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How long does it take to build muscle?



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Building muscle is a slow but valuable process.

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Many start training routines to look toned or skinny. Lifting Weights can help you achieve these goals, but it is important to start a new training plan with the right expectations.

Building muscle takes much longer than most people realize. It’s a slow – almost incredibly slow – process that can feel daunting when you do not see the muscle definition you want.

Here you will learn how long it takes to build muscle and what factors affect your ability to get stronger, leaner and fitter from weight training.

How muscle growth happens

illustration of a muscle fiber

Each muscle is made up of muscle fibers, which are cylindrical cells. Weight training breaks them down and recovery helps them grow.

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Building muscle involves repairing microtrauma in your muscle fibers. Here is a summary of this extremely complex process:

1. Each muscle is made up of thousands of small muscle fibers.

2. When you lift weights (or do bodyweight exercises), your muscles get small injuries throughout the fibers.

3. Then, as you rest your muscles, your body begins to repair your damaged muscle cells.

4. The repair process involves fusing torn muscle fibers together, as well as putting new proteins into each muscle cell.

5. Your muscles get bigger and stronger as a result of the repair process.

Keep in mind that the above is an extremely simplified version of what actually happens in your body after a workout. In reality, the process includes more than just your muscles – your nervous system, circulatory system and endocrine system contribute to muscle repair and growth.

How long does it take to build muscle?

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Building muscle is super hard. If it was easy, we would all be fooled.

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There is no muscle building timeline, as several factors affect your ability to build muscle mass, including:

Your protein intake: While everything macronutrients have their roles, protein is king when it comes to building muscle. Your muscles need adequate protein to repair themselves after the stress of weight training. Without enough protein, muscle growth stagnates.

Your calorie intake: If you do not eat enough calories You do not build muscle daily even if you eat a lot of protein. To build muscle, your body must create new tissue, and it cannot create anything from nothing. Extra fuel from extra calories accelerates muscle recovery and growth. This is one reason why many people never reach their muscle growth goals – they are not willing to deal with the extra body fat that comes with a muscle building phase.

Your sleep schedule: Lift weights while sleep deprived is not a smart strategy. You may see some gains, but you can definitely not optimize muscle growth when you do not give your body a chance to recover.

Your lifting routine: If you are trying to build muscle, you should know about two important strength training concepts: frequency and volume. Frequency refers to how often you train a muscle or muscle group, while volume refers to the total load you stress a muscle with.

For example, if you perform three sets of 10 reps on 100 pound squats, your total volume is 3,000 pounds. More volume and higher frequency usually corresponds to more muscle, unless you reach the point overtraining.

Your training age: The more advanced you are, the less muscle growth you will see (yes, it sounds backwards). Everyone has a maximum genetic potential for muscle growth, and the closer you get to yours, the harder it will be to build more muscle.

Your actual age: Like many things, building muscles gets harder as you get older. Sarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass and function, is actually a major problem in older adults. That is one reason why it is so important to stay active as you get older.

Other important factors include your genetic potential to build muscle (which is impossible to quantify without laboratory testing, and even then, the type of wash desired) and your testosterone levels – which is why men usually have more muscle than women. Other hormones, including human growth hormone and insulin growth factor, also play a role in muscle growth.

All that said, the muscle building process begins the moment you challenge your muscles to do something. True beginners can see muscle growth within six weeks of starting a resistance Exerciseand advanced lifters can see results within six to eight weeks after their regular strength training program has been changed.

Regardless of fitness level, muscle building takes several weeks, even when your diet, sleep and exercise plans are all dial-up to optimize muscle growth.

Can you build muscle that does cardio?

A group fitness class that uses kettlebells.

Cardio that involves high volume training can help you build muscle.

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This depends on your definition of cardio and your training age. Most people will not build much muscle from traditional cardio, such as walking or jogging, and people who have been training for a long time will definitely not build new muscle through traditional cardio. It does not recruit your muscles in a way that sends a muscle building signal to your body.

However, cardio that involves high-intensity exercises such as plyometrics (think jumping) or high-volume training can helps you build muscle to some extent. Sprinting hills, hiking, skiing and other outdoor cardio can also contribute a small amount to muscle mass, especially for beginners. People with a long training history may not see as much success with the heart.

Although cardio can improve your overall fitness and help build muscle in selected scenarios, strength training remains the best way to build muscle mass.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical condition or health goal.


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