How much muscle (hypertrophy) can you gain in one month? It would be best if you first had the optimum diet and workout program to build the most muscle. Building muscle fast takes knowledge. Are you working out regularly? Or maybe you have just begun working out. Either way, you agree you want to see some muscular hypertrophy signs when you step on the scale.
You can see instant results. For some, it acts as positive reinforcement. Doubtless, seeing or feeling muscular hypertrophy helps you feel accomplished about hustling in the gym. However, despite the hard work, the wrong steps can slow the process of muscular hypertrophy.
When you set your goal of building muscles, remember that it does not happen overnight. But it can happen fast with scientifically proven methods.
Natural and fast-paced muscle gain takes anywhere from months to even years. So to expect your body to gain noticeable muscle after a month or two is not expecting too much when you work smart and hard.
There are challenging and fast rules to gain muscle fast in a month. More than a few factors come into play when figuring out your capacity to gain muscle mass.
Suppose you or anyone you know claims to have experienced drastic weight fluctuations and muscle gain in less than a month. In that case, they will most likely experience either retention or fluid loss—the Top 5 Gym Equipment to Build Bigger Muscles.
Let us explain if you genuinely need to understand how much muscle you can gain in a month. We’ll begin with some simple biological and scientific truths about your body.
The Research that Supports How to Gain Muscle Hypertrophy
A team of experts conducted a study on the different effects of 1- and 3-set strength training for muscle mass gains in the upper and lower body in 2007 in untrained subjects.
The results showed that 3-set strength training is superior to 1-set strength training for muscle mass gains in the leg muscles. At the same time, no difference existed between 1- and 3-set exercises for upper-body muscles in untrained men.
Consequently, the results show the legs respond with a more considerable gain in muscle mass when a moderate strength training volume (3 sets) compared with a low training volume (1 set) in the early phase of adaptation to strength training.
Based on the study results, it is difficult to point out why upper-body muscles are not responsive to training volume differences as leg muscles. Training volume is a simple geometry formula that multiplies the sets, reps, and weight to get the training volume.
One explanation is that participants used leg muscles more than upper-body muscles in daily activities. Consequently, some leg muscles’ growth potentials might already be reached through daily activities, meaning they are better trained than the upper body in subjects not committed to regular strength training.
Furthermore, trained muscles benefit more from a more extensive training volume than relatively untrained muscles.
Based on this finding, someone may draw the opposite conclusion; the upper-body muscles need a higher training volume (> three sets) than lower-body muscles to benefit from multiple-set strength training.
3-set strength training for the lower-body groups increased their body weight significantly more than the upper-body groups. Since there were no differences between the groups in upper-body muscle hypertrophy, body weight gain between groups explained the difference in lower-body muscles’ superior hypertrophy in the 3-set lower-body group.
Therefore, if the aim is to get optimal hypertrophy in previously untrained subjects, and the option is between 1- and 3-sets, we recommend one set for the upper-body muscles and three sets for the lower-body muscles during the first 11 weeks of training.
Based on the principle of overload and progression, it is likely that multiple sets will be superior in the upper-body muscles after the first period of adaptation. Also, it might be that the upper-body muscles need over three sets to benefit from multiple-set strength training programs.
Research experts conducted a study on protein ingestion before sleep increases muscle mass and strength gains during prolonged resistance-type exercise training in healthy young men in 2015.
This study assessed dietary protein supplementation’s impact before sleep on muscle mass during resistance-type exercise training. The study found that muscle strength increased significantly after resistance exercise training in the protein-supplemented group than in the placebo group (164 kg and 130 kg).
The quadriceps muscle cross-sectional area experienced hypertrophy in both groups over time, with a more significant increase in the protein group than in the placebo group (8.4 cm2 vs. 4.8 cm2).
Both type I and type II muscle fiber size increased after exercise training, with a tremendous increase in type II muscle fiber size in the protein group (2319 μm2) than in the placebo group (1017 μm2). The study concluded protein ingestion before sleep represents an effective dietary strategy to augment muscle mass hypertrophy during resistance exercise training in young men.
