T Nation

5 Hour Workouts, Really?

Ok

So I hear and read all the time that we shouldn’t work out longer than 45 minutes. Sometimes I hear 1 hour and 15 minutes, but generally within that time period. So why is it that I hear athletes and actors preparing for movie roles say in interviews, “I’ve been doing 5 hour workouts 6 days a week” blah blah blah…What is the science behind this?

I thought there was a certain point that if we continue to workout it would be counter productive. Even if the workouts were separated into 5 different 1 hour long workouts a day…just please explain the science behind this to me. It’s something I was curious about because I hear contradicting things and I want to educate myself. Thanks for your time and responses guys and gals. Take care

Where the hell did you hear that garbage?

Hormonal drops take place close to the 60 minute mark. One hour is plenty of time to stimulate maximum hypertrophy (just ask the Doggcrapp guys!).

When you factor in all the conditioning work, cardio, sprinting, plyometrics, yoga and shit these people do, you get quite a long workout.

Just bust your ass for on hour and hit a couple sessions of cardio each week, eat large amounts of protein and you’re all set.

It’s simple. Think of a crash-diet, it’s kind of like that. A lot of actors do it just to get big for a movie, (Edward Norton = AHX, Gerald Butler = 300, etc.) It’s extremely bad for the body, and that’s why they generally only do it on a short-term basis only.

[quote]SSC wrote:
It’s simple. Think of a crash-diet, it’s kind of like that. A lot of actors do it just to get big for a movie, (Edward Norton = AHX, Gerald Butler = 300, etc.) It’s extremely bad for the body, and that’s why they generally only do it on a short-term basis only.[/quote]

Say what? I’m not exactly sure what you mean.

On the athletic side of it, you can easily witness pro athletes spending that much time “training” but often they’ll be playing mini-games that aren’t expending much energy and are more skill based. That plus any specific skill practice, then team practice, plus any lifting or off field work adds up to most of an athletes day. That or they’re counting the amount of time they spend goofing around in the locker room, and signing autographs as training.

[quote]derek wrote:
One hour is plenty of time to stimulate maximum hypertrophy (just ask the Doggcrapp guys!).
[/quote]

My workouts with DC take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours due to progressive warm-ups and adequate rest periods.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
derek wrote:
One hour is plenty of time to stimulate maximum hypertrophy (just ask the Doggcrapp guys!).

My workouts with DC take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours due to progressive warm-ups and adequate rest periods.[/quote]

Same here. I just can’t fit my routine in an hour without seriously dropping the weight.

We can all work out for 5 hours a day… the question is “how hard are we working”? I would love so see anybody do a leg workout we do for 5 hours…even if it was just squating the empty bar.

2-3 warmups, 1 all-out set and 2 RP for chest. If that takes 20 minutes I’d have to ask what you are doing in the gym.

Then a total of 5 bodyparts x 20 minutes each = 100 minutes which is about 1.5 hours.

From this site;

"The biggest challenge is feeling like I haven’t done enough. In less than an hour, I got through chest, shoulder, tris, and back width/thickness. even though I left the gym totally and completely wiped (on the verge of puking, actually), some part of my brain kept telling me that I hadn’t done enough.

The benefit is that lately I have been loafing through workouts. Saving my energy for the “next set” that never seems to come.

With DC, you have 11-15 reps to give every shred of energy to. No pacing yourself and I am loving the hell out of it.

Will keep you posted."

And this;

"Want to do more? No fucking way. Felt like I wasn’t doing enough is more like it. The transition from 15-20 sets per bodypart to 2-4 warmups and then one work set just takes some getting used to.

Focus is incredible. When you know you only have one work set, you hone in like a laser."

1.5 to 2 hours is too long.

[quote]baseballbody wrote:
Ok

So I hear and read all the time that we shouldn’t work out longer than 45 minutes. Sometimes I hear 1 hour and 15 minutes, but generally within that time period. So why is it that I hear athletes and actors preparing for movie roles say in interviews, “I’ve been doing 5 hour workouts 6 days a week” blah blah blah…What is the science behind this?

I thought there was a certain point that if we continue to workout it would be counter productive. Even if the workouts were separated into 5 different 1 hour long workouts a day…just please explain the science behind this to me. It’s something I was curious about because I hear contradicting things and I want to educate myself. Thanks for your time and responses guys and gals. Take care[/quote]

Well, as far as athletes go, I suppose “training” sessions could go long if they’re practicing motor patterns or specific skills for a good chunk of it. A basketball player practicing dribbling or shooting for 45 minutes is a far cry from a lifter doing squats for 45 minutes.

The 45 minute Limit is more science based then anything. Even many pro body builders that stap at 45 minutes, built the base of their mass with workouts a couple of hours long.
The 60 minute thing as someon said earlier is more hormone based then anything. Just that your testorone/cortisol ratio peaks around that time period.

What it doesn’t tell you is that, the amount of test you get during the workout is not used to build any of the muscles your working during your workout.

Testosterone has many functions one is protein synthesis, but another is increased energy, and concentration. So the science theory is that you can lift the heaviest weight within that 60 minute window. What these studies never mention is the amount of hypertrophy. Just because your not lifting your max 2 hours later doesn’t mean your not damaging your muscle fibers enough to grow.

This also has to do with the sport of bodybuilding. The goal of a bodybuilder is to have maximum muscle, symetry, aesthetics, proportion and minimum fat. A Baseball players, or other athletes goal is different. It takes multiple reps for a skill to become automatic, so hours are fine.

The last thing you have to remember is cycles. Just like some people go to bootcamp get bigger stronger and more cut, but their body can’t go through that forever. An overtraining cycle can be very productive.

