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Muscle Development: How Much Muscle Weight Can You Gain in 1 year?

Updated on October 31, 2011

Building muscle is a slow process and many people have unrealistic expectations of how fast they can gain muscle. Sometimes you hear stories of someone gaining 20-25 pounds of muscle in 3 months! This is often some famous celebrity or some fitness model featured in a muscle magazine. Quite frankly, these stories are not entirely true, as it is impossible to put on that much muscle in that time frame, unless under the use of steroids. If the person was not on steroids, the claims were exaggerated. They may have gained 20-25 lbs in 3 months, but some if was fat, not all muscle!

How much muscle weight can you gain in 1 year?

Gaining 10-15 lbs of muscle a year is what you should expect, assuming your following a good training program, diet is good, and you are getting proper rest. Some people simply do not understand that 10 lbs of muscle is a lot, even 1 lb of muscle is a lot! (Pure muscle mass, not a combination of fat and muscle.) In order to gain muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Even if you are following a weight lifting regime, you will likely gain fat along with muscle. Just because a person gains 20 lbs in a year does not necessarily mean it was all muscle. Some of the weight will also be fat and water retention.

Don't listen to muscle building magazines that say you can gain 30 lbs of muscle in a month!

99.9% of muscle building magazines are not being truthful when they say you can gain 30 lbs of muscle in a month. That type of progress is not even possible if someone has great muscle building genetics and is also on steroids, let alone the average person. These magazines often feature some ripped and muscular person who may claim that they gained all that muscle from taking some supplement!

While muscle building supplements can help you gain muscle, magazines often extremely exaggerate how good they actually are. Remember that companies are out to make money, they usually do not care if the product works as good as they claim it does.

Also understand that there is no magic muscle building supplement that can put slabs of muscle mass on you. You still need to follow a good diet high in protein, get enough rest and etc.

Beginners can gain more muscle in a year than intermediates and advanced weight lifters

Beginners are often known to gain muscle faster than more advanced weight lifters. This is because their body is not used to lifting and the body is shocked into growth. It becomes more difficult to build muscle when you have already put on a moderate amount of muscle or have quite a significant amount of muscle mass.

For example, someone who weighs 145 lbs and has never lifted may gain 15 lbs of muscle his or her first year of training. The second year, however, they may only gain 8 lbs.

Genetics also determine how quickly you can gain muscle. And of course, steroids can make you gain muscle fast, but stay away from them, unless you are professional bodybuilder under strict care by a medical doctor.

Building muscle is a slow process, but you will see big results in one year!

Remember not to give up on building muscle, it's not something that occurs over night. If you train effectively, have a good diet, sleep right, you will see amazing results in one year. It might be a good idea to take a picture or your video of yourself at the beginning of the year, then look at yourself a year later. Always compare yourself to your "previous self," don't compare yourself to those people in those magazines who gained 30 lbs of muscle in a couple months, because they did not!


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    • FirstStepsFitness profile image


      6 years ago

      Great hub *So true so many false claims ,so many false result claims ,it is so overly used in this industry.Only believe legitimate claims.

    • bangingbeauty profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting article. Gives us an insight into the realistic world.

    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 

      7 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      Good advice and reminder that you should not always believe what you read (do some research)!! Thanks.


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