Funny discussion the other day – someone was commenting about my muscle (yipee!) and said they’d love to have muscles too but they didn’t want to “spend as much time” as I do in the gym… got me thinking there is often a misperception about how much time it takes to work out and build a muscle base. (I am talking about strength training for muscle, not cardio or event training) You’d be surprised how little time it takes… I know I sure as heck thought it was a lot more.
Now I will admit that I am not as dedicated as some muscle building chicks, but as far as the amount of time *I* spend in the gym AND the amount of time recommended to build muscle and get a good workout going… what would you guess it is?
3 hours a day?
2 hours a day?
How about 45 minutes 4 times a week and 25 minutes 2 times a week?!
There are weight lifting schedules as few as 3 times a week all the way up to 6 times a week (I am currently doing 4) but more than one respected source says that spending more than an hour lifting weights starts to have a negative effect on muscle growth so you should limit your workouts to that time… and I am good with that!!! And if you do really intense cardio in interval fashion that you should limit that to 20-25 minutes and only twice a week because it is so taxing on your body… I am super good with that!
So there ya go – I am in the gym 45 minutes 4 days, 25 minutes 2 days - that’s less than 4 hours a week (and if short on days I can combine the weights and cardio on one day) AND THIS is an aggressive schedule in my book – I am working to build muscle mass – if I just wanted toned muscles and then to maintain that tone it would probably be only about 2 hours a week in the gym. That’s a lot less time than a lot of people “with no time” are currently spending in the gym
**And yes I am partial to strength/weight training – I started out doing the 30 Day Shred which is ONLY 25 MINUTES a day! But short story – for my size and exercise schedule I should burn about 1800 calories a day (which means I can eat 1800 calories )… but if I factor in my muscle mass (which isn’t all THAT much to be honest) I burn 2050 (yes that means I get to eat 2050!)… strength train baby, build those muscles!**