T Nation

Long Workout Theory

On a rainy saturday I did my normal 1hr workout. My friend came in as I was about to leave since I had nothign better to do I stayed and spotted for me for his hr workout.

I noticed this huge older guy training people. I’ve seen him around before but never really noticed how long he was in the gym. So it’s been 2hrs in change now as he was there before I came to the gym.

Being a crappy day out I decided to talk to him see if I could learn some stuff. The thing I was most curious about was the 2hr+ plus workouts he was having everybody do. These people were big.

So I asked and told him how I read you should do short workouts consisting of about an 1hr. The guy let out this barreling laugh. Then was like seriously these magazines and online sites tell people what they want to hear. A hour long workout is very good especially if you don’t have time for anything else but if you can do more you should learn to do more you’ll get bigger benefits. I have some guys who train up to 3hrs and do an am/pm split.

The problem is most people go about training long wrong they jump right into it and this leads to exhaustion. It’s like having a person want to be a marathon runner and run a full 25miles to start rather then building themself up half a mile every week. You have to build yourself up.

Well that was the big question figured I would shareit since this is a bodybuilding forum.

Few other things I asked.

Full body vs split training: He said both are important and needed. full body tends to build more overall mass and power while splits better muscle definition and indivual muscle size.

am/pm training: If you can do it you should always do it he recommends.

High reps vs low reps: Thinks they are both important if you want to really be developed to need to mix these up. As well as it helps prevent injury

How long to do a weightlifting cycle: He believes 3 weeks it takes till you muscles can full benefit froma routine but favors doing a routine towards 4 weeks.

He believes very strongly in changing routines every 4 weeks as it helps develop muscle faster and prevent injury he believes.

As for his insanely long train routines he believes just like his training cycles this should be and on and off sort of thing. He only does long routines with full body or a multi muscle split. He thinks if you focus one muscle for an hr plus it’s overkill.

“Full body vs split training: He said both are important and needed. full body tends to build more overall mass and power while splits better muscle definition and indivual muscle size.”

This is pretty oversimplified. Full Body is generally better for building more muscle for beginners and intermediates. I’ve never seen a 250 mass monster recommending TBT.

"He believes very strongly in changing routines every 4 weeks as it helps develop muscle faster and prevent injury he believes. "

4 weeks is way to short to drastically change a routine. IF you want to make slight changes, that’s fine. But if you drastically change the proram every 4 weeks, you won’t give you body enough time to adjust and build up some impressive weight on any particular exercise.

I live by the 1 hour mark cuz it’s all I need in the weight room to grow. Could I grow by spending 2-3 hours in the weight room? Maybe, but I bet I’ll waste alot more time sitting around not lifting. How intense is this guys “3 hour training session”. I bet he gets tons of rest cuz there is no way someone can lift with intensity for 2-3 hours straight. It’s fine if you wanna spend your whole day there, but it’s just not for most people. Not a quality use of time.

I’m not trying to knock lengthy sessions, but I think they’re more for people who have nothing else to do or are professional atheletes/BBer’s.

I would say, (for me personally at least) that I can’t maintain the level of intensity I want for over 2 hours while working out. I guess at some point working out for 2 hours but loosing a lot of intensity along the way might yield diminishing returns. But if you can workout intensity and bust your ass for 2 straight hours then go for it.

He obviously gets paid by the hour.

[quote]Blacken wrote:

Being a crappy day out I decided to talk to him see if I could learn some stuff. The thing I was most curious about was the 2hr+ plus workouts he was having everybody do. These people were big.

So I asked and told him how I read you should do short workouts consisting of about an 1hr. The guy let out this barreling laugh. Then was like seriously these magazines and online sites tell people what they want to hear. A hour long workout is very good especially if you don’t have time for anything else but if you can do more you should learn to do more you’ll get bigger benefits. I have some guys who train up to 3hrs and do an am/pm split.

The problem is most people go about training long wrong they jump right into it and this leads to exhaustion. It’s like having a person want to be a marathon runner and run a full 25miles to start rather then building themself up half a mile every week. You have to build yourself up.

Well that was the big question figured I would shareit since this is a bodybuilding forum.

Few other things I asked.

Full body vs split training: He said both are important and needed. full body tends to build more overall mass and power while splits better muscle definition and indivual muscle size.

am/pm training: If you can do it you should always do it he recommends.

High reps vs low reps: Thinks they are both important if you want to really be developed to need to mix these up. As well as it helps prevent injury

How long to do a weightlifting cycle: He believes 3 weeks it takes till you muscles can full benefit froma routine but favors doing a routine towards 4 weeks.

He believes very strongly in changing routines every 4 weeks as it helps develop muscle faster and prevent injury he believes.

As for his insanely long train routines he believes just like his training cycles this should be and on and off sort of thing. He only does long routines with full body or a multi muscle split. He thinks if you focus one muscle for an hr plus it’s overkill.[/quote]

Building up the volume is just one way of many to increase muscle mass. It depends on the individual, it’s workload capacity, how he builds it up, and what he’s using to handle that capacity. He chose the volume road to be big, he mastered his domain and he surely progressed over it. Other guys could’ve progressed by doing the same volume over their training years and focusing on lifting progressively heavier loads. The key is progression.

From what you said, he seems to be much smarter than the average trainer out there. But, as for the long workout theory, heres what I think.

You can do long workouts or you can do intense workouts, but you cant do both.

Now when I say “intense”, i dont just mean the % or 1rm. I mean %of 1rm, shortness of rest breaks, how close to failure, etc.

