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Muscle gain

Postby milkyway » Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:00 pm

Does anyone know just how long it takes to build muscle? I've done a bit of an internet search but can't come up with anything definitive. Some body building sites say you can't even gain more than a few kilos per year.

I know we throw the statement "could be muscle gain" everytime someone's worked hard, eaten well but the scales haven't budged (or they've gone up)... I know I'm guilty of it myself and I want to get my facts straight.

I'm not convinced that you could gain even a kilo of muscle mass in a month, even with a dedicated weight program.

Does anyone have any credible info on this? :?
Just keep moving! And don't be lazy...
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Postby zeedeveelgirl » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:59 pm

Hey San

Wish I could help, but I'm not sure :( :( If you do find the answer, please share!! I'd love to know!!

I reckon you could put on a kilo of muscle in a month though, that's only 250 grams a week. You can put on a kilo of fat in a month easily, why not muscle? Some people put on muscle easier than others, too!

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Postby Juddy » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:01 pm

Really depends on your body, how hard you're working and how much (and what kind) of protein you're having.

I've found when I've gone 4-5 times a week, with heaps of protein and working really hard, I can put on about a kilo a week - if not more.

Really depends on the person. You can measure a bit by checking fat percentage?
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Postby molligrub » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:36 am

Men put muscle on a lot more easily than women. People who are unfit and beginning a program put more on initially. Actual muscle gain is a very slow process, more over months and years than weeks or days. When most people start at the gym and notice an initial weight gain, what they're actually noticing is a) their bodies are storing more glycogen and hence more water (1g glycogen holds 3g water), and b) that their muscles are slightly damaged, and sometimes retain water and such during the healing process.
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Postby loveat116 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:04 am

Depends what body type you are.

If you are a mesomorph you can build muscle easily, however if you are mostly ectomorph you can find it very difficult to put on muscle.

When someone begins a weight training program they initially put on muscle because it is new to the body, however after a few months it can stall.

USUALLY muscle can only be put on if you are eating ABOVE maintenance. Its basically impossible to add muscle if you are in a negative calorie defecit.
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Postby sassi » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:16 am

oh oh - i'm getting confused now....does that mean if i am eating to lose weight (and so should be in deficit) then i won't build muscle? what about if i'm eating quite a lot of protein?

sorry if these are silly questions! but i'm really keen to build lean muscle, not just lose weight :)
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Postby Juddy » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:33 am

Protein will help you build muscle, but won't make you put on fat.

If you don't need the protein, it will get urinated out.
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Postby loveat116 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:21 am

sassi wrote:oh oh - i'm getting confused now....does that mean if i am eating to lose weight (and so should be in deficit) then i won't build muscle? what about if i'm eating quite a lot of protein?

sorry if these are silly questions! but i'm really keen to build lean muscle, not just lose weight :)


You might build muscle at first... maybe
Your more likely to retain muscle and lose fat.

Although lots of people lose muscle AND fat. Because they dont inlcude a weight training program.
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Postby molligrub » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:32 am

If you are in a calorie deficit, you may build a SMALL amount of muscle mass, but most likely you will retain what you have (provided you do exercise) and lose fat mass. You need to be in calorie excess to build tissue.

As for extra protein no being used for fat gain - that's not quite true. If you eat MORE than what your daily requirements are in a day, protein, carbohydrate or fat, then you will gain weight.

You will gain less if you overeat on protein, because of the cost of thermogenesis of digesting it (ie takes more energy to digest protein compared to the other two), but ANY surplus of calories and you will gain weight, regardless of where it comes from. And having too much of an excess of protein (you need roughly 1g/kg each day, slightly more for endurance exercise/weight training) will put a strain on your kidneys because they have to filter the waste products of digesting it out.
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Postby SarahC » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:54 am

This is a really interesting thread. That is what I thought too, that you can't put on very much muscle if you are in calorie deficit to lose fat. 8) (Like me at the moment, just doing the weights to maintain muscle while I *try* to lose fat)

The bit that confuses me though is, if you go into calorie surplus to gain muscle, how do you make sure that the calories go towards building muscle and don't get stored as fat. I would imagine that you would be doing a lot of weight training! Like, really a lot :?
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Postby molligrub » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:58 am

To build muscle in a calorie surplus - you're right - you have to do a lot of weight training. But you will still gain a small amt of fat mass - just like when you lose weight, no matter how much exercise you do, you will most likely still lose a small portion of lean weight. Body builders often do cycles - lose fat, then gain muscle, then decrease fat again, then gain muscle etc. This way they can increase the proportion of lean mass.
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Postby SarahC » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:46 pm

Thanks Molli, that makes sense :D I think it must be so hard to be a bodybuilder, just having to be so controlled and precise with your eating!
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Postby phatcappy » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:30 am

sassi wrote:oh oh - i'm getting confused now....does that mean if i am eating to lose weight (and so should be in deficit) then i won't build muscle? what about if i'm eating quite a lot of protein?

sorry if these are silly questions! but i'm really keen to build lean muscle, not just lose weight :)


If you are incvorperating exercise into your weightloss plan you will be building muscle even though you are eating to loose weight. The more protein you consume the faster and more effective the muscle building process will be.
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Postby phatcappy » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:32 am

also if you are interested in building some muscle as well as losing weight, try incorperating around 1/4 to half your daily exercise routine to weight training. For example i go to the gym for around an hour and a half, i spend mabe 25-35 mins weights, the rest cardio.

Hope this helps
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Postby sassi » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:38 am

thanks - that's definitely a help :)

i agree with sarah - this is a really interesting thread!
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