A group of experts studied the effects of velocity loss during resistance training on athletic performance, strength gains, and muscle adaptations in 2015.
The 2015 study compared the effects of two resistance training programs, only differing in the repetition velocity loss allowed in each set: 20% velocity loss vs. 40% velocity loss on muscle structural and functional adaptations.
Although both groups increased mean fiber cross-sectional area and whole quadriceps muscle volume, 40% velocity loss training elicited more significant hypertrophy of the Vastus Lateralis and Intermedius than 20% velocity loss.
Training resulted in a reduction of myosin heavy chain IIX percentage in 40% velocity loss training, whereas the body preserved it in 20% velocity loss training. In conclusion, as shown by velocity loss during exercise, prolonged muscle fatigue promotes muscle growth as it influences functional and structural neuromuscular changes.
Leading experts conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on the dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and muscle mass increases in 2017.
The 2017 study found that resistance training volume significantly affected muscle size. The effect size between higher and lower resistance training volume increased by 3.9% more for higher resistance training volume. The findings show a graded dose-response relationship whereby increased resistance training volume caused more significant gains in muscle hypertrophy.
A group of scholars conducted a study on resistance training volume that enhances muscle hypertrophy but not strength in trained men in 2019.
The study aimed to evaluate muscular adaptations between low-, moderate-, and high-volume resistance training workouts with resistance-trained men.
The results showed while all groups increased muscle size from pre-intervention to post-intervention, the scholars saw significant increases favoring the high-volume training with the elbow flexors, mid-thigh, and lateral thigh.
The study found men could use high-volume resistance training to increase strength and endurance in three 13-minute weekly sessions over an 8-wk period by resistance-trained individuals. These gains are like those achieved with a substantially greater time commitment. Muscle hypertrophy follows a dose-response relationship, with increasingly significant gains achieved with higher training volumes.
All the findings share some common threads between them.
We learned from the studies to improve muscle hypertrophy through protein timing, high-volume load, and a reduction in velocity speed. The studies support that the proper diet and workout can yield tremendous muscle hypertrophy in a short time. So how do we do that?
How do your muscles grow precisely?
There’s some fundamental science to how muscles work, repair, and grow. When your muscles undergo any exercise or movement out of your ordinary routine, they experience a type of ‘trauma.’ This injury to your muscle fibers forces your muscle cells to repair your muscle fibers at a cellular level.
Muscle hypertrophy is your body’s effort to prevent further ‘trauma’ to your muscle fibers—rebuilding your muscle fibers results in hypertrophy or, in simpler words, growth in size.
The muscle hypertrophy repair and growth process is complicated. It takes time and proper nutrition. The repair and growth process requires growth hormones, which we will discuss later. It also requires using your body’s protein content to create healthier and more active muscle fibers that are more contractile.
The more you work out, the more you are conditioning your muscles to tear, repair, and build. This conditioning contributes to muscle hypertrophy and the tone of muscles. Muscle hypertrophy helps you keep up with your daily exercise demands.
How to gain muscle fast – a few things to remember before setting expectations.
Knowing the biological limits allows you to set realistic goals and track your progress with patience and precision. You can set realistic expectations that you are more likely to achieve. When you know the process, you can stay focused and motivated.
A lack of knowledge puts you at risk of getting into the wrong notions and using risky techniques or products. For example, many marketing ads, socialites, fitness gurus and bloggers, supplements, programs, and products promise gains in muscle hypertrophy quickly. They claim to help you noticeably gain muscle fast in a month or even less.
For gaining muscle fast, accept no magic products or shortcuts to achieving your body’s natural gains in muscle mass hypertrophy. Instead, you can correctly increase muscle hypertrophy through exercise and a healthy diet.
Many people lose sight of this concept. Instead, they keep pushing themselves between programs that promise them super-fast muscle gain or unrealistic gains quickly. Not only do mislead enthusiasts overextend their bodies, but they emotionally reject obvious biological facts.
