T Nation

How Long to Build the Physique?

 i've been at this now for 7 years. can anybody tell me how long before 7 years of powerlifting and body building starts to change your body? at least if sombody replies, and gives me an estimation of how long it took them to transform into a "bodybuilder" maybe i will sleep better at night.

i've seen pictures of pros out of high school and most of them were puny. but i can't get any body to give an honest answer.
any help would be usefull.


What exactly are your expectations? Do you want to look like a pro-bodybuilder? Are you using buckets of steroids and GH yet? Do you have god-like genetics to go along with the drugs?

Or have you not gained a single pound of muscle or any appreciable strength? In that case, you're doing something very wrong. How do you train? What do you eat?

But I bet this is a case of unrealistic expectations brought on by muscle mag bullshit.


If you are wondering how long until you look like a pro bodybuilder, the answer is probably never. Even with gallons of steroids it's unlikely you'd ever look like that. I'm sure you must have made some progress. It's hard to believe that 7 years of training could have produced no results whatsoever.


Wait, haven't you posted on another thread that you've used steroids?

Again, what are your expectations? Based on your posts, I'd say your expectations are either unrealistic or your training, diet and genetics are the worst in the history of bodybuilding.

Surely you've made some gains, right?


Dude, if it has been seven years and you don't look SIGNIFICANTLY different in terms of mass gained and overall development, you have either been farting around the gym whenever you go, have absolutely no concept of nutrition or both. Even with "sub-par genetics" the average person can completely change how they look through training. In bodybuilding, I have often heard and agree that if after 5 solid years of knowledgeable training you don't regularly get called a "bodybuilder" or get mistaken for a football player on a regular basis, then you simply don't have decent genetics. If you actually have used drugs and need to ask this question, you are clueless...period.


What is your definition of a bodybuilder?

Like Ronnie Coleman? Like guys that do a lot of steriods?

When I think of bodybuilder I think of someone who wants a massive, lean body...

Raul, what is wrong with living a healthy lifestyle and striving to get better in performance.... or get better in developing great body composition... or getting better with your diet?

You can sleep at night... and why are you not able to do so as you say? Perhaps "bodybuilding" to the extent you're thinking is not that great anyway? What would be the worst that could happen if you did not acheive a Ronnie Coleman or massive bodybuilding type figure??????

I'm sure you've made some improvements over the 7 years and that is something to be proud of. Is it not?

Don't worry about those mags or media or the pictures in the powerful images section AT this site. It does not make you any less of a human to have a less than "Greek God" figure does it? Surely it does not warrant that you get less sleep at night because your not some massive bodybuilder...

You're a marketing guy... maybe you could take a step back and look how far you've come realistically and see where you want to go and keep improving.

Get a trainer, nutrionist, the works if you want to get really serious about your body sculpting.

Or lastly, have you really done what is necessary with the time and effort to warrant such a great figure? Or do you even really know what is actually needed to achieve such results?

I'm not being facetious here. Many people, I think don't know what is actually required...

Either way Raul, start asking yourself some questions and being realistic in your approach to the questions.

You'll find the answer and make the appropriate decision that's best for you.

-Get Lifted


Always rely on Prof X to write an email that makes you feel good inside.

It does seem to be taking you a while though. My recommendations are to go back to basics. Get a good program (T-mag has tons). Use a workout and food log. Rest heaps.

If you do these things (especially the food log) you will see results.

I've been working out for about 7 years now and although i haven't seen earth shattering results, a lot of my training was half arsed, or overtraining or I didn't attend to nutrition. Once I put all these together I started putting on about 5kgs of muscle a year. Consistency is the key.


To echo what everyone else has said, if you haven't noticed muscle gains after seven years, you are going about it all wrong. In my experience, after two years of hard work and dedicated diet, I had put on significant size. I went from a pudgy 155lbs to a harder 175lbs. From there I got better at my workout routines and, except for several surgeries making my weight yo-yo over the span of about 4 years, I have managed to get to 215lbs.

This took nearly ten years, but if I didn't have the troubles I did, i could have been here in about six. The main thing is to train hard and smart, get enough sleep, and eat good and a lot.


While you won't look like gargantua, I'd think a couple solid years should have people able to tell you aren't like all the other toothpicks on the planet.

Then, at that point, you should have a good base of development to build from as well as a lot of accumulated knowledge if you've been hanging around here.


I'd say 4 to 5 years, depending on your genetics, use of gear or not, workout dedication, correct routine, nutrition...all this plays a part in how fast a person shows "success"...but your question is just way too vague as far as what you define as a bodybuilder.


it took me from the age of 14 to the age of 18 to really look "big"... i went from being confused as a basketball to being thought of as a defensive end/linebacker physique... no one ever thinks im a hockey player.. which i am


Why would you wait seven years to realize that there has been no appreciable change?


Exactly. That should have crossed his mind months into training if he was gaining no strength at all. I remember hearing, "you look bigger" back when I was still skinny as hell after putting on 15lbs in one summer. I just don't understand anyone who would do the same thing that wasn't working for over half a decade and THEN ask why they aren't seeing results.


I've put on 20 pounds before and had people tell me they didn't see a difference.


Same here. It didn't feel good.

Let's see what happens when I put on 40.


I read this and cant seem to get the words out of my brain the questions are so many.If you are lifting weights or are you doing 12 ounce curls 2or3 days a week or are you going to the gym and doing an hour of aerobics 3 or 4 days a week.Seven years of push up and sit ups lunges would just about eliminate obesity in this country if everyone did them along with alot of the medical problems that are out there. post your height weight before and after this time period are you eighteen now and just begining to mature or are 50 and the age bug is slowing any progress?


They say it is hard to see body weight differences less than 20lbs, but most should be able to discern a 20lbs difference in muscle mass. Maybe you gained it mostly in places that don't catch attention at first. Bodybuilders notice leg and back development. The general public really doesn't give a shit.


I'm SO far from being an expert on this topic...but I can't resist offering my 2 cents.

In half that length of time, friends and family were commenting on how much better I looked. Then I discovered T-Nation; by Year 5, my brother was saying "What are you on?"

This guy has to jump back in and clarify his question. He can't be that naive.


I have Been overweight all of my LIFE I Boxed for 2 years and lost about 70lbs but didnt have any muscle.. Then i was injured... So being depressed I couldn't compete anymore I gained it back I went back to 270lbs .. It has been One Month of "serious" training and I weigh 257 But I have more musle tone than ever and I can see my veins when I work out!!!! I have always loved that and I OWE it all to T Nation this website motivated me beyond beleif.. I went from fat ass to almost solid in about 1 month so you are doing something very wrong if you dont see results!


Keep up the good work.