How Long Should You Work Out?

I regularly get asked how long an independent workout should take. My answer?

How much time do you have?

Whatever time you have to work out is the time you should dedicate.  Plain and simple.

A workout can be as long as two hours. It can be as short as 15 minutes.

The name of this site, The Four Percent, touts that a one-hour workout is four percent of your day. But is that the end-all-be-all guideline to fitness? Hell no. Sometimes my workouts are 20-minutes long and kick my ass halfway to Sunday.

A lot of us are in this “all or nothing” mindset where if you can’t go big, you should stay home. But the reality of the world most of us live in is we have to take what we can get. Some days we have the luxury of taking our time at the gym. Others, we get in and out as quickly as possible to ensure we have time to “do it all.

For most, a half-hour workout may be more productive and beneficial than 15-minutes, especially if you’re training for a stage or finish line. But even if still, the truth is 15-minutes spent in the gym is better than none at all. When you skip a workout, you take a step back. Regardless of duration, when you prioritize your movement, you take a step forward.

When I’m in a motivational rut and don’t feel like working out, I’ll turn to group exercise to get me going. When you’re in a studio, on a treadmill, or at a weight rack sometimes the most critical part of getting to the gym is fueling the habit you’ve created (or are trying to sustain).

Ditch the all-or-nothing mindset and adopt a growth mindset. You may not be where you ultimately want to be, but every step you take gets you closer. If you stay sedentary, however, you’ll be waiting (and wishing) forever.

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