If you recently started your fitness journey, you may find yourself checking the mirror for the first signs of visible triceps and wondering: How long does it take to build muscle?
The exact answer depends on a number of different factors, including your age, your starting point, your workout regimen, your nutrition plan, and genetics.
After you start a new workout program, it may take a couple of weeks to start seeing noticeable muscle. But even before you can see it in the mirror, you’ll be gaining muscle and getting stronger.
And as a beginner, you don’t have to put in hours of heavy lifting each day to get those results. A short, effective strength workout is enough to build muscle — like the #mbf Muscle Burns Fat and #mbfa Muscle Burns Fat Advanced workout programs, which are designed to sculpt a stronger physique in as little as 25 minutes a day.
Even when you’re blasting fat, you’ll still be strengthening your core.
Try this move from #mbfa, which works the core, engages your shoulders and hips, and helps get your heart rate up.
How to Do Side Sit-Throughs in #mbf
“Side sit throughs are a fun way to incorporate rotation and functional mobility into a cardio workout,” says Cody Braun, CPT.
Plus, he adds, “There is a solid amount of shoulder stability and hip mobility involved.”
Here’s how it’s done:
- Come down to the floor on hands and knees in a tabletop position. Place your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keep a flat back throughout this exercise.
- Tuck your toes and lift your knees a few inches off the floor, so your weight is on your hands and the balls of your feet.
- Lift your left foot slightly off the floor and rotate to your right by pivoting on your right foot, lifting your right hand off the floor and swiveling your left foot under you. Make sure you press away from the floor with your left arm to stabilize the shoulder.
- As you kick the left leg out to full extension, place the right heel down and stabilize your body.
- Reverse the movement to come back to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
Can Side Sit-Throughs Help You Build Muscle?
Side sit-throughs are a functional exercise that primarily targets your core muscles and shoulder stabilizers.
So while this move may not pack on a ton of muscle mass in the way weighted squats or bench presses can, it’ll help strengthen your core and improve mobility and coordination.
How to Modify the Side Sit-Through
This move requires some coordination, so it may take time to get the hang of it. In the meantime, modify it by taking out the extension at the end.
“When modifying this exercise, focus on just the core rotation and shoulder stability aspect of this exercise by taking out the full kick-through with the leg,” Braun says. “As you build more shoulder stability as well as hip mobility, the full expression of the exercise will become easier to perform.”
3 More Tips for Building Muscle Faster
If you’re impatient just thinking about how long it takes to build muscle, these tips may help you increase muscle mass more efficiently.
1. Check your protein intake
Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but that’s just the amount you need to keep everything humming along.
If you’re strength training, aim for 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to support muscle growth.
2. Mix it up
Don’t fall into a rut of doing the same handful of exercises over and over without increasing weight or adding progressions.
Mix up your workout routine with AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible), EMOMs (every minute on the minute), and heavy-weight, low-rep burnouts. (You’ll find all of the above and more in #mbf and #mbfa.)
3. Allow time for recovery
When you’re trying to build muscle faster, taking a day off might seem like a speed bump you don’t need. But muscles repair at rest — so if you want to see growth, make sure you include recovery days in your workout schedule.