A common question in the sport of fitness and bodybuilding is the actual workout length for optimal results for both losing fat or gaining muscles. More specifically, the questioned posed tends to be
for how long should I weight train each bodypart? Let's take a closer look.
The duration of time you spend working out each bodypart depends on several variables, including your level of experience and how many muscle groups you train during each workout. If you are a novice, five minutes on the bench press is enough to stimulate muscle growth and make you sore the next day. If you are inclined to do a total-body workout in one session you have only a short time to spend on each muscle group.
Probably the simplest way to address this issue is to consider the duration of your workout. This decision is based on the muscle's fuel tank - it is not an endless supply. During exercise your muscle's fuel store begins to run low after about 30 minutes. After an hour that fuel source is fairly empty. You are still able to exercise longer because the muscle gets energy from other sources in your body. However, beyond this point your muscles shift into cruise control, and endurance training does not build muscle. Muscle building requires a short, intense training stimulus, and if you want your muscles to grow, the length of your workout should not exceed one hour. Ideally you should be in and out of the gym for between 45 and 60 minutes. Hit the muscles hard and get out of the gym. Go home, rest and grow.
Most successful bodybuilding workouts involve a split-bodypart routine. The body is divided up over several workouts so each session targets a group of two or three bodyparts. An example of a three-day split is as follows: Day 1 - chest, shoulders and triceps; Day 2 - quads, hams and calves; and Day 3 - back, biceps and forearms. In order to complete your workouts within 45 to 60 minutes, each muscle group should be allotted 15 to 20 minutes. Larger muscles such as chest, shoulders, back and quads require more work, perhaps three different exercises totaling 10 to 12 sets. Smaller muscles such as biceps or triceps need less work, perhaps two different exercises totaling 6 to 8 sets. Whatever routine you choose, the bottom line for muscle growth is the length of your total workout time should not exceed one hour.