Healthy and strong muscles are essential for proper body functioning. Also, some people may want to achieve a physical appearance that is enhanced by muscle development.
Skeletal muscles are composed of contracting muscle fibers that make movement possible. Muscle contraction also plays a role in how a person sits and stands – in other words, their posture. Muscles also affect joint stability, heat production, and maintenance of body temperature.
Interestingly, a skeletal muscle is not just a muscle but an organ as well. They contain many components including muscle fibers, connective, nerve, and blood or vascular tissues.
Muscles vary in size from the large ones in the back and thigh to much smaller muscles in parts of the body such as the middle ear.
Fast facts on how long it takes to build muscle:
Muscle growth from resistance training exercises depends on several factors and can take weeks or months.
When starting any exercise program, it is essential to speak to a doctor about past or current injuries and other health considerations.
Deciding the best way to build muscle depends on a person’s goals.
How long does it take to build muscle?
Man and woman lifting weights to strength train and build muscle.
A number of factors can affect how long it takes to build muscle, including the type of exercise performed.
A common question when a person starts exercising is how long does it take to build muscle, and the answer can be a complex one.
As we age, muscle mass and strength decrease – especially in men, who are noted to lose muscle mass at a faster rate than women of the same age.
That said, the more muscle that is present when starting an exercise programme, the more changes will be seen during training.
Muscle response to resistance training is different in men and women for many reasons. Factors may include body size, composition, and different hormones.
One study that compared muscle strength in men and women showed that not only do women have shorter muscle fibers, which account for a decrease in strength, but strength differences may also be due to lean tissue distribution.
What is the best way to build muscle?
Incorporating strength training into a person’s workout is a great way to build muscle tone, strength, and overall fitness levels.
Strength training involves using weights, although this does not have to mean dumbbells, squat racks, or machines.
Strength training can be done using a person’s own body weight or with resistance bands, for example.
Some common strength training methods include:
body weight exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and lunges
resistance band exercises
weights that can include dumbbells, kettle balls, cans, or water jugs
weight machines, such as those used in a gym or home gym
Typically, it is recommended that strength training is done at least 2 days a week and
includes all major muscle groups of the body. These major muscle groups include those in the arms, legs, back, and chest.
An individual should be careful not to overdo it with the weights they use to avoid unnecessary injury. It is important to gradually increase the amount and type of weight used to build strength.
It is recommended that 8 to 10 strength training exercises are done 2 or more days a week. These should be completed in groups of 8 to 12 repetitions using the 2 to 3 sets principle. This means that a person repeats the movement of each exercise 8 to 12 times and then again 2 to 3 times.
As the body increases its strength, a person may find it easy to complete the 8 to 12 repetitions using the same weight.
Some in the fitness world say that an individual can progress to heavier weights once they are able to complete more than 12 repetitions using the same weight.