With such unrealistic ideals in mind, it is easy to immediately set yourself up for disappointment. Here is why you cannot gain 10 pounds of muscle mass each week, despite a rigorous workout routine:
- It takes 3500 calories to lose or gain one pound of weight.
- There is a muscle-to-fat ratio your body uses to gain or lose weight.
- Your body has a calorie efficiency rate based on the calories your body uses and discards as waste.
- Your metabolism uses a certain amount of the calories you eat.
- The calories you eat go toward energy, fat, waste, and muscle.
Based upon physiology, if you eat 4000 calories daily, with a metabolism of 2500 calories, a muscle-to-fat ratio of 40% to 60%, and a calorie efficiency rate of 90%. To build muscle, you can net 540 calories (4000 – 2500 = 1500 x 40% = 600 x 90%) a week. It will take you one week (540 calories x 7 days = 3780 calories) to build a pound of muscle. If you wanted to build more muscle under this scenario, you would have to eat more food and increase your workouts’ volume load to convince your body to use the extra calories as muscle and not fat.
Knowing the facts leads you to change your diet, exercise, and supplements. It is never magic but science that helps you reach your goals. You can always trust the numbers because the numbers do not lie.
So, how much muscle can you gain in a month?
This question is what it comes down to for most of us looking to gain muscle. How much power can you build in a month naturally? Many factors can affect the answer: diet, exercise, genetics, age, medical conditions, etc. There’s no single formula that fits all.
However, according to a general estimate, an average man can gain between 0.25 to 0.5 pounds of muscle per week. So it means an assessment of one to two pounds of muscle gain per month. But there’s a limit to this monthly gain as well.
An average man will gain between 40 to 50 pounds of muscle in a lifetime. It is worth mentioning that there is a correlation between muscle mass and bone size. So genetics and hereditary traits play a role in how much muscle you can pack. Burning fat or gaining strength, the three factors influencing the outcomes are behaviors, genetics, and environment.
Women can gain an average of 0.12 to 0.25 pounds of muscle gain per week. It means your average woman can earn anywhere between 0.5 to 1 pound per month. So on average, a woman can gain up to 20 to 25 pounds of muscle in a lifetime.
We strictly talk about pure muscle hypertrophy when we say how much muscle you can gain in a month. We are not talking about body weight gained or the fat or other aspects that affect weight.
It is also important to remember that working out can tone and shape your body, but the number of muscles builds up at a different pace. As we said earlier, they tear and repair to grow back bigger and stronger with time. So why Is Your Muscle Not Getting Bigger and Stronger?
What about gaining more muscle?
If you’re training hard, eating right, and getting adequate rest, your body will gain muscle faster. So whatever progress you see with the proper routine and diet is your body’s optimum growth rate.
However, high testosterone, HGH, and IGF levels can cause you to pack on more muscle. Hormones affect muscle hypertrophy in people. If you find it challenging to gain power, visit a hormone doctor to see if your hormone levels need to be regulated better. Hormones affect more than muscle growth; they also affect your emotional and sexual health.
High hormone levels can lead to many problems. They act as natural steroids that can enhance muscle mass, even to an unnatural extent. Hormones can cause your body to build muscle mass faster than naturally.
High hormone levels set anyone at a natural advantage under normal conditions. But with strenuous muscle-building exercises and workouts, the added muscle mass gain can strain your heart and other essential organs.
It is essential to consult your doctor when gaining muscle mass or burning body fat fast. Your hormones play a vital role in how you gain and lose weight. Instead of guessing about them, spend a few dollars to get the facts from your doctor. If you want to save money, you can visit a hormone therapy clinic instead of your general practitioner.
Now that you know you can gain up to 2 pounds of muscle naturally and 50 pounds of muscle throughout your adult life, the next question is, how can you do it?
The three keys to gaining muscle fast
Regardless of what programs, products, or lifestyle gurus claim, the basics remain the same: gaining muscle fast and naturally will always come down to three essential behaviors.
Experts suggest that resistance training is the best kind to strain the muscles enough to force them into a hypertrophic state. In addition, it causes noticeably fast muscle gain.
