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TOPIC: Half an hour at the gym - is that enough?

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May 27, 2012 9:43 PM
Hello all! Trying to get back into the groove of things and thought I'd ask around to see if anyone can help me out.

I plan on going to the gym 3 times a week - half an hour each week and I also plan to go for half an hour walks during my lunch break. Is this sufficient to lose weight and tone up or should I be investing more time? I go to the gym in the morning (from 6 am to 6:30am) because I'm usually too tired to do it at night and it's winter over here so I'd rather be rugged up at home.

The 30 mins I spend at the gym will be 10 mins - cross trainer/cycling, 10 mins - rowing machine and 10 mins - core workouts/weights
May 27, 2012 9:46 PM
I am thinking that it isn't enough time.. Because most people like spend 1-2 hours at the gym

I would recommend getting dvds like Jillian Micheals, Biggest loser, etc etc.. And if you dont have the money for that check on youtube for the Jillian MIcheals one
May 27, 2012 9:48 PM
IMO if you're serious about losing weight, you may want to invest more time to get the results you want.

That said, if you think this is something that is sustainable- meaning you're going to do it like this the rest of your life- then, yes, this might be a good option for you. Keep in mind the weight will come off slower though, obviously, than some longer workouts.

I'd also add that over time, you will probably end up feeling more energized, and might find yourself spending more time at the gym and feeling less tired.

Also, if I were you, instead of splitting the workouts up, I'm do one full 30 minutes cardio, one weights, one core. Just me though. Good luck.
May 27, 2012 9:48 PM
While something is better than nothing, that doesn't seem like enough time on each exercise.
May 27, 2012 9:50 PM
I don't know enough about you to answer this question fully, nor am I a doctor. I do know that my doc told me that the US govt recommends 45min of cardio 4 times a week and 2+ times a week of weight lifting a week to maintain one's weight. For me, someone who has to lose a lot of weight, she recommended 7 days a week of cardio, 45minutes each time, and 2 to 3 times a week of weight lifting. She said that I didn't have to exercise at a super high intensity or a high intensity but that 45 min, broken into 10 min chunks was fine, was important.

This was one site I found from 2008:

Hope that infio is helpful.
May 27, 2012 9:51 PM
No one can answer your question without knowing what your diet looks like.
May 27, 2012 9:53 PM
The least amount of time, in my opinion, that you should spend at the gym is 45 minutes. I think the most important thing to do is find something you enjoy whether it's a fitness class or single exercise machine. Try out everything until you find that one or two. I like the fitness classes over single machines because seeing other people in there motivates me more. The time of day must suit you. If you are a morning person, then great! The additional walks are bonus. MFP tells you how many minutes a week you should work out in order to reach your weight goal. Look at it. They tell the total amount of calories that you will need to burn per week as well.
May 27, 2012 9:56 PM
Shoot. Just realized that you are not in the US. Sorry to be so ethnocentric. :(

I know that as I've lost weight, I have felt tremendously more energized (too). I've gotten my sweetie to go to the gym with me, which helps to keep me motivated too. It felt daunting at first, to get in all the exercise, but it has been worth it! Oh, and when the weather gets warmer, I totally encourage you to sign up for a 5k or something else to motivate you to walk. It has been so fun to "train" to walk a 5k! I've really loved it and I know that I am helping out some lovely people.

May 27, 2012 9:57 PM
well depends on what you r doing..
if its just weights.. then yes! but u need to do do 4-5 exercise on a body part n just work on that.. with no breaks.. workouts at the gym on weights that go longer than 1 hour are just a waste.. you want to work your muscle, if you do your weights with proper technique and speed then your working them fine.. maybe 45minutes to be safe..

if your doing cardio as we you might need more time.. people that go to the gym longer than 90minutes+? really just a big part of the day is out because of gym! you can do cardio in the morning or evening for 20minutes sessions.. split your workout up from just doing cardio n weights.. if that makes any sense!
May 27, 2012 9:58 PM
Thanks guys.

I'm currently at 1200 calories a day - diet wise and MFP has told my weekly goal is 1220 a week. The reason why I can't spend more time in the morning is that I have to rush home to get ready for work and the gym only opens up at 6. I'll try and see if I can shorten my "get ready time" and add on another 15 minutes or try to go to the gym everyday. This morning I did the 30 mins at the gym (burned about 350 calories) and the half an hour walk (burned about 160 calories) if that helps.
May 27, 2012 9:59 PM
I feel like you should do a little more...but honestly thats a great start. Atleast you're doing something instead of nothing. Maybe you should try somethings you enjoy doing so that it doesn't seem like a workout and you'll spend more time doing it and burning calories. ( & if you feel like you have absolutely no time...try doing some workouts as you watch tv or while cooking ; get in a workout whenver possible )

Hope this helps :)
May 27, 2012 9:59 PM
what you are planning is better than nothing,,of course ,,,but most doc will say 45 cardio a day ,,with one day of rest..and the weights every other day.... or try those 30 minute circuts curves or planet fitness,,,but when doing the steppers make it worth your time,,,...get your heart rate going
May 27, 2012 10:00 PM
Any amount of increase in exercise will aid in weight loss. More is better but 30 minutes is better than zero minutes. Make the best of the 30 minutes.

Sounds to me like you are giving this a lot of thought and planning, You will reach goal.
May 27, 2012 10:01 PM
30 minutes won't really benefit you too much for a lot of reasons. Before doing any real exercise you should be doing at least 5 minutes of dynamic stretches and warm up. Then if you factor in time setting machines or moving between equipment you would really only end up doing 15 minutes of activity. There are things you can do in this timeframe but that type of super setting and high I tensity training can be rough if you aren't already pretty fit. I would try to meet with one of your trainers from your gym and ask them to help create a routine. That will give you a good idea of the time needed.
May 27, 2012 10:01 PM
It's not the time you put in, it's what you do with the time.

