WHAT MATTERS MORE - DURATION OR INTENSITY OF THE WORKOUT?

There is a mindset prevalent in the fitness industry that the more time you devote to work out, the better are the results. Is it true? Well, not always because the period of a workout is not the sole indication of its effectiveness. In other words, the intensity along with the type of workout also plays a major role not just because your workout lasted more than two hours doesn’t make it superior. It is because the effect of the exercise depends upon how you perform a particular exercise in a given time, the technique has to be right with the required intensity to get effective results.

What exactly should be the duration of your workout?

There is no one-size-fits-all rule for an ideal workout length, as it depends upon certain factors. 

  • Training experience 
  • Fitness/Health goals 
  • Age 
  • Time available for training 
  • Training approach and aerobic/anaerobic form or combination of both.
  • Break taken between the sets, or other forms of exercises 
  • Injuries/back pain/muscle pull 

There is an upper limit to everything you do, just because you have enough time to train doesn’t mean you have to do it for the longer duration only and also never overdo it. E.g. lifting weights is to stimulate the muscles and not annihilate muscles.

You must have heard people saying that I give 2 hours in the gym and still not be able to get results or my weight is stuck for a couple of months, etc. 

Why does it happen?

It is important to understand this concept and realise the fact that the quality of workout matters more than the length of the workout.

The efficiency of your workout depends on how you keep intensifying your workout so that your body doesn’t adapt to it.

 Few factors discussed below are as follows:- 

  • Adding weights to the bar 
  • Increasing the number of repetitions
  • Decreasing the amount of rest you take between sets
  • Changing the form of exercise to the next level

Many people are short on time due to certain situations, then also there are ways to make your workout effective. How? This situation calls for a technique like supersets, reducing the rest periods between sets or doing circuit training, which helps burn more calories.

The bottom line on whether the duration for workout matters?

There is no sure answer for certain things in life, as it depends upon various reasons like age, health, the intensity of the workout. Thus, make the best of whatever time you have in hand.

References 

  • Kraemer, W. J., Fleck, S. J., Dziados, J. E., Harman, E. A., Marchitelli, L. J., Gordon, S. E., Mello, R., Frykman, P. N., Koziris, L. P., & Triplett, N. T. (1993). Changes in hormonal concentrations after different heavy-resistance exercise protocols in women. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 75(2), 594–604. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1993.75.2.594
  • Kraemer, W. J., Dziados, J. E., Marchitelli, L. J., Gordon, S. E., Harman, E. A., Mello, R., Fleck, S. J., Frykman, P. N., & Triplett, N. T. (1993). Effects of different heavy-resistance exercise protocols on plasma beta-endorphin concentrations. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 74(1), 450–459. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1993.74.1.450

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