But a new survey has found that less disciplined gym-users can waste up to 21 minutes in every hour distracted from exercising and building muscle.
The main time-eating offenders include:
checking text messages
constantly filling water bottles
chatting to fellow gym goers
choosing music on iPods and MP3 players
According to the report an average gym-user wastes around 35 per cent of each visit on such habits and only spends 39 minutes of every hour actually exercising.
Gym Chain Harpers Fitness found up to 55 per cent of gym members fiddle with an iPod or MP3 to work out which music they want to to accompany their session.
And 30 per cent of regulars take as long as ten minutes to sort out the headphones for their iPod or device, said the survey of 1,000 adults.
Up to a third (32 per cent) admit they regularly interrupt their routines to chat to other gymgoers.
Other habits to emerge from the study include checking phones for emails, texts and missed calls.
Kevin Yates, head of fitness for Harpers, said the time taken to get organised for the gym often eats into the sessions themselves.
He recommended music playlists be sorted out before leaving the house and mobiles turned off completely while at the gym in order to maximise the actual exercise and fitness sessions.
He said:' We wanted to get an idea of what our members are spending time on at the gym - apart from exercise - and this survey has revealed some time-consuming habits.
'Your time at the gym shouldn't be spent untangling headphones, choosing music or checking your phone and we hope this makes gym-goers more aware of the time they spend exercising and the time they spend not exercising.'