LEP Fitness


How Long Should You Spend Working Out?


What’s the perfect length of time to workout?

That’s a great question and one I get ask all too often. Now the length of time is going to differ from person to person. In this post I do however have some suggestions as to what could potentially work best for you.

Depending on your goal and fitness level will depend on how long you should workout for. I’m going to answer the question put forward in this post based on some of the common goals people have. I must add that this is only my opinion. I do believe that with over 7,000 coaching sessions worth of experience under my belt it’s worth a read. 

What Are Your Goals? 

How Long Should You Spend Working Out

Fat Loss/Body Composition 

If your looking to lose weight and tone up i’d typically recommend anything from 30 to 60 minutes worth of training. This gives most people plenty of time to get in a good session. When it comes to training it’s common to think that more is better, when in actual fact sometimes less is more.

Training for periods longer than 60 minutes often comes at the expense of intensity. Add into the mix that recovery will also be impaired – meaning there’s a high likely hood that your next sessions intensity would be diminished. With the LEP Fitness members most people train with me for 45 minutes as I believe this to be a happy sweet spot for most.

Muscle Building

Typically i’d recommend a session length between 45-60 minutes. Anything longer and you run the risk of using muscle for fuel, especially once carbohydrate depletion has occurred. Unless your consuming calories during your sessions, also know as ‘intra workout‘ fuel then you run the risk of burning hard earned muscle, something which your trying to avoid!

In order to build muscle your also going to have to rest longer between sets, allowing adequate recovery to lift heavy enough weights to grow. As a general guideline resting anything from 60-90s between sets typically works very well.


This is going to differ depending on what you are trying to achieve. If your just looking to improve general fitness then 30-60 minutes will do the trick. If however your looking to run a marathon this is going to change massively! At some point your going to have to be able to run 26 miles! which will take hrs. Which kind of brings me onto the next Goal…

Sports Specific 

If improving your sport is your number one priority then your going to have to break down the components that need to be improved. Most sports typically tend to cross over into varying components of training. Let’s take rugby for example which requires a lot of endurance (80 minutes), strength (for tackles, in the scrum, etc) and explosive speed/power. As with any sports specific training it’s important to look at what needs to be improved and then factor in training time accordingly.

Some Extra Things To Consider…

Some things I haven’t mentioned but are seriously worth taking into consideration are…

Training experience : How long have you been training? If somebody is seriously overweight and hasn’t exercised properly for 10 years, then maybe 5 minutes would be enough. It’s really all about establishing a base point and working from there. It’s important to have the end in mind so you can then set a plan of action. If you don’t know how to do this hire an experienced fitness practitioner to help you do so.

Age : Typically the older one get’s the less one is able to do. Of course this depends and there are some extremely fit old people (in fact I was overtaken by an elderly chap the other day on my run!).

Injury : Stating the obvious but injuries can also change the course of how long your training lasts. As already mentioned you have to ascertain a base point and then aim to progress from there.

Intensity : “I just did a 3hr session!”… yeah but for 2hrs and 45 minutes you spent that time chatting to your friend or on your phone! Intensity is key and something which has to be accounted for. If your unsure of what needs to be done always seek professional guidance.

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👱💪 Nick