An intense 30 minutes is better than a moderate hour or two.
A moderate 30 minutes is better than a boring hour or two.
A boring 30 minutes is better than nothing at all.

Just my two cents.
May 27, 2012 10:01 PM
I think with the time you set aside is not enough. You really will not get much of a workout by only alloting 10 minutes to anything. For example I usually set aside 45 minutes for running, 30 minute for core, and 45-60 minutes for weights. I do this 5 times a week. But keep in mind that I do take few minute breaks between stations.

Now keep in mind that anything will help. What you can do is just work on one station for 30 minutes. So one day you do the rowing machine. Next day you do the elliptical, etc. Just my opinion.
May 27, 2012 10:02 PM

Shoot. Just realized that you are not in the US. Sorry to be so ethnocentric. :(

I know that as I've lost weight, I have felt tremendously more energized (too). I've gotten my sweetie to go to the gym with me, which helps to keep me motivated too. It felt daunting at first, to get in all the exercise, but it has been worth it! Oh, and when the weather gets warmer, I totally encourage you to sign up for a 5k or something else to motivate you to walk. It has been so fun to "train" to walk a 5k! I've really loved it and I know that I am helping out some lovely people.


All good!

I would love to do a 5k but I'm worried about the damage my knees will suffer from if I start doing a c25k. But thanks for the advice :) hopefully I get a bit more energy the next few weeks and start going at night too
May 27, 2012 10:03 PM
Depends on how you structure your workout. You could make it work, especially as you are gaining fitness in the early stages.

1. Circuit training is your friend, do not stop at all. Warm up for 3 minutes on a cardio machine. Go straight to the weights, do one set, move directly to the next machine (or exercise with free weights). Do your all of your 1st sets. Rest for 30-60 seconds. Do set 2 back to back. Do set 3 (if time allows). Do a 2 minute sprint on the cardio machine and stretch. Your gym may also have a 30 minute circuit setup to use.
2. Do intervals on your walk. Don't go at the same speed. Go normal speed. Then go fast for a minute or 2. Slow down again and repeat for your entire workout
3. Reclaim 10 minutes here and there for some exercises. There are loads of 10-15 minute workouts available on youtube/online etc. Try blogilates.
4. Have a plan for every workout so you don't waste time thinking about what to do while you are at the gym

I don't spend much time at the gym. Around 45 minutes 3 to 4 days a week. My goal is to be as efficient as possible with my time. Circuit training and intervals are pretty much the best way to do this.
May 27, 2012 10:03 PM
It's not the time that's important. It's the intensity. You could get a GREAT workout in 30 mins. HIIT intervals on the treadmill, HEAVY lifting with bursts of cardio between sets, etc. But definitely just walking is not going to cut it...
May 27, 2012 10:05 PM
I would say it depends on your current condition. When I started 9 months ago, I had about 50lbs of excess bodyfat caused by years of alcohol abuse(6pack every nite). For the first 7 months I was very inconsistent with my training. There would be weeks where I did no cardio or strength training because I had to work late or something. I now spend at least 1 hour a day walking on the treadmill which burns 400 calories. Then on the weekend I would spend another 2-3 hours weight training on top of that 1 hour of cardio. I also meticulously watch what I eat and follow guidelines I've find online, whether they are right or wrong, I don't know. My diet is more of a gain muscle and lose only fat type of diet rather than a lose any type of weight diet, so it consists of alot of protein and low fat with enough carbs to sustain my physical activities. I followed a keto diet for awhile which worked in helping me lose weight but it conflicted with my strength training. When the weekend rolled around, I didn't have the energy to lift a flea. So I decided to lose fat the slower way in return for gaining strength and eventually lean mass.
Edited by stupidloser On May 27, 2012 10:23 PM
May 27, 2012 10:06 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I've got to find a way to spend more time at the gym. Possibly spend more time on one machine each day and do it 5 times a week and find a sport to play over the weekend.
May 27, 2012 10:06 PM
**I just noticed you are doing 30 minutes in the gym and a 30 minute walk. That's great. You definitely have time for 20 minutes of weights. You can get a lot done in 20 minutes of weights. Especially since you can get your cardio burst in later!
May 27, 2012 10:08 PM
Time in the gym is pretty irrelevant, so long as you are burning more calories then you are eating you will lose weight.

Personally though I would not bother with a 30 minute work out if you are just doing a "bit of this and a bit of that"

You have allocated 10 minutes to weights AND core... to excursive ONE muscle group properly its going to take about 3~4 minutes at the least for example: 3 sets of say 10 reps with 2x1 minutes rest in-between...

I'm in the gym 2~3 times a week my workouts look something like this:

15 minutes bike
1 hour compound lifts (Deadlifts, squats, big cable exercises)
15 minutes bike
1 hour isolation lifts (arms, shoulders, abs etc.)
15 minutes bike.
May 28, 2012 4:34 AM
If you're doing a half hour walk each day, you should spend all your gym time on weights. 30 minutes of heavy weight training is fine, check out Starting Strength or Stronglifts 5x5, both are beginning weight training programs that really shouldnt take more than 30 minutes or so per workout to start out. As you progress you'll probably want to spend more time at the gym, but 30 minutes is a good place to start.
May 28, 2012 4:40 AM
I think it depends on how much you get your heart rate up. If you feel you are giving 100% then it may well be worth it.

Maybe you can mix in a long session on one of your days off too. Invite friends/family and go to zumba or something to mix it up! :)

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