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The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:40 pm
by Paperclip
Or, "How long you training sessions should last.".

In one of my thread, I received several recommendations to make my sessions shorter, which is to cut the 3 hours sessions into just 1 hour if possible. Personally, I've been hearing/reading that one hour of resistance training is optimal. I'm not sure what the reason is but I think that's nice if we can keep the sessions efficient while at the same time sufficient for our needs. But I'm wondering why shouldn't we train longer than 1 hour? Afterall, a training session in majority of sports (or other things) usually lasts for about 2 hours, why should resistance training be different?

A thread that I just read on Glenn Pendlay's forum was actually the reason I decided to post my question. Some quotes:
kirksman wrote:One thing is the same though, intensity is the same. Workload is huge. Another way we learn is, if it takes you 3 1/2 hours to complete your whole workout, and suddenly it drops to 2 1/2 hours, you'll see your worksets increase suddenly from 6 sets of triples at 90%, to 6x3 @ 90%, then 2x3 @ 80% then up to 95% for another 4-5x2 or singles. They use time as a gauge rather than just sets and reps done.
kirksman wrote:An elite and a newbie session can both last 3 hours, but the newbie is spending much of the 3 hours with an empty bar. As much as 2 hours. I remember having to do 150 snatch pulls, then high snatch pulls with knee rebend, then snatch balances for 2 months before I was allow to even consider snatching. This didn't include the 1 month that was spent with just the bamboo stick doing 300 pulls. And squats. Yes with the bamboo stick. Even after that, I'd still have to spend many hours snatching in front of a mirror.
If the Chinese (Singaporean) weightlifters have training sessions that last for 3 hours, why can't we? That sounds like I recommend training up to 3 hours, but it's more like "How important is it for us to keep our training sessions to just 1 hour long or less?". I definitely agree that we should keep our sessions as efficient as possible.

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:12 am
by Ironman
It's a problem with intensity and hormone levels. Your test drops off and your cortisol increases. So the rule of thumb is 1 hour for naturals. You need steroids for the long marathon workouts. Even with steroids you can only train like that for so long before you start to overtrain and need a break.

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:14 am
by Paperclip
I remember when I was still swimming. The breaks are short and timed by the coaches. The sessions felt like hell because they were grueling from start to end. Now I'm glad that the coaches don't carry stopwatches and whistles everywhere they go. In a swimming session, it felt like it consists of 80% exerting and 20% resting. In weightlifting, the reverse is true. 5-10 seconds a set followed by 1-3 minutes rest? If I think about it, it seems like a lazy man's sport lol.

I don't know about bodybuilding type training. Maybe long sessions aren't likely because you keep your rest short?

I'm interested about where this came from. Could you shed some light?

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:57 am
by robertscott
i think of it as more of a guideline than a rule. My workouts usually run just over an hour, sometimes up to an hour and a half. Some days you have the energy, some days you don't.

The idea that is has to be an hour exactly I think doesn't make much sense.

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:59 am
by stuward
It depends on the priority of the session. People training for sports, by nessecity, do things that are not optimum for health but help performance. This is one of those cases.

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:57 am
by Paperclip
stuward wrote:It depends on the priority of the session. People training for sports, by nessecity, do things that are not optimum for health but help performance. This is one of those cases.
Why wouldn't "this" training be optimum for health, stu? Does training time (cortisol?) have any correlation with health?

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:59 am
by robertscott
cortisol is a stress hormone (a VERY simplified description), chronically elevated levels cause all sorts of health problems

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:46 pm
by Oscar_Actuary
color me skeptical.

For my purposes, trying to build conditioning as well as strength, I cant work fast enough to get in all the lifting I should, while not lifting more than every other day.

Doing such low volume to get it in in 60 minutes, makes little sense.
Seems there are multiple factors to consider, that a time is too general

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:21 pm
by Stephen Johnson
I've always thought of keeping training sessions at an hour or less as a guideline rather than a rule. It's a waste of time spending two or three hours working out when you can get much the same result in one hour. But if you have time to kill, better to do it in a gym than on a couch.

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:03 pm
by Paperclip
Stephen Johnson wrote:I've always thought of keeping training sessions at an hour or less as a guideline rather than a rule.
I think that makes sense when designing a general purpose resistance training program.

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:28 am
by Jungledoc
Stephen Johnson wrote:But if you have time to kill, better to do it in a gym than on a couch.
My dad used to say that the best way to kill time is to work it to death.

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:33 am
by Oscar_Actuary
Jungledoc wrote:
Stephen Johnson wrote:But if you have time to kill, better to do it in a gym than on a couch.
My dad used to say that the best way to kill time is to work it to death.
pop sounds like a genius.

And I know many of you can get work in less time, I'm a bit slower, worknig on it, but in 1 hour, really dont get enough work in. Just me. Maybe 90-120 minutes, tops for me, sometimes hour. Not like I'm all out intenisty obviously

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:51 am
by robertscott
Oscar_Actuary wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:
Stephen Johnson wrote:But if you have time to kill, better to do it in a gym than on a couch.
My dad used to say that the best way to kill time is to work it to death.
pop sounds like a genius.

And I know many of you can get work in less time, I'm a bit slower, worknig on it, but in 1 hour, really dont get enough work in. Just me. Maybe 90-120 minutes, tops for me, sometimes hour. Not like I'm all out intenisty obviously
train antagonists, cuts the time right down. So set of bench, set of rows; or set of biceps, set of triceps etc

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:23 pm
by Oscar_Actuary
robertscott wrote:train antagonists, cuts the time right down. So set of bench, set of rows; or set of biceps, set of triceps etc
Much of my time is loading and unloading bars and dumbells, too.
I really dont rest that much otherwise. Sweet set up at home, but still. 5 warm up sets, and I'm spending 15 miutes just on weight changes there abouts.
I do keep antagonists in mind, for sure, while programming. Thers a bit of set up time moving bars and benches. I wouldn't trade it for the world, though

Re: The 1 hour "rule"

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:19 pm
by robertscott
oh yeah i forgot you trained at home. Ever do olympic lifts? Pretty easy done from a hang and you can do some wicked complexes. My personal fave:

power snatch
clean and press
clean
high pull

8-15 reps, no rest between exercises. Great for shoulder development and fat burning. Not too many exercises can boast that particular combo.