The human body is a wonderful machine, capable of incredible feats of strength and endurance. When it comes to building muscle, however, the process is more complex than just working out harder. To maximize muscle growth, eating a healthy diet and focusing on compound exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at once is important.
Additionally, varying your workout routine and getting adequate rest is key to building muscle effectively. While these tips may seem easy to follow, they can be a piece of cake for some gym goers. Most of us need help hitting a plateau and witnessing the progress we need to reach our fitness goals.
While struggling with the progress, it's equally important to remember that several factors that affect the muscle-building process, like genetics, age, exercise type, and diet, play a significant role. In general, it takes longer to build muscles as you age. Younger people build muscle more quickly because their bodies are more responsive to exercise.
People who lift weights regularly can expect to see noticeable results within 6-8 weeks. However, it can also take up to 3 months to see significant gains in muscle mass. Some people may also need supplements or protein shakes to see good results.
In this article, we will guide you through the path of muscle building and the time it takes to buff up like you dream.
How Muscle Growth Happens
Studies show that the process of muscle growth entirely depends on weight. The muscle builds, and the size increases when you target your body with challenging weights. The heavy weights and the higher levels of resistance increase your muscle size. This development in your body is known as muscle hypertrophy.
Your body repairs and replaces the injured muscle fiber with a cellular technique that helps muscle fiber to create new muscle protein strands. These muscle fibers also repair the myofibrils to increase thickness and help form muscle growth.
There are specific hormones that help your muscles grow. A simple example of these hormones is the pituitary gland. The number of workouts predicts the release of this hormone. This hormone increases the metabolism and moves amino acids into protein which multiplies your muscle-building process.
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How Long Does It Take to Build Muscle?
To build muscles, it is recommended to visit the gym twice or thrice a week. You can see the difference in your body and the muscle when you start preparing your body with heavier weights.
Exercises activate protein synthesis two to four hours after finishing the workout in a person. With aging, your muscle mass and stability decrease. Compared in both genders, men lose muscle mass before women and at a faster pace. The differences between men and women in muscle building are due to size, composition, and hormones.
Studies show differences in muscle strength and short muscle fibers in men and women are formed due to lean tissue distribution. The less muscle is before exercising, the more the changes and benefits will be during and after the exercises.
Muscle Gain Over Days, Weeks, and Months
The human body is a machine of excellence and adaptability to all sorts of stressors and demands. When it comes to muscle gain, this adaptability is key. Building muscle only happens after some time — it takes days, weeks, or even months of consistent lifting and healthy eating before you start to see results.
But the good news is that the more you exercise, the easier it becomes to build muscle. Your body adapts to the stress of lifting weights by getting stronger and growing larger muscles.
So keep going even if you don't see results immediately — just keep working hard and be patient, and eventually, you'll see the fruits of your labor.
If you want to get stronger, you might wonder how many strength training exercises you should be doing each week. According to most experts, the answer is 8 to 10 exercises two or more days per week. These exercises should be completed in 8 to 12 repetitions, with 2 to 3 sets per exercise. In other words, you'll do the training of each exercise 8 to 12 times and then repeat that 2 to 3 times.
As your body gets stronger, you may find it easier to complete the 8 to 12 repetitions using the same weight. When this happens, you can progress to heavier weights. But ultimately, it's up to you to listen to your body and find the weight that challenges you the most.
Best Ways to Work Muscles
When it comes to working out, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on your goals, you should focus on different types of exercises. For example, if you're looking to build muscle, you'll want to include strength-training exercises in your routine.
Studies prove that starting with strength training helps build muscle and reach your fitness levels efficiently. Strength training includes weights but not necessarily heavyweights like dumbbells or machines. It can be done with resistance bands or by using your body weight. If you choose bodyweight training, include a yoga mat in your fitness gear for convenience and efficiency.
Here are some strength training workouts you can do:
- Body weight exercises: push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and lunges
- Resistance band workouts
- Weight training using dumbbells, kettlebells, water jugs, or cans
Focusing on cardiovascular exercise might be the key if you're on the journey to lose weight. Engaging in cardiovascular exercise is an incredible thing to help your health. Cardio plays a good part in improving your heart and lung health and reducing your risk of chronic diseases. It can even play an apt role in improving your mental well-being.
If you are looking for ways to stick to cardio, the following are some tips. One of the efficient ways to get the better of this challenge is to explore more to acquire an activity you enjoy. If you hate running on a treadmill, try the following activities that help maintain the cardiovascular exercise routine.
- Try swimming laps at the pool
- Riding your bike around town
- Sign up for a dance class
- Join a local sports team
The important thing is to find an activity that you can stick with in the long term. You can make cardiovascular exercise a part of your healthy lifestyle with little effort.
In addition, the intensity of your workout will also affect the results. If you're looking to build muscle, you'll need to push yourself and lift heavier weights. However, if you're trying to lose weight, you should focus on lower-intensity exercises. By tailoring your workout to your specific goals, you can ensure you get the most out of your routine.
All these exercises help build muscle and strengthen your body with just what you need.
How Often Beginners Should Train to Build Muscle
The frequency of your workouts is just as important as the intensity when trying to build muscle. If you're a beginner, you should train three to four times per week on non-consecutive days.
This will give your body time to recover in between sessions and help you avoid overtraining. Once you have a firm foundation of strength and size, you can start training more frequently. However, even advanced lifters should take at least one day off per week to let their muscles recover.
How often you train will also depend on your goals. If you're trying to build strength, you may need to train more frequently than if you're just trying to maintain your muscle mass. Ultimately, the best way to determine how often you should train is to try and experiment to see what works best for you.
The Bottom Line
The entire process of building muscles and sustaining them to witness all the changes in your body can be time-consuming, but the final results are worthwhile. Whether you wish to enhance muscle size or mass, by practicing the right exercises with dedication, you will be able to see the results in no time. Remember, patience and consistency is the key!
- Krzysztofik, Michal, et al. ‘Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods’. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no. 24, Dec. 2019, p. 4897. PubMed Central,https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244897.
- Miller, A. E., et al. ‘Gender Differences in Strength and Muscle Fiber Characteristics’. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, vol. 66, no. 3, 1993, pp. 254–62. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00235103.
- Ochi, Eisuke, et al. ‘Higher Training Frequency Is Important for Gaining Muscular Strength Under Volume-Matched Training’. Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 9, 2018. Frontiers, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.00744.
- THOMAS, MICHAEL H., and STEVE P. BURNS. ‘Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training’. International Journal of Exercise Science, vol. 9, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 159–67. PubMed Central,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836564/.