Eating healthy foods and strong muscles are important for your body to function properly.
In general, it can take a few weeks or months to build strong muscles, and hence you should be frustrated or lose motivation after a few weeks of training.
During the early stages of your workout, you might see a muscle pump and think that the muscles have started building up.
These muscles pumps usually occur as a result of blood rushing to your muscles to supply fuel and also when starting up a recovery process.
A muscle pump normally starts at midway during your workouts and then weakens within a short period of time after your workout.
This physiological phenomenon can make you lose motivation because the muscle pump deflates to the size it was before. You shouldn’t be demotivated by the temporary muscle pumps because they are important to improving your muscle growth.
It is important to keep in mind that gender has a significant influence on building muscles. Men tend to build more muscle faster compared to women.
This is because men have large testosterone reserves and they are more capable of producing growth hormones. This information can demotivate women from performing routine workouts but that should not be the case.
A woman’s body can respond quickly to workouts and exercises although they do not respond with the same high intensity as men.
This means that a woman can build muscles but the rate will be slower than that of men if the same training regimen is used. Another thing you should keep in mind is that an increase in muscle mass only happens under certain conditions.
You should know that although men tend to build their muscles faster than women, they have to train properly in order to gain muscle mass.
To maximize muscle growth, train every muscle group at least two times per week.
To ensure that you work a certain muscle group without working the same muscles for two consecutive days, you should split your workouts based on the body parts.
Consistency is the first rule if you wish to increase your muscle mass. In order to build your muscles faster, you must be consistent with your routine workouts and avoid skipping them.
Another rule you should know is that you must push all your muscles to the limit to gain muscle mass. This is because if you don’t fatigue the muscles they won’t grow.
You must damage your muscles in order to develop bigger muscles as they repair themselves. You can damage the muscles by overloading them properly and then allow some time to recover. After some time, you will notice a change in strength, size, and weight.
How long you should workout to build your muscle?
In order to start building your muscles, you need to challenge them by doing challenging and unfamiliar things like doing push-ups or lifting a dumbbell.
Engaging in challenging actions give stress to your muscles which lead to the creation of microscopic damages in your muscle cells. During the repair of these muscle cells, new contractile and structural proteins are taken in and laid down to build bigger muscle cells.
It can take from one to a few days to build bigger and stronger cells but it depends on the amount of muscle damage from the workout you perform.
Consequently, as you start your new workout routine, the strength you gain is not due to this muscle synthesis but it’s from the neurological system of your body that provides energy to your muscle cells.
As you do a new exercise for the first time, you will feel a little bit shaky because your body is learning about how and when to supply the energy required to your muscle cells.
If you perform the same exercise for the second time, you will notice that the practice will be a bit smoother than the first. The reason for this is that your neurological system has learned on how and when to fire your muscle cells.
If you are a newbie who is starting a new weightlifting program, your neurological system will be responsible for most of the strength benefits for about the first four weeks to seven weeks.
During the first month, your neuromuscular system will tend to adapt rapidly and that’s the reason you notice gradual strength improvements in your workout routine.
The first four weeks
If your desire is to increase your muscle mass, you have to be committed for a minimum of six months. Patience is very important to achieve the desired results.
Many people would like to see an increase in muscle mass immediately but this is not the case. You may have come across some online advertisements that claim to help beginners gain muscle mass within one month.
Such adverts are not truthful because it’s impossible to build your muscles within four weeks.
In fact, you won’t gain any muscle mass when weight lifting during the first month. You should know that it does not matter how much protein you take or how hard you train on your workouts.
Building muscle is not just a simple process. Your muscles must go through the first stage which is the process of breaking down and then rebuilding stronger and bigger muscle cells.
In addition, you will notice other changes in your body once you start gaining muscles. You should expect an increase in blood flow once your muscles start to tone by becoming more defined and larger.
Muscle building adaptations will keep on occurring as you continue with your weightlifting routine as the weeks go on. The longer and more consistent you engage in strength training, the more progress you will see in achieving actual muscle growth.
As a beginner, you should expect to observe some muscle growth after about eight weeks from the start of your training routine. If you are an experienced weight lifter, you should notice some changes in your muscles after about three to four weeks.
