40 vs 20 minute workout

Will a 40 minute gym session give you twice the performance compared to a 20 minute session?

Keeping fit is one thing, but making time to keep fit is something most people struggle with. What if you could train for half the time and get the same results? The twins monitored their bodies over a three month fitness challenge to understand if training twice as much offered twice the results.

The twins hypothesized that a 40 minute gym session might deliver 10 - 20% uplift in performance over the 20 minute session.

Each gym session (taking place across Virgin Active gyms in London) was an endurance program designed for a 20 minute session, with each of the four exercises having 14 reps with four sets. Ross who was doing the 40 minute session doubled this 20 minute session, keeping the weights and intensity the same, to create an exact carbon copy of Hugo's session.

Read the full Men's Health article here.

The Results

Over the course of 12 weeks, Ross's accumulative minutes in the gym was 2,280, while Hugo's was 1,240 minutes. The graphs below shoe data collected using the Boditrax machines from early January to the end of March 2023.

The above graph shows that Hugo had a starting weight of 87kgs and Ross around 88.5kgs which is their normal weight difference. Their weight stayed in parallel generally throughout the project. Half way through the three months, they changed their gym program which is indicated by a clear change in body weight. This change was designed in keep the program interesting and to work different muscle groups.

Hugo Turner before and after the three month 40 vs 20 minute fitness challenge.

The twins fat percentage also followed a similar trend throughout the three months. Hugo's body fat started around 11% and finished around 17%, while Ross started at 15% and finished around 17%.

Ross Turner before and after the three month 40 vs 20 minute fitness challenge.

With Ross doubling Hugo's workout, the weight changes between the twins again followed a similar pattern, rising and falling at the same stages. Hugo's muscle mass although following an almost perfect pattern to Ross, was one or two kilos lighter. If you moved the lines together, they would almost be identical.

Physiological tests performed before and after the three month comparison show how their performances changed. Tests completed included the max amount of push ups and pull ups, max one bench press and max deadlift. A Vo2 submaximal aerobic test using a watt bike tested their fitness level and assessed maximum oxygen uptake.


Breitling (Endurance Pro watch)

Gymshark (clothing)

Virgin Active (gym)

The twins are constantly curious, always questioning the statue quo and always trying to discover and learn about our world.