How Long Does It Take to Build Muscle?

How Long Does It Take to Build Muscle?

Everyone has this question etched into their mind before they even start muscle training. It might sound like there’s a definitive answer, but there’s really not. It’s like asking how much time it would take to get from your house to the convenience store. You can either walk, ride a bike, or take a cab to get there and each method means there can be many answers. There’s no single way to build muscle and that means there’s no single answer to this question.

While we can’t really tell you how much time it would take to get your results, we can show you a guide on how you can easily know how you’ll be able to reach your muscle training goals.

What you need to know about muscle building

First things first, there are several factors that may affect how fast you build muscle. Simply lifting weights can bulk you up, but sometimes it may not. That’s why knowing how to build muscle is necessary to reach your desired body size. Here’s a few things you should know about how muscle training works.

Gender plays an important role in how quick your muscle can grow. It might sound sexist, but it really isn’t. Men grow muscle faster than women. The scientific reason is that men produce testosterone at a higher rate, which helps in building muscle. It actually takes women 2-3 times longer to build muscle as compared to men if they’re under the same training regimen.

Another thing to note is that your muscle will only develop under specific circumstances. Even if men grow muscle faster, training wrong won’t get them any results at all. Following a strict regimen is what you need to get muscle growing faster. That means you have to be consistent with what you do, for the longest time you do it. If you continuously lift 5lb weights but feel no burn at all, you won’t build muscle.

Best practice is to push your muscles to the limit. Like the saying goes, “no pain, no gain”. If your muscle doesn’t get tired, it won’t recover. If it won’t recover then it won’t grow.  Muscle damage is necessary in increasing muscle mass, you can never have one without the other. That said, it’s not good to just overwork all the time. It’s good to have a steady system of fatigue and recovery to see results quicker.

Taking your first baby steps

Face it, you won’t be building muscle in less than a month. It would take serious dedication and time for you to achieve noticeable results. This can range from 6 months up to a year, depending on how intense your regimen is. It pays to be patient in your body building journey, this is one thing that you just can’t rush. If you can accept the fact that you’d have to spend a lot of time training, everything else will be easier.

In the first month, you’ll barely see any difference. Of course you’ll feel the burn, but muscle mass increase would be close to nothing at this point. You may be interested in those silly internet ads saying “gain X lbs in just 1 month”, but none of that is true. Imagine pushing a heavy box, moving the first few inches is hard but after you get it going, things will run smoothly. That’s the same with muscle training, after the baby steps, soon you’ll be making longer strides.

Building muscle in this early stage will all depend on how much work you do and how much protein you eat. While you might not see any muscle growth, you will see better muscle tone. Your blood flow will also be a little better.

Getting serious results

One method of getting serious results is through workout frequency distribution. You may be tempted to work out every muscle in your body at once, but that’s highly ill-advised. The best thing you can do would be to designate days where you work with different sections of your body. You can designate a few days on your arms, a few days on your torso, and the rest on your legs. This will allow your non-working muscles to recover while others get fatigued. This is the fastest way of building muscles without sacrificing health and time.

At this point, you may already be watching what you eat. But do note that if you’re training for muscle, an increase in your calories is definite must. A simple 500 calorie increase in the form of proteins can change how fast your muscle grows. Having a balanced set of meals with fruits, vegetables, and protein might be enough for some, but vitamins can help you do more. Since you’re limiting what you eat, you won’t get all the nutrients that your body needs daily. That’s why an extra nutrient or vitamin will help you a whole lot.

After around a year of muscle building, things will slow down drastically. You’ll be at the point where you won’t be gaining that much muscle mass. This is due to your body only being able to grow up to a specific point. Don’t be discouraged though, you’re still going to get stronger.

The real deal

Building muscle is definitely not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and patience to get the results you want. If you’re not able to stick to a plan, then you’re just wasting your time. You have to get things done at a constant pace, following the system that you or your trainer set up. There’s no shortcut to gaining muscle. If you stick with a mediocre pace, you might take more than a year to even see results. An average person can stay on a regimen for around 3-4 months. If you think you’re just that, then how can you last for 6? It’s all about the mindset and the effort you give. Without the proper push and determination, building muscle and staying fit would be a very hard to reach goal.