You Could Be Exercising For Too Long...Did You Know

You could be exercising for too long... Did you know that if you are exercising for longer than 75minutes then you could be doing more harm than good.

How is this so? Well, during your workout you are using carbohydrates as fuel and your body uses hormones to function, like testosterone. However after 75mins (or around that time, depending on your body type), these hormones will begin to drop and your carbohydrate intake to the muscles will plummet. By this point you want your workout fully wrapped up and ready for your post workout meal/shake.

If not, you could be doing more harm than good. If you continue to exercise then you run the risk of your body going into a negative state. As energy depletes you won't be burning and using the correct fuel for your session, and could further break down muscle tissue (catabolism) that you have built up over time.

Be sure to use the right supplements whilst you train so you can slow the process of catabolism, and still have effective and great workouts. If you need some help, get in touch!!

About the Author

Job Role Nutritional and Fitness Advisor Qualifications Premier International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy Scott has always been active growing up being involved in different sport teams and individual sports such as boxing and Jiu Jitsu. It wasn't until Scott dislocated his left knee during a Jiu Jitsu Competition when he developed a new passion which was going to the gym. Scott studied an International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy which he has used for over 8 years in the Fitness Industry. Scott has been successful in his field in the UK and in other countries of the world. He has helped many people achieve their goals in Fat Loss, Weight gain, Hypertrophy and other areas of Health and Fitness. Scott is very passionate and is a big motivator who is going to provide you with expert advice and looks forward to helping you with your goals. There is more to see of Scott as he will be competing in Fitness Modelling competitions this year and next so keep a look out for him.


  • Emil


    I've heard this advice several times now, and Im a bit worried as I feel I absolutely need an hour at least to get through my program. Right now, im trying to stay at 1:15 hours.
    What do you suggest I do to try to prevent as much as I can these catabolic hormones which should be released at the end of the training session? Should I fuel up with carbs while training, maybe after 30-45 minutes from the start to give fuel to the last 15 minutes or so of the training? I dont actually feel a specific need for fuel, I dont feel depleted, but if it can help keeping cortisol release down, maybe it is worth it?

    In general it would be nice to know a bit more about how to keep cortisol release as low as possible and still be able to train 1:15 hours or so.


    • Scott Riches
      July 25, 2013 Scott Riches

      Hi Emil. By using an amino acid supplement whilst training you can prevent catabolism. I will often train with BCAAs. Remember your training is also only 25% of the balance, what you do exercise wise, is essential, however your diet and what you do in the kitchen is more important. Shorten your workouts, make them sharp and keep to under 75minutes.

      You can use a pre workout shake to fuel your sessions, but like you say, if you don't need it, there isn't any need. BCAAs are also a good source of energy, so sipping on these during your workouts will help you keep going.

      Hope that helps:)

  • Stephen
    July 25, 2013 Stephen

    I currently do 2 kind of workouts, 2 rotations of Hypertrophy 60-80% 1RM (6 exercises in 4 splits, 3 sets of 8-12 reps) and 1 rotation of strength training 80-90% 1RM (6 exercises in 4 splits, 4 sets of 3-5 reps), then repeat, and I workout every other day (sometimes miss days, average 3 workouts a week).
    During the Hypertrophy training, my workouts are usually under 75min, but due to the fact I rest for 2 minutes between sets during the strength training, it can be considerably longer.
    I have a protein blend and maltodextrin shake and a banana pre workout, another shake with extra water during workout, and a protein blend shake after, then a meal and multivitamin.
    Am I likely to be working too hard, or if it's mostly due to rest time (around 48minutes is rest time) will I get away with it, or will the supplements counteract it?

    • Tom

      90mins is probably the most you want to be training for Stephen, but there are occasions when this may be longer (as you point out during strength training). I think it be wise to swap the 2 whey shakes before and during with one BCAA shake such as BSN Amino X as this is key to stimulate muscle growth and minimise catabolism, whilst your whey protein after exercise is ideal for repletion, recovery and growth. I don't think you're training too hard, but i would encourage you to get your splits right i.e. don't train shoulders the day after chest due to potential overreaching in the delts.

      You've clearly given it lots of thought, so good on you. Thanks for the message!

      • Stephen
        July 26, 2013 Stephen

        I'll give the BCAA a thought, but money is a bit tight, I can usually only afford to get protein shakes (I use USN Pure protein by the way, used to use pure whey).
        I use what I assume is a pretty classic set of splits, chest and tricep, back and bicep, shoulders and traps, then legs and abs/core, 3 exercises of each muscle group, each split.
        I've been wondering if I should split up the strength training, and maybe just do a single muscle group, to reduce the time I'm training, what do you think?

        I've done quite a lot of research, and apart from being able to afford the supplements that would help, I've refined my workout and nutrition as best I can. I've come on leaps and bounds from when I first started training, but I imagine there are ways I could still improve.

        Thanks for the advice.

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