First of all stop listening to what you see in muscle magazines and their work out routines they profile and recommend. Those routines are for those who are genetically gifted and take steroids. These magazines do this to create larger than life characters so in the end you will do whatever they tell you...which leads to you buying there bogus over hyped supplements. However, in my experience wasting weeks and months working out in the gym using their philosophies left me with little or no results and on the threshold of quitting!!! After doing my own unbiased research and through trail and error I have found that 10-12 total sets per workout are all that’s needed to build muscle fast. This is a far from what you see in most muscle building magazines out there today. I will never recommend a high set muscle building workout to skinny guys or the average Joe looking to build muscle. So let me explain quickly why 10-12 sets per workout is all that is need to build muscle fast. Most people are over trained because they do too many sets and reps and again this comes from the larger than life images and characters portrayed in muscle magazines. Typically a lot of people recovery ability is poor because they don’t eat properly, don’t sleep enough and are stressed out due to everyday life. This is why fewer total sets is better for skinny guys, the average Joe or anyone who want to build muscle naturally with out the use of expensive and dangerous steroids. So, when you begin a lifting session, your body starts to release growth hormone and testosterone. The release of these anabolic hormones peaks at about the 30 minute mark and falls back to where you started at around 45 minutes. Training for any longer than 45 minutes starts to increase the release of cortisol, which is a catabolic hormone that eats away muscle tissue and increases the storage of body-fat. Going beyond 45 minutes also severely decreases the production of testosterone. That's why when you take steroids such as testosterone and human growth hormone (hgh) it does not matter you can workout as hard as you want as long as you want because tomorrow your body has already recovered!! When trying to remain in an anabolic state (a condition where your body can build muscle), you want to keep your testosterone levels higher and your cortisol levels lower. If you are in the gym doing countless sets 45 minutes will come and go fast!! For this reason I recommend that you always limit your workouts to 30-45 minutes and a total of 10-12 sets total. Shorter training sessions also allow you to train body-parts more frequently and effectively as if you were taking steroids. That is because you recover much quicker and more efficiently from short workouts. So, the lesson here is maximum 45 minute workout excluding warm up time. Going longer than this only leads to over training and lackluster results along with potential injuries. I suggest that you watch the clock, and do whatever you have to do to keep your workouts in the 30 to 45 minute range and never go longer than that. This is one of the best ways to guarantee consistent progress and to avoid over training.