T Nation

Workout Times/Volume for Natural Man?

I have been reading a PDF on Hypertrophy training for a natural man and it says that after around 45 minutes your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol that can not only stop you gaining mass but lower your LBM if you increasingly induce your cortisol levels with extended training periods.

I have been worndering if I should lower my workout load so that I am done in 40 minutes or less.

This is my back and shoulder routine today for example:

Straight leg deadlift

Warmup set 10-12 reps

working set 10-12 reps

Working set 6-8 reps

Upright row

Warmup set 10-12 reps

working set 10-12 reps

Working set 6-8 reps

Pullups 4 sets

Shrugs 4 sets

Barbell rows

Warmup set 10-12 reps

working set 10-12 reps

Working set 6-8 reps

shoulder press

Warmup set 10-12 reps

working set 10-12 reps

Working set 6-8 reps

Is this the optimum kind of training for someone who is not on any PED’s?

Lots of really smart and knowledgeable lifters and trainers have recommended shorter workout sessions over the years; usually the recommendation is to keep them under 45 minutes to an hour. I can’t tell you whether it’s ‘optimal’ though.

FWIW, this same advice came from multiple schools of lifting, trainers that pretty much didn’t agree on anything else in their training philosophies.

So, given that experienced advice, I personally keep my workouts under an hour.

I know Darden over at EliteFTS talks about going for up to several hours on one session a week for strongman but that’s ONE session, and it involves a lot of setting up equipment and stuff, which would stress time out. I know when I tried a public gym my sessions were longer than an hour but that was a lot of waiting for equipment to free up.

Now that I workout in my shed, I’m usually done in 40 minutes or so including warmup. I’ve tried going longer (by doing more lifts) and it just feels like I’m pissing into the wind-I’m too fatigued to lift well by the end of it.

I don’t feel experienced enough to comment on your actual routine.

Don’t know about anyone else but I find straight leg deadlifts work my hamstrings a lot. I would substitute with good mornings if you dont want to do standard deadlifts. Maybe try rack deadlifts from knees up.

Hopefully someone more experience will be able to better guide you but thats my 0.02c

A couple things:

1- your body uses cortisol for a whole host of things. It is not “bad”. People for some reason try to classify various hormones as either “good” or “bad” when the vast majority of them are used for a lot of different things. Cortisol is involved in the sleep cycle, for example.

2- A lot of people lift a lot longer than 45mins-1 hour and see great results. There’s a bunch of different ways to “skin the cat” so to speak

3- Understanding that, a lot of people will spend endless hours in the gym doing nothing productive. This is obviously not going to be effective.

4- A lot of people would be better off limiting what they do in the gym, and focusing on the lifts they are doing. Plus, if you can have great results in 45 mins-1 hour, what’s the point of training longer than that?

Personally, I don’t watch a clock or time my rest periods or anything like that. I know what I’m going to do when I get to the gym, so I go in and do it. Sometimes that takes 30 mins, sometimes almost an hour. It usually is around 45 mins though.

You lift as long as it takes to finish what you had to do that workout with whatever rest time periods you like to do it with. Do NOT walk out of the gym not finishing your session just because you hit the 45 minute mark.

If you want to use a longer session, you can take say perhaps a 15 min break. For example when you use longer rest periods perhaps for max strength work or more importantly powermeterics and plyometrics 45 mins workout session get quite unrealistic.

But then you are resting most of the time, so it is not really that much different.

Also you may not wish to include the warm up or cool down within th3 45 mins. So it is more like slighly over an hour really at the least with a long careful warm up. (i.e. some cardio).

Obviously can warm up with lighter sets too.

Thank you T Nation, love to everyone for the responses. I am joining a gym tomorrow so can do legs :smiley: finally don’t have to work out at home. This is my routine as of tomorrow.

Back and shoulders

Upright row
Barbell row


Leg curl
Leg press
Calf raises
Decline crunches or ab raises

chest and tris

Incline db bench press
flat db bench press
Cable flies
Tricep EZ curl overhead extensions
Tricep single hand extension pulldown

AB raises
Decline sit ups

Biceps and forearms

Chin ups
Seated curls
concentration curls
forearm raises
forearm curls

Well excited, night guys.

Good luck at the gym, I remember my first time was overwhelming but overall I had a great time. By far the best investment I have ever made.

people are still going on about this 45mins bullshit?

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
people are still going on about this 45mins bullshit?[/quote]

I read if these kinda threads stay active for 1 1/2 weeks, your cortisol levels rise while reading them.

i wurkt owt fur 46 minutez tonite and i can haz kidnees popped!!

…fuckin’ cortisol!

Your input was highly valued.