A question that gets asked often is “how much muscle can I gain”?
Unfortunately because of pro body building, the media, PTs posting about unrealistic (or untrue!!) muscle mass their clients have gained and the comic muscle magazines, people can have unrealistic visions of the amount of muscle that can be gained....
LETS BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS - For most of us it, takes TIME AND EFFORT TO BUILD MUSCLE. How much muscle someone can gain depends on many factors including-
People can see noticeable results to begin with when they start a training program but for most of us it takes months or even years to get substantial results.
It is hard to come by data of how much muscle mass can be gained (if anyone has data or research please get in touch).
The two tables at the bottom of the page are models by Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon for potential rate of muscle gain (drug free). Also note that these are averages and make a few assumptions about proper training and nutrition and such. As well, age will interact with this; older individuals won’t gain as quickly and younger individuals may gain more quickly. ALSO NOTE THAT FOR FEMALES THESE VALUES ARE ROUGHLY HALVED.
The first table by Lyle McDonald we can see that
- a male beginner in the first year of training can have potential muscle gain of 2 pounds per month (around 0.9kg) or 20-25 pounds per year (9-11kg)
.With Alan Aragon's model a beginner can gain 1-1.5% body weight per month.
So for example a 150 pound beginner might be able to gain 1.5-2.25 pounds (0.7kg- 1.1kg) of muscle per month so around 18-27 pounds per year (8-12kg).
For experienced lifters and athletes muscle gains will diminish and tend to correlate with time spent training. Lyle theorises that men training appropriately for muscle gain can expect to put on around 1 pound a month, while those with 3 years dedicated training will likely only be able to add about half a pound each month. Of course you will have some people who will go against those figures theorised.
I put these tables up as recently as I have witnessed some absurd claims made on social media about muscle mass gained. Also for people to have realistic expectations of how much muscle they can realistically gain and not get disheartened because they haven’t got the physique of the geared guys worth years of training in the comic muscle magazines. Even though they have been trying to follow their workout and diet plans. Oh and all you females that allegedly bulk up after some press ups and body pump. You wont.
Building muscle takes time, patience, sound training and nutrition plans.
Table 1- Lyle McDonald Theoretical Model
Table 2- Alan Aragon's Theoretical Model on muscle gain
Jamie Miller- Personal Trainer
UK FITNESS PERSONALTRAINING