Posted by: Mae | 2004/10/28

Duration of weight training session

I am getting the help of a personal trainer for weight training.
My question is: what would be more beneficial - 5x 30 minute sessions per week or 3x 60 minute sessions?

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Our expert says:
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HI Mae

It depends on what your goals are, as someone on the forum has said, but also on what part of the training you are in. But the main thing is how you structure the session and how it fits into your big picture of training. If you are aiming to tone, then certainly 5 sessions of 30 minutes if fine, because it will complement any other training you are doing, because most often people are looking to tone and lose some weight together and so that means a good part of the training is cardio. THerefore, 5 days a week of cardio leaves little time to do weight training and besides, the weight training you do is not as intense because you will lift a lighter weight for more reps.

Now, the point made by someone on the forum is quite valid if you look at it from the point of view of wanting to build muscle takes heavy weights. That is definitely true. If you want bulk, then fewer reps with a heavier weight is the way to go. HOwever, I would say that you also need to have longer rests in between and I think that you would benefit a lot from focusing on one or two muscle groups per day. I guess the bottom line is that you can't really say that 30 minutes is better or worse than 60 minutes, because it depends on what you can do in the time. If you can go out and do the training you need in 30 minutes, then that is fine. If it takes 60, it's fine too, but you can't really measure its quality by the time it takes.

So, in my opinion, you should set up the training so that you can train for whatever goal you want, but vary it so that you are for example working on the legs one day, the upper body the next, then legs and so on. This day of rest allows you to train harder and will probably also cut back on the time you train.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: row | 2004/10/28

i would say 5x30, because it's unlikely you would be able to train intensely for as long as 60 minutes. intensity is everything when it comes to gaining muscle. i suppose it depends on what your goals are. i would say with weight training, less is more. go for shorter periods but really hammer it while you're at it.

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