I'm a 29 y/o male starting strength training for the first time. I've done cardio my whole life and there were 3 rules of thumb I had in terms of time expectations:
- It takes about 4 months after starting cardio until significant fitness gains are noticable.
- It takes about 24 hours after a single cardio session until there has been enough recovery to train again ("time to recovery")
- It takes about 10 days after any given cardio session until the body recovers and becomes stronger ("time to improvement)
Now number (1) and (2) I have an understanding of for strength training (1 is still about 4 months and 2 is now 48-72 hours). But number 3 I have no idea.
Of course, there is far too much 'noise' between individual sessions to be able to notice an improvement from a single workout. However, metric 3 is still very useful. I know, for example, that if I train cardio less than 10 days before a race, I will be able to recover, but I won't see all of the benefits from that training. So with <10 days to go before I race I only do moderate excercise. Metric 3 also allows me to set realistic expectations after a very intense session about when I might see benefits from it.
I have found a lot of information available about how long after strength training you have to wait until you can do strength training again. But I can't find information about how long it takes after a strength session until you have recovered and accrued all the benefits of that session.
I am aware that for beginners you might actually break down more muscle than you can rebuild afterwards for the first few weeks. I've been going for 3 months now though so should be through that soon.