Is 2 hours too much?

Someone told me yesterday that I might not be doing myself a favor by doing 2 hours of exercise 2x a week. Basically they said that Cortisol will build up in my system and hinder weight loss with long extended workouts but I know runners who run for hours and they are thin as rails.
Here is my schedule and let me know your thoughts - should I tweak?

Monday - BodyPump and Zumba (high impact)
Tuesday - Zumba (high impact)
Weds - Used to be Turbokick until my knees wanted to kick me - so now I do Aquacise
Thurs- BodyPump and Zumba (high impact)
Friday- Zumba (high to med impact)
Saturday - Zumba somewhere between 30-60 minutes depending on kids sports
Sunday- REST FOR GOD SAKES!
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Replies

  • KenosFeoh
    KenosFeoh Posts: 1,838 Member
    I do recall reading a study that surprisingly revealed 30 minutes of exercise per day seems the optimal amount when it comes to weight loss and general well being.

    However, I can't recall any details because I read so many things, but it did relieve my anxiety in thinking I had to get at least an hour of exercise per day. 30 minutes per day is much more do-able for me.
  • I don't buy it... I know far too many healthy, fit people who exercise 2+ hours per day every day haha. I like your workout routine!
  • now_or_never13
    now_or_never13 Posts: 1,606 Member
    I don't see it being a problem as long as you are consuming enough calories to proper fuel your body and prevent muscle loss. Also, as long as your are stretching you shouldn't be risking injury.
  • I'm no expert, but I can tell you my own experience. When I started exercising, I was walking 30 minutes per day. The exercise, in addition to eating properly, caused me to lose a few pounds. I then gradually increased my exercise routine to include up to one hour of walking/running per day five to six days a week, and two hours of walking/running once a week. Once I increased the duration of my exercise, I lost weight at a more rapid rate. Now, I am at the weight my doctor stated I should be at, and by eating properly and exercising one hour per day, five to six days a week, and occassionally exercising for two hours once a week, I am maintaining my weight. I lost 35 pounds over a period of one year. The confusing part for me was that the weight loss was not linear. I'd lose five to ten pounds in a month, and then wasn't able to lose any more weight for four to six weeks, after which I begin to lose weight again. I don't know why my weight loss would plateau like that. Any idea why that happened?
  • Sunka1
    Sunka1 Posts: 217 Member
    I think as long as you are not feeling drained after your workouts and you are eating enough protein and calories, you should be ok. However, my personal experience has been that I used to overdo it and didn't realize I was worn out because I drank so much coffee at the time I didn't notice. Now I exercise 6 days a week alternating strength training with spin. Once in a while I double up but do not actually feel better on those days.
  • jadedone
    jadedone Posts: 2,482 Member
    First question I always ask myself before trying something new.....will I want to keep this routine up for the rest of my life?

    So do you plan on working out 2 hours a day once you hit your goal? You'll need to stay pretty close to that schedule on maintenance....

    I know my answer to that question is yeah right, so I stick with things that are maintainable.

    Personally, I like to workout harder for shorter vs easier for longer. I recommend upping the intensity on whatever you do.

    Are you on a cardio machine? Do intervals, HIIT or Tabata instead.
    Are you running? Add sprints a few times a week.
    Lifting weights? Combine them into a circuit and reduce your rest.


    ***I have found that my body doesn't care about longer bursts of exercise, it does nothing to help me lose weight. I need to keep it intense.
  • JewelsinBigD
    JewelsinBigD Posts: 661 Member
    These are all good points- I try to think about whether I can keep up this schedule and am pretty certain absent retirement I can't do it forever- but I also read about people who change the schedule up frequently to "confuse" their body. So if I have been doing this for months - should I maybe cut back from 2 to 1 hour and change up the routine? It might be hard to change it since it is so class time driven but maybe a change would do me good. How long do you keep a routine before you change it?
  • Danny_Boy13
    Danny_Boy13 Posts: 2,094 Member
    I would say that as long as you are eating enough to keep going 2hrs is ok. Personally in the gym I dont workout for any longer then 1-1.25hrs. If I am at speed skating practice of a training bike ride then 2hrs is the standard usually.
  • dmaloof2013
    dmaloof2013 Posts: 134 Member
    I would say it's fine as long as:

    A- your body can handle it
    B- you're eating enough to support that kind of exercise

    I do like your workout routine. It's too intense for me.
  • witchy_wife
    witchy_wife Posts: 792 Member
    I would say it's fine as long as:

    A- your body can handle it
    B- you're eating enough to support that kind of exercise

    I do like your workout routine. It's too intense for me.

    I'm pretty much agreeing with this response. Although the "optimal" workout might be 30 mins of high intensity every day, that doesn't mean that anything over that won't be beneficial. Maybe just the second and third 30 mins wont be quite as effective as the first.

