T Nation

How Many Hours you LIFT a Week?

I know the question of how long you spend in gym has been asked quite often but I was curious as to how many hours everyone lifts per week. Not time spent doing mobility work or stretching or cardio, but actual lifting.

I found out I spend about 200 to 210 minutes, or about 3.5 hours of actual weight lifting, and wondering how everyone else compares.

The specifics matter little because of genetic differences, but I can guarantee you the bigger lifters here (those who people would look at and think “bodybuilder or football player”) are the ones who spend more overall time in the gym (ie. upwards of 4 hours a week).

[quote]Professor X wrote:
The specifics matter little because of genetic differences, but I can guarantee you the bigger lifters here (those who people would look at and think “bodybuilder or football player”) are the ones who spend more overall time in the gym (ie. upwards of 4 hours a week).[/quote]

I’ve seen this, the 2 biggest guys at the gym are there 4-6x a week, for up to 2 hours at a time. That’s why I think the whole “don’t lift for longer than an hour” thing is bull.

I’m currently doing 5-6 hours a week of lifting.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
Professor X wrote:
The specifics matter little because of genetic differences, but I can guarantee you the bigger lifters here (those who people would look at and think “bodybuilder or football player”) are the ones who spend more overall time in the gym (ie. upwards of 4 hours a week).

I’ve seen this, the 2 biggest guys at the gym are there 4-6x a week, for up to 2 hours at a time. That’s why I think the whole “don’t lift for longer than an hour” thing is bull.

I’m currently doing 5-6 hours a week of lifting.[/quote]

The DC guys seems to be progressing very well with little time in the gym.

But I agree that in general the guys who train longer usually have a better builds, but I think it has more with them being dedicated to bodybuilding than just the time factor. Generally speaking people who only want to train 2-3 times per week for about an hour do not want to be bothered eating every couple of hours and preparing their meals ahead of time. That being said if they did have the “outside the gym” dedication shown by serious bodybuilders they could probably make considerably better gains than they currently are with the same time they are currently putting in.

Usually anywhere from 6-8 hours currently.

[quote]Protoculture wrote:
RSGZ wrote:
Professor X wrote:
The specifics matter little because of genetic differences, but I can guarantee you the bigger lifters here (those who people would look at and think “bodybuilder or football player”) are the ones who spend more overall time in the gym (ie. upwards of 4 hours a week).

I’ve seen this, the 2 biggest guys at the gym are there 4-6x a week, for up to 2 hours at a time. That’s why I think the whole “don’t lift for longer than an hour” thing is bull.

I’m currently doing 5-6 hours a week of lifting.

The DC guys seems to be progressing very well with little time in the gym.

But I agree that in general the guys who train longer usually have a better builds, but I think it has more with them being dedicated to bodybuilding than just the time factor. Generally speaking people who only want to train 2-3 times per week for about an hour do not want to be bothered eating every couple of hours and preparing their meals ahead of time. That being said if they did have the “outside the gym” dedication shown by serious bodybuilders they could probably make considerably better gains than they currently are with the same time they are currently putting in.[/quote]

When training DC on the 2-way, 4 hours or slightly above per week are the amount of time I spend lifting… You need to take your time between bodyparts (esp. stuff like chest, delts, tris) or else your performance will suffer a lot… And the stronger you get the longer you take to finish your sessions due to extended breaks between bodyparts, longer extreme-stretching and even longer sets (due to higher RP ranges or even re-fastening of your straps between reps of rack pulls and such).

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
Professor X wrote:
The specifics matter little because of genetic differences, but I can guarantee you the bigger lifters here (those who people would look at and think “bodybuilder or football player”) are the ones who spend more overall time in the gym (ie. upwards of 4 hours a week).

I’ve seen this, the 2 biggest guys at the gym are there 4-6x a week, for up to 2 hours at a time. That’s why I think the whole “don’t lift for longer than an hour” thing is bull.

I’m currently doing 5-6 hours a week of lifting.[/quote]

If you are eating enough to support it, training longer than an hour may not hurt you. However, this is highly individual. I just got back from training my back. It took me about 45min and I was wiped out. If I had thrown in another body part it would have been trained with much less intensity as a result. I didn’t stop at 45min because I thought I had trained too long. I stopped because I was done.

I’ve known some guys who can make progress training several hours a day but they are the minority. The ones I have known also eat like a rhinoceros when they aren’t in the gym, much of it not “clean” food. They just compensate for it with the weights lifted.

My chest and shoulder workouts last about 40-50 mins. Where my back workout last about an hour. My leg day pushes 90 mins. Im really trying to hammer my legs. I started this routine in September and felt that it was taking forever for me to recover from these high volume days, but now im used to it and ready to go in a few days. Im also eating a minimum of 4,700 cals daily, so thats definintly helping me.

