You’re going to the gym regularly and eating healthy foods. Now, you’re wondering how long it will take to see the results of your efforts. Building muscle takes time, but you can speed up the process.
It may help to know how your muscles grow bigger and stronger. After you exercise, your body repairs the stress your body has sustained. Muscle fibers use protein to fuse together and give you wider shoulders and shapelier thighs.
Some factors are beyond your control, like your age and genetics. However, there are still plenty of effective things you can do in the weight room and at home.
Keep these ideas in mind for building muscle faster.
What To Do During Your Workouts:
- Seek instruction. If you can afford a personal trainer, you’ll benefit from learning correct form and designing a workout customized for your body and goals. On a smaller budget, you can still consult library books and online videos.
- Monitor your volume. Training volume refers to the number of sets and repetitions you do while lifting weights. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 4 to 6 repetitions with heavier weight to increase muscle size. For strength, do 8 to 12 repetitions. For endurance, do 10 to 15.
- Go heavy. Training to failure will build muscle faster. That means you can just barely complete the last repetition of your set while maintaining proper form.
- Avoid overtraining. At the same time, it’s important to respect your limits to avoid injuries and stay fit. That may mean alternating between light and heavy workouts and enjoying a variety of physical activities.
- Be strategic. The longer you train, the more you may need to target certain areas in different ways. That’s because your body and brain adapt to new demands, so familiar movements require less effort over time.
What To Do in Between Your Workouts:
- Take time off. Remember that your body builds muscle while you’re recovering from your previous workout. Spend your days off from the gym doing gentler things like walking and playing with your kids or enjoying a complete rest.
- Sleep well. As a bonus, any moderate to vigorous exercise may help you sleep more peacefully at night. That’s especially important when you’re training hard, and your body needs to recuperate.
- Drink water. Staying well hydrated gives you more energy and enhances many natural functions. That includes transporting oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs. Carry a water bottle around with you and try to drink before you feel thirsty.
- Eat more protein. Muscles are made of protein, so you may need a bit more if you’re trying to shape up. Many experts recommend 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound for each pound of your body weight. Space it out throughout the day, so you can digest it more efficiently.
- Refuel as needed. Heavy meals can slow you down at the gym, but light snacks before and after may give you more power. Focus on protein and complex carbohydrates.
- Manage your weight. You may already have more muscles than you think. If you’re overweight, excess body fat will make them difficult to see. Cutting calories and doing aerobic exercises will help you slim down.
- Accept your body. Love yourself as you are while you pursue realistic fitness goals. You can be happier and healthier with or without six pack abs.
Strength training is an important part of a balanced workout program that can help you lead a longer and more active life. Exercising at any pace makes you a winner, and building muscle faster may add to your motivation.