When you are weightlifting, you will always be curious about how much muscle you can build.
Like everybody else, I was curious about how much muscle I can build in a week, month or a year.
My experience tells me that muscle growth rate laid out by Martin Berkhan is accurate:
During the first six months of weight training, one might see a muscle gain of 1.5-2 lbs per month; that sweet newbie magic, where you gain muscle at a rapid rate. It’s not uncommon to see that muscle gain accompanied by fat loss.
After six months and through the second year, you might see muscle gain of 1 lbs per month. You’re able to increase weights linearly in the gym and everything is still pretty awesome.
Things slows down significantly in the third year, to the tune of about 0.5 lbs muscle gain per month.
When you read something like this at the start of your weightlifting journey, it can be disheartening. After you run out of your newbie gains, 1 pound of muscle gain per month sounds too small. That even slows down to 0.5 lbs per month in the third year.
I got my newbie gains by bodyweight training. At the beginning of this year, I started training with free weights -barbells and dumbbells.
I managed to build 12 pounds of muscle in 8 months.
12 pounds of muscle sounds small when you read on paper but in reality, it makes a HUGE difference.
There is a 12 pounds of muscular difference between the before and after pictures above. My height is 5’9 (175 centimeters).
“Before” I had a decent muscle mass but nobody noticed my muscles when I put a shirt on. I looked small. People were jokingly telling me that I need to eat some food because I look too slim. I had worked like a dog to add muscles to my body, only to hear that I’m too small now. I was mad.
“After” adding 12 pounds of muscle, I’m in a totally different league. My muscles get noticed by everybody. People tell me I got too big. They ask me questions about bodybuilding. I feel terrific.
8 months ago I was too small and just 12 pounds of muscle made the difference I was after.
So, don’t get discouraged by reading on paper about how many pounds of muscle you can gain in a week, month or a year. Small amounts you read on paper will look big when you add them to your physique.
Keep building muscle gentlemen. One day you will arrive and once you do it there’s no going back.
Be sure to read:
- Building Strength and Muscle: Bodyweight Training (Calisthenics) vs Weightlifting
- Why Is It So Hard to Build Muscle?
- Ripped with Bodyweight Program, the ultimate bodyweight training program to build a muscle fast.