New lab techniques enable scientists to see and measure molecular changes in muscle that we previously couldn’t imagine. 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 proper supplement-timing.
Therefore, (at least on a molecular level) 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 your approach to rest and nutrition that determines if you this net increase in muscle protein and then add to it again the following day.
Think about this next time you think about skipping a workout.