How Long Should It Take?

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This question is usually asked,and it takes many forms. How long should your workout take? There are many theories on how long your workout should take. The answer to this question is solely based on your goals. If you are looking to add muscle and strength, your workout should be more than an hour. This is because after an hour your body starts to recover/heal/rebuild the muscle you were breaking down during the workout.  Therefore it is best to stop after this length of time. If you are looking to lose weight you can typically workout longer, being that the goal of that workout is to burn as many calories as possible. These workouts can go up to two hours long if the person wanted to. But it is suggested that after the hour mark you take some sort of sports/protein drink (basically put some nutrients back in your body) so you can supply your body with fuel during the rest of the workout. If the workout is rehab oriented it can take as little as 20-30 minutes.  Again the length of each workout is dependent on the specific goal. A factor that goes hand in hand with how long the workout should be is how many days a week should I workout. Similarly, it is dependent on what your goals are. If you want to maintain the fitness level, strength, or weight you are now 3 days a week is sufficient. If you are looking to make gains/progress towards your goal then 4-5 days is recommended. If you are in a rehab program then three days a week is sufficient to see progress (hence many people go to Physical Therapists 3 times per week). If you are looking to lose weight the more you workout the better. This is simply derived from the fact that you have to burn as many calories as possible. But either way, whatever your goals are, you should have at least one day off a week. Your body needs the time to recover and regroup so you do not burn out. Also if you are working out 5 days a week you can get away with a 45 minute workout because of your frequency as opposed to 3 days a week. Once again this depends on your goals. 

How long should it take to see results? People want to know how long it will take for them to see results and reach their goals. Once again this is dependent on what your goals are. If it is weight loss, it is dependent on how much weight you want to lose. A healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week. That is a rate that if you are strict with your workouts and diet you can expect to maintain for an extended period of time. So for example if you are looking to lose 20 pounds this can realistically take between 10 and 20 weeks. If you are looking to rehab any part of your body it can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks to get out of pain. This is dependent on how long you were in pain, how bad the imbalance is that caused the pain, and how many days a week you spend rehabbing. If you are looking to build muscle it takes 6-8 weeks to start seeing results (time it takes muscle to grow). If you are untrained and looking to increase strength you can see gains in as little as two weeks. But if you are trained, it will take longer and could involve different workouts/forms of training to see the results you want. If you have any other ideas or questions on how long you can realistically expect to see the goals you want comment below.


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