T Nation

1 Hour Weight Lifting Workout Necessary?


I have a theory that 1 hour weight lifting workouts were created by trainers to justify charging their fees. If people just worked out efficiently, a lifting session should last about 20 mins. Trainers have to stretch it out in order to justify their fee.

People are ingrained to believe they have to be in the gym for at least an hour when in reality a lot of the time is wasted.

How long does your lifting session actually last (not counting cardio)?


about an hour


2-2.5 depending on how much socialising lol


Theoretically it doesn’t take very long to do a workout that would keep you in reasonable shape, and healthy. It depends upon the persons goal. Staying fit or a competitive bodybuilder? What split they train with, how many body parts you train/day
Also warm ups, pyramiding. It all takes time, but is an important part of a workout.

I generally take 40mins to 1.5hrs. It varies due to different phases of training. When I was younger I was quicker because I didn’t need as much warm ups.


About an 1.5 hours.


Necessary for what? I can get away with near 0 minute sessions for what is a necessity (maintaining bone density)

To look better than most at the beach?
In clothes?
To get on stage?
And not embarrass myself?
And win?



The length of the workout is, in large part, determined by the goals of the trainee and their time/conditioning at the moment.

Most of my workouts are 30 minutes or less, but I train with an extremely simple focus and admittedly may sacrifice some gains in doing so.

Competitive lifters of almost any type will likely have to train longer than that.


When competing or seriously needing to reach my potential? An hour and a half.

Now, doing plenty of rehab for a few issues and generally looking fit? An hour.

How’re those 20 minute sessions working out for you? Is Phil Heath in trouble any time soon?



Ab training takes me 10 seconds. I think about doing it and then decide not to. ez sauce. Efficiency on the daileee baby pls.


I spend 20 minutes foam rolling, hangs, body tempering and dynamic warm ups.

My warm up sets getting to my working weights can take a while. I’m not the strongest kid on the block, but at 50 years old and a 500 lb squat, I’m methodical about my warm ups. For example.

So, about 1.5 hours for me on squat day after accessories.

Deads for some reason go faster, as does heavy bench.


20 minutes? Is this a joke? That might work for those who are new to the gym, so that they can recover faster and be ready for the next workout; and they will gain anyway (noob gains). But if you are an intermediate lifter and above, there is no way you can progress from a 20 minutes lifting session.

My lifting session takes about an hour. Usually 15-30 minutes longer for bigger muscle groups like legs.


I have a theory that this theory was disproved
*Edit- by lifters far more experienced lifters than I


I’m not referring to time spent in the gym. I’m talking about actual time spent only lifting (no cardio, no foam rolling, no waiting for your turn, etc.)

The average actual time spent lifting is about 3 minutes. The rest of the time is rest minutes, warm ups, cardio, etc.


I’ve got to started following your log


what’s the benefit from filling a log?


I reckon you can manage to get a decent amount of work done in 20 minutes… let’s go with the press:

OHP 8x1@90% 30s rest
[5 min]

Superset: Close Grip OHP 3x6 / chin 3x10 30s rest
[5 min: 10 min total]

Dips: 3x20
3 way lat raise: 3x20
[8 min: 18 minutes]

2 minutes to change weight around. You warm up by ramping then press - 2 to 3 sets.


Reach down here and feel mine I’ll let ya know…




I’m just going to say, that maybe I could have managed it in 20 mins when I was 14 years old. Can’t remember that far back :rofl::rofl::rofl:


Then don’t try and correct grown men Boy.