With resistance training, you overload your muscles with a high volume of weight. Volume overload pushes your body to adapt and grow and makes your muscles more capable of handling resistance.
A workout program with high-volume multiple joint movements is vital for muscle hypertrophy. Another technique is to use progressive overload. Choose weights you can lift initially and escalate the weight each week or until you reach failure. Then, work your way up to heavier weights and force your muscles to adapt and become stronger.
Incorporate other strength-building exercises as well, both at the gym and home. Your muscles work best when you’re using them daily. The constant stress on the muscles causes muscle fibers to tear up and rebuild on a cellular level.
The right combination of exercises can help you meet your fast muscle mass hypertrophy targets. But resistance training must balance the proper hormone levels caused by a protein-enriched diet and the correct amount of sleep.
Muscle growth depends much on what you choose to put in your body. A balanced diet is crucial for any person to live a healthy life. The emphasis increases when you’re trying to gain muscle fast.
You should cut down on sugar and alcohol consumption. It significantly affects your hormone regulation and muscle development. Set your meal plans with the help of a trainer or expert. Your everyday diet should comprise vegetables and high proteins. Carbohydrates are just as crucial since you’ll need every ounce of energy you can get to work out.
Another important thing is for you to divide your meals throughout the day. Irregular eating will not help you achieve your goal. You can install helpful apps to remind you when to eat or even help you prepare your meal plans.
Proper nutrition, especially, is vital to your progress. Protein-packed snacks like nuts and shakes are imperative for your daily nutritional needs. It is important to remember that carbohydrates and fat provide energy; you must live and work out. It is a protein that builds cells, hormones, and muscles.
Your hormones are tiny little chemical compounds that regulate everything in your body to ensure it functions at its best. For example, among the many hormones, three primary hormones regulate growth in your body.
These are human growth hormone (HGH), testosterone (T), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). These stimulate muscle hypertrophy. You need these to be healthy to gain muscle mass fast in a week, month, year, or even lifetime.
Genes also affect these hormones, which you can’t do much about. However, you can regulate your hormones by eating healthy and getting a good night’s sleep. These hormones will either speed up your muscle-gaining progress or slow down. That is why, for some, it is easier to gain muscle faster than others.
Once you begin weight training, these hormones help you with protein synthesis and muscle build-up. In addition, they enable you to create bigger and stronger muscle fibers.
The body releases HGH in a sizeable amount when you sleep. That is why a good night’s rest is essential for achieving your ideal muscle mass gain goal. Also, prior studies showed that protein right before sleep contributes significantly to muscle hypertrophy.
So if you have your workout, nutrition, and hormones in sync, you have the perfect recipe for a fast and healthy muscle mass gain. You’ll be seeing results very soon.
How fast can you cause muscle hypertrophy?
If you’ve never built muscles or just focused on this path, there’s good news for you. As a novice, it is easier to gain muscle right away. The dedication, patience, and discipline that muscle hypertrophy demands are less at the start. As you train your muscles, the cycle of hypertrophy speeds up, and you’ll witness a noticeable change in your physique.
Subsequently, once you’re past the first stage of muscle hypertrophy, your body will respond to your efforts slowly. When your muscles adjust to a massive workload, stimulating growth takes far more effort. However, as you pack on muscle, you need more stimulus (volume load) to get the same results. Remember, you can naturally build 40 to 50 pounds of muscle over your life.
The keys to causing fast muscle hypertrophy:
- Stay motivated and dedicated to your workout routine and adherent to your diet.
- Use progressive overload and volume load to get results.
- You must mix up your workout with some compound and isolated lifts.
- Perform more sets for the upper body, but always three sets are more for the lower body.
- Eat a gram of protein for every pound of body weight.
- Consequently, eat 3500 calories above your metabolism for every pound you want to gain each week.
- Take your rest and recovery just as seriously as your workout.
What if you’ve hit a plateau with muscle hypertrophy?
Consistency and compliance are something we continuously emphasize. The motto of muscle hypertrophy is to force the muscles to adapt to resistance to become more prominent.
