Workout Length

Olaf D
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Friday, November 25, 2005 12:50 PM

I've been told that a single weights session shouldn't go more than 45 minutes (not including warmup-cool down), as after this the body stops producing testosterone and starts producing cortozone. However, I haven't seen this mentioned in Doc's e-books (I've a few of them) or in any of the articles in the knowledge section ... does anyone have a reference for this or have heard of this?
The problem is that doing weights twice a week I can't do any lift more than once a week and keep the workout under 45 minutes. I lift to supplement grappling ... four days are sport specific and I need one day off even with periodization so I'm hesitant to add another lifting day, and I'm just doing the core exercises (squats, deadlifts, bench, standing press, dips, cleans, chins, rows, weighted incline situps) With squat and deadlift only once a week is probably a good thing, but it strikes me it'd be better to do bench and standing press twice a week for instance.

Any thoughts/advice?

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Todd Wilson
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Friday, November 25, 2005 2:01 PM

You can go about an hour.
Androgen levels start falling at about 40 minutes or so.

Also, with you just lifting twice a week, you can probably get by with an hour and fifteen minutes, at least for leg work. UNderstand, that you shouldn't necessarily shoot for that, but, if you have to to get done what you need to get done, you can still make gains going a little longer. You just don't want to get into a 90-120 minute marathon.

As for a cool down, there is no added benefit after a weight training session.

Exercise "experts" with aerobic training/fitness backgrounds correctly discovered that a cool down after aerobic work was beneficial. Therefore, when they in turn appointed themselves resistance training experts they said a cool down was needed after weights as well. However, there is no benefit or evidence suggesting a benefit to this practice other than some person's whim.

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Dr. Squat
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Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Friday, November 25, 2005 2:31 PM

Thanks Todd...I agree

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poul hansen
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Saturday, November 26, 2005 5:31 AM

I can't se how a temporary drop in testosterone and increase in cortisol should affect anything. If the condition isn't chrnic it is insignificant. Has there been done any research on testosterone levels following long workouts? A possible scenario is a larger rebound after a more prolonged drop.
My real world experience doesn't support the practice of staying under 1hour in workouts. Some of my best gains was made with a sheiko basic training program where the two a days where lumped together as one big workout. 2½-3 hour workouts are the norm with sheiko...

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Todd Wilson
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Saturday, November 26, 2005 11:05 AM

I can't se how a temporary drop in testosterone and increase in cortisol should affect anything.
### It will effect the quality of work in the workout.

If the condition isn't chrnic it is insignificant.

### I don't think research or empirical evidence agrees. Furthermore, these acute adaptations and/or responses can affect long term or chronic conditions. One thing overtrained individuals have in common is lower androgen levels and increased cortisol levels.

Has there been done any research on testosterone levels following long workouts? A possible scenario is a larger rebound after a more prolonged drop.

### Not completely clear on what your asking, but at least one study looking at weightlifters and cyclists demonstrated higher T and lower cortisol levels in weightlifters and lower T and higher cortiols levels in the cyclists. Obviously cyclists will have a greater total volume of work per workout.

My real world experience doesn't support the practice of staying under 1hour in workouts. Some of my best gains was made with a sheiko basic training program where the two a days where lumped together as one big workout. 2½-3 hour workouts are the norm with sheiko...

### You may have had gains, but could you have had greater gains? Many people will assert similar observations, but what they fail to understand is the periodization of training so that not only do you have gains withi a cycle, but the gains from that cycle are enhanced by later cycles, because they were designed to do so over time. This prevents the frustrating plateaus than are so common for most trainees. ANy properly designed workout can be performed within about an hour. If it last longer, then there is unneeded "stuff" in it. Gains, particularly over time will be better.

As for Sheiko, the workouts I have seen wouldn't take over an hour, unless you misunderstood the program. And even at that, I don't see it as the Cat's Meow of resistance training either.

Lit review..........

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Doctor Morbius
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Saturday, November 26, 2005 1:48 PM

Todd, if the length of a session is to be under an hour with an ideal time for work sets of around 45 minutes, then how many sessions per week should one do if they are working toward hypertrophy? Dr. Hatfield's ABC program has many training splits up to 6 days per week, but I question whether 6 days per week is optimum unless one is nearing a contest.
Also, I'm guessing that two 1 hour sessions are permissible provided one has had adequate or more than adequate nutrition and rest between them?

