Workout For Longer Than 45 - 60 Minutes?
I am 14 years old and like to lift weights a lot, but I read in this one article that you should keep your workouts between 45-60 minutes because your muscles give off this thing that breaks them down. Is this true? I have heard that some pro bodybuilders can workout for 2 hours at a time with no problem. Why is this?
This youngster had a great question. I too used to workout for many hours thinking that I was doing great. Boy was I ever wrong. Read how I explain why keeping your workouts short and intense is the best way to go.
This thing that you are talking about is cortisol. Cortisol is a muscle wasting hormone that is usually given through medical treatments for pain in the joints. It is often associated with sports injuries. An injection (there are other ways of treatment) will give the athlete relief for 3 days to 2 weeks. As you can see cortisol is very short lived in the body. But notice how I said that it was muscle wasting? This is true, KEV. I often hear young guys in the gym bragging to their friends about how their doctor gave them a shot of steroids. This is really funny to me because the steroid hat they received is considered to be a corticosteroid. Look closely at the prefix here okay, CORTICO-, that is right as in cortisol. These guys think that what they received was an anabolic hormone injection. It is actually the direct opposite. Corticosteroids are muscle wasting. Anabolic steroids are muscle building. What you are about to read particularly stands true for males because we produce the mighty hormone testosterone. However, I believe that women will benefit from what I am about to say as well.
When you begin to train you have a fixed level of hormones flowing through your body. After about an hour of INTENSE training your testosterone levels have dropped significantly. This leaves the body in a state to which one of the body's main building or anabolic hormone, which is testosterone is present but in a lower than normal or baseline level. All of the other non-suppressed hormones are now higher on the hormonal scale not because they rose during training but because your testosterone levels have dropped. Furthermore, some of the negative hormones such as cortisol have rose making the balance seem really out of whack. Not Good! Why? Cortisol is the hormone that wants to assist the body by reducing swelling and inflammation; this is why it is theoretically ideal for sports injuries. After you have been training for over an hour or so cortisol the muscle wasting hormone is higher than normal on the hormonal scale due to the drop in your testosterone (anabolic) levels. As a bodybuilder you NEVER want this to happen. This brings about two questions (1) how do I avoid this from happening to me & (2) so why does "such and such" the pro bodybuilder say in the magazines that he trains with weights for three hours a day?
Let's analyze the first question. To prevent this negative hormonal situation from occurring you should utilize short intense training sessions. I always use MAX-OT or Arthur Jones as examples when I speak of intense training systems. These programs allow you to fully exhaust the entire body over a period of one week. The training sessions are short and last only 30-40 minutes. But if you do them properly they will be some of the toughest minutes you will ever experience. This allows you to avoid that negative hormonal balance because your testosterone levels generally will begin to decline right at about the hour mark. Keep your workouts short and intense and research the two previously mentioned programs and get pumping! By keeping the training sessions short your testosterone levels never really get bashed too hard and pretty much stay at the level that they are supposed to be at.
The second question is really simple to answer. "Such and such" the pro does not have to worry about his testosterone levels falling. Why? Ohh come on man because he is using steroids. These guys could probably workout all day long if they wanted to and they would still be able to recover and grow because of the hormones that they are pumping into their bodies. I am not advocating steroid use here; I am just stating the facts.
To answer your question in the simplest terms possible, YES, keep your workouts short or cortisol can do some negative damage to your physique enhancement. Keep training & train hard!