46 Minutes Won’t Do!

  • Thinking about Champion Michael Harris’s comments on the “Top Ten Things They didn’t Tell You in the Book”, his #10 point is that it is nearly impossible to get the upper body workout done in 45 minutes.  I’ve seen numerous posts on this point from others doing BFL as well. 


    Thinking about this led me to find what I think is a real inconsistency in the recommendations given in the “Champions Body for Life” text.  It’s clearer if you do the math for both the UBWO and the LBWO.  The recommended workout times are 46 & 42 min, respectively, with corresponding rest times of 28 min. and 22 min.  That leaves only 18 min. of real lifting time to do 300 reps on the UBWO, or 16.7 reps per minute.  TUL is thus 3.6 sec.  For the LB, it leaves 20 min. to do 240 reps, or 12 reps per minute.  TUL is 5 sec.  The TUL is much too short for the UB compared to typical weight lifting times of 6 sec.  The real workout time should be about 300 *6 sec /60 (sec/min) + 28 min. rest = 58 min. 


    In fact, on page 112 of the text, a recommendation is given to do the reps slowly and smoothly (very good advice…according to many weight lifting guides), taking 1 second to raise the weight, two seconds to lower it, and pausing for 1 second at the top and again the bottom.  That means the recommended TUL is 4-5 seconds, and hence 300 * 5 = 1500 seconds, or 25 minutes is needed for the actual lifting.  Add in the 28 minutes of rest, and the UBWO recommendation should be 53 minutes, not 46!!  The significance is that one of the Principles of Body for Life, namely “Weight lift 3 times weekly for no more than 46 minutes”, should probably be rethought. 

    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.


  • Both of my workouts take nearly an hour to complete.  I always warm up and stretch a bit, and then do my planks at the end of my workouts.  I also try to concentrate on form, and take it slow.

    "The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"

  • some here mine takes about an hr also...

    "He who gains a victory over other men is strong;
    but he whos gains a victory over himself is strong(er)"

  • Ditto and I always stretch for at least 10 mins afterwards, I used to try and rush to get everything done but that's no good.

  • My UBWO takes 58 minutes.  LBWO takes about 50 minutes.  However, if I remember correctly, BP wrote in the original BFL that you should say, "I'm building my Body for Life", which should take about 3 seconds or so, each rep.  Therefore, I'm assuming that's where he got the time to calculate the 46 minutes and the 42 minutes.


  • Especially on the UBWO the time doesn't quite match up. I don't really worry about it to much. I think the 46min thing is kinda one of those things to help people realize you don't have to spend your life in the gym to get results.

    I focus on my form and making sure I have good smooth motions both in the lift and the lowering in each rep. Make sure I wait my 1min in between sets. Usually run around 55min to 1hr 5 mins for UBWO + warm up and stretching of 10 mins. LBWO a little less than that.

    Cardio is the same, yes the HIIT portion is 20 mins, but stretching before hand and I usually cool down after the HIIT with 5-10mins of walking makes it about 30-35 mins of total time.

    If there is one thing I think BP missed with the BFL workouts is stretching. He never really mentions it, but it is important to stretch and warm up properly to avoid injuries.

  • Why Not?  My upper and lower workouts average 47 and 43 minutes. I do each workout with proper form as I planned it ahead of time what I am lifting and what exercise type i am doing. Maybe some are resting too much in between workouts or getting distracted during your workout, but it is possible, for me anyway.


  • For some reason my lower body is always so much faster than my upper body. I can get it done in 30 minutes not that I'm aiming for that. I hit all the muscle groups and still come out way less than 43 minutes. I'm not including warming up and cooling down stretches. Just the workout itself.



    You can choose the pain of discipline or the pain of regret...

  • Androshock/Sean - how do you do your UBWO, with free weights or with machines?  Using a machine could help speed things up a bit.  BFL is great, but another book I have addresses specifically dumbbell training for strength and fitness, and says that while TUL is somewhat variable, always target at least 2 seconds on the positive phase, and 4 seconds on the negative phase.  It even mentions different regimens using 4/8, 5/10, and 4/4/8, where the middle number is for the pause at the midpoint.  Note you will not be taking load off the muscle at the midpoint, or the endpoint, if you're using freeweights.

    Suenos096 - my LBWO is also 30 - 32 minutes.  I've extended it a bit by doing my last set of ab crunches on a decline bench, with a 45# plate on my chest, and doing 25, not 12, reps.


    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.