Work out sessions too long?

  • D972

    Posts: 125

    Oct 15, 2008 9:36 PM GMT
    I just got done with a grueling 2hour work strength training excercise for my back and my triceps.

    We did 6 excercises for back at 6-8 reps * 4 sets, and 3 triceps excercises.
    I normally workout just 3 times a week, normally between 90 minutes (with partner so there is rest time while he does his set). Of late though weve been running over -- though we do throw in abs sometimes. I also do cardio for 30 minutes twice a week.

    Should I be worried? How long is too long? So far it hasn't effected my body much in a negative way, but will i see more gains from shorter workout sessions? Anyone have any concrete proof in either direction (long sessions are either good or bad)
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    Oct 16, 2008 5:43 AM GMT
    I see lots of big guys on here who have very long workouts. But if you read around you'll see that everyone recommends a training session of no more than an hour or actual training.

    So who is right? It's really hard to know. As you say, you've not noticed any real downside, but I think you'd have to try shorter routines and compare. The only thing that does really come to mind is that long workouts really indicates less intensity in the training which probably isn't so great.

    And the guys who are big with long workout times? Depends on their genetics I guess. Exercise is the trigger for muscle growth, it doesn't actually make your muscles bigger, that happens afterwards when they are being repaired and rebuilt. If you workout too hard then there is more damage to be repaired first before you get any growth.
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    Oct 16, 2008 6:05 AM GMT
    D972 saidI just got done with a grueling 2hour work strength training excercise for my back and my triceps.

    We did 6 excercises for back at 6-8 reps * 4 sets, and 3 triceps excercises.
    I normally workout just 3 times a week, normally between 90 minutes (with partner so there is rest time while he does his set). Of late though weve been running over -- though we do throw in abs sometimes. I also do cardio for 30 minutes twice a week.

    Should I be worried? How long is too long? So far it hasn't effected my body much in a negative way, but will i see more gains from shorter workout sessions? Anyone have any concrete proof in either direction (long sessions are either good or bad)


    I guess it all depends on what your trying to achieve. It also depends on your rest breaks.

    The 4 sets seems to be a bit too much, 3 is typically enough though your reps range is pretty good.

    Though why 6 back exercises and only 3 triceps?

    My breakdown is usually 4 sessions a week:
    Sunday: Chest & Triceps
    Tuesday: Back & Biceps
    Thursday: Shoulders
    Friday or Saturday: Legs

    Each session can last from 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

    My sessions have pretty much the same format:
    5 minutes on the treadmill to get my supps circulating
    Warmup exercise (usually 60% 1RPM for about 15 reps)
    Straight into my workout 3 sets, 8-12 reps @ 80-85% 1RPM
    Finish off with an ab workout

    Like I said your rest breaks are just as important you don't want to be doing a 2 hour workout on one day and another the next day - your body may not be recovered in time and you just end up burning muscle than building.

    Also add in period breaks every 6-8 (even 10) weeks. A whole week to recover will truly show you that you are growing. I can guarantee if you take your measurements before your rest break and then after a week of no weights you'll see gains happening and be recovered enough to push further.

    If you are going to do 4 sets of 6-8 reps another good tip is to have a proper break between sets. Somewhere between 1.5 - 2 minutes rest before getting into the next set (if your trying to grow).

    At the end of the day you have to discover what works for your goals. People here can only give you so much advice but your body is unique to you.


  • D972

    Posts: 125

    Oct 16, 2008 2:19 PM GMT
    Hey thanks for the feedback,

    I will definitely taken in some of your constructive criticism.

    Why just 3 triceps exercises... I meant to say 3 tri exercises X the regular 4 sets X 6-8 reps.

    My trainer got mad at me (indirectly) and decided that my triceps were hindering my chest workout. So he is determined to increase their strength. For example, he had me do elevated triceps dips, but this time the bastard (love him really) put on 3x45lbs plate on my laps, had me do 4 reps and then finish doing 2-4 reps with the 45lbs.

    I will admit towards the end, I utilize less weights than what i could have starting, just due to fatigue.

    When I work out with my partner/trainer it will take him around 2minutes to finish up his set. He's been good motivation (looks like a hispanic god).

    I normally rest (or do cardio/abs) the subsequent day. We wont work out the same muscle group till the next week. I was just concerned about all the articles on the net saying 1hr is your max, or else cortisol breaks down the muscles and you start eating them. Don't want that for sure.
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    Oct 18, 2008 9:13 AM GMT
    I don't think your triceps will hinder your chest workout, but your rotator cuffs will (the supporting muscles in your shoulders).

    If you feel your chest workouts are lacking try adding in some rotator cuff exercises to add support to your bench press.

    Dips are good but Skullcrushers are probably better. Remember there are three main muscles in the triceps:
    Triceps Brachii (the main tricep muscle, also broken down to the Long, Medial and lateral head)
    Brachialis (a supporting muscle)
    Pronator teres (the inner supporting tricep muscle)

    (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/triceps.htm)

    A skull crusher workout will help develop your Triceps Brachii (lateral and medial), while dips will also help develop the long and lateral muscle.

    Rotator cuffs will assist the Brachialis and the Long and medial head of the Triceps Brachii as well as the Pronator Teres.

    Just remember when your doing a bench press it's the Triceps Brachii and Brachialis that help support your press. The long head of the Triceps Brachii is what connects your pecs with your triceps.

    Okay enough blathering from me icon_smile.gif

    Anth
  • D972

    Posts: 125

    Oct 20, 2008 8:18 PM GMT
    Hey thanks for the advice. I will definitely try the skullcrusher at home at my leisure. I'll let you know how my bench improves (or not). I'm due to go at it this Thursday.
  • adventuresam

    Posts: 30

    Oct 23, 2008 7:47 AM GMT
    Wow! 2 Hours? I would definitely recommend trying to do half that as well. After 60minutes your body is going to go into a major catabolic stage and start breaking down muscle. This can lead to serious overtraining syndrome where your immune system is compromised and lead you to getting colds. I've been there and it sucks because you feel like you are on a roll and then all of a sudden your body tells you to slow down.

    Try breaking it up and getting your body some more rest, you'll see that the results will actually be better.


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    Oct 27, 2008 12:01 PM GMT
    Time is irrelevent. I have friends that are powerlifters that do 4 hour workouts but rest a good 4-5 minutes if not more between sets. And they are VERY strong. Their goal is strength, like most peoples. Maybe not powerlifter strength, but stength.

    Time does not matter.

    Recuperative time is important.

    How much time between sets, and between workouts, do you need? As a trained athlete, you need less.

    But, between lifts, it varies.

    People talk about overtraining. Few people overtrain even if they want to.

    I rarely see an overtrained person unless you are a Navy SEAL or UFC fighter.

    The body adapts. It will do a heck of a lot more than you think.

    Time under tension. How much time are your muscles actually under tension?

    If you are in the gym for say an hour? How much of that hour are your muscles under tension? 5 minutes? 3 minutes? So you physically were in the gym but your muscles really spent 5-10 minutes under tension.

    It sounds good, I was in the gym for an hour, two hours, 4 hours. My muscles were under tension how long? 1 minute of that hour? 3 minutes of that hour?

    Time under tension.. How long are you actually fighting that weight? The weight is irrelevent as long as it enough to cause your muscles to fight against it.

    Granted, it can't be a simple weight that does not push you. I could hold a pencil for an hour or two and not gain much.

    But spend less time worrying about the exercise, and more about how long you actually struggle against the weight..

    Time in the gym is useless. Time under a weight resisting that weight is all that counts.