Duration of muscle building
One question I get asked a lot when it comes to building muscle is the time it takes to build muscle. How much muscle can you build and at what time? I would like to deal with this issue in this article.
Interestingly, the question of how long it takes to build muscle is posed for various reasons. Men usually cannot walk fast enough and they want to know how realistically it is without using (illegal) means. Women, in turn, are often afraid that this may pass too quickly. They quickly become afraid of looking “too masculine” when they start strength training.
To understand this, I’ll cover the following topics in this article
Finally, I will briefly comment on what to think about programs and supplements that promise extremely fast muscle building in a short time.
Spoiler alert: not much.
How long does it take to build muscle? – What’s real?
One thing I want to make clear right away is that natural muscle building is more of a marathon than a sprint. So be prepared for it to take longer than you could. But how much is really real, really possible now?
Lyle McDonald Model – Good Orientation for Building Muscle
It is quite difficult to make a 100% reliable statement about this. Roughly, however, there is a good and tried-and-true Lyle MacDonald model that can provide a good orientation on what is possible. It is important that these values can only be achieved if you consistently follow a training plan that is right for you and designed to build muscle. In addition to exercising, you should also consider other factors that contribute to successful muscle building and try to stick to them as best you can.
Do these guidelines apply equally to everyone?
Of course, not everyone achieves this growth over time. Depending on how good your baseline is, this can take several years. For example, if you exercised poorly during the first three years, fed yourself poorly, and slept too little, you may have gained only 12 kg of muscle. If you start doing everything right now, you will not start from the fourth year, but actually from the second year.
Other rules also apply if you’ve already built up muscle and then lost it again. It builds muscles that your body once did much faster than the first time. Of course, these “repaired” muscles must be treated separately in a conventional procedure with mass phases and definition phases. Typically, some muscle mass is always lost in the defining phase. It will be reinstated in a massive phase. The values shown in the table exceed this value.
It should also be noted that these are averages and are also partially correlated with genetic factors such as body size. Thus, if you are particularly tall (1.90 m +), then there is a high probability that your absolute gains are even slightly greater than the average tall person (about 1.77 m). In general, however, the above values are always a good guideline.
What about the timing of muscle building in women?
In his model for women, Lyle MacDonald suggests that they can build about half as much muscle as men. As a woman, you don’t have to worry about looking like the Hulk after months at the gym. In addition, women usually start out with less muscle mass than men.
Of course, it’s always a matter of location and where to start, including with women. However, a woman who is slim in her disposition never naturally, and especially not quickly, mutates into muscle mass when she starts strength training. So don’t worry!
In any case, I can only advise you that if you want to have a slim and beautiful body of a woman, then you should do strength training. You women know how to build muscle, that’s good for you. Always remember: new sexy suits!
What factors you can influence to accelerate muscle building
Now you know what is possible in terms of muscle building. Now, you might be wondering how you can influence it to achieve these maximum values. I can recommend the following article in which I described the most important things that really matter:
Effective muscle building – what is really important when building muscle mass
In what follows, however, I will again briefly list the key success factors for minimum duration of muscle building or maximum muscle gain in the shortest possible time.
1) Proper training
Proper muscle training primarily includes the correct training principle (hypertrophy training in the first place), the correct training frequency. You also need to have a good, tailor-made training plan. split workout or full body workout is better up to you. However, every muscle training plan should be based on challenging basic exercises. However, it can also include isolation exercises to identify individual priorities.
2) Proper nutrition
If you don’t eat enough and / or don’t eat the right foods, you will greatly slow down muscle building. Therefore, a proper mass diet with an excess of calories is imperative if you want to build muscle quickly. I recommend about 500 calories above your daily intake as a guide. It’s also important that you have enough protein. It is made up of amino acids that your body needs to build muscle.
I recommend consuming at least 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. If you’re struggling with dieting alone, you can also help with a protein shake.
My most favorite is WPC 80 Whey Protein from Supplement Union. It is very soluble, delicious taste and excellent value for money. You can get WPC 80 from Amazon * or even cheaper directly from the manufacturer’s store *. If you are lactose intolerant, egg white may be a good alternative for you.
In addition to protein, you also need to make sure that you are eating the right fats. I can only recommend maintaining a high Omega-3 fatty acid intake (regardless of muscle health for health reasons).
