This is a very common question that will pop up on social media. And very often it comes from people who’re not training.Dimitar Hristov
People love to estimate if their efforts are justified. And many are curious what to expect if they start consistently training and managing their nutrition.
This mindset can have negative effects as it’s based on being severely outcome driven rather than focusing on the journey and the process. However knowing some numbers has it’s perks.
“Expect to put on 20-30 lbs of lean muscle within a few months”
The expectations on how much muscle can someone gain are usually very unrealistic.
And the fact is we’re being bombarded on a daily basis by magazines, websites and social media featuring “enhanced athletes” that are twisting our view of reality.
It’s not very uncommon to hear that guys expect to put on 20-30 lbs of lean muscle mass within a few months. Plenty of marketers promote such non-sense and wrap it up in a nice bundle with a few supplements.
The core of the issues that people need is to do their best which is ultimately all they can do.
Worrying abut what you might or might not accomplish is not very productive.
However it’s good to have some estimates of what could be the natural maximum.
With that you can structure your diet properly to prevent unnecessary fat gain.
The muscle gaining potential is limited. Once you have enough calories to permit muscle growth, any extra amount will get stored as fat.
So knowing the averages will help you setup the lean muscle gaining intake properly.
Most of what I’m going to talk about applies to male lifters, for girls it would be roughly half of the amounts.
Lyle McDonald Model: (With good training and nutrition)
Year 1 = 20-25 pounds / year (2 pounds / month)
Year 2 = 10-12 pounds / year (1 pound / month)
Year 3 = 5-6 pounds / year (0.5 pound / month)
Alan Aragon Model: (With good training and nutrition)
Beginner = 1-1.5% total body weight per month
Intermediate = 0.5-1% total body weight per month
Advanced = 0.25-0.5% total body weight per month
A lot of people will think of this article as a harsh reality check telling them they can’t ever look good.
But if you look at how people can look once they gain those first 30-40 lbs of muscle there’s really nothing to be worried about.
Once you gain that initial 30-40 lbs and lean down you’ll definitely look VERY impressive.
One thing to keep in mind is that these calculations can also vary on an individual basis.
Great thing about fitness and nutrition is that we’re always evolving and improving our methods.
Focus on doing your best. Educate yourself with videos and books to be able to get the best results and that’s ultimately all you can do.
And if you just apply all the things I’m talking about on my website you’ll be able to become the best version of yourself both pyhsically and mentally.
Let me know in the comments what you think about the muscle gain potential stats.