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Amount of Time in a Workout


Hello All.

I apologize if this has been covered before, but I am new and searching yielding many many results with time and workout in it, like 1400 hits just on T-Nation. But, my question is about the length of time during a workout. I remember reading a couple articles, not here, and hearing many trainers say, if it takes over an hour it is too long. They state something about your testosterone degrades severly for most people.

Is this true? Along that lines, does that include cardio? Should I do that after a workout. FYI, I am trying to trim down (aka fat bastard) at the present moment.


First off, yes this has probably been covered a million times, but it is a GOOD question, and you used above average wording, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Since I can't give you a cookie, I'll answer briefly to the best of my abilities.

General consensus is to limit intense weight training sessions to 45-60 minutes. Some guys like only 30 minutes, some guys still go up to 2 hours. It depends on many factors such as nutrition, rest, intensity, frequency, etc. If training 3 times per week, 1.5 hours per session is probably ok. If training every day, keep it under 1 hour.

At this point, don't get bogged down with the details. So, don't worry about suppressing testosterone levels.

Regarding cardio, it sucks. There are better ways to lose fat. Note that I did not state easier, but better - higher intensity and lesser duration. There are ways to do this with weights or running or pushing cars and so on and so forth.

Finally, regarding what you heard many trainers say ... be careful. Just because someone gets paid to do a job, that doesn't mean they know what they are doing! Now, there are some VERY good professionals out there, but they are about as easy to find as an honest lawyer.



Generally, it's assumed that going over 45 minutes to an hour will be fairly catabolic for your muscles. So, if you aren't using any type of chemical assistance, you may want to limit your workouts.

However, different people react differently, so it isn't exactly a hard rule.

As for cardio, generally it is recommended in these parts that you do cardio after the workout -- so that you can devote your full energy to the lifting first.


As long as you're not protein fasted, I don't believe the length of time matters all that much. Early research showed changes in the hormone levels with longer workouts, but this is likely of little consequence.

Some people can't make it to the gym as much as they'd like, which warrants -no requires, longer sessions.

Having said that, you've been training for so long that you're fatigued, it's time to pack up.