If you’re asking the question of how much muscle can you gain in a week, I know you’re just itching to become a beast overnight?
And you’re hoping that my answer will be… DEFINITELY BRO!
Well, despite what you may have heard in the latest hyped fitness commercial, building muscle isn’t fast…
But… for a noob like you… it’s not really slow either.
Table of Contents
- First, Let’s Ask How Much Muscle Can You Gain in a Month
- So, What Does this Mean For Your Rate of Gains?
- Genetics Play a Huge Role In Your Growth Rate
- Will Supplements Help You Build More Muscle?
- That Being Said, Creatine Has Evidence of Being Effective
- You’re Probably Still Wondering What This Means for Your WEEKLY Gains…
- Just Know that Training Hard and Eating Well Is Going to Give You the Fastest Results as Noob
First, Let’s Ask How Much Muscle Can You Gain in a Month
There are some great expert opinions on how much muscle you can gain at different levels of gym experience, but they’re by the month (not the week).
First, here are the predictions of Alan Aragon:
- Beginner: 1-1.5% of total bodyweight/month
- Intermediate: 0.5-1% of total bodyweight/month
- Advanced: 0.25%-0.5% of total bodyweight/month
You’ll notice that Aragon’s gain rates are based on a % of total bodyweight.
To put in perspective, if you weigh 150 lbs, you can expect between 1.5-2.25 lbs of muscle gain per month.
That equates to about 18-27 lbs per year.
That’s pretty gnarly if you ask me.
Now, let’s say you’re an intermediate and you gained 18 lbs on the lower end of the range (so you weigh 168 lbs now).
As an intermediate you can gain between 0.84-1.68 lbs in a month or 10-20 lbs in a year.
Now, let’s take a look at the predictions of Lyle McDonald which are based on years of lifting experience.
- 1 year: 20-25 lbs gained
- 2 years: 10-12 lbs gained
- 3 years: 5-6 lbs gained
- 4+ years: 2-3 lbs gained
So, according to McDonald, if you’ve been training less than a year (and you do it well), you could potentially gain 25 lbs of muscle (12.5 lbs if you’re thinking about a 6 month muscle gain plan).
Again, gnarly if you ask me.
(“Gnarly” is coming back. Trust me)
So, What Does this Mean For Your Rate of Gains?
Alan Aragon and Lyle McDonald both have obvious points in their models…
Noobs have the potential to make WAY more progress than gym junkies with more years under their belt.
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…and my own personal experience says the same thing
However, my rate of growth was a bit below the threshold of both of those expert opinions.
I asked myself the same question… “how much muscle can you gain in a week.”
And when I finally put in a half-assed effort, I only gained about 12 lbs of muscle in my first year.
I mean, I was completely stoked to see any changes in the mirror, but I was bummed to learn that I didn’t even size up to the “crappy rate” standards.
Granted, I hadn’t really followed training and dieting to a “t” to make building muscle optimal.
BUT… That’s also when I realized…
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Genetics Play a Huge Role In Your Growth Rate
There’s nothing you can do about it, but your natural genetics will determine how much muscle you gain over the course of a year, a month, or just a single week.
Take me for example (I’m the picture at the very top).
When I look at my family, no offense to my mom and dad, but they’re both brittle people that never played sports or excelled in many athletic activities.
All through high school, I was constantly hurting and embarrassing myself just so I could have some common ties with my athletic friends.
And surprise surprise… building muscle is slow for me too.
You on the other hand, might be some sort of superhuman and gain 30 lbs your first year.
Whatever happens, as long you pick a reliable training program and keep your diet on point, you should make some great gains.
Will Supplements Help You Build More Muscle?
You see, pre workouts and stuff like that are really all the same thing… stimulants.
These stimulants are supposed to boost your performance, allowing you to slightly push your limits and … MAYBE stimulant more muscle growth.
Really, if you save your money and just have some caffeine before your session, you’ll get similar results.
Most pre workouts are just glorified caffeine, but if you got some money burning a hole in your pocket, I would be more than happy to recommend one of these organic preworkout supplements to keep your body healthy and clear while you increase your performance.
That Being Said, Creatine Has Evidence of Being Effective
Now, of course, no supplement can be the magic pill that’s going to turn you into a beast overnight.
(Unless you count anabolic steroids)
If we’re being realistic as to how much muscle creatine will help you add, it’s probably something like an extra 5-10 lbs of muscle over the course of a few months for a beginner.
So… I WOULD recommend creatine if you want a little extra edge.
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You’re Probably Still Wondering What This Means for Your WEEKLY Gains…
Unfortunately, the answer to how much muscle you can gain in a week is just too volatile to be accurate.
I mean, the changes in your body’s water is crazy enough.
Seriously, you can be down 2 lbs one week and up 3 lbs the next one.
For anyone, even an experienced researcher, trying to guess what muscle you’ll build in a week is tricky.
See, you might gain only 0.25 lbs of muscle the first week, and then a full 1 lb the next, and so on until after a year, everything kind of evens out.
Just Know that Training Hard and Eating Well Is Going to Give You the Fastest Results as Noob
Remember, being a noob is awesome.
As a beginner, you have the opportunity to gain muscle faster than lifters with years of experience under their belt.
So, in a way… it’s all downhill from here.
And if you’re trying to answer how much muscle can you gain in 3 months… you know… over summer vacation, use these formulas:
- Bodyweight x 3% = Lower threshold of 3 month gains
- Bodyweight x 7.5% = Higher threshold of 3 month gains
Just keep bench pressing and eating your protein.
To your gains,
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