How long does it take to gain muscle mass and how can I do it safely
The human body contains over six hundred muscles. Think of all the work your body had to do just to sit down and read these sentences. Your legs and feet had to lower you to your seat. Your bottom and thighs had to support your weight as you sat.
You had to turn on your computer and access this article, which means your hands had to do some work. Your eyes had to move as you read, while your heart and the muscles around your lungs had to keep contracting so you stayed alive long enough to read. Even this is a simplistic explanation, and there are probably muscles that didn't occur to us for one reason or another.
With so many muscles in our bodies working in tandem, the goal of staying in shape can seem daunting. However, it is possible to gain muscle mass provided you do enough work over a long enough period of time.
How long does it take to gain muscle mass, though? We'll talk more about that in this article.
1. The Question of Safety
Let's face it, you're not going to gain any progress if you're constantly getting hurt. Plus, you can end up doing more harm than good if you push yourself too hard. Muscle injuries can be devastating and have been known to end athletic careers.
The biggest issue with muscle injuries is that they often take months to heal, and may never heal completely. You may end up losing some minor function that keeps it from working as efficiently as it used to. The human body is not a machine. You can't keep replacing parts, and you can never fix anything to be as good as new. Once body parts suffer damage, they become easier to damage.
This is because muscles usually suffer some deficits after an injury. You can't move them as much or as quickly as before. This isn't exclusive to muscles, either. The body usually changes in response to trauma. Most of the time these changes are noticeable, and other times they're not. Since your movement is slightly more limited, it's easier to over-exert yourself. The injured body part is also less capable of handling any strain or injury that comes from exertion.
You see this a lot in professional athletes. There are several stories of players getting a concussion, or tearing their ACL.The player usually recovers after a few months and some of them return to the field. They're not as good as they used to be, though, and they'll often suffer the same injury less than a year after returning.
In many cases, it's not a single, devastating injury that ends a player's career. It's more like death by a thousand cuts. This is so well-documented with concussions that there's a medical term for it–post-concussion syndrome.
2. Make Time for Cardio
Our heart is the most important muscle in our bodies. Not only does it keep us alive, but it plays an important role in muscle growth as well. Exercising our heart muscles increases our oxygen capacity, which means that we can do more intense exercises for longer. Cardio exercise itself is known to increase muscle as well.
It's been found that cardio exercises help increase muscle growth in the legs. It seems to be just as effective as muscle-building exercises that specifically target the legs. That might be something to remember on your next leg day.
Cardio also helps increase our metabolism, which makes us less likely to gain weight. This isn't specific to the heart, either. All muscles can speed up our metabolism. Muscle takes more energy to sustain than fat, so someone who is more in shape will have an easier time staying in shape. This brings us to our next point.
3. Protein and Health
There's a now-infamous scene in the original Rocky where the titular character wakes up and drinks a glass of raw eggs as a source of protein. There's a lot of reasons why this is a bad idea, but we're a lot more aware of that today than we were back then. Many of the major advancements in our understanding of food hygiene occurred after WWII. In an effort to increase their output, farms began to focus on efficiency and convenience.
The problem was that many of the same conditions that made farms efficient were also ideal breeding grounds for salmonella. People soon started realizing that the number of food poisoning incidents was increasing, and, by 1960, realized that chicken, eggs, and dairy products were some of the biggest culprits.
This continued to affect the country years after it was discovered and still affects us in some ways even today. The largest, and possibly deadliest salmonella outbreak in recent history occurred in 1985. 16,000 people were infected by consuming tainted milk, with roughly 15,000 of those infections happening in Illinois. It resulted in somewhere between nine and twelve deaths.
4. Protein and Muscle Growth
Though you shouldn't eat raw eggs, it's still important to get enough protein in your diet. This is best done throughout the day rather than in one huge helping. The reason for this is that you'll need it at different points during the day. Many suggest eating protein before a workout or after a workout, and perhaps even both. You may need to eat protein even when your workout's been over for a while. Just because you've stopped working doesn't mean your body has.
It's also important to keep track of how much protein you have in a given day. Many suggest eating .8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your ideal body weight. Don't be surprised if your ideal body weight turns out to be around 200 pounds. Muscle weighs more than fat, so being slightly muscular is going to make you heavier than being slightly overweight. Why do we need proteins to build muscle? It's because protein functions as a building material for cells. As we eat more protein, we add to our muscles, filling in tiny tears and reinforcing uninjured muscles.
