Man knows how long it takes to build muscle

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle?

7 min read


14 May 2024

Whether you have just stepped foot in the gym for the first time or you’ve been training for years, everyone wants to know how to build muscles more quickly.

However, muscle growth can be slow and requires a lot of consistent and disciplined effort to see results.

For many people, the time it takes to see minimal changes deters them from sticking with their routines. In addition, we live in a society of instant gratification, so waiting months or even years for progress feels alien to many first-time bodybuilders.

However, for those that stick with it, outstanding results will come. Muscle is built through continuous action and proper nutrition.

It can be tough to know when visible changes will occur. So, for those who want a better idea of when they should expect results, it is important to note how long it should take to build muscles.

So, how long does it take to build muscle?

How quickly do muscles grow?

Many factors can influence how quickly muscle grows, including:

  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Age

Diet is key in building muscle; if you lack protein in your diet, you'll find it will take longer to build muscle. This is because the amino acids found in protein are used to repair your muscles after working out. It's this repairing process that increases the size.

In addition, your gym routine will also influence the rate at which you build muscle. When trying to build muscle fast, you need to aim to put a high-stress volume on your muscles.

But it’s not just about how hard you work in the gym - if you’re new, you might find it easy to build muscle initially. The more you've been to the gym, the closer you are to your full genetic potential, meaning it takes longer to see results.

Finally, age impacts how quickly your muscles will grow, as most men will have lower testosterone as they age. This hormone is vital for muscle mass, so having less of it means you'll need to work harder for longer to get results.

All these factors and variables influence how fast or slow you build muscle. Assuming all aspects are optimal, you will start seeing results after 6-weeks of following a consistent program.

It’s a good idea to track your progress with weekly photos; that way, you can see the changes as they happen.

How can you accelerate muscle growth…

Suppose you're trying to pack on the muscle by a specific date, such as for a beach holiday or a bodybuilding competition.

In that case, you may be thinking about the extra things you can do to help you speed up the process and ensure that you look jacked by the time you want to.

It’s all about focussing on the things we already know are going to have an impact…

The importance of diet for building muscle

In terms of your diet, you should aim to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle quicker. Although this may sound scary for those looking for a cut and lean physique, being in a calorie deficit makes muscle growth hard. Your body will not want to add more mass if it thinks food is in short supply.

Cooked chicken breasts

To ensure that the extra calories you consume contribute to muscle and not fat, try to ensure that your extra calories come primarily from protein. In a diet rich in protein, about 45% of the calories are stored as muscle, which could be the difference between you building muscle quickly or not.

The importance of training in quick muscle growth

You should focus on the eccentric phase of your workouts. This is part of your movements where your muscles are lengthening, as opposed to concentric movements where your muscles are instead contracting. Studies have shown that focusing on this part of your motions can help you build muscle faster.

So, in a simple bicep curl, pulling the weight towards you is contracting your muscle, thus concentric, while bringing the weight back down is the eccentric part of the routine.

To focus on your eccentric phase, you should slow down the movements. For example, try to bring the weight up explosively with the bicep curl and then return it down slowly.

You could also choose to perform exercises that are eccentric only. When doing this, you may need to increase the weight, as muscles are typically more robust when lengthening.

You could also alter your routine to build muscle faster by ensuring a decreased rest period between sets.

By giving yourself no more than 90 seconds between sets, you encourage a quick release of muscle-building hormones while ensuring that your muscles are genuinely tired, meaning they'll recover stronger.

What are the best exercises for building muscle quickly?

If you're looking to build muscles fast, some exercises will be much better than others.

If you're feeling deflated because of the usual six-week period before you see results, add the following exercises to your routine to help you build muscle faster.

Of course, you may choose not to add them because they target muscles you're not looking to build. That said, adding all of them is a good idea if you want a more well-rounded look.

1. Seated Row

The seated row targets the muscles in your upper back, as well as your outer chest. Both parts of the exercise are eccentric when doing this movement, meaning that you'll want to perform this exercise slowly to maximize your gains.

seated row

In addition to being an excellent exercise for rapid muscle growth, building strength in your upper body also helps with posture. Also, it protects your shoulders, making them less likely to be injured.

2. Deadlift

Deadlifts are great at building muscle fast because they target some of the largest muscles in your lower body, helping them grow quickly and boosting your appearance quickly.


In addition, the deadlift is excellent as it's one of the best exercises for increasing functional strength, meaning that your muscles won't just be for show. Plus, if you suffer lower back pain, deadlifts can help you if you perform the movement correctly.

As well as all this, although the deadlift can help you build muscle fast, it's also a fantastic exercise for activating your core muscles, ideal for those looking for a lean look with abs.

3. Overhead press

The overhead press is a powerful muscle-building exercise that can help improve your appearance.

overhead press

This is because it targets the shoulders and triceps. These are two muscle groups that, when worked on, can create a general impression of overall size.

The movement can be tough to perform, especially at heavy weights, with many people getting stuck pushing the barbell above their heads.

If you ever reach this point, it's best to cycle this movement out of your routine to avoid injury. In addition, it means that the overhead press is effective to a point before it starts offering diminishing returns.

Supplements to help build muscle

Another great thing to try is legal and natural steroid alternatives. In the past, many people turned to juice to help them pack muscle much faster. This worked, although it ran the risk of severe side effects, not to mention that anabolic steroids are illegal.

Thankfully, you can now add steroid alternatives and supplements to your routine to help influence more significant muscle growth. Depending on your stack - the combination of different steroid alternatives you take during a cycle - you can help facilitate faster muscle growth or greater muscle size.

With some of the best bulking supplements here at Crazy Bulk, you'll see noticeable differences in strength and muscle mass in as little as 30 days, providing that you stick to a good diet and exercise plan during the time period.

One of the best options for quicker muscle growth is D-Bal, our anabolic steroid alternative that can boost muscle mass while helping you recover from your workouts quickly, allowing you to train more to sustain your build.

If you're looking to use a different supplement, adding Whey protein powder to your intake can boost your protein intake, helping to repair your muscles quicker.

Muscle growth is a marathon, not a sprint

When working hard to build your muscles, it's going to take a substantial effort. Instead, you should expect to commit a lot of time and effort before seeing any semblance of the results you're after.

With it taking about six weeks, depending on your schedule and diet, to start seeing differences, it can take a lot of work to stay motivated.

Thankfully, the rewards can be life-changing if you push through these difficult early days.

You can smash your long-term body goals if you have a consistent gym routine, a nutritious diet, and get plenty of sleep.

You can take natural, legal steroid alternatives alongside a workout routine and a good diet to help maximize your results.

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