Another common question that people who are looking to gain weight/muscle ask is how long they should be in the gym training for to ensure they are building muscle.
It is a common misconception that the longer time you spend in the gym lighting weights the more your muscles will grow and the bigger you will get. It is easy to see why so many people think that, but this is a myth that we need to get out of our heads.
The most effective muscle building workouts will last anywhere from 40-60 minutes – but sometimes less and sometimes a little more.
The only time I would really recommend lifting weights for more than 60 minutes is if you are doing a strength phase and you are taking rests of 2.5-5 minutes. If you are only resting for about 1 or 1.5 minutes and you are working out (weights only) for more than 60 minutes you are most likely overtraining and it will have a negative affect on your muscle building.
Hypertrophy workouts with short rest times 40 seconds – 1 minute can be affective with as little as 20-30 minutes of weightlifting so I really don’t like giving out a specific time that you should be in the gym for in order to build muscle.
Like almost anything with working out, it depends on a lot of different factors which includes rest times, exercises being performed, muscle groups you are targeting, your weekly gym schedule, current goals, type of training you are doing, your diet, and more.
As a rough guide though I would say your workout should last around 40 minutes in order to be building muscle.
To take things a little further you might be looking at performing about 15-25 sets in the gym before you start to overtrain.
This could be 6 different exercises for 3 sets a piece, 5 exercises for 5 sets a piece, 7 exercises for 3 sets a piece, and so on. If you start getting into doing 10, 12, or more exercises for 3 or 4 sets you are probably doing way too much work on one muscle group and it will end up hindering your muscle growth.
I time every workout I have with my iPhone stopwatch and I am almost always between 35 minutes to an hour performing my weightlifting workouts. If I am doing cardio after my weightlifting it would probably be a little higher (45 minutes + 20 minutes of cardio for example).
Take into consideration all of the factors I mentioned earlier in the article and then see how your individual body responds to different lengths of workouts. There is no real set time that your workouts should last for muscle building – the most important note to take out of this article is that training longer DOES NOT equal more muscle gains.