How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle?

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle?

People often find themselves wondering ‘how long does it take to build muscle mass’ when in reality, providing an answer to that question would be like trying to provide an answer to somebody questioning how long a piece of string is.

Building muscle is an extremely difficult, complex, long-winded, and drawn out process that can potentially drive people crazy.

People can dedicate their lives to bodybuilding and weight training, only to find themselves feeling never satisfied and constantly in search of more.

If you’re truly serious about building muscle and transforming your physique, there are a number of things you will need to do to enable you to accomplish your goal, and sadly, a lack of knowledge is what tends to let people down. I

f you want to get jacked and are wondering how long does it take to build muscle, then by the end of this article, with any luck, you’ll have an answer to each of your questions, or at the very least, you’ll certainly go away knowing more than you initially thought you knew.

So, without any more messing around, here’s a look at how long does it take to build muscle Mass, as we provide an in-depth guide on getting Shredded and jacked.


First and foremost, we’ll begin by taking an in-depth look at the more enjoyable side of bodybuilding and resistance training, which is, of course, the training itself.

If you’re a keen bodybuilder, or even simply a fitness enthusiast for that matter, you’ll no doubt look forward to each of your workouts with eager anticipation, counting down the hours until you can next get into the gym and throw some heavy iron around.

As far as training goes, however, whilst it is enjoyable, that isn’t to say that it isn’t difficult in the process, because it most certainly is.

Building muscle takes months, even years for some people, so if you want to see results quickly, you’ll probably want to think again.

People think that getting jacked is simply a case of picking a set of dumbbells up, curling them a few times, doing a few bench presses, and maybe a quick circuit on the machines if you have the time.

In reality, however, building lean muscle mass via various training protocols requires much, much more dedication and knowhow than that.

Here’s a look at a few basic training principles that you may wish to implement into your next bodybuilding workout routine:

Increased Training Frequency

If you’ve been following a training routine for a number of months now, and have found the results that you see becoming less and less impressed with each passing down, this is a clear indication that you’ve hit a natural training plateau, which is where you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate what you’re doing.

Say for example, that you’ve been following the same routine for six months, yet for the last four months, you’ve barely seen or felt any improvements at all.

If this is the case, you may wish to think about increasing your training frequency.

Instead of training, say, three days a week, like you may have been doing for the last six months, instead think about training four, even five, days per week instead.

This increase in training frequency will shock your muscles into new growth, as it will help stimulate muscle fibers, shocking them, and shocking your body in the process.

The body has a knack of being able to adapt to stressful situations very quickly, and, although hugely beneficial, the body still sees exercise as a stressor, and so builds up a tolerance and resistance.

If you try something new however, I.E training more days per week, the body won’t know what is going on, and that is when new muscle tissue will be produced.

Reduced Training Frequency

On the flip side, however, if you’ve been training for five, even six, possibly even seven, days per week for several weeks/months, you may find yourself struggling to find the energy, strength, and motivation to train.

Going one step further, you may even find yourself deciding not to bother at all.

Even if you do drag yourself to the gym, you may find yourself becoming disheartened, when you notice that your gains have been diminishing and you just can’t seem to add any more muscle, or burn any more fat.

These are all clear indications of overtraining, and overtraining is incredibly detrimental to muscle growth, as well as to your own mental health and well-being as well.

If your progress has been lacking, or has ground to a halt, try reducing the amount of days you spend in the gym, to just three or four.

On top of that, give yourself a two week break from any form of exercise or physical activity, and allow yourself the time to rest and recover.

Although it may drive you crazy not being able to train, when you do return to the gym, your strength and energy levels will be through the roof, and you’ll quickly begin making new gains.

Combine Compounds And Isolations

Most gym rats tend to have their preferred methods of training, with most of them preferring compound exercises.

Some, however, prefer isolation exercises on machines, yet the problem is that many of them will prioritize one over the other.

If you enjoy compound training, 90% of your routine may consist of compound movements, and vice versa for isolation training.

However, in order to really maximize your progress, experts recommend combining the two, based upon your goals.

If growth is your target, a 70/30 split in favour of compounds would be recommended, whereas if you’re trying to tone muscle and focus on individual body parts, a 60/40 split in favour of isolation exercises would be ideal.

Put simply, don’t just do one or the other, instead, try to mix things up and combine the two, because that way, you’re getting the most of both worlds.


now that we’ve covered a few basics of training, it’s now time to get to the complicated stuff – the nutrition.

Diet and nutrition are what let most people down in the bodybuilding world, and if you really want to get shredded and jacked, you’ll need to make sure that you don’t allow it to happen to you.

Here are some nutrition basics for you to consider:

Work Out Your Macros

Macros, or macronutrients, are basically the number of calories that you get from certain food groups I.E Fats, Proteins, and Carbohydrates.

Rather than just counting calories, if you take the time to calculate your macros, and work them out based upon your goals, using various apps and trackers, you can easily work out how many macros you need from each food.

For example, somebody trying to lose body fat may need something like 20% fat, 30% carbs, and 50% protein.

Somebody bulking up, may need 20% fat, 40% carbs, and 40% protein. You can easily calculate your macros using various online trackers and apps, so it is well worth doing.

Prep Your Meals

Healthy eating can be made much simpler by simply partaking in a spot of meal prepping once or twice per week, and it is well worth it in our opinions.

By meal prepping, you don’t need to worry about having to cook healthy meals after a long day, you can simply eat the food cold, or re-heat it, and enjoy it right away.

It also means no pots and pans to wash up either.

Plus, having your meals ready to eat means that you won’t be tempted to eat junk food, because you’ll be full, so you’ll be more likely to burn fat and build muscle.

Mix up Your Protein Sources

A lot of bodybuilders have three primary protein sources: eggs, chicken, and whey protein.

To help maximize nutrient absorption, however, you should mix up your proteins and consume a wide range of different sources.

For example, rather than chicken, try turkey, or beef, or fish.

Each protein source contains different nutrients as well as proteins and amino acids, especially red meats and shellfish, which are loaded full of minerals and vitamins.

Don’t Forget Your Casein

Before going to bed, a casein protein is essential as it will provide your body with slow-release proteins and nutrients that keep your body in an anabolic muscle building state as you sleep.

Casein builds muscle and prevents muscle catabolism, so don’t think that just whey alone is the king of all protein supplements.

So, How Long Does It Take To Build Muscle Mass?

If you want a vague answer, it takes as long as it takes, but being a little more specific, generally, with careful training and diet protocols, you should be building small amounts of muscle on a daily basis, with results getting more and more obvious with each passing week.

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Written by Juice Guru
Juice Guru is a bodybuilder with over 30 years of experience when it comes to steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Juice Guru uses as a platform to share his/her expert knowledge.

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This article has been fact-checked and medically reviewed by a certified doctor and nutritionist. All medical information and statements made in this article can be verified by several credible academic references/sources, cited in this article.