Originally Posted by Bladerunner
If your natural that would take
2)hard work on the old time 20 rep breathing squat program ,
3) a good diet,and
4) Hard work on the old time 20 rep breathing squat program
What’s My Genetic Muscular Potential? | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald
’m not sure if I came up with this idea on my own or stole it from somewhere else (probably a combination of the two) but, in a slightly different context (how quickly can someone gain muscle), I have often thrown out the following values for rates of muscle gain.
Year of Proper Training Potential Rate of Muscle Gain per Year
1 20-25 pounds (2 pounds per month)
2 10-12 pounds (1 pound per month)
3 5-6 pounds (0.5 pound per month)
4+ 2-3 pounds (not worth calculating)
Again, these values are for males, females would use roughly half of those values (e.g. 10-12 pounds in the first year of proper training).
Please note that these are averages and make a few assumptions about proper training and nutrition and such. As well, age will interact with this; older individuals won’t gain as quickly and younger individuals may gain more quickly. For example, it’s not unheard of for underweight high school kids to gain muscle very rapidly. But they are usually starting out very underweight and have the natural anabolic steroid cycle called puberty working for them.
Year of training also refers to proper years of training. Someone who has been training poorly for 4 years and gained squat for muscle gains may still have roughly the Year 1 potential when they start training properly.
Now, if you total up those values, you get a gain of roughly 40-50 pounds of total muscle mass over a lifting career although it might take a solid 4+ years of proper training to achieve that. So if you started with 130 pound of lean body mass (say in high school you were 150 pounds with 12% body fat), you might have the potential to reach a level of 170-180 pounds of lean body mass after 4-5 years of proper training. At 12% body fat, that would put you at a weight of 190-200 pounds.
Again, that’s a rough average, you might find some who gain a bit more and some who gain a bit less. And there will be other factors that impact on the above numbers (e.g. age, hormones, etc.).
In discussing this topic with Alan Aragon, who’s book Girth Control should be read by anyone interested in this topic. In his monthly Research Review, he addressed the issue of rates of muscle gain a bit differently although the results end up being pretty similar. He has found that that the following rates of muscle gain are roughly achievable for natural lifters. Note that this ignores things like creatine loading or temporary glycogen supercompensation which can cause rapid changes in ‘lean body mass’ but don’t represent actual skeletal muscle tissue.
Category Rate of Muscle Gain
Beginner 1-1.5% total body weight per month
Intermediate 0.5-1% total body weight per month
Advanced 0.25-0.5% total body weight per month
So a 150 pound beginner might be able to gain 1.5-2.25 pounds of muscle per month (18-27 pounds per year). After a year, he’s now an intermediate at 170 pounds and might be capable of gaining 0.85-1.7 lbs per month (10-20 pounds per year; I’d consider 20 lbs. an exceptional gain). After another year, he’s an advanced lifter at 180 and might only gain 0.5-1 lb per month (a true 1 lb/month gain in muscle mass for an advanced athlete would be pretty rare).
So he might top out at 190-200 pounds or thereabouts after another year or two of training, at 10% body fat, he’d have 170-180 pounds of lean body mass. Pretty much identical to my model even if we got there by a slightly different path.