How much time should I spend at the gym?

By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

Given that I spend most of the day at the gym, I should surely be some sort of sporting specimen by now. Unfortunately, this is not quite the case. I guess it goes without saying that most of my time is not spent actually training myself but rather thinking how best I can inflict some steady state torture with a smile on my face. So, this question does not apply to me but rather the everyday worker bee that is looking to improve their physical geometry.


Most benefits from training are seen within 45 minutes of intense work, with diminishing returns on the effort put in after that. So why do people always seem to spend at least an hour training? Realistically, it depends on what you are working on, if your workout for example is not a high intensity workout but rather a lower intensity Netflix-catch-up run on the treadmill, then going for a bit longer won't do you any harm at all. It may actually be necessary to put in some additional time if burning more calories or training for a marathon is your goal. 

Can we all get along?

So let's come back to the 45-min session. Quite often people come in and do a simple warm-up to get themselves in the zone before training, and they may also hit up some stretching at the end. There is almost this very sacred time after training where I have seen some people (no name and shame) lie on the floor and have the most philosophical conversations with their post workout protein shakes. This can extend your time in the gym a little, plus it’s a great way to make friends that may have just gone through the same experience. I believe it's known as post-traumatic buddy babble and it's appreciated by all those going through it. 

Are you here to train or …. spiders

Let’s say you are more of a wham bam thank you kinda person. In this case, it's great to know that you can get in and out within 45 minutes (if you forgo the shower) and still get the best results while being efficient with your time. If you don't spend hours in a post-workout shower, you can still get a chat in, although you risk being the discussion of a few unhappy gym goers that don’t like the smell of rotting shoes. We recommend showering at some stage of the day at least.


Go with what works for you, time and personality wise. Realistically speaking, you will get the results you want in shorter time frames if that’s what’s needed. The key is intensity in this case. Otherwise hang out, make new friends, and enjoy your time at the gym: after all there are worse places to spend your time (to avoid all hell breaking loose I will not give an example).