- What does it take to gain muscle? A lot of hard work & consistency in the gym & the kitchen, the right mindset and a little bit of genetics.
Under the right circumstances:
– Entry level athletes might gain 2-3 pounds a month
– Intermediate lifters: 1-2 pounds a month
– Experienced lifters: you’re lucky to get a 1/2 a pound a month.
How much muscle can any person carry on their frame? About 5 pounds for every pound of bone.
Genes will dictate a lot about our muscle gaining potential. Studies have looked at who gains muscle, how much and where. For example, Folks who carry more satellite cells have more growth potential. Having more or less Type I or Type IIA muscle fibres can also impact how much muscle (& fat) you gain on your program.
We also have to look at the program. A program that is focused on hypertrophy, with a caloric surplus will yield the best results. Diluting it with too much aerobic work, or too many other activities will likely result in less muscle gained.
When you’re working to gain muscle naturally, and you’re in that “experienced “ category, be ready to feel “bigger”. Muscle is dense and you’re likely gaining some fat too. Your clothes will fit tighter, you’ll feel bulkier and at times this will frustrate you. But if you jump ship and start dieting again – you’ll never see results.
What happens when you’re ready to diet down after a bulk? Preserving the tissue you worked so hard to gain is the goal, but there are no guarantees. Some research has shown that 25% of weight-loss can be muscle.
Of course, there are some major variables. Age, genetics, and how fast you lose the weight can impact your muscle. High protein diets have repeatedly shown to help keep that muscle on.
Resistance training also helps with muscle sparing in low calorie diets. The right combination will help you see some muscle gained and maintained.
Remember – this process takes time. You might have to do several bulks and cuts with periods of maintenance to reach your goals. So it’s key that you enjoy the work and relish the changes once you’ve earned them.
If you’re interested in gaining more muscle and strength – we can help! Click here to get started!
It’s a mistake to wait for everything to be “perfect” to begin your fitness & nutrition journey. Life is a laundry list of events, holidays