Picture these two scenarios:

A) Your doing a full body routine, 6 exercises (A-F) no supersets, and long rest breaks.

So you start with a set of squats, your doing 3x8 or 4x6. And youve set your rest breaks at 3 minutes, but who knows, you might be resting up to 5 minutes. This one exercise could take you 20-30 minutes. Thus the six exercises might take 2-3 hours.

B) Your doing a full body routines, 6 exercises (A-F), supersets, and short rest breaks.

So you start with Squats and chinups, your doing 3x8 or 4x6. And you are taking no rest between A and B, and then 2 minutes rest after B before going back to A. So for your first two exercises it might take you 10-15 minutes. The whole workout will take 45 minutes to an hour.


Each method has advantages.

A)

  • You can use higher weights for each set
  • You can chat with your trainer or the hotties
  • Your trainer will get paid more
  • If you enjoy training, you get to spend more time in the gym.

B)

  • Greater metabolic stress, not only increasing LBM, but also decreasing fat, increasing cardio capabilities.
  • You dont have to spend as much time in the gym if you dont want to.

The point is, both methods will work if you do them right. It just depends what works better for you. But I can tell you for sure, you cant work out with equal intensity, and density for longer durations.

The reason most websites and magazines suggest workouts of around 45 mintues, is because there is research that leads to this suggestion, and it will work better for 99.9% of trainees. If both methods can work if done right, and most trainees dont have 2+ hours to train a day, possibly twice a day, why recomend what wont work best for them?

[quote]derek wrote:
He obviously gets paid by the hour.[/quote]

Agreed.

I’m usually wiped after 45 mins of hard lifting.

What do you do for 2-3 hrs? I can see if you’re like 10 mins in between sets, but I don’t get how people spend that much timing lifting.

What can you possibly do for 3 hours? Use every machine in the gym? Twice?

Last month, my training partner and I were on a TBT program I made myself. Day 3 was 6x3 on squat followed by 4x8 on push press. It was a total of 10 sets for the session, but we did it heavy and certainly couldn’t do anything after the last set of push press…

how are Squats and push Press considered TBT?
Maybe, I’m not down with some of this site’s lingo, but I thought TBT meant total body?

[quote]analog_kid wrote:
What can you possibly do for 3 hours? Use every machine in the gym? Twice?

[/quote]

As ridiculous as it sounds, I know someone who spends that amount of time. I see him on Mondays, chest day, so he’ll start off with dumbbell bench press, then inclines, then flies, then decline press.

Next, he’ll go workout on the chest machines for more sets and exercises and this is not to say that I am just following him around or looking at him, but when I bump into him, he is dead serious explaining all his workout for chest.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
how are Squats and push Press considered TBT?
Maybe, I’m not down with some of this site’s lingo, but I thought TBT meant total body?[/quote]

Really, just the fact that he’s doing an Upper Body exercise and a Lower Body exercise in the same workout.

IMO the Clean and Press is a TBT workout all by itself!

I won’t go 3 hours without eating something.

That’s enough for me to stick with the 1hr mark. lol maybe 1hr 15 mins sometimes.

DGERDY

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
how are Squats and push Press considered TBT?
Maybe, I’m not down with some of this site’s lingo, but I thought TBT meant total body?[/quote]

There seems to be a trend going on, whereby total body workouts must consist of as few exercises as possible… I remember the Arthur Jones way of doing TBT and it was like 8-12 exercises and was still possible to do in about 1 hour and 15 minutes…

While I think that that is nothing for advanced guys, it was at least somewhat useful for bodybuilding (compared to the “new” tbt) and avoiding the creation of weaknesses…

[quote]Dirty Gerdy wrote:
I won’t go 3 hours without eating something.

That’s enough for me to stick with the 1hr mark. lol maybe 1hr 15 mins sometimes.

DGERDY[/quote]

Same here, I’d be starving after 2-2.5 hours…

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
There seems to be a trend going on, whereby total body workouts must consist of as few exercises as possible… I remember the Arthur Jones way of doing TBT and it was like 8-12 exercises and was still possible to do in about 1 hour and 15 minutes…
[/quote]

Actually 40 minutes or so. Some HIT workouts are considerable shorter.

[quote]derek wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
There seems to be a trend going on, whereby total body workouts must consist of as few exercises as possible… I remember the Arthur Jones way of doing TBT and it was like 8-12 exercises and was still possible to do in about 1 hour and 15 minutes…

Actually 40 minutes or so. Some HIT workouts are considerable shorter.
[/quote]

I was talking about the stuff he wrote in the “nautilus bulletins” 1&2, that’s all I know about his work.

Do you have any links to more of his stuff? Not that I’m gonna change from DC to HIT (ha!), but it’s interesting to read, anyway.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
jehovasfitness wrote:
… I remember the Arthur Jones way of doing TBT and it was like 8-12 exercises and was still possible to do in about 1 hour and 15 minutes…
[/quote]

Arthur Jones created a business model. Shorter workouts, less crowded, more members…

[quote]derek wrote:
He obviously gets paid by the hour.[/quote]

Must be. The train long not hard must be the worst bodybuilding philosophy ever

[quote]Player wrote:
derek wrote:
He obviously gets paid by the hour.

Must be. The train long not hard must be the worst bodybuilding philosophy ever[/quote]

Extreme training- extreme results.

Yo take to the extreme either one or the other, you take both to extremes:

OVERKILL.