How Long Does It Take To Build Muscle?

For your body to function properly, strong and healthy muscles are important. Additionally, muscle development can enhance physical appearance which some may desire to strive towards.

To achieve good body strength and function, it is vital to build healthy muscles. Noticing the muscle growth can take a considerable amount of time but results can be maximised with regular workouts which include resistance training, incorporated aerobic activity and a healthy diet fuelled by the appropriate micro and macro nutrients.

Personal training can provide beneficial insights into proper exercise form and methods in addition to varying intensity and interval of training which is suited best to the individual. However, before starting any new diet or exercise program, it is important to consult a doctor who will advise how to make the right choice in order to achieve personal desired results.

Movement is made possible through the contraction of muscle fibers within the skeletal muscles. How a person sits and stands – their posture - is also dependent on muscle contraction. Muscles also affect your ability to maintain body temperature, heat production and joint stability.

Skeletal muscles are organs as well as muscles, containing multiple components of which include; muscle fibers, nerve, connective, vascular or blood tissues.

In different parts of the body, muscles vary in size from smaller muscles located in the ear to much larger ones in the thigh.

The Simple Facts About Building Muscle

The best way to build muscle is unique dependent on the individual’s goals

Talking about injuries and other health information with a doctor before starting a new exercise programme is essential

Muscle growth depends on several factors and can take weeks to months in regard to undergoing resistance training exercise

How Long Does It Take?

Muscle strength and muscle mass decrease as we age; this is especially significant in men who have been noted to lose muscle mass at a much faster rate in comparison to women of the same age.

Nonetheless, the more muscle which is present at the beginning of an exercise programme will result in more changes being noticeable when training.

For many reasons, men and women’s muscle response to resistance training is different as a result of numerous reasons including body composition and size along with different hormones. One study which compared men and women’s muscle strength found that the decrease in strength amongst women is accounted by shorter muscle fiber but also potentially due to lean tissue distribution.

You Can Build Muscle

To build muscle strength and tone, along with overall fitness levels, your workout should include strength training. This involves the use of weights but not necessarily squat racks, dumbbells or machines. Using your body weight or with resistance bands, is another way to strength train. It is usually recommended that strength training should be completed at least 2 days a week, consisting of 8 to 10 strength training exercises, and should aim to include all of the major muscle groups of the body for example; legs, chest, arms and back. Each exercise should be repeated 8 to 12 times for 2 to 3 sets. As you grow in strength, you may find it easier to complete higher levels of repetitions using the same weight. Many in the fitness industry say that when you are able to complete over 12 repetitions of the same weight then it may be time to progress to a heavier weight choice. However, unnecessary injury can be avoided by not over exerting yourself in regard to your weight selection; as a general rule it is important to increase the type and amount of weight you use during strength training in order to build strength over a period of time.

Below are some common methods of strength training:

  • Exercises using a resistance band
  • Body weight exercises for example push up and lunges
  • Weight machines which can be used in either a public or home gym
  • Weights which include kettle balls and dumbbells

Why Is Rest Important

Rest for recovery is recommended for each muscle group after strength exercise has been performed. Following resistance training, each muscle group should have a rest of 1 to 2 days. Furthermore, it is recommended that the same muscle group should not be worked 2 days in a row. However, you should become aware of your body’s needs and should you feel pain in a certain muscle group, the muscles should be given a longer rest period to recover. If you are experiencing considerable amount of pain, you should speak to a trainer to ensure you are performing an exercise using proper form and should your injury need assessing, a doctor should then be consulted.

Why Is Diet Important?

Diet is an essential factor in muscle development, strength and growth in addition to exercise.

Muscle development and strength is significantly affected by certain micro and macro nutrients.


Macronutrients are essential for the body to function properly; they consist of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

Around 20-30% of your daily calorie intake should be fats. Common sources of dietary fats are: butter, extra virgin olive oil, eggs, avocado, omega 3 from fish sources, nuts and seeds, full fat chocolate and dairy.

Carbohydrates are separated into complex or simple carbs and are the source of energy for the body. Carbohydrates should make up 40-60% of an individual’s daily calorie intake. Whilst complex carbs take a longer duration to digest, simple carbs break down much quicker. Examples of carbohydrates sources include: grains, vegetables and fruits.

In order for the body to function normally, protein is an essential part of your daily calorie intake. Proteins which are consumed from grains, beans, nuts, dairy, meat and other animal products are broken down into amino acids which are vital. Protein intake is important for the effective functioning of organs, skin, enzymes, bones, antibodies, hormones and neurotransmitters.


Micronutrients are vital for the process of macronutrients and are made up of minerals and vitamins. These include fat-soluble vitamins A, K, E and D along with water-soluble B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. For those who are looking to build muscle, micronutrients such as minerals are necessary. These include; zinc, phosphorous, iron and calcium in addition to electrolytes; potassium, sodium and magnesium which are essential for all athletes. Before beginning any vitamin and mineral supplement programme, to ensure they are safe to consume, you should speak to either a doctor or nutritionist.

What Role Does Cardio Have?

An important component of heart health and metabolism is aerobic exercise which can also be beneficial for muscle growth, and this is especially true when taking into account those in sedentary lifestyles.

When they are done 4 to 5 times a week for a duration of 30 to 45 minutes a day, this is when cardiovascular activities offer the most benefit in regard to muscle growth. Understanding a safe range during aerobic exercises for individuals’ heart rate should be consulted with a doctor.