How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle?
Knowing a bit of the science behind how muscles grow will help you maximize your efforts with your workouts and your diet. Before we answer the question of how long it takes to build muscle, let’s first look at how muscle is built.
Consistency is key. You need to exercise regularly to trigger the response in your body to increase strength. And you need to fuel your body with the right protein-rich diet to build muscle.
When you challenge your body through strenuous exercise it responds by working to strengthen your muscles, no matter what form of strength training you choose to perform. Strenuous exercise causes microscopic tears in your muscle fibers, which your body repairs stronger than before through muscle protein synthesis. This cycle of breaking-down and building-up causes your muscle to grow over time.
Part of starting or maintaining your goal of building muscle tone involves a consistent and effective fitness routine. Strength training and cardio each week will help you burn fat and tone muscle.
As outlined in “The Mini Guide to Building Muscle Tone,” strength training routine should involve the type of exercise based on whether your goal is muscle tone or muscle bulk. For muscle tone, you want low weight/high repetitions, but for muscle bulk, you typically want heavy weight/low repetitions 3 to 5 times per week.
If you are just beginning a weight routine, your body will be sore during the first week, so be sure to keep going, but stretch, hydrate, walk and foam roll to loosen up the lactic acid that builds in your muscles as you work them. Do not stack your lifting days back to back. Space them out every other day to allow your muscles time to rest on cardio days.
To help develop a consistent schedule needed for increased muscle tone, think long term. Plan out each week in advance, so you know what workouts you will do and when. By scheduling your workout, you’ll make it far less likely to skip. A routine schedule combined with some form of accountability to a partner or a group can also and achieve your exercise goals. Choose a fitness goal, and write it down where you see it every day as a reminder to yourself.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN DETERMINING YOUR GOAL
When developing a fitness goal, you must consider the following factors:
- Training Experience
Along with the factors above, consider the type of fitness goal for yourself:
- Muscle Bulking
- Muscle Toning
- Losing Weight
Once you know HOW to gain muscle and have created a clear goal, you can start to answer the question “how long does it take to build muscle?” This also includes committing to giving everything you have during every single workout. Work hard and you will see results.
INCREMENTS OF GAIN
Obviously, gains won’t happen overnight. You must be sure you maintain a routine exercise routine to make your body feel challenged or threatened so it gets stronger. Gaining muscle should be expected to come in increments.
Here’s how to determine (on average) how long it takes to gain increments of muscle:
- One pound of muscle – It will only take you a couple weeks to build your first pound of muscle especially if you’re a newbie.
- 5 pounds of muscle – It actually won’t take you very long to put on 5 pounds of muscle, on average about 10 to 12 weeks.
- 10 pounds of muscle – If you’re eating a proper muscle building diet that limits the amount of excess fat you gain, then about 7 to 8 months into your strength training routine you and everyone else will really start to notice your physical transformation.
- 20 pounds of muscle – This is when it starts to become very hard to build more muscle, it will take about 2 years for you to hit the 20 pound mark. The only good thing is that if you stuck with it for this long, then you obviously enjoy it and don’t mind putting the time in.
- Above 20 pounds of muscle – Unless you hit the genetic lottery you will have a hard time building more than 20 pounds of muscle. Depending on your personal factors like genetics, age, sex and training capacity, everyone has variables in how they add more muscle. To hit this point you will need superhero genes and anywhere from 5 to 7 years of consistent training.
WIth this general guideline on how to achieve muscle growth with exercise, you must ensure you incorporate a key ingredient into the mix -- nutrition!
CHOOSE A NUTRITION PLAN THAT MEETS YOUR GOAL
Over half of the equation to achieving any fitness goal centers on proper nutrition. A balanced diet will help maximize workout recovery, so it is important not to skimp on caloric intake. Extreme calorie deficits will hinder your body’s ability to build muscle.
A diet with quality protein and complex carbohydrates along with fresh fruits and veggies will provide antioxidants and other important micronutrients that help your body recover.
Ideally, you should refuel with a snack that balances proteins, carbs, and fats in the best ratios (ideally 60% protein, 30% carbs and less than 10% fats) within 30 minutes after exercise, known as your glycemic window - the period when your body is most receptive to taking on nutrients.
Consuming a post-workout shake or recovery supplement tells your muscles it's time to rebuild and repair. When using supplements, do your research to ensure you use a supplement with the best, most premium ingredients.
No matter what your fitness goal, it’s best to consume a mix of normal and fast-digesting protein after a workout. Transformation Protein Powder contains 30 grams of both types of protein per serving, blending natural egg white protein and collagen peptide, and plant-based proteins.
Transformation Protein’s formula has been perfected to include all nine essential amino acids in one product, offering a quick and effective way to optimize the efforts you put into your workouts. This makes Transformation Protein an ideal protein formula for anyone’s goals: bulking, toning or losing weight.Along with Transformation Protein Powder, Transformation Protein’s Recovery supplement is the perfect solution for anyone trying to recover efficiently after workouts. This premium RECOVERY powder uses the latest research with three top natural inflammation support ingredients, Curcumin from the wonder spice Turmeric, a potent extract from the ginger root, and bromelain - a top enzyme that supports an improved inflammation response in the body. Along with aiding digestion and offering GI support, these ingredients combine to help ease the stress of your daily activity on your muscles and joints, getting you in top form for your next workout.