.
If you want to walk around looking like you belong on the cover of a fitness magazine, you’ll need to spend a bit more time than if you’re happy just to pull yourself out of the “overweight” category and avoid a heart attack. If you’re strict and consistent with your diet (yes, that’s hugely important!) and have reasonable genetics, then an amazing physique can be obtained with 4 or 5 gym sessions a week.
We’re not talking 2-3 hour sessions either. Although the levels vary significantly by individual, testosterone (a muscle-building hormone) decreases and cortisol (a stress hormone) increases as a workout progresses. If you spend too much continuous time in the gym the benefits progressively decrease and you’re less able to keep at the higher intensity needed to produce benefits.
40-50 mins is a great for most people.
It’s also a lot easier to squeeze into your workday!
So what type of training should you do if you’re limited on time?
Weight training, of course!
Building muscle means that your body becomes more metabolically active, burning more calories throughout the day no matter what you’re doing. Exercises that work multiple large muscle groups simultaneously (like squats, deadlifts, or pull-ups) are more efficient at producing physique changes than bicep curls or flys. If you’re going to commit to spending some time in the gym, make sure you’re making the most of it. Don’t waste your precious time peddling slowly on a stationary bike for hours!
Choose the right exercises and keep your workouts short and intense for the most time-efficient physique improvements.