How to Save Time Building Muscle

Posted February 23, 2010 in Fitness Tips 2 Comments »
Swole Fitness Tips

You want to save time building muscle and losing fat. You want to put in as little time as possible, using as few days out of the week as possible, and get the most bang for your buck. In that case you should exercise only when you can maximize your returns on time invested. Here’s how:

Exercise Efficiently

Grow more muscle and save more time by exercising more efficiently. You should always keep your workouts under 60 minutes. In fact most experts agree that 45 minutes is the maximum time limit for resistance training, and the final 15 minutes should be used for cooling down and stretching.

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Be Smart – Save Time – Lose Fat


After the 60 minute mark, your body will start producing more cortisol, the stress hormone that is responsible for most of the bad stuff your body does in attempting thwart your efforts to gain muscle. Increased cortisol means less testosterone, less protein synthesis, less anabolism, more catabolism, and a general feeling of fatigue.

This means fewer muscle gains, less strength, poor endurance, decreased motivation, less fat burned, fewer calories burned, and ultimately wasted time. These are some of the reasons people quit working out. Exercising for too long does your body more harm that good, and it leaves you feeling drained and useless.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Respect the law of diminishing returns and do not waste your time exercising for more than 60 minutes in one session. Eat a ton of carbs and a moderate amount of protein after your workout to restart protein synthesis, anabolism, and to fill your body back up with glucose.

Rest and Rebuild

Wait a couple hours before trying to exercise a second time, if you feel you absolutely MUST get in another workout. Better yet, do one workout in the AM and one workout in the PM. Better yet, only workout once a day. Better yet, take every other day off completely for maximum recovery.

Obviously most athletes, especially Project Swole readers, won’t want to take every other day completely off… I know I don’t. It is not really necessary, but you should maximize rest and recovery when you aren’t training. Double sessions 7 days a week will only make you sick and skinny.

The Werewolf Training and Full Body Training routines are designed to take under 60 minutes to complete, and allow for a couple rest days during the week.

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2 Responses to “How to Save Time Building Muscle”

  1. Hey, firstly want to say I love your site; use it as my bible.

    Secondly, I was wondering about the “eat a ton of carbs” statement you said for after a workout to restart protein synthesis.. My question is when would be the best time to eat carbs, what types of carbs should you eat (Simple = white?, complex = wholewheat, is that how it goes?), and how many grams should you have after a workout?

    I ask because I’m all about post-workout tid bits to increase recovery and maximize muscle gains. I currently drink a protein shake after my workouts, made with 10oz of 1% chocolate milk, and it equates out to (without the milk) 240(Cal),4g(Fat),10g(Carb),40g(Prot), and then some fruits for extra carb, either apple or orange, as I usually have a banana pre-training..

    I’m 6’2″, 230lbs, 21 y/o and in the midst of your Werewolf muscle gains routine and attempting to add another 10lbs of bulk.

    Hope this wasn’t too much of a post, thanks for all your help.

    • Actually the chocolate milk concoction you mentioned sounds pretty good. I would prefer to see something with about 40 grams of simple carbs and 25 grams of protein, but your chocolate protein milk should work pretty well.

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