Ever wonder how long you should work out to get the results you want without feeling totally burnt out? Determining the perfect length for your exercise routine can be tricky. Some days you want to push yourself to the max, while others, a quick 30-minute session is all you can muster the energy for.
The good news is, with a few simple steps, you can figure out what works for your unique situation and fitness goals. Whether you're just getting started with a workout plan or are a seasoned gym rat looking to change things up, optimizing your routine for maximum impact and efficiency is key. So, how long should a workout last? Keep reading to discover the steps to determine the perfect length of your workout.
What Could Influence Your Workout Duration?
When determining the perfect length for your workout, there are a few factors to consider:
- Your fitness level: shorter and easier workouts are your best option if you're just getting started.
- Your goals: different fitness goals will require different workout lengths.
- Available time: if you don’t have much time, higher-intensity workouts might be the way to go since they usually don’t require much time; and
- Exercise intensity: moderate walks and jogs, for example, take longer than HIIT, weight lifting, and other strenuous activities.
The duration of your workout depends on balancing these factors. We strongly recommend that you start slowly, learn how to push yourself properly, and stay safe and consistent, and your endurance and fitness will improve over time! The most important part is just getting started.
How to Determine the Right Workout Length for You
To determine the perfect workout length for you:
1. Start by assessing your personal goals and needs. Are you looking to lose weight, gain muscle, improve cardio endurance, or just stay generally fit? Your goals will help determine if shorter high-intensity intervals, longer strength training sessions, or a mix of both are right for you.
2. Next, listen to your body. If you're just getting started with exercise or have limited time, start with 15–30 minutes a few times a week and build up from there as your endurance improves. Pay attention to how you feel during and after workouts. If you're overly tired or sore, you may be pushing yourself too hard. Make adjustments as needed.
3. Finally, track your progress and make changes along the way. Use a journal, calendar, or fitness tracker to record details like time, reps, weights used, and how you felt. After a few weeks, you'll start to see what's working and what’s not. Don't be afraid to experiment — you may find that mixing up the length and intensity of your workouts keeps you progressing toward your goals and prevents plateaus.
The ideal workout length is one that achieves your fitness goals, feels sustainable, and keeps you consistent. Whether that's 20 minutes of bodyweight exercises a few times a week or 60–90 minutes of strength and cardio multiple times a week, choose what fits your lifestyle and needs. Most importantly, you're active and making progress, so start where you are and build up from there. You'll find your perfect routine with regular exercise and adjustments along the way.
Optimal Durations of Different Workouts
While the perfect workout duration will vary depending on individual factors, here are some general guidelines for different types of exercises:
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Maximum 20 Minutes
For high-intensity interval training, keep your workout around 15–20 minutes. HIIT involves short periods of intense exercise followed by recovery periods. This type of training provides an efficient fat-burning workout in a short amount of time. Aim for 2–3 HIIT sessions a week, with rest days in between, for the best results.
Strength Training: 45–60 Minutes
If you want to build strength and muscle, plan on 45–60 minutes for a full workout. This includes time for a proper warm-up, actual strength training with weights, and a cool-down stretch. Focus on compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, overhead presses, and pull-ups for the best results. Aim for 2–3 weekly strength sessions, with rest days for your muscles to recover.
Yoga and Pilates (not Lagree!): 60–90 Minutes
Schedule 60–90 minutes for a full session of yoga or Pilates. This allows time to center yourself, go through a series of poses or exercises, and end with relaxation. While yoga and Pilates provide flexibility and strength benefits, they also focus on balance, breathing, and mindfulness. For the best results, practice yoga or Pilates 2–3 times a week.
Cardio (Swimming, Cycling, or Walking): 30–60 Minutes
If you prefer swimming, cycling, or walking for cardio, plan on 30–60 minutes. Start with 30–45 minutes and build up your endurance over time. You'll want to factor in extra time for getting to and from the pool or trail for swimming or cycling. Aim for 3–5 weekly cardio sessions, with rest days in between, for the best fat-burning and heart health benefits.
Is It Better to Have Shorter, Intense Workouts or Longer, Moderate Ones?
The answer depends on your personal preferences, goals, and lifestyle. Shorter, intense workouts can be highly effective in improving cardiovascular fitness, burning calories, and building strength.
On the other hand, longer, moderate workouts provide extended endurance training and can be more suitable for people with specific goals like distance running or endurance events.
Why Lagree Classes Are the Optimal Length
Lagree classes take only 45 minutes, which many find to be the ideal amount of time for an effective full-body workout. Here are a few reasons why the 45-minute Lagree class reigns supreme:
It’s Long Enough to Get Results
Forty-five minutes is sufficient time to warm up your muscles properly, work through multiple exercises that target all areas of your body, and cool down. This timeframe allows for an interval-style class with short bursts of intensive, yet low-impact (yay for your joints!) exercise followed by recovery periods. In just 45 minutes, you can complete hundreds of reps that deliver real results.
It Fits Into a Busy Schedule
While a longer one-hour or 90-minute workout may seem appealing to some, many struggle to find that much time in their day. A 45-minute class is a more realistic and sustainable commitment for most schedules. You can get in, work hard for less than an hour, and move on with your day feeling accomplished.
It Minimizes Fatigue and Injury Risk
For those just starting an exercise routine or coming back from an injury, a full 60 or 90 minutes of intensive exercise may be too much too soon. Forty-five minutes provides an effective workout that challenges you but also allows you to build up your endurance over time under the guidance of a skilled instructor. The shorter timeframe also helps maintain good form throughout the class to prevent injury.
It Leaves You Wanting More
There’s something to be said for leaving a workout feeling energized rather than completely depleted. A 45-minute Lagree class challenges you but also leaves you feeling good and motivated to return. The interval-style structure provides recovery periods to prevent total exhaustion so you can walk (or lunge!) out of class feeling strong and empowered.
Whether you want an intense interval session or a longer endurance workout, a Lagree workout packs both. The most important thing is to get moving and make time for yourself. You've got this — now get out there and get exercising! The benefits to both your physical and mental health will make all the effort worthwhile. See you on the Megaformer!