T Nation

Window of Growth and Recovery After Stimulus?


This may have been discussed to death if so I apologize for not being a more skillful searcher.

After a weightraining session , how soon do the muscles begin to grow and when does growth stop? From what I have read optimal growth may occur during sleep because of growth hormone release, but I would imagine growth would also occur during the day assuming adequate stimulus and nutrition.

There has to be some parameter where growth can be kept at a maxmimal rate, even if it superficially appears to be overtraining. I would imagine there may some variety from person to person, but has anyone come across any scientific studies or research?


Have you read the post workout (PWO) nutrition articles on this site yet?

I'm not sure they answer exactly what you are asking, but they do discuss maximizing recovery by stopping catabolism and enhancing anabolism.


With regards to the articles , no but I definitely will though.

To clarify my question say for instance I do a benchpress workout of 5 x 5 for 75-80 of my 1RM. Just an example but probably more than adequate stimulus for growth.

How many hours after the excersise does growth actually occur?

When does it peak?

And when does it stop altogether until another unit of stimulus is applied?

Does that help at all to clarify the original questiosn?


No! This tells me you are way to worried about something you can't possibly quantify. There are way to many variables to simply state:
I workout (A)
I grow(B)

Keep your body loaded with fuel to take advantage of the time when your body does need it for growth/repair.


im not sure if anybody actually knows the answer to your question. there also may not be a clear cut answer anyways. it's also and issue that i consider minutiae.

wrt PWO, consume a good meal or shake prior to lifting. during and after are cool too, but the 'window or opportunity' or whatever made up stuff will be seized by a preworkout meal or such.

other than that, growth is a combination of added resistance (getting stronger) and calorice surplus (with a non-stupid macro ratio, of course) over time.

espousing the fitness/fatigue model, growth can occur days, weeks, maybe even months (in the most extreme cases) after the lifting stimulus. gradually lifting and eating more is the answer to growth.

anyways, what sasquatch said is right. dont worry about it.


Your topic line reminded me of Dr. Berardi's "Window of Opportunity" essay. Its at:


The parameter you are talking about is post workout nutrition and its effect on protein balance. Without proper action you could actually be losing muscle mass post workout. The essay has all the details on the first few hours after your workout through 24 hours post workout. I think it answers your question.