Mythbusters #31 – “The Longer the Workout, the Better.” written by Giancarlo Regni
With regard to increasing muscle hypertrophy and strength in the gym, you want to get in, take care of business, and get out. We like to use the term: Stimulate, not Annihilate. There’s no need to spend 4 hours in the gym. In fact, it can actually be detrimental.
From the time your warm-up ends and the strength training really begins, your body’s testosterone levels will naturally begin to rise much higher than normal. We peak somewhere around 30min and begin to return to baseline around 45min.
After 60min, your body will produce less testosterone and more cortisol. This is a hormone known to eat away at muscle tissue and increase body fat storage. This situation is certainly less than ideal.
Now, there’s things that you can do with your nutrition and conditioning to blunt this cortisol response, but… Ideally, your strength training sessions (including the warm-up) should last between 45-75min for optimal results.
For example, our training sessions at G-Strength typically look like this:
Main Lift (25min)
Accessory Work (20min)
Cool-Down/Box Breathing (5min)