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Training Session Length?


How long should I be spending in the gym per session? I have read an hour max. but I cannot finish within an hour and I am usually there 90 minutes. My warm-up alone for the squat takes a good 10-15 minutes as I start with 10 reps with just the bar and then add 22lbs/10kg and reduce the reps until I get to my work set and then do 5x5. I also need 4-5 minutes rest between each set for the squat. I do the same warm-up for each exercise (all compounds) I do but with different weight adjustments.

Any opinions would be appreciated. Any info required to answer the question, just ask.


Including warm up, any cardio/conditioning and cool down usually takes 60-90 minutes. If you can get out sooner, great, but one hour exactly isn’t mandatory.


An hour and a half is fine. I usually go between that and two and a half depending what I’m doing and how rushed I am.

You don’t need that long between all your sets though. Working sets, sure. Warm-ups, not at all. Plus, if your work sets are fives why would you do more than that to warm up?


If I am lifiting 220lbs/100kg, 44lbs/20kg isn’t going to do much so I just get everything moving with 10 reps. I do 5 reps on the warm up sets from about 120lbs/60kg onwards. Less once I get to about 200/90kg. I only rest 4-5 mins between the work sets for the squats. I also have to rest 3-4 minutes for the press. The other exercises, not so much. 2-3 max.


The theory is that your testosterone and energy levels will drop after an hour of hard exercise. I aim for an hour but usually end up between 1.5-2 hours including warm up and any conditioning work.


You might do better starting off with something like Agile 8 to get everything moving, and then just work in fives from the bar upwards. Whatever works, though.


People tend to confuse an hour of being at the gym with an hour of training. If you are physically occupying the gym for 1 hour but resting 6 minutes between sets that only last 30 seconds, you aren’t training for an hour. You’re training for like 5 minutes. Most folks will be fine regardless of how much time they spend in the gym.


Although if you’re not an equipped lifter and you train alone I think of you’re there for three or more hours you’re plain inefficient. I know I was.


That depends upon the density of your work outs. If you are resting one minute between high rep sets, an hour sounds fine. But I have to rest three to four minutes between many of my sets, especially full body, compound motions. I don’t know how much of that is due to getting older or lifting more weight. If you include my squat ramp ups with my squat complex sets, that part of my workout can take me over a half hour.

And are you thin trying to build muscle or trying to lose weight? I have to exercise an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half to kick up my metabolism so I’m still burning fat outside the gym.


Hi! Thanks for your reply. I am not skinny but I am definitely not fat or even overweight. I rest 3-5 mins between sets and only do compound exercises too and I also do warm up sets on every exercise to build up to the 5x5 work sets. I think from reading the other comments, 90 minutes is probably justified.