The Perfect Workout – Why a 60 Minute Full Body Workout May Be the Best Use of Your Time
The typical gym workout is 60 minutes long. Whether that is a group fitness class, a one-on-one personal training session, or just doing a cardio routine, many workouts tend to revolve around that one hour long time frame. Rather than simply being a convenient time period for our schedules, embracing this one hour-long workout structure can actually help you towards improving your health and fitness.
To understand some of the advantages of a well thought out 60 minute resistance workout let’s look at it step by step.
Before the workout begins the most important aspect to committing to a workout routine is setting goals. Having specific goals provides purpose to your workouts and helps you to stay on task and focus while staying within the schedule of the workout. For example, for a beginner, common exercise goals might be to lose body fat and build muscle in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Once your goals are established the framework for a 60 minute workout can be set.
The first 5 minutes of your workout should be devoted to warming-up. This will not only help prepare your body for the training session, but will also help you prevent injury when performing your exercise routine. The most efficient way to do this is through dynamic stretching, a movement based stretching that warms your muscles as you stretch them.
Workout Format – Number of Exercises:
It is most common to find workouts performed in sets. This allows for the individual to challenge themselves while taking the necessary rest time their muscles need to recover. For example, if you perform 3 sets per exercise accounting for the work portion of a set to take between 30-45 seconds to finish and then a 60-75 second rest period between each set, to complete 3 sets of that one exercise would take approximately 6 minutes.
If we are planning for a 6o minute workout, after our initial 5 minute warm up we would have 55 minutes remaining to exercise. Assuming it takes 6 minutes to do 3 sets of each of the exercises in our plan, 9 exercises is the maximum possible number of exercises we could perform in those 55 minutes.
Make it a Full Body Routine:
With a 9 exercise workout format, individuals can plan for a full body workout that will be the most effective for reaching many exercise goals. By rotating exercises between the different muscle groups as you implement your plan it will allow for recovery of some muscle groups while you work other groups. This recovery strategy also makes it easier to maintain a healthy pace during the 60 minute workout.
Scheduling – Days of Week:
For beginners doing your full body routine 1-2 times a week is a good starting point because the average individual struggles making it into the gym more than 2-3 times a week. The optimal strategy for a beginner might be to start with 2 full body workouts a week to build your foundation until you progress in your muscle building and fat loss to a point where you are no longer seeing improvements.
To schedule for 2 days a week the following combinations would yield the best results: Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday, Wednesday/Saturday etc. This will allow for appropriate rest periods between workouts which is crucial for muscle development, injury prevention, and simply staying fresh so as to maintain your motivation for your routine.
Achieving the Benefits:
By having clear purpose behind the workout, promoting good time management, having consistency in routine, and a planned well-rounded full body workout, I believe that 60 minute workouts twice a week are the most effective use of time when committing to a general exercise program. This will allow any individual at any fitness level to commit to routine that best suits them while working towards their fitness goals. By setting a twice a week hour long routine an individual can kick start their exercise program towards attainable and achievable goals.
Are you looking to get into a workout routine? Feel free to reach out to any of our trainers to help you get started! Also consider joining our “Commit to Be Fit” program; a year round challenge that helps to hold you accountable with weekly workouts, healthy recipes, and access to trainer support throughout your fitness journey!
Joe is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, as well as a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. Joe trains for competitions that involve HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), olympic weightlifting, and gymnastics as well as powerlifting. When he's not at work he's coaching high school track and field. Joe enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
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