How Long Does It Take to Build Muscle?
When you start a weight lifting routine, you want results fast. Most people don't pick up weights and put them down for fun. But how long does it take to build muscle? It depends on a variety of factors, such as age, diet, how much and how often you lift and more. Here's our guide to building muscle safely and effectively.
How to Gain Muscle Mass
Muscles undergo trauma, also known as a muscle injury, when weightlifting. Satellite cells on the outside of the muscle fibers get activated through this type of exercise and join together to repair the damage. The joint cells increase muscle fiber, thus growing your muscles.
Some hormones can help your muscles grow by controlling satellite cells, managing muscle mass and forming new blood capillaries. Whenever you perform resistance exercise, your body releases growth hormones from your pituitary gland. The more intense your exercise gets, the more hormones get released. Growth hormones will trigger your metabolism, which turns amino acids into protein to grow your muscles.
Muscle Gain Over Days, Weeks and Months
The moment you start lifting weights, your muscles will begin to undergo trauma. Depending on your workout, muscle cells can grow back bigger and stronger anywhere from one to seven days later. While they grow back, you should work on different muscle groups to stay on a consistent schedule.
In the first few weeks of starting a new weightlifting routine, the body's neurological system starts to learn when and how to fire the right muscle cells. These neurological changes provide most of the strength benefits you'll see the first four to six weeks of your routine. The longer and more consistently you work out, the more your strength gains will come from true muscle growth.
Most beginners will see noticeable muscle growth within eight weeks, while more experienced lifters will see changes in three to four weeks. Most individuals gain one to two pounds of lean muscle per month with the right strength training and nutrition plan.
Best Ways to Work Muscles
Before beginning a new workout routine, consult with your doctor to make sure the exercises are safe for your age and medical conditions. Typically, weight training for 20 to 30 minutes two to three times a week will help you see results. If you don't know what muscle groups to target or how to build muscle, try working with a personal trainer who can tailor a plan to your specific needs.
Some common exercises include:
- Resistance band movements
- Free weights
- Stationary weight machines
Every time you lift, you should do about eight to 15 repetitions in a row, which equals a set. Take a minute to rest then do another set of the same length. When lifting, take three seconds to lift or push your weight into place then hold it for one second. Lower the weight to its starting position over another three seconds.
Train at the Gateway Region YMCA
Now that you know how long it takes to gain muscle, get started with a consistent routine at Gateway Region YMCA. From attending our fitness classes to working with a personal trainer, we'll help you accomplish your goals. Contact us online with any questions or sign up to join the Y today.