Every day you read another article in fitness and bodybuilding magazines about how someone put on 10 lbs, 15 lbs and even 20 lbs of muscle in a few months.

The celebrities are constantly claiming huge muscle gains in short periods of time due to a special diet, training program, supplement routine or a combination there of.

In fact, right now, all over the internet is a well-known bodybuilder who is attempting to add 30 lbs of muscle in 3 months.


So, what are the facts?

How much muscle can you really gain in a month or a year…naturally?

Everyone has their own muscle gaining potential based on diet, type of training, health issues and heredity. Some of us may have a harder time gaining muscle than others while there are those who find gaining very easy.

But whether hard or easy, there is a natural limit.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not the limit setting type of guy as you can see by my continued battle to beat MS in the gym but I am realistic and never want to set my sights on the ridiculous just to fail.

My point is, if you set unrealistic goals like dreaming of 25 inch arms on your 185 lb frame, you will only crash into a brick wall of defeat.

The true amount of muscle you can gain

There are so many mixed messages on the topic of muscle gains that I turned to a true expert on the subject of fitness, Alan Aragon, to help substantiate what I believe to be the truth.

Aragon has over 20 years of success in the fitness field, and is one of the most influential figures in the modern movement towards evidence-based information.

Alan Arogon’s natural lean muscle mass gain model 

Beginner 1 year or less 1-1.5% total body weight per month
Intermediate 2-3 years 0.5-1% total body weight per month
Advanced 5 years or more 0.25-0.5% total body weight per month

Keep in mind when you hear big numbers in muscle gains in short periods of time, there is something more going on.

limit to muscle growth_2Maybe the growth was not all muscle and due to excessive calories fat was included in the gains or maybe the athlete is using anabolic steroids that cause unnatural muscle gains.

Whatever the reasons for unusual muscle gain claims, they should not effect yours.

Don’t compare your gains or your goals to anyone else’s

Look at yourself and create a better you.

Muscle gains will come if you focus and adopt a smart bodybuilding program to allow yourself the best platform for success.

If you prepare mentally, you will be prepared physically. But remember, growth is not unlimited. You can perfect that growth and sculpt the ultimate body from it as you naturally grow.

Set the bar high…but not too high

Let’s be real here, always go for the amazing and not the impossible when it comes to muscle gains. Set your sights on the max and put all the pieces together for that to be reality.

Since we are all very different in makeup, body type, metabolism and other factors it’s impossible to give you a one size fits all answer to muscle growth and gain.

What’s important is carefully examining your fitness factors and developing a program that enables you to make the best gains through proper nutrition; eating the right amount of calories in the right combination to add muscle and not fat; and following a training regimen that pushes you to the limits of growth.

In coming articles, I’ll discuss training and nutritional programs that you can implement to get the most out of your workouts and maximize your muscle gains.

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