How long does it take for muscles to grow from weight training, weeks, months?

October 5th, 2010
By Paul Cribb Ph.D. CSCS.
Filed Under: Questions & Answers

New lab techniques enable scientists to see and measure molecular changes in muscle that we previously only dreamt of. Thanks to this sometimes amazing technology, we know now that muscle hypertrophy (growth) occurs a lot quicker than first thought.

Muscle growth from weight training doesn’t take months, weeks or even days. A significant gain in muscle protein can be detected after just one workout.

Molecular isotope studies that trace the flow of amino acids in and out of tissues show that a significant net gain in muscle protein is possible after just one workout. However this response only occurs when the correct approach to supplementation is followed. That is, a net gain in muscle protein after a workout is only possible with supplement-timing.

Therefore, (on a molecular level at least) it takes just one workout to gain muscle. The problem is keeping this net gain in muscle protein. The body draws on this extra protein later in the day to fuel a variety of metabolic demands. It’s the bodybuilders approach to rest and nutrition that determines if he or she keeps this net increase in muscle protein and then adds to it again the following day. To learn a scientific yet easy way to do this, read The Anabolic Nutrient Timing Factor.

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