How Long Should It Take to See Muscle Definition?
The question:“When should I expect to see more defined muscles?”
The experts:Jon-Erik Kawamoto, strength and conditioning specialist, owner of JKConditioning; Lee Boyce, C.P.T., owner of Boyce Training Systems
The answer:Depending on how often you exercise and the intensity of your workouts, give it between four to eight weeks for your muscles to get ripped, says Kawamoto. While that seems like a long time, there are other signs that show your exercise routine is working—like climbing a flight of stairs without feeling totally winded, he adds.
If you’re dead-set on unveiled toned muscles ASAP, focus on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) about three to four days a week. “These combination workouts will boost your metabolic rate,” says Boyce, which helps melt fat fast so that your muscles can be seen. Check out 7 examples of HIIT workouts here (bonus: they’re all 20 minutes or less!).
MORE:Boost Your Metabolism All Day Long
Also, make sure to give yourself off-days between workouts to let your body recover from new muscle activations; pushing yourself too far can lead to injury and slow your strength improvement—not fun.
But don’t forget about your diet. If muscle growth is your fitness goal, you have to add more protein into each meal. Those are the building blocks for strong muscles, says Kawamoto. Start by matching your daily protein intake with your weight—so if you weigh 110 pounds, consume 110 grams of protein a day, recommends Boyce.
MORE:The Best Sources of Protein
Yes, that’s a lot—but your muscles need that energy to power through a tough workoutandrefuel afterward. Now, you could stick to chicken breasts and plain Greek yogurt (yawn)… but these 37 protein-packed meals taste way better!
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