How Much Muscle Mass Can You Gain Naturally?
Many people make statements about how much muscle you can build naturally.
Who is right?
I am asked by many people questions like
“How much muscle mass can I really build naturally?”
“How big can I really be without drugs?”
Increased muscle mass and genetic potential
The first thing you need to know is that there is no sure way to know your genetic potential when it comes to building muscle mass. There is no sure way to know how muscular you can be naturally. But you do not have to worry about it as long as you do not have 5 years of experience in proper training and eating correctly.
If you are new to gym training, don’t even think about it. Just focus on the now, focus on your progress from week to week without thinking how big you can (or should) be.
Although not all of us have the genetics to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, but each of us can build a strong, muscular and healthy body that we will be proud of, and that is the most important thing in the end.
So how much muscle mass can you really build ?!
Although there is no definite answer, there are some guidelines developed by the best coaches in the world, such as Lyle MacDonald and Alan Aragon.
Lyle MacDonald’s answer:
If you are training for a year you can build 20-25 pounds (9-11 kg)
If you are training for two years you can build 10-12 pounds (4.5-5.5 kg)
If you are training for 3 years you can build 5-6 pounds (2.2-2.7 kg)
If you train for 4+ years you can build 2-3 pounds (0.9-1.3 kg)
According to Mr. Macdonald, age and initial physical condition will affect these numbers.
Older men will gain less muscle mass than younger men,
Guys in the “underweight” category will be able to gain more muscle mass than that.
And others will be able to build more or less muscle mass because of, genetics and lifestyle.
As long as you are not trying to be a bodybuilder you can definitely get the look you want in a natural way.
Just keep in mind that it takes time, patience, hard work and a few years to increase the amount of muscle mass you want.
Ellen Eragon’s answer
Alan’s model is slightly different but the numbers show more or less the same
A beginner will build between 1% and 1.5% of his weight in pounds (1 kg = 2.2 pounds) per month
Advanced trainee will build 0.5% -1% of his weight in pounds per month
A very advanced trainee will build 0.25% -0.5% of his weight in pounds per month.
That means that if a guy who weighs 55 kg, which is 121 pounds, will build in his first year 1.21-1.815 pounds a month, or 14.52-21.78 pounds a year, this leaves 6.6-9.9 kilograms per year of muscle.
An increase in muscle mass naturally takes time and the more you are skilled in the gym it just gets harder and harder.
I’m not trying to depress you but it’s always important to enjoy the process, live the moment.
Personally, I’m a natural trainer and I’m 26 years old. I keep 8-10% fat all year round and I currently range from 64.5-65 kg and growing very slowly from month to month when my height is 163 cm.
When I started, I weighed 50 kg and went up to 70 kg a few years later (during my bad training and eating regimen) where I looked like this:
Then I decided to cut, so I went down to 61.5 kg and got 5-6% body fat,
And today I look like this (today I train properly and eat properly)
So the most important thing to remember is:
Enjoy the process and do not chase the “perfect body”, enjoy your training and nutrition as if it is the only thing that is most important to you in life.
So patience + consistency = the key to success!
What do you think about this article?
If you have any question or anything else to add,
I’d love to know in the comments section below.
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