I think there is just losing fat and gaining muscles, those girly expressions seem something unreal to me…
I raise my weights when they get too easy (or not but I do my 12-10-8 with the current weight) but I want to get as muscular and strong as I can get (that’s very little) If you want to stop raising your weights, do that, sure, it’s all up to us If nothing else, you keep your muscle mass (minus the effect of aging but that goes slow and no idea how it affects a normal, not natural maximum musculature).
I am a lazy one but I still try to do my workouts seriously (I suspect that sometimes it’s not my muscles keeping me back but my actual state of mind but I have way better days), I almost never have any noticeable soreness afterwards. Sometimes it almost bothers me… At least my biceps and triceps feel something but I never ever had chest muscle ache, for example. Or back. Not sure about shoulders. I don’t even do any leg training (beyond walking and stuff) but I know how painful legs can be, that’s too easy to reach
My only major, even troublesome soreness happened when I changed my triceps exercise. So I actually do that with smaller weights, 12-12-12 is no problem but I try to get used to it before I raise my weights. (And my left weight is WAY smaller and that troubles me a bit too, I didn’t have that in the past. My exercise before used a barbell but now I use dumbbells. Just like in my distant past but the weight was the same then.)
There are various methods, weight-lifters go for a big weight and one rep, I do a normal bodybuilder thing with more reps but only until 12… As long as one does it safe and right, all is good, there are options and different results My goal is looks (and strength but whatever comes with it is fine) and enjoying my workouts as much as possible. And not much muscle aching afterwards but some is perfectly fine. When I had some leg exercise without weights for 5 minutes and barely could walk for 3 days, that wasn’t fun. But I don’t ignore leg exercises because of that, I just hate those as they are SUPER hard to me so no way I would do them even if I tried and I don’t want muscular legs at the moment anyway (but I would rather run and I don’t like running, I just want it for reasons).
I do things carefully to avoid big muscle aches. My SO is the type who waits years until I raise my weights, grab them, do the same exercise just a tad more reps and has pains for days afterwards… While I get nothing as I am used to it.
Sorry, I tend to talk a lot about things I neglect, I had some problematic times and had too few workouts in the last weeks, I try to do them right starting tomorrow! I am helpful for the workout threads as they inspire me a bit and I need all the help I can get.
1 hour sounds enough but of course it depends. I get winded super easily (I started to run, I need stamina!) so I have super long breaks compared to normal ones. And I train at home so I do other things and get distracted too… But normally 1-1.5 hour is a very good workout if I remember correctly.