T Nation

16 Hour Workout vs 2 Hour Workout

Hi CT.

If we sit all day, we become very good at sitting, i.e. fat, weak, slow, kyphotic, generally unhealthy and about the furthest thing from an athlete. The same goes for every other skill I can think of. Do it often without burning out, and you improve very quickly.

I’m considering the same approach for lifting/athletic performance, and hope to get your take on it.

Let’s say you have all day to do whatever you want, and instead of cramming all your lifting into 1-2 hours, and spending the remaining 22-23 doing a combination of sitting/inactivity and sleeping, you decide to perform a heavy lift every half an hour or so.

The clean to push press probably uses more muscle than any other barbell lift I can think of (and requires less skill than the clean and jerk), so I’ll use it in order to get the most bang for my buck.

If I did 70-80% of my 1 RM every half an hour for my entire waking day (disregard breaks for eating in this example), would this be a more effective way to build strength, efficiency and promote hypertrophy, than, for instance, doing the equivalent volume of work in 1-2 hours? Would it be enough of a stimulus if you were always completely “fresh” before each lift?

If your goal is to maximise performance, wouldn’t it be best to let your body know you need to be ready to lift at all times?

When I was at my fittest, throughout my teens, I was active all the time - I walked to school. When I got to school, I played some sort of sport before class even started. I played sport between classes, for phys ed class, at every break, and for after school training and matches. After I walked home, I played more sport (particularly in summer). At the weekends… you guessed it. Basically I was active all damn day for years. I was fast, strong, indestructible, and ready to go at a moments notice.

This cannot be coincidental. What are your thoughts?

In this example is this 1 day per week or every day of the week ?

I suppose as often as possible. Perhaps a Monday through Friday setup, like a typical working week. Weekends off as life is still important.

I almost hesitate to share this because I dont know if he supports it or not still… But he actually wrote something on this years ago:


Sort by “Oldest First” to read it in order. Understand that you only pick one exercise in the main exercise, and you are generally working up to a weight you can still accelerate (the bar speed gets faster throughout the rep)for all 3 reps and then stopping… meaning NO WHERE CLOSE TO GRINDING. The trade off for the hyper-frequency is you must lower the intensity in a similar fashion, thus you never really approach anything close to a gut-busting set.

Obviously you need to work at a gym or have a home gym and work there or something. This isnt something you could do otherwise.

CT Let me know if you would rather not have this out here and I’ll delete the link


Thanks for that. “micro session” is the perfect term to describe what I meant.

I’m thinking that instead of battering your body for 2 hours once a day, and then taking another whole day for your body to repair and improve, why not do just enough work to stimulate, but also little enough work so that your body can do all the repair and rebuilding within the rest periods between micro sessions, or at least within the day itself.

This assumes that the rate at which the body can repair and improve is inversely proportional to the level of stimulation and “damage”, and not absolute or requiring certain conditions, for example sleep.

Of course, sleep is essential, whether or not one is an athlete, so let’s assume that even when working out in this fashion, 8 hours of sleep is still taking place. It’s maximising the 16 or so waking hours that I’m concerned with.

I had a job where i worked a 12 hours shift, and lifted tires between 35 to 100 pounds , around 200 of them per shift and in process of the tire it had to be lifted 3 time’s , i will compare process to exercises to simplify. 1 pick up to shoulders throw forward, 2 upright row tire push through rollers , 3 pick up and put on 3 foot high conveyor. In oppressive heat and humidity. After a shift i walked out their like old man. My biceps, abs , calves are very developed (slow twitch muscles ) , but it has negative impact on my presses squat etc. Probably same with construction guys , packing house etc. Now look how the most powerful animals live as well as neanderthal big hunt, may last 48 hours , get meat , eat sleep , and get random
Berries, nuts etc between hunts. Now there is something called muscle spinning , that they use on actors , to blow them up for roles. They lift do beach muscle exercises 5,6 time’s a day , as well as im sure some help, and eat like 6 times a day go from looking average to big caps and arms in a month. Anyway the the ussr weightlifting program trained 6 days a week 2 twice a day, but no job good doping. But they only last till about 28. Look at gymnastics they are over the hill at 18 , train 4 hours 6 days a week, from young age.