5. Healthy Diet
Protein isn't the only ingredient you'll need to build muscle and stay in shape. You may love meat and exercise a lot, but it won't help much if you don't eat right. Cutting down on greasy, fatty foods and soda is a great way to do this. This will keep your heart healthy so you have more energy to exercise and will stop the sugars and acids from weakening your bones.
You may have become dependent on the caffeine in soda or coffee, but that doesn't mean you have to drink unhealthy things forever. There are healthier sources of caffeine, such as green tea. You should try to cut down on alcohol as well. Drinking in moderation is fine, but drinking too much can cause weight gain. Alcohol, or alcoholic drinks at the very least, tend to be fairly calorie-heavy, so excessive drinking can cause you to rack up a lot of calories in a short period of time.
Alcohol is also an appetite stimulant, so not only are you drinking something high in calories, but you're also craving food. It also doesn't help that the food we tend to pair with most drinks are unhealthy things like chicken wings and potato chips.
You've probably heard this kind of advice a lot, and from many different people, but it's still important to remember. Though Umbrella Labs and other companies are still experimenting on various substances to help with muscle growth, diet and exercise is still the best option currently.
6. Train Each Muscle Group
We all want to look great, but it's also important to look balanced. Those of us who love cartoons have probably all laughed at the weird ways characters are often designed. Some of them have unusually big heads, or bug eyes, or gigantic ears. However, some of the funniest ones are those who are disproportionately muscular.
While it's funny onscreen, it's not how most of us want to look in real life. To avoid this kind of body horror and the basic functioning difficulties that come with it, it's important to exercise each muscle group equally.
You may hear a lot of different opinions from different people, but the general consensus is that you need to exercise each muscle group twice per week for about 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, which works out to doing the same exercise 24-36 times. While it's important to challenge your body when exercising, you don't want to put too much strain on your muscles. Don't move up to the next level until you know you're ready for it.
It's important to rest after a workout, and resting doesn't just mean sitting down for five minutes and then going back to exercising. Ideally, you shouldn't be putting a strain on the same muscle groups two days in a row. Doing so can increase the odds of injuring those muscles and seriously hindering your fitness routine.
Rest is also vital to how muscles function. It's a little-known fact that muscles don't technically grow while we're exercising. We build up proteins while we're exercising, but those proteins don't act on muscles until the muscles are at rest. This has to do with how muscles grow. As muscles are exercised, they suffer wear and tear. Tiny rips and holes develop as muscles are pushed to their capacity. These tiny bits of damage are small enough that we don't notice them, and they don't affect our performance.
However, all this minuscule muscle damage causes our bodies to build up proteins, whose role is to keep our muscles healthy and functional. They get converted to new muscle tissue and fill in the various holes in the existing muscle. Thus, new muscle is created slowly as the muscle goes about maintaining itself.
8. How Long does it Take to Gain Muscle Mass?
The details of muscle growth can be fascinating, but they don't give us much of a time frame. How long does it take to gain muscle mass? The truth is that it depends on a few different factors. One of the biggest factors is exercise frequency and intensity.
We've already mentioned that it's easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape. One of the human body's biggest advantages is adaptability. If you've been exercising and living a healthy lifestyle for some time, you'll grow muscle faster because your body has become accustomed to it.
Meanwhile, if you're just starting your new lifestyle, muscle growth will take a bit longer. Your body has to adjust to the strain, and to muscles moving more frequently and intensely than they used to. Regardless of how experienced you are, it can take a while before you see results. Experienced lifters may need up to a month before they notice weight changes or visible muscle growth. It may take twice as long for those starting out to notice any differences.
How Long Does it Take to Gain Muscle Mass: a Review
How long does it take to gain muscle mass, anyways? The answer differs from person to person, and a lot of it depends on lifestyle. Muscle growth isn't something you can do halfway.
We've talked about some of the lifestyle factors that cause muscle growth in this article, but it's always best to do thorough research, so feel free to keep looking around. To learn more about sports, health, food, and other things to do and see around Ottawa please visit our site. Let us fill you in on some of the greatest things about this beautiful city.