How Long Does it Take to Get Really Buff?

Man doing leg extension in gym
Your body type helps determine how long it takes to get buff. (Image: Ozimician/iStock/Getty Images)

Many people would love to have a body similar to the physiques that grace the covers of fitness magazines, but the process of getting there can seem a little overwhelming. You probably know that getting really buff takes diet and training dedication, but a few other variables play a big role. Everyone is different and the time it takes to get buff will vary from person to person.

The Variables

The variables that affect how long it takes to get a buff body are body type, age, gender and fitness level. Younger people typically respond the quickest to training due to fast levels of cellular repair and high growth hormone levels. Men typically gain muscle faster than women and naturally store less body fat, which gives them an edge. Finally, anyone who has an athletic history or is already in relatively good shape will find it takes far less time to get buff than someone who has never really been active.

So, How Long?

With all variables taken into consideration, the length of time it takes you to get buff depends on how much body fat you need to lose and how much muscle mass you want to gain. On average, a safe rate of weight loss is one to two pounds per week, or one to two percent body fat per month. If you're also trying to gain muscle, expect to gain one to two pounds of lean mass per month, if you're a beginner to novice lifter.

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