How Much Time in the Gym Part 2

Posted on August 30th, 2010 by Mic in Fitness Model Workout Ideas

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In the last post we looked at how much time in the gym should you be spending.  We discovered that it depended on what your goals were.

Different goals might take longer time periods.

Then I showed you where I rarely spend more than 20 minutes in the gym at a time.

You can greatly improve your time in the gym if you have  a plan of attack. 

One secret is to write down what you are going to do before you go. 

If you are working on upper body strength, then you should write down 2 – 3 exercises you are going to do. 

Notice there are only 2-3 exercises.  If you try to do 10-12 exercises, then you are doing 2 things.

You are greatly increasing your time in the gym and you are not going to be as productive on all 10-12 exercises.

The ability to concentrate on only 2-3 exercises will greatly improve your results.

Now, here comes the fun part.  Try doing your first working set (after you have done a quick overall body warmup) for 36 seconds non-stop.

Right now 36 seconds doesn’t sound like much, but it can feel like a really long time. 

If you are looking to build strength and use some fairly heavy dumbbells then 1 set of 36 seconds could seem like an enternity.

If you can easily do the set for 36 seconds, then you used too light a weight.

Increase the weight until you can barely get the 36 seconds.  That will be your second set.

On your third set, increase the weight again so that you can’t do the exercise for the full 36 seconds.  But, don’t put the weight down.

Keep moving the weight -even if only a few inches – until the time is done. 

On the fourth set, without resting decrease the weight by 50% and do as many reps as you can non stop. 

If you do this right your shoulders will be trashed.  You can add a finishing exercise like we discussed in a previous post. 

If you couldn’t get the full 36 seconds in the first set, then just continue moving the weights even if only for a few inches.   Continue the sets as above.

If you still haven’t reached 36 seconds and you can’t move the weights for even an inch, then just hold them in position for those 36 seconds. 

Why 36 seconds?  Thirty six seconds has been shown to be the idea time to utilize most of the muscle fibers.  You have – to keep it simple – endurance fibers and strength fibers. 

You want a weight heavy enough to stimulate the strength fibers and you want the set to go long enough to stimulate the endurance fibers. 

Thirty six seconds is about that time.  I am sure this will vary with each individual.  And as research in this area gets more refined, I will keep you posted. 

In the meantime try this 36 second set routine your next time in the gym and really feel your muscles being torched. 


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