You can expect muscle gains fast and furiously as a beginner in muscle building. Compared to experienced weight lifters, you’ll be packing more muscle.
1. Change things up
However, once you’ve reached the limit of the initial stage, many muscle builders experience a ‘no gain’ period. It’s like hitting a brick wall. In addition, recent research shows that the muscles have reached a peak hypertrophy level.
No matter how hard you train or eat, muscle hypertrophy does not budge, and worst you don’t see any changes. So how do you overcome this challenge? First, we suggest you change your resistance training and switch up your nutritional sources.
Reaching a plateau means getting the most out of your old workout. Now, It’s time to move on to a new workout. Your muscles persistently adapt and form around the type of resistance training you put them through.
Changing your workout program will change their resistance stimuli, forcing them to adapt to this new variation. A new workout program creates additional muscle challenges and induces muscle hypertrophy.
2. Target exercise
Every muscle in your body has the potential for growth to a certain level. For instance, your bicep has less potential for growth than your triceps. However, the potential for your legs and back muscles is more significant because they’re massive.
Combining isolated exercises with compound exercises is excellent for exhausting and stimulating muscle hypertrophy. The more you shock and challenge your muscle, the more they will respond by getting bigger and stronger.
For example, complete six sets of bench presses after completing six sets of Pec Deck. The bench press allows you to work the chest in its natural element but with pressure on multiple joints, setting you up for injuries. The Pec Deck enables you to target the chest while avoiding the joint injuries that come with compound lifts.
3. Seek professional advice
You can always get a professional to do it for you. However, getting a trainer to help assess your progress and micromanage your workout routine is best.
You can consult a nutritionist to help set up your diet to bust out of a plateau. They will help you determine the best meal plans that suit your taste palette, budget, and likes and dislikes.
Subsequently, professionals know the numbers and don’t mind crunching them to make your gains a science. Your workout and diet can be defined and explained with numbers. A nutritionist and fitness trainer can help you understand those numbers and get the desired results.
If you want to save money and know your way around the gym, you can always get them to create a plan for you. Then, finally, with the program in your hand, you can work it yourself or do it with a friend.
You shouldn’t embark on your fitness journey on your own. The more professional help (nutritionist, fitness trainer, doctor, hormone therapist) you seek, the better chances you have to achieve your goal faster.
Can you gain muscle back again after losing it?
So you used to weight lift, but life got in the way, and you lost all your gains. Will you be able to regain them? Will it be harder to start back at the bottom?
The noble thing about muscles is a phenomenon called muscle memory. It lets you regain muscles much faster than you did initially.
When you lift and train for the first time, your body creates neural pathways in your Central nervous system (CNS). When you weight train again, the paths help your muscle relearn much faster than the first time. This is because the old pathways are re-activated.
Your muscles keep their strength even when you’ve lost mass. It’s almost like riding a bike after a decade. But, then, it comes back to you.
So if you are getting back on track towards muscle gains, you will gain muscle faster right from the start, all thanks to muscle memory bodybuilding.
You will regain much of the muscle mass you’d have lost if you keep your diet under control.
Weight lifting is also suitable for your muscles, body, and overall blood circulation. In addition, it has beneficial effects on your physiology. For example, it strengthens your neuromuscular efficiency and the connection between your body and brain.
So no matter when you go back and hit the weights, you’ll push your body to perform better and become healthier.
What to incorporate in your meals to gain muscle hypertrophy fast?
We have talked about fast muscle hypertrophy and the factors that affect how fast you can gain muscle mass. Another vital muscle hypertrophy tool is a balanced and protein-rich diet.
We know that pre-workouts and meal plans may not taste the best. Not everyone is an excellent cook to keep up with the taste palette demands. Eventually, you miss the good old delicious junk food. It can lead you to cheat days, which isn’t ideal.
To help you stay compliant with your diet plans, we’ve enlisted a few healthy yet delicious food items you can use with your diet.