I’m in the gym for around 2 hours a day on back/shoulders or chest/arms days. Legs only take about an hour. I lift 5 days a week. People say that it’s too long, but I’m making gains pretty fast and I train 2 body parts a workout so that I can hit back and shoulders twice a week.

If I were to add in the stretching and mobility work I do, I’m prolly closer to 4.5 hours. My weight lifting is typically 45 minutes long though, and I’m on a 4 day split with a fifth day of circuit style higher rep full body. I have gotten good results but I remember before I would probably spend upwards of 6 hours a week lifting weights and my body didn’t respond as well. So I think I really agree with the first thing Prof X said.

I’ll do what gets me results, and these semi shorter sessions with less rest (sometimes) seems to be working for me. I know everyone will be different, I am just curious how everyone’s week is set out like.

7-8 hours. Dang.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
If you are eating enough to support it, training longer than an hour may not hurt you. However, this is highly individual. I just got back from training my back. It took me about 45min and I was wiped out. If I had thrown in another body part it would have been trained with much less intensity as a result. I didn’t stop at 45min because I thought I had trained too long. I stopped because I was done.

I’ve known some guys who can make progress training several hours a day but they are the minority. The ones I have known also eat like a rhinoceros when they aren’t in the gym, much of it not “clean” food. They just compensate for it with the weights lifted.[/quote]

I have to eat a LOT on training days(as do all of us) before I go to the gym, but not because I won’t grow, but because otherwise I wouldn’t have enough energy to get through the workout. Coupled with cycling 5 hours a week it (1 hour a day), it makes it quite hard to get all the calories in a lot of the time.

I usually train anywhere between 45min and 2 hours, some workouts obviously take longer/shorter as others have pointed out, but it is absolutely individual. I tend to also take slightly longer breaks between sets, so this adds to total time taken.

Most of the time though, the guys that make the least progress (from what I’ve seen), are the guys that are in there for less than 30 minutes. This one guy has been going to the same gym as me for over 1.5 years, and he looks EXACTLY the same, skinny self he did as when he started. He barely works up a sweat, and he’s always in and out in under 30 min. He’s not the only one.

[quote]PF_88 wrote:
…I have gotten good results but I remember before I would probably spend upwards of 6 hours a week lifting weights and my body didn’t respond as well. So I think I really agree with the first thing Prof X said.[/quote]

Out of interest, did you increase your caloric intake when training more and longer?

[quote]
I’ll do what gets me results, and these semi shorter sessions with less rest (sometimes) seems to be working for me. I know everyone will be different, I am just curious how everyone’s week is set out like.[/quote]

As long as they work for YOU, then that’s all that counts. I’m not trying to say that training for short(er) periods of time is not going to work, or produce sub-par results.

4-6hours lifting

6-8 hours

About 4-4.5 hours a week, three workouts a week, kind of total body (one day with front squats, one with deadlifts, other just upper body and abs), because pullups are my main goal right now. Toss in pullups, ab, neck work and working towards one-arm pushups on two other days, and maybe I’m closer to six hours or so.

4.5 - 6 hrs a week, but it varies. some days if i’m totalty smoked i will stop early, on others i feel so good i’ll just keep going for longer. it comes down to a very individual thing. the biggest guy in our gym, must be over 250lbs, only trains twice a week nowadays, but it is for 2.5 hours a time.

About 3.5-4 hours on average.

When I was younger I would put in 9 or 10 hours a week like it was nothing. Now that I’m a ripe old 28, I find I can’t recover from that as well. That probably has to do with the increases in stress, lack of sleep etc, lack of free time, that have changed place since I was a teenager. However, I think intensity matters more than time. If you lift heavy and hard, you’ll see results. If you don’t, spending 3 hours a day won’t do shit.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
PF_88 wrote:
…I have gotten good results but I remember before I would probably spend upwards of 6 hours a week lifting weights and my body didn’t respond as well. So I think I really agree with the first thing Prof X said.

Out of interest, did you increase your caloric intake when training more and longer?

I’ll do what gets me results, and these semi shorter sessions with less rest (sometimes) seems to be working for me. I know everyone will be different, I am just curious how everyone’s week is set out like.

As long as they work for YOU, then that’s all that counts. I’m not trying to say that training for short(er) periods of time is not going to work, or produce sub-par results.[/quote]

When I trained like that before my caloric intake was most likely less (I weigh more now so I have to eat more) but the same ratio to my bodyweight. The difference would probably be that my diet is cleaner now, I cheat less and eat more whole food compared to processed.

I should also mention, that on top of my current workout regime, I do about on average 3 hours of cardio, not really by choice (enrolled in a fitness program in college). So in between semesters I will probably up my lifting weight time, and lower my cardio time.