T Nation

Muscle Growth


It is my understanding that the muscles grow after a good workout - but how long does it take until the PWO growth stops?
24 hours? 48? 3 days? A week?


This is totally scientific but I've read that Increased Protein Synthesis (Muscle Growth) stays elevated for approx. 48 hous post-workout..


Are you asking how long you can stop working out before you start to lose what you gained? Possibly around two weeks, but your body isn't that fragile. If I were to, for some strange reason...like being abducted by aliens to a planet that has no gyms...., stop lifting for a while, it generally wouldn't take me long to regain any size or strength lost due to "muscle memory".

HOWEVER, this being posted in the beginner's forum makes me think you are askiing this so that you can figure out how many days you can avoid lifting.


There is no way you could pin point the muscle recovery of a regular weight trainer that specifically. The most simple reason why would be due to muscle activation during other movements and different rates of recivery between individuals. I know what you mean, but many here seem to try to quantify every ounce of bodybuilding into specific constants. I don't think some truly understand how much your body changes all day long everyday.


Barring the implied criticism, yes. But here's the complete story:

I'm 36 and been a couch potato my entire life - despite what might be not too bad genetics: my mother and father were first-league athletes some decades ago, and in high-school I wasn't too far behind the regional champion fast runner (who was my buddy in high-school).
But due to below-average exercise and way below average calorie intake, I've been pencil-thin my entire life.

Tired of being a geek I started to change that a couple years ago and, now I realize, I went through all typical newbie mistakes (this website was invaluable to uncover them and teach me good lessons, thank you!): did same exercises over and over again, didn't eat enough, etc.

Despite that, I made excellent progress as far as strength is concerned. The absolute numbers will make you guys laugh, but I'm pleased with the relative numbers: as little as 2x improvement for some muscles and as much as 5x for others.

Muscular volume growth, though, is a different story. After a lifetime of sleep, my body is reluctant to wake up.

I've a very busy job at a high-tech company, I'm a father of two (I have to finish up this message quickly because they're making a ruckus), the young one not even a year old, and additionally I'm going through some very tough challenges in my life currently. That will end at some point, no doubt, but the stress it's taking its toll.

I tried to work out 6 days a week, per some book by Arnold that I read a while ago - and burned out.

Tried 5 days and burned out again.
4 days was much better and it seemed like I could do this under normal circumstances, but that's not the current situation.
So I dropped down to 3 days a week (Mon, Wed and Fri), taking care to hit every muscle at least 2 times a week. But I wonder if working out each muscle twice a week is enough.

So that's why I asked.

Hopefully, when everything in my life gets back to normal, I'll go to the gym more often. Until then, I'd use the gym to give me strength for my other endeavors and duties, rather than the other way round. Trice a week seems like the magic bullet in that regard. But I wonder if it's enough to produce sustained muscular growth and increase of strenght.

Thanks everyone for the good advice you gave on this website!