Is A 30 Minute Workout Enough To Build Muscle?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Is a 30-minute workout enough to build muscle? Yes, you can build muscle in just twenty to thirty minutes a day especially if you are efficient in your workout.  If you target every muscle group at least twice a week minimally twenty to thirty minutes a day, it is enough to build muscle. When you are young in your teens and twenty’s you think that you must live in the gym to achieve the body you want.

In fact, as someone who has worked out consistently with weight training for over 28 years, I used to think that. I realized with age that as much as you have to put stress on the muscle fibers when you train it. You also must allow the muscle to repair itself by resting it.

Is a 30 minute workout enough to build muscle? Photo credit: iStock-g-stockstudio

Your muscles grow by two things, #1 by tearing it down which comes with incorporating any type of resistance training. And #2 with resting the muscle after you have done the weight-training. During this resting time, it is repairing itself. 

Spending your whole day in the gym lifting weights because you have a goal of building muscle is frankly a waste of time. If you know what you are doing in the gym you really shouldn’t have to spend more than 40 minutes a day doing your weight-training.

Some strength training activities you can incorporate in building muscle are:

  • Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, dips, body squats, lunges.
  • Resistance band movements
  • Dumbbell free weight training workouts
  • Workouts with Stationary machines

A good repetition range when incorporating weight-training activities is 10 to 15 repetitions. When you lift weights try to split your body parts.

An example of what I would create for a client as a personal trainer.

  • Monday- train Legs and Triceps
  • Tuesday- train Shoulders and Back
  • Wednesday- train Chest and Abs
  • Thursday- train Legs and Triceps
  • Friday- train Shoulders and Back and Abs

When you are lifting it is important to lift enough that will challenge yourself in the workout. If you don’t feel the burn at all in the muscle, there is a couple of things that is going wrong.  #1 your form may be incorrect or #2 you are not lifting enough weight. If you can talk and lift weights at the same time, then you are probably not lifting anything that is pushing the muscle.

How many sets should you do? 3 to 4 sets per exercise is a good set range. It is advisable not to do strength training on the same muscle group two days in a row. That could cause excessive soreness or potential injury.

Can a woman build the same amount of muscle as a man?

A woman can’t build the same amount of muscle as a man because they don’t produce enough testosterone as a man. Testosterone plays a huge part in your muscle development. One of the reasons why professional bodybuilders take steroids, growth hormone because of its insane ability to increase your testosterone at an exponential level. The result from that is a huge increase in muscle mass.

Can you lose muscle with doing any type of cardio? You have to be in an extreme caloric deficit to lose muscle. So, if you are not eating enough quality calories and you are doing 2 hours of cardio per day, then of course you will lose muscle that way.

If your cardio is at 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate at 30 to 40 minutes a session, then that will help with muscle growth. When you start to heighten your intensity at that 75 to 80% maximum heart range then the cardio becomes more anaerobic. And this would be considered high intensity interval training.

As much as strength training is important when building muscle so is your diet. Your protein intake needs to be 0.7 to 1 gram of pound per body weight to help with maintaining or building muscle.

Here are some protein foods you should focus on in your diet.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk

Some non-animal sources of protein are for those nonmeat eaters or vegetarians are:

  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Soybeans

“Spending your whole day in the gym lifting weights because you have a goal of building muscle is frankly a waste of time. If you know what you are doing in the gym you really shouldn’t have to spend more than 40 minutes a day doing your weight-training.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is you can build muscle working out 30 minutes a day if you are efficient in your workout routine. And you understand how to split and train your body parts through the week.

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