    If you can keep it up and enjoy it and your body can keep up then you go for it! I'm a 30 mins a day kind of girl, wish I could find the spare time for 2 hours of exercising lol.
  • darkguardian419
    darkguardian419 Posts: 1,302 Member
    my wife never complains... err... *ducks out*
  • cpilson
    cpilson Posts: 10 Member
    This is true, insofar as saying that STICKING WITH 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least 3-4 times a week, supplemented with weight-training, is better than loading this all on one or two days--or, worse yet, doing this for a week or so and then discontinuing due to injury or disinterest.
    Someone told me yesterday that I might not be doing myself a favor by doing 2 hours of exercise 2x a week. Basically they said that Cortisol will build up in my system and hinder weight loss with long extended workouts but I know runners who run for hours and they are thin as rails.
    Here is my schedule and let me know your thoughts - should I tweak?

    Monday - BodyPump and Zumba (high impact)
    Tuesday - Zumba (high impact)
    Weds - Used to be Turbokick until my knees wanted to kick me - so now I do Aquacise
    Thurs- BodyPump and Zumba (high impact)
    Friday- Zumba (high to med impact)
    Saturday - Zumba somewhere between 30-60 minutes depending on kids sports
    Sunday- REST FOR GOD SAKES!
  • carrieous
    carrieous Posts: 1,025 Member
    i think its too much. Exercizing that long can cause you to unknowingly overeat- fueling up for the long session and also by overeating afterwards because you're so beat.
  • WeepingAngel81
    WeepingAngel81 Posts: 2,232 Member
    First question I always ask myself before trying something new.....will I want to keep this routine up for the rest of my life?

    So do you plan on working out 2 hours a day once you hit your goal? You'll need to stay pretty close to that schedule on maintenance....

    I know my answer to that question is yeah right, so I stick with things that are maintainable.

    Personally, I like to workout harder for shorter vs easier for longer. I recommend upping the intensity on whatever you do.

    Are you on a cardio machine? Do intervals, HIIT or Tabata instead.
    Are you running? Add sprints a few times a week.
    Lifting weights? Combine them into a circuit and reduce your rest.


    ***I have found that my body doesn't care about longer bursts of exercise, it does nothing to help me lose weight. I need to keep it intense.

    This is an excellent way of looking at your exercise routine. One I hadn't even thought of. You are correct about not wanting to spend 2 hours a day for the rest of my life at the gym! I don't think I had ever heard weight loss put in this perspective.
  • I read the question as you are doing two, two hour sessions per week. Not everyday?

    Anyway, this maybe useful (part of something I wrote yesterday at college):

    Cortisol is released naturally in the body throughout the day, but it is released in greater quantities in response to stress.

    It is a catabolic hormone that reduces protein synthesis which prevents tissue growth. Too much cardiovascular exercise can cause cortisol levels to increase and prolonged cortisol secretion. Other factors that may increase cortisol include: caffeine, sleep deprivation, intense exercise, severe trauma or stress, severe calorie restriction.

    Now for the good news:

    Magnesium has been shown to lower cortisol after aerobic exercise (but not after resistance training for some reason). I found a magnesium supplement an hour before bed really helped me relax (I used to workout around 6-8pm so levels maybe hadn't dropped naturally before bed time). Proper nutrition (maintaing blood sugar levels for example) and proper sleep (7-8 hours regularly) can prevent or lower the release of cortisol.

    I have no evidence but would suggest that if your exercise intensity and frequency were enough to cause a significant, prolonged rise in cortisol levels, you'd be in a state of overtraining and would be aware of other symptoms associated with overtraining.

    Your friend is right though, prolonged high levels of cortisol will affect your weight loss as it can mobilize triglycerides from storage and relocate them to visceral fat cells. Cortisol also affects blood glucose levels which and lead to overeating. It also indirectly influences appetite by modulating other hormones and stress responsive factors known to stimulate appetite.


    Personally I stick with: eating healthily, sleeping well, exercising regularly, and taking a rest day or two, and let my body sort the rest out itself!
  • da_bears10089
    da_bears10089 Posts: 1,791 Member
    I might drop some of the cardio and do some heavy lifting 3 times a week. like everyone else has said, eat enough to fuel your body
  • KANGOOJUMPS
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,479 Member
    I do 2 to 3 hours of cardio a day 7 days a week, it works for me. I LOVE IT, great high!
  • nitag
    nitag Posts: 706 Member
    Watching Dr. Oz the other day, well a few weeks ago, and he stated that 30 mins a day of Cardio is good enough. Me however, I am good with 60 mins a day. Any less and I don't feel like I gave enough effort.
  • juliemouse83
    juliemouse83 Posts: 6,663 Member
    I wouldn't know how to act if I had two hours a day to work out.
  • meshashesha2012
    meshashesha2012 Posts: 8,344 Member
    nothing wrong with it, although i'd personally switch up the routines a bit more and replace body pump with weight lifting.

    as long as you've been cleared to exercise and you're resting, eating adequately then dont worry about it . most people are lazy and think doing 15 minutes a day is adequate :laugh: so yeah to those people 2 hours will seem extreme.