[quote]hockechamp14 wrote:
SSC wrote:
It’s simple. Think of a crash-diet, it’s kind of like that. A lot of actors do it just to get big for a movie, (Edward Norton = AHX, Gerald Butler = 300, etc.) It’s extremely bad for the body, and that’s why they generally only do it on a short-term basis only.

Say what? I’m not exactly sure what you mean.

On the athletic side of it, you can easily witness pro athletes spending that much time “training” but often they’ll be playing mini-games that aren’t expending much energy and are more skill based. That plus any specific skill practice, then team practice, plus any lifting or off field work adds up to most of an athletes day. That or they’re counting the amount of time they spend goofing around in the locker room, and signing autographs as training.[/quote]

Ah, I overlooked the OP talking about athletes, I was mainly just talking about when actors try and get big fast for a role.

[quote]derek wrote:
2-3 warmups, 1 all-out set and 2 RP for chest. If that takes 20 minutes I’d have to ask what you are doing in the gym.

Then a total of 5 bodyparts x 20 minutes each = 100 minutes which is about 1.5 hours.

From this site;

"The biggest challenge is feeling like I haven’t done enough. In less than an hour, I got through chest, shoulder, tris, and back width/thickness. even though I left the gym totally and completely wiped (on the verge of puking, actually), some part of my brain kept telling me that I hadn’t done enough.

The benefit is that lately I have been loafing through workouts. Saving my energy for the “next set” that never seems to come.

With DC, you have 11-15 reps to give every shred of energy to. No pacing yourself and I am loving the hell out of it.

Will keep you posted."

And this;

"Want to do more? No fucking way. Felt like I wasn’t doing enough is more like it. The transition from 15-20 sets per bodypart to 2-4 warmups and then one work set just takes some getting used to.

Focus is incredible. When you know you only have one work set, you hone in like a laser."

1.5 to 2 hours is too long.

[/quote]

If 2-3 warm up sets is all you need for chest, then you are either too weak to be dc’ing in the first place or you arent warming up adequately. Try 5-8 warm ups which will take between 10 and 15 minutes, then your rp sets which will take about 2 minutes to do, rest, stretch, which takes another 1-3 minutes. Thats for something simple like chest.

Quads will be anywhere from 5-10 warm ups with rest so about 2 minutes total per warmup set, heavy straight set, adequate rest, widowmaker which will take 2-3 minutes, rest, stretch 1-3 minutes. See what Im saying?

Im not pulling this out of my ass either. If you go to Dante’s forum, there are a lot of guys there who will tell you the exact same thing as me. If Scott were still on this board, he would tell you the same thing, Brendan Ryan would too.

[quote]Doggcrapp wrote:

1 hour and 30 mins usually on a good day and sometimes 2 hours on a busy 5pm-7pm gym day where people are always asking me advice or i have to wait for something. Rarely i can get it done in 1 hour and 15 minutes

[/quote]

[quote]baseballbody wrote:
Ok

So I hear and read all the time that we shouldn’t work out longer than 45 minutes. Sometimes I hear 1 hour and 15 minutes, but generally within that time period. So why is it that I hear athletes and actors preparing for movie roles say in interviews, “I’ve been doing 5 hour workouts 6 days a week” blah blah blah…What is the science behind this?

I thought there was a certain point that if we continue to workout it would be counter productive. Even if the workouts were separated into 5 different 1 hour long workouts a day…just please explain the science behind this to me. It’s something I was curious about because I hear contradicting things and I want to educate myself. Thanks for your time and responses guys and gals. Take care[/quote]

The 45mins comes from the fact catabolic hormones can be increased after that amount of time RESISTANCE training. This is undesireable from a pure hypertrophy standpoint.
The “actors” etc are probably doing a whole assortment of exercise, with high, med, low and active rest intensity days/sessions. As do athletes. Not just bench and curls!

It is now known that a mix of BCAA’s and Glucose in water can extend your weight-training workout beyond HIT times to get in that fanatic volume we like to do, without cortisol etc being a bitch.

Joe

My thoughts from my own experience (not necessarily for everybody…)

is, I get the best results when I train as hard as possible for as long as it takes me to get whatever I planned to get done done. If that takes me 2 hours one day and really saps me of energy, I’ll just eat more.

Simple as that for me.

I’ll occasionally sit at the gym for 2 hours, because I’m enjoying it so much - usually a Friday where I can recover for 2 days.

There are a few Polish guys at my gym who train over 2 hours, and you cannot argue with the results of these guys since they are putting up big number are weighing over 250lbs.

Whatever works for you, really.

It’s a myth that you can’t workout for more than 45 minutes without some kind of hormonal crash robbing you of gains. And a pretty ludicrous one at that that defies common sense and a even just a little bit of personal experience. Particularly, if peri-workout nutrition is appropriate, longer workouts are fine. That is not to say, a lot of progress can’t be made with short, intense workouts.

5 hours is too much for almost everyone. And I am sure they are counting cardio, of which they’d be doing a lot to lean down for a movie. Plus, exagerration gets attention. They are being paid in part to promote their movies, you know.

Athletes may well work out 5 hours in a day. It’s not typically all at the same time. I know when I ran track in college, there were some days when I trained 3 times. A morning base mileage session. An afternoon workout. And an upper-body lifting session whatever time I could fit it in with whatever else was going on.

My workouts normally last about 1.25 to 1.5 hours. I give myself adequate rest between sets and workouts (not a whole bunch, but enough to give it my all every time). But really, it boils down to this: getting my 5 or 6 exercises done with good form, good energy, and solid production.