To observe any muscle growth in your body, the noticeable area to check is your arms because they carry less fat that can block you from viewing your muscles.
You can gain about one to two pounds after the first month of your workout routine with the assumption that you have eaten well and done vigorous workouts.
This may sound like it’s nothing but you should know that actual muscle building will require a commitment of at least six months. You can add about six to ten pounds of new muscle to your body if you lift weight loads consistently for about six or seven months.
Tracking your muscle gain
Intensity and frequency are crucial if you want to get on the fast track to gaining lean muscle.
To get on the fast track, split your routine workout whereby you exercise a few sections of your body at a time. Splitting your routine training will help you to exercise for more days while still providing enough time for your muscles to recover.
The following is an example of how you can split your routine: set aside two days in a week (Monday and Wednesday) to work out your lower body, your biceps and your back.
Then set aside other two days (Tuesday and Friday) to work out your shoulder, chest and triceps. Splitting your routine will give you time to rest and also improve on the recovery process.
This type of training can help you gain muscle faster than random weightlifting. In addition, it’s great if you add new exercises to your training routine.
What you should eat?
What you eat plays a very important role when exercising to build muscles and strength. The right nutrition plan will facilitate the growth and development of your muscles after performing your routine training.
First of all, you will need to increase the amount of calories you take in order to gain any muscle mass.
Your body requires certain micronutrients and macronutrients to repair damaged muscles as a result of training. Macronutrients comprise of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and they are essential for the proper functioning of your body.
Micronutrients consist of minerals and vitamins and they are crucial for processing of the macronutrients. Focus on eating healthy by incorporating the macro and the micronutrients in your diet so as to get lean muscles faster.
Ensure you eat enough calories and be consistent with the amount you take every day. In case you notice you are not gaining weight, it could be as a result of eating lots of food in some days and very little on other days.
To know the number of calories you require you just need to multiply your weight with fifteen. This is just a start since you might need less or more calories. You can divide your calories into four food meals each day and include a shake before and after your workouts.
Some people think that gaining muscles requires consuming a lot of proteins. This is not true. You just require about one to two grams of protein per pound of your body weight to build stronger muscles.
Incorporate an eating plan that can help you to track your lean weight after about two weeks. In case you find out you have not gained fat but have gained muscle, stick to the current calorie intake.
Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water as you do your training exercises. Dehydration can cause headaches, overheating, and even muscle fatigues.
How cardio helps you build more muscle
Some people think that cardio should be avoided when trying to gain lean muscle because it can shrivel up the muscles.
Cardio can actually help gain more muscle since it improves muscle recovery and improves the metabolic processes of your body.
Intense exercises cause damage to your muscle fibers that have to be repaired. The soreness you feel after your workouts are as a result of damaged muscle fibers.
The repair of the damaged fibers depends on two factors which are the rate at which the substances needed are taken to the damaged cells and the rate at which waste products are excreted.
Therefore, cardio actually helps your body to repair the muscle tissue much quicker since it increases the blood flow.
Increase in blood flow fastens the recovery process because it helps to transfer the substances needed to repair your muscles faster and removal of waste.
Doing cardio sessions on your legs one day after leg workouts can dramatically reduce soreness in your legs.
Take time to rest
Some people have the mindset that you must work out every single day in order to build strong muscles and completely forget the most important part which is giving time to recover.
You should avoid intolerable amounts of stress that often result in exhaustion in your body. The moment stress becomes too much for your body to handle, it can cause overuse injuries like joint pain and muscle strain.
Some fitness enthusiasts are affected by over-training syndrome due to inadequate rest. They often perform workouts beyond their body’s capability to recover.
Your muscles require time to rest in order to initiate the recovery process after weight lifting exercises. It is recommended for each muscle group to rest for about one or two days after resistance training and avoid working the same muscle group for two consecutive days.
In case you are in pain after a day off, take some more days off to allow your muscles to recover.
If you a newbie and you find out that you are experiencing an unusual amount of pain, you should talk to a trainer to make sure that you are using the right postures when doing weight lifting exercises.
Sleep is an essential part of the recovery process. As you sleep, your body tends to increase the production of growth hormones which aid in repair and rebuilding muscle tissues after workouts.
Therefore, ensure you get quality sleep of about six to eight hours on a regular basis.