Aristotle once said, "Patience is bitter, but it's fruit is sweet." How about the quote, "Some of your greatest blessings come with patience," by Warren Wiersbe. My favorite quote is, "There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs." All of these quotes, to me, mean something. Everything that involves growing, takes time. Whether you're planting a seed to bloom into a flower, or those pepper seeds you planted in your garden that need the right elements (sun, water, and time) to grow into the luscious green peppers. Heck, even a baby takes 9 months to be considered fully developed. In saying this, why would muscle growth or getting the body you desire take little time?
Fitness writer and bodybuilding nutrition coach, Lyle McDonald developed The McDonald Model. The McDonald Model is a chart that shows how long it could take for muscle to grow. I say "could" because, as we know, everyone is different. A lot comes into play in terms of muscle growth. Age, caloric intake (protein and carbohydrate intake), water intake, rest, and some genetics. This model states that 1 year of consistent training can yield 20/25/lbs of muscle growth in that time frame (average about 2/lbs per month) for that year; 2 years of consistent training can yield 10-12/lbs of muscle growth (average about 1/lb of muscle growth) for that year. 3 years of consistent training can yield 5-6/lbs of muscle growth (average about .5/lbs per month) for that year, and 4 years of consistent training can yield 2-3/lbs for that year. For women this would be about half of these numbers stated.That does not sound like a lot when you put in perspective how much fat one can gain in a given month alone! Muscle is a slow (let me repeat this) slow growth tissue. It's quality, it's the bees knees, it's the sh*t!!! It will take time for muscle to grow. I have had some clients, who didn't follow my meal plan I created; come to me with huge weight gains in a month time period. One of the first things they would assume is that it is all muscle, because now they are lifting weights. Remember all the ingredients that are needed in order to create muscle? If you're not doing this and following it to a "T" especially in the beginning of your training program, more than likely it is not all muscle or any muscle.
While looking at The McDonald Model you will also notice that as your maturity of weight training increases the HARDER it is to keep up with your gains? Your biggest gains were in the beginning or 1st year of your program. Why? The 1st year, especially if you never actually followed a weight training/exercise program is what I like to call your "shock" period. Your body is saying, "Whatcha talking about Willis!" Sorry I loved the show, "Different Strokes" back in the day. Your body is in a confused state, with the new clean macros you're eating and the different resistant movements you're doing, and the upwards to a gallon or more of water you're drinking, your body is damn near forced to change. As the 1st year ends and the 2nd year begins, your body is like, "Ah, I get what you're doing now. You're not going to fool me again." That's why it's important to know what you're doing and understand your body, or even hire a certified personal trainer to avoid any plateauing. As you enter the 3rd and 4th year and so on, you have to stay consistent and keep confusing the muscles, as well as eat right, sleep right, and drink that water!
The overall takeaway from this blog is make health/fitness your lifestyle not a fad. Find a plan that works for you; if need be, find a fitness professional to help you with this, but whether you do or you don't...STICK WITH IT! Be patient, don't fall in the "New Years Resolution" trap looking for those quick changes and think that it should continue that way at the rate it's going. Guess what? It won't.