The process of building muscle begins the second that you challenge your muscles to do something CHALLENGING & UNFAMILIAR, whether that’s picking up a dumbbell, performing a pushup or walk/running.
“These actions all stress and, thus, create microscopic damage within your body’s muscle cells/fibre” as your body repairs the cells, each muscle cell becomes bigger than it was before Depending on the amount of microscopic muscle damage from any given workout.
Muscle cells can take anywhere from ONE TO SEVERAL DAYS to grow back bigger & stronger than before, which is why most EXPERTS DON’T RECOMMEND working the SAME MUSCLE group on BACK-TO-BACK DAYS.
However, in the beginning, weeks of starting a new workout routine, the majority of strength gains aren’t actually a result of this muscle protein synthesis & hypertrophy. Rather, they are a result of the body’s neurological system learning when and how to fire the needed muscle cells.
Think of it this way: The first time you perform a new exercise, say a bench press, you likely feel pretty shaky. Your arms aren’t totally in sync & the weights may sway a bit from side to side, with more practice the movement becomes smoother & easier, that’s your neurological system at work.
For the average person starting a new strength training routine, neurological adaptations will be responsible for the majority of strength benefits for roughly the first four to six weeks of that routine. however muscle-building adaptations are still occurring, & as the weeks go on, they account for more and more progress. Most can expect to see noticeable muscle growth within eight weeks of starting a new strength training routine.
Linking this with aches/pains/injuries when seeing your Physiotherapist, most people look for a quick fix and once they are out of pain then they think they are cured. The problem is that normally before they are in pain, they have experienced prolonged tissue trauma over time due to poor movement patterns & muscle strength. If you don’t fix the cause of your symptoms & work on it over time then you are more than likely to end up with a reoccurring pain/injury. This results in more time off work & sport in the long run.
Bottom line, allow 8-12 weeks of strengthening and guidance with your Physiotherapist before ceasing treatment to save yourself time and money in the long run. If you are still in pain after 2-3 weeks, it doesn’t mean it isn’t helping (especially if you have had the pain for months/years) you need to give it time and continue to work on the prescribed exercises you have been given.
They will help 🙂