How Long Did It Take You To Get That Big?

How Long Did It Take You To Get That Big?

Whether it is about muscle gain or height gain or getting success in any other field, just go through this article to change your perceptions.

One of the most frequent questions bodybuilders hear is, “How long did it take you to get that big?” There’s an assumption that building muscle size is mostly a matter of time – the longer you do it, the bigger you get. While it’s true that it takes years to come anywhere near your genetic limit for muscle size, not everybody develops at the same rate. Some are fast gainers and begin to see impressive results after only a few months in the gym. Others gain muscle more slowly, and train seriously for years before seeing dramatic gains.

IronClad Body


Fast or slow, the gains will come if you stick with it!

Clearly, some people were born to be bigger and more muscular than others, and not everyone will make gains at the same rate. But how quickly you progress when you begin weight training is not necessarily an indication of how far you can go in terms of muscular development. There are fast gainers and slow gainers, and some of the best body-builders ever were on the slow side.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a fast gainer. He began serious workouts at age 15 and by the age of 19 he was able to win the Jr. Mr. Europe contest. The following year he won his first Mr. Universe title. But there have been great champions who did not develop so quickly. Frank Zane, one of the best and most aesthetic physique competitors in the history of the sport, began competing in the early 1960s, but it wasn’t until the late 1970s that he was able to win the first of his three Mr. Olympia titles. Female bodybuilder Yolanda Hughes went through 12 years of amateur and pro competition before winning the Ms. International contest. What made both Frank and Yolanda successful was their ability to put on a considerable amount of additional muscle mass in the latter stages of their careers by going back to the drawing board and rethinking their training and nutrition programmes.

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Consistency of effort is important in creating an impressive physique. But the body is not a machine, and simply doing the same thing – only harder – is not usually the key to long-term success. “In my won competitive career, I made a point of training with and learning as much as possible from a wide variety of bodybuilders whom I respected and admired. I always trained hard, but I also focused on training smart so that I would get the greatest results from my efforts.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

When it comes to bodybuilding development, all you can ever do is get the most out of your body. The human physique and metabolism are incredibly complex and while you can stimulate your muscles to grow and give them the best possible nutritional support, trying to force growth generally results in making less progress because you overtrain, burn out physically and/or psychologically or slow down your progress due to injury. In addition, you can’t expect growth to occur at the same rate all the time. You will experience periods of rapid development, plateaus in which no amount hard work seems to yield any results, and even stages where your body regroups and you find yourself temporarily losing gains despite all your efforts.

Because of this, you must develop your ability to use the Instinctive Principle – that is, to feel when you are pushing yourself too hard and need more time to rest and recuperate. You have to learn to vary and cycle the kind of stimulation you subject your body to, especially once you have gone beyond the beginner stage: doing heavier and lighter workouts, changing the exercises you are using or the order in which you do them, using different types of equipment and employing a variety of training principles.

When you get discouraged, remember that what counts is where you end up, not so much how long it took you to get there.

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Keeping a positive attitude is important to getting the most out of your physique, no matter how long it takes. Of course, this doesn’t mean being unrealistic. A body designed to excel at long-distance running probably will not be capable of reaching the Mr. Olympia stage. But sometimes you can’t be sure. “I’ve told the story many times of my friend Franco Columbu, who was a powerlifter at the time, coming to me and declaring he wanted to be a pro bodybuilder. Looking at his frame, I felt it would be impossible for him achieve this goal. But by winning the Mr. Universe and two Mr. Olympia titles, Franco proved me wrong.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

[Read: The Best Program to Weight Loss: Lean Belly Breakthrough]

So while there may be limits to how far you can go physically, what stops you should be the limits of your genetics – not the limits of your belief in yourself. Don’t let the mind fail before the body does.

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