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I often hear (usually from the beginner or non gym goer) “you must work out for a couple hours a day”. This in fact couldn’t be further from the truth.

I try to keep my workouts between 40 minutes and an hour, not only because I’m often short of time – but also as it has been shown to be beneficial to keep your workouts relatively short. Besides, if you’re spending your time efficiently in the gym, you should get more than enough done in this time. Putting a time limit will also encourage you to plough through your workout, increasing the intensity and benefits.

There is often spoken of a golden 45 minutes (not including your warm up), after roughly which time it becomes increasingly counterproductive to work out. Essentially your body produces testosterone in response to lifting weights – which is helpful – after around 45 minutes these hormone levels start to tail off and muscle catabolism starts taking place. (In a nutshell your body reverts to a state of stress and begins turning to muscle and vital nutrients for energy – not helpful at all).

This is clearly an extremely blanket statement, obviously we all are biologically different. Some may still find results working out for 1hr plus. Our advice would be though, and from all we’ve read and heard; get a good 45 minutes to 1 hour in. This means leaving your phone in your locker, short rests and less chit chat. Save the nattering for over a shake afterwards. And if you are going to do some overtime, have a shake to hand or get a banana down to help minimise muscle catabolism.

As always, feel free to leave a comment on the website or tweet us @LDN_Muscle with what works for you, and any feedback on your experiences with this issue.