How Long Should You Actually Work Out At The Gym?

Some people may be envious of Kim Kardashian's hourglass figure, but she has more pressure placed onto her than the everyday person. When you are a celebrity like Kardashian, you are under constant scrutiny and have the extra pressure to look great all the time. Vogue shared that there was a time when Kardashian didn't do just one but two intense workouts every day for 30 days. In factm Kristina Jennings, a performance coach with Future, told InStyle, "People who chose to train two-a-day workouts are typically trying to look a certain way by a certain date or are looking to be in optimal shape for peak performance." But overstraining your body might lead to more injuries if not done correctly and without professional guidance.

According to the World Health Organization's guidelines, people should aim to do either 30 minutes of exercise five times a week or 150 minutes total a week to stay fit, per Indian Express. While some may be super motivated to start a new workout, others may not stick to it because life happens, and we get busy. WebMD recommends starting small and working out with a buddy to adhere to a program. But how long should one work out at the gym to get the benefits and see results? Well, it depends on more factors than you might think.

Your fitness level can impact how much you should exercise

The amount of time you can spend at the gym without hurting yourself can depend on your fitness level. Are you a beginner at the gym, more of an intermediate, or an advanced pro? If you are just starting to work out, Planet Fitness recommends you start small and try doing about 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at the gym, and as you start to get stronger, slowly add more time. The American Heart Association shares that you can try 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week to go harder. Some workouts are even best for your first time in the gym.

According to Lift Learn Grow, you are roughly considered a beginner, intermediate, or advanced weight lifter depending on how long you've been doing it. For example, if you have been lifting weights for less than a year, you're still a beginner. Some people are naturally stronger and have genes on their side, which can dictate how quickly you can move up. If you have a friend who has been super active but you're just starting, try not to compare the time you spend in the gym with theirs.

Your choice of workout can also affect you

The type of exercise you choose to do can dictate the amount of time you need to dedicate to the gym. You might be able to breeze through an hour of relaxation yoga, but doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for an hour is a totally different game. If you prefer a faster-paced workout, HIIT is an excellent choice because it'll help you lose fat faster than doing yoga (via IWM Buzz). You may wonder if yoga is considered a workout, but it can also help you lose weight, just not as much as HIIT. Different types of yoga burn different numbers of calories. Hatha yoga is great for beginners, which is when you focus on breathing and is done slowly, while ashtanga yoga is faster-paced, where you sweat more because it is more demanding, per Verywell Fit.

You can spend less or more time at the gym depending on the quality or quantity of workout you choose. According to the Mayo Clinic, an average person who weighs 160 pounds can burn 314 calories walking at 3.5 mph or 606 calories running at 5 mph. So, if you have an entire hour to spare and don't need an intense workout, you can stick with walking, but running might be your best bet if you want to burn the maximum number of calories. Also, if you are limited on time and want to make the most of it, running will give you quicker results than walking.

Examine the frequency of your workouts

Some people like to go to the gym every day, while others prefer to go a couple of times a week, and that can help you decide how much time you should be working out at the gym on any given day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a good 150 minutes of physical activity a week to stay healthy, so given your schedule and preference, you can either split it up throughout the week or do slightly longer chunks on your gym days. 

Of course, to gain more from your gym sessions, you can add more time than the guidelines specify. When it comes to cardio, it is perfectly safe to do it every day for up to 60 minutes, per Healthline; just make sure you are getting plenty of rest and not hurting yourself. Regarding frequency of strength training, Greatist recommends doing it once or twice a week. Therefore, those who choose to do it twice a week will spend more time at the gym. Check with a fitness trainer to see what is best for your body when in doubt.

The purpose of your workout can alter your time

Are you working out to stay fit and maintain your weight, or are you exercising to lose weight? The reason you go to the gym can influence the amount of time you might need to spend there. The World Health Organization recommends you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week generally, but if you are trying to lose weight, you might need to add a little more time. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise states that if your goal is weight loss, you will need to exercise for about 250 minutes a week to burn more calories, but if you are trying to maintain your current weight, then 150 minutes a week of activity will suffice. 

If your goal is to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and get more energy, you should definitely do cardio (via Top Fitness). However, if you want to burn more calories in a shorter time and become more toned, strength training, which has many benefits, should be your go-to, per Healthline. It is wise to add cardio and strength training to your exercise routine to get the workout's full benefits, and cardio generally tends to take more time because you do it more frequently than strength training.

The number of muscles you work out in a day

You work various muscles in your body when you do strength training, and depending on your workout plan, you can spend more or less time at the gym. For example, Daily Fitness Info shared how long you work out depends on how many muscles you choose to exercise in a day. Some people have separate days for upper body and lower body workouts, for example, requiring more days at the gym than someone who decides to do a full-body exercise on the same day. 

According to Healthline, there are combinations of muscle groups to work out on the same day, which will take less time. If you aren't into an arm day and a leg day, you can choose a full-body workout where you work out every muscle on the same day, and it has its advantages. says choosing a full-body activity will mean you might spend a longer time at the gym that day but not have to go as frequently. Plus, it allows time for your muscles to recover and restore after a workout. Unless you are a Hollywood star, you might not need to workout twice a day after all.

Tips for sticking to your gym

The journey of self-improvement is a marathon and not a sprint. Some get super motivated to transform thei bodies at the beginning of a new year, but as the days go by, their motivation slowly starts to drop. However, before that happens, you can try these simple tips to stick to the plan. Self says it is completely natural to not want to work out some days, and during that time, you have to be patient and be kind to yourself. 

WebMD's advice on sticking to your fitness routine is to start small, add variety so you don't get bored, and set realistic goals to keep you going on days when you want to give up. Working out is good for your mind and body, but if you aren't seeing results, your diet may be to blame. According to Shape Fit, what you eat is 70 to 80 percent responsible for your transformation. Just keep to it, and forge your own plan.