I see all these fitness "celebs" and "insta-trainers" posting about how often they are at the gym and BRAGGING about doing hours of cardio and lifting for 2+ hours. Why?
I have three theories:
1- they want to intimidate the non-lifters into thinking you need to spend hours at the gym and the only way to do that is you spend money and buy their programs
2- they are uneducated and think they have to work out that long to see results. don't get me wrong, you will see results doing this but there are much more time effective ways to workout
3- their coach/trainer is uneducated and has them on this "program"
I am in no way bashing anyone's methods- you do what works for you but just make sure you have all the facts before you start paying rent on an elliptical
What is an ideal weight lifting time? 45 minutes
Males and females: your testosterone levels will peak at 45 minutes (yes ladies, we have test levels too). At the 45 minute mark- you will have reached your maximum growth. Anabolic activity also peaks at this time as does muscle glycogen. Your muscles can only expand and stay expanded for so long before they start to deflate.
This doesn't mean working out for 45 minutes. This INCLUDES all the time spent dilly dallying around the gym, taking swelfies, etc. It's 45 minutes from the time you pick up your first dumbbell. That is why it's so important to have a PLAN when you go into the gym because you are a time crunch if you care about actually getting all the benefits from your weight training session.
After 45 minutes, your body will start releasing less and less testosterone and your body will go into a catabolic state after 60-90 minutes AKA your body needs fuel since you're dicking around and lifting way longer than you should. So- your body will resort to what it needs and it will start to consume your muscle. Not pretty. That's why you probably see people in the gym all the time who never look like they have made progress (could be their diet too but that's none of my business).
What about cardio? In an ideal state, cardio should be done at a separate time than your weight training. Simple as that. If you can't make your health a priority and you need to do in the same split, lift for 30 minutes and do cardio for 25-30 minutes.
As always, make sure you eat within 30 minutes after you lift so you don't go catabolic.
If you need help, rates are below in an earlier post. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org