3) adequate breaks
It is often underestimated that break times are respected. However, it can significantly affect the duration of muscle building. So follow the guidelines for proper breaks between sets in strength training .. And of course, it’s important that you don’t train too often. Your muscles need time to recover. So daily exercise is pretty counterproductive.
4) Enough good (!) sleep
Don’t underestimate the topic of sleep! A good night’s sleep is essential for your regeneration. It works on many levels, from physical to mental and psychological revitalization. Therefore, always try to get enough sleep. If you’re having trouble, learn to sleep healthier and better. This is probably my biggest stumbling block that I have worked hard on and continue to work on over and over.
5) Drink enough water
You should drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day. If you exercise, you add one more liter to every hour of sports. Most don’t even know they are drinking too little. However, lack of water has a direct negative impact on muscle building. So make sure you are always well hydrated. It is also very good for your mental performance.
6) Motivation and thinking
Your motivation and thinking is the basis that you can even set a goal and then achieve it. They are greatly underestimated by many people. Most people can easily acquire the knowledge they need. The real problems arise, the more you change your behavior and the longer you have to stay on top. For this reason, you should definitely deal with this.
With the Pig Killer I wrote a book that moves you step by step from setting goals to achieving them. In it, I also give you my most effective tips and tricks against your inner bastard and many tasks for immediate implementation. It’s like training in the form of a book for a fraction of the price.
If you follow these guidelines, it won’t take you longer than it takes to build muscle.
What to think about the people who promise extremely fast muscle building
Some people promise extremely fast muscle building, much faster than I wrote above. They may be “trainers” who want to sell their “revolutionary” training program. It can also be a manufacturer / seller of muscle building products. But what to do with such offers?
Increasing muscle mass through nutritional supplements
Let’s start with nutritional supplements. Are there foods that can help you build muscle? Yes, there are quite a few beneficial supplements that can be helpful for building muscle mass and reducing the duration of muscle mass a little. For example, creatine monohydrate. One or the other protein shake can certainly be helpful in meeting your protein needs. But miracles should not be expected from such things.
Dietary supplements mainly compensate for nutritional deficiencies. If your diet is planned and you are consuming enough protein, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables for micronutrients, then you don’t necessarily need them. However, they can make your life a little easier and more flexible.
If a drug does significantly contribute to muscle building, you might assume that it is illegal and almost certainly unhealthy. I strongly advise against this and I will not comment on such substances here. Your health should always come first.
Strengthen muscles with a revolutionary training concept
If someone wants to sell you an innovative, high-value workout concept that promises you significant gains in muscle mass and shorter muscle building times than above, then keep your feet in your hands. Such promises cannot be kept. Plus, these concepts are usually completely standardized and you are likely to give up potential as opposed to a good, personalized learning plan.
The reference meanings that such “trainers” advertise as evidence are largely exaggerated and often ignore the following facts:
- Mass is not equal to muscle mass
- Recovery is many times faster than building new muscles
Combined with a few well-taken photos and reviews on a cute sales website, such a program that promises 10 kilograms of extra muscle in less than six months is sure to quickly become a bestseller.
If you want to find out what it is in a nutshell, without false promises, then my (soon to be published) new book will certainly interest you. This is all about the really important things you need to consider for effective, controlled muscle building.
If you want to know as soon as this happens, your best bet is to subscribe to the Fitvolution newsletter.
Conclusion on Duration of Muscle Building
Building muscle takes time. This is more of a marathon than a sprint. However, if you stay at altitude for several months and years, you can definitely make progress that is worth seeing. There are some factors that you can actively influence to get the most out of this. If you stick to these rules, you will also reach your potential.
A good trainer and the right nutritional supplements will definitely help you on your way. Don’t let people tear you up who promise you blue skies.
If you’re looking for more information on muscle building and don’t want to waste time, I would recommend my book The Basics of Building Muscle. It squeezes everything that’s really important if you want to build muscle. This is the first real “no bullshit” guide with a “step-by-step” guide for effective muscle building. There are also several tried and tested workout plans from which you can choose the one that suits you. This way, you can minimize the duration of muscle building according to your personal circumstances.
And don’t forget: your health is your health.