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How Long Does it Take to Gain Muscle?

There are programs out there in the fitness world that promise things like “Build 10 pounds of muscle in 14 days!” Those types of programs mislead people and only lead to an empty wallet and broken dreams. Building muscle takes time, dedication, and discipline. So just how long does it take to gain muscle? Let’s find out the truth.

How Long Does it Take to Gain Muscle Weightlifting?
Some people can build muscle more easily than others, but generally speaking, you can build muscle within 30 days of starting a weight training and nutrition regimen. In order to build muscle quickly, you have to cause stress and trauma to the muscle tissue. Muscle stress forces the muscle to adapt and grow in order to keep up with the demands you’re putting on them.

The quickest way to get your muscles to grow is to lift the heaviest weights you can using your major muscles groups such as chest, legs, and back. This prompts muscle stress quickly and triggers growth because you are utilizing the majority of your existing muscle in your body.

Just as important as killing it in the gym is your nutrition program. Many people do not experience muscle growth because they’re sloppy with their eating habits. You can work out as hard as you can in the gym, but without proper nutrition and rest your efforts will be in vain.

The rate of muscle growth certainly varies from person to person. There are many factors to consider such as weight training program, genetics, age, nutrition, and overall health. According to experts, people who workout consistently and have a sound nutrition plan can expect to gain between 1.5-5 pounds of muscle in the first 30 days. To get a jumpstart on your muscle building efforts, follow these steps:

Eat More
Eating more is relative to your eating habits right now. If you eat a lot and are gaining weight, then there’s probably no need to increase your calorie intake. If your weight has been steady, try adding an additional 500 calories to your day. Males should make sure to eat 1.5 grams of protein for every lb. of bodyweight. Females should aim for .75-1.0 grams for every lb. of bodyweight.

Limit Cardiovascular Exercise
Too much cardio will eat away all of your hard earned gains. It’s okay to do cardio but stick to light jogging on the treadmill no more than two times per week. Never do your cardio before or after your weight training session. Doing your cardio before will eat away all of your body’s glycogen (energy) and you’ll have nothing to give in the gym. Performing your cardio after your workout will cause your body to start eating away at its existing muscle in order to repair itself.

Lift Less
Leave the high sets and reps to the guys trying to get skinny. Try to keep your number of sets to no more than 20. Your number of repetitions should be 6-12. Remember the goal here is to build copious amounts of muscle by forcing your body to bear heavy loads of weight. Your workouts should be around 45-60 minutes. Keep focused, don’t rush, and do your sets in a controlled manner.

Do a Split Routine
Alternate your lifting routines between upper and lower body, and never train the same muscle groups on back to back days. This may seem counterintuitive, but overtraining will halt muscle development fast. An example workout schedule may look like this:
    •    Monday – Back and biceps 
    •    Tuesday – Legs and abs 
    •    Wednesday – Rest 
    •    Thursday – Light cardio 30 minutes 
    •    Friday – Chest and triceps, shoulders 
    •    Saturday – Light cardio 30 minutes 
    •    Sunday – Rest 
This type of workout helps you concentrate on specific muscles in order to maximize development. It also provides your body the necessary rest it needs to get bigger.

Warm-up
Most guys never do any sort of stretching or warming up in the gym. Simply going in cold and lifting may cause muscle strain and injury. This could put a halt to your muscle building efforts quickly. Static stretching is not the best way to warm-up anymore according to experts. The best way to get your muscles warmed up for heavy lifting is to do a light jog for 5 minutes. This gets the blood circulating to all of your major muscle groups. Static stretching is best done between workouts to keep up your flexibility.

Drink Protein Shakes
You’ll need to drink at least two protein shakes per day. They taste great and are low in carbs. It’s critical to drink one within 30 minutes of working out. Whey protein is best.
Follow these tips and you’ll be packing on the muscle within 30 days.

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