How long does it take muscle to grow after exercise?

It has to be one of the most frequently asked questions in the gym – how long does it take muscle to grow after exercising? While it’s a hotly debated topic, the answer could have big implications when it comes to maximising growth! Here’s why…..


Check this out! Scientists got a group of weight trainers to perform arm curls in a 6-12 rep zone [1]. After training they measured the rate of muscle protein synthesis and found that it rose above normal by 50% after 4-hours and 109% after 24-hours. At 36-hours it was nearly back to normal!

Although the full muscle growth response to training may several days or more and is not merely indicated by protein synthesis, this study does seem to tell us that the most powerful response occurs within 24-hours of training. This is why getting post-workout nutrition spot on is crucial if you’re serious about maximising results:

– Consume a post-workout protein shake such as OMNI-MX® HARDCORE

– Eat a post-workout meal with carbs and protein 90 minutes post-workout

– Keep consuming protein every 2-3 hours post-training for 24-hours after the gym

– Eat a slow-release protein (cottage cheese or GRS 9-HOUR® PROTEIN is ideal) before bed

Of course, just because muscle growth can happen within hours of training, that doesn’t mean a session can add 1 inch to your guns! Instead, every time you train and get your nutrition right, you trigger a small growth response that contributes to serious long-term gains.

So, how long does it take for muscle to grow after exercise? Not long – just make sure you take full advantage!


[1] Can J Appl Physiol. 1995 Dec;20(4):480-6. The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise.

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