There was a time during the glory days of being an undergraduate that I lived in the weight room. I’d lift for at minimum an hour and at most, maybe two.
It was a lot, but being that I had few responsibilities and several buddies within whispering distance of UE’s plus-sized weight room, I didn’t mind.
Now, I’m not Type A about much, but I am about my body. And as such, I’m able to look back at training spreadsheets from those years. Guess how much more productive work I was getting done than I do now?
Here are 3 reasons I don’t workout for more than 45 minutes
Reason #1 It Isn’t Productive
A while ago, I wrote about the holy grail of physical development: Progressive Overload. In a nutshell, progressive overload means gradually increasing the weights you use and the number of repetitions you can lift for any given exercise.
There’s something about the 45ish minute mark where my body begins to tap out. At best, I’m performing the same number of reps and with the same weight that I was the week prior. In other words, no overload is occurring.
This was confirmed via the spreadsheet. There was a clear correlation that illustrated: Later in the workout = less productivity.
And without progressive overload, your body isn’t going to change because it sees no reason to. This is the exercise version of Empty Calories.
Reason #2 Flexibility
Too often, I speak with people skipping out on exercise because they can’t get it all in. The clock reads “5:09”, and a wry grin later they say, “Well, the gym closes at 6:00.”
Plan your workouts to take no longer than 45 minutes, and you’ll have more flexibility with when you’re able to do it.
Which leads me to my last reason…
Reason #3 Work(out)-Life Balance
People are busy. Even those of us without kids are busy, actually.
I know personally, I tend to bite off a bit more than I can chew professionally. I’m also trying to read more, write more and all without forfeiting time for my favorite German shepherd, Duke.
But I don’t want to forfeit my obligations to the gym.
Yes, there are only 24 hours in a day, but I believe if you take Reasons #1 and #2 seriously, you can achieve the work(out)-life balance.
There you have it.
Allow me to caveat this article with this: it’s intended for those primarily participating in resistance training for the sake of physical development. If you’re someone who lifts for the purpose of burning more and more calories, this may not apply to your goals. And if you’re training for a marathon, you should be running for more than 45 minutes!
I’m not crazy.
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