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Todd Wilson
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Saturday, November 26, 2005 2:23 PM

Todd, if the length of a session is to be under an hour with an ideal time for work sets of around 45 minutes,
### Well, I wouldn't say ideal. If we were to say that at exactly 45 minutes, you would have the most favorable hormonal response to a training session, that still would not mean that we would have the most favorable strength, hypertrophy, speed, etc. response. Also, variations in volume and intensity will alter the hormonal response. Higher volume and workout density will increase growth hormone output while a lower volume higher intensity workout will not have much of a growth hormone response but may have a testosterone response. Therefore, while I would say we couldn't pin point the optimal timue for a workout, it is quite safe to say that workouts under 60-75 minutes are ideal most of the time with a minimum time of at least 20-30 minutes, in most cases. Staying within those ranges allows for plenty of variation and individualization without being stuck to one way of going about something.

then how many sessions per week should one do if they are working toward hypertrophy? Dr. Hatfield's ABC program has many training splits up to 6 days per week, but I question whether 6 days per week is optimum unless one is nearing a contest.

### Frequency is something that is highly specific to the athlete and his lifestyle. A college student taking 18 hours and working a job won't be able to cut 6 workouts in a week. On the other hand, a college athlete during the summer who is taking 6 hours, has an on campus job in the mornings, can probably tolerate 5-10 workouts within a week with no problem. Then you have athletes who do not tolerate frequency well at all while others thrive on it. There's just so many variables that go into frequency. I mean you have weightlifters and powerlifters who both squat. In general powerlifters squat once a week while weightlifters squat 3-12 times a week, yet in both sports there are plenty of 600 pound squatters. Also, manipulating frequency from time to time (either up or down) can be a good stiumulus to facillitate growth, strength improvements, etc.

Also, I'm guessing that two 1 hour sessions are permissible provided one has had adequate or more than adequate nutrition and rest between them?

### Absolutely, the most effective way to train IMO. 4-6 hours in between sessions is typically ideal. Regardless of the goal, two a day training when permissable is the fastest way to make improvements. Life just unfortuantely gets in the way some time.

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Olaf D
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Saturday, November 26, 2005 2:52 PM

Thanks for the replies. From what you say, it makes sense to go for about an hour ... if androgen levels start dropping after 40 minutes they'll likely still be pretty high for the next 20 minutes (hard to imagine it being a sharp cut-off). That certainly would help my routine.
For those of us lifting for strength/power rather than hypertrophy (a bad thing in the world of weight divisions), would the 4-6 hours between sessions still hold? Seems possible to do a morning workout and then an evening workout on weight days as long as you do different lifts ... not that I can see myself ever doing so with work and all Smiling

As for the cooling down, I thought I saw that in the "getting started" e-book, as especially important after intense anaerobic activity as a way of getting rid of lactic acid accumulation.

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Todd Wilson
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Saturday, November 26, 2005 3:15 PM

For those of us lifting for strength/power rather than hypertrophy (a bad thing in the world of weight divisions), would the 4-6 hours between sessions still hold?
### Yes.

Seems possible to do a morning workout and then an evening workout on weight days as long as you do different lifts ... not that I can see myself ever doing so with work and all Smiling

### Well, it's not necessarily that you need different exercises (though it's often beneficial), but a different method. For example, you don't want to perform deadlifts in the morning and GM in the evening with the same rep brackets. A better option would be say powercleans (i.e., a fast movement) in the morning and GMs (i.e., a slow movement) in the evening. Or deadlifts in the morning and rack pulls in the evening. Deadlifts in the morning and isometrics in the evening, etc., etc. Plyometrics in the morning and squats in the evening......

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Doctor Morbius
User Length of session ... help from doc maybe?
Saturday, November 26, 2005 10:05 PM

Thanks Todd. Clears up quite a bit really. I may try out some 2/day sessions on weekends this Winter (while it's cold and miserable outside and there isn't much else to do) and do a couple of single sessions during the work week when I'm generally pooped out and stressed from working for "the man".