1. Blueberries and Bananas
Thanks to these two foods, there’s hope for your protein shakes to taste better. In addition, you can add a handful of either of these fruits to any smoothie in the morning—nature-packed blueberries and bananas with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
Salads sound boring, but they’re your best friends, especially when trying to do right by your body. You don’t have to keep eating lettuce and call it a salad. You can eat other green leafy vegetables such as spinach and basil. There are tons of recipes online that can help you prepare delicious salads right from scratch. Like blueberries and bananas, nature-packed green leafy vegetables with many nutrients act like medicine and fiber to clean your gut and blood vessels.
3. Whey Protein
It is a wealthy protein for fast muscle growth found in dairy products. Whey Protein is quickly absorbed and very helpful in building muscle. Bodybuilders widely use whey protein in pre-workout smoothies. It causes a spike in blood amino acid levels.
Whey Protein makes amino acids readily available for the muscles to repair and grow. It is tasteless. You can easily incorporate it into your smoothies and food.
Some familiar dietary sources are Greek yogurt, protein shakes, and ricotta cheese.
What is the best and cheapest source of protein out there? Eggs. They contain an elaborate amount of proteins. They are versatile to cook and agreeable to every taste palette. Hard-boiled eggs make the most convenient snacks.
They also contain cholesterol, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, which is excellent for muscle hypertrophy.
Nuts are another excellent protein-packed option. You can carry them easily in your pocket, add them to your smoothies, and garnish your meals. The possibilities are endless.
Nuts also contain vitamin E, antioxidants, minerals, and proteins. As a result, regularly consuming nuts are excellent for muscle hypertrophy and general health.
Some protein-rich nuts include almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and cashews.
Meat is the ultimate source of protein. But too much of anything good can be harmful. That is why many people ask how much protein is necessary to gain muscle. You need to consume at least 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg of your body.
As for beef, 90 percent of ground beef will provide 1 gram of protein per 11 calories. The protein content of meats varies according to the quality and nature of the animal.
What supplements can you take for muscle growth?
Proteins are the building blocks for muscles. That is why having proteins available for your muscles is vital for fast muscle hypertrophy. You can eat a protein-rich diet, and also you can take protein supplements to ensure that you get enough protein.
Protein supplements boost muscle hypertrophy and keep a healthy amount of Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) in the body to assist with muscle functions.
You can stimulate muscle protein synthesis by consuming protein after weight training. Generally, one gram of protein per pound of weight is enough. However, you may need more depending on your height, build, age, and muscle mass.
Even if you consume more, it has no additional benefit or harm. This is because your body burns excess energy along with carbohydrates and fats. In addition, the body excretes the extra protein in the urine.
Reminder: Protein supplements are only an aid. The amount of protein for muscle hypertrophy should primarily come through food.
What effect does age have on muscle hypertrophy?
As you grow old, your muscle-building ability diminishes. The process of hypertrophy becomes slow and less responsive. Your ability to gain muscle is still there but requires more effort to build muscle.
As an older muscle builder, try using the change-up techniques. Consume extra proteins and add new exercises to your routines.
Muscle memory can also help you. You will force your muscles to adapt to the resistance by putting yourself through different resistance training. Building muscle is more challenging when you’re old, but you can still do it.
What should you expect to increase muscle mass hypertrophy in a month?
1. For Men
As we’ve mentioned, the goal is simple: lose fat and pack on muscle. Men have high testosterone levels, which enables them to gain muscle mass faster than women.
If you’re training for the first time, you can expect a gain of anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds per month in the earlier months.
If you’re experienced, you will have a slower rate of muscle growth. The gains will be progressive and slow. Pushing your muscle hypertrophy will be directly proportional to the level of training and volume load.
2. For Women
Women have less tendency to pack on muscle. It is because of the low levels of testosterone. Therefore, it takes more training and lifting to gain muscle mass in women.
A woman training for the first time may experience fast initial muscle hypertrophy. Anywhere between 0.25 to 0.5 pounds of muscle gain in a month is excellent progress.
The same thing applies to experienced women bodybuilders. Muscle gain slows down with time and requires a higher volume load.
Final Thoughts on Hypertrophy – How to Gain Muscle in One Month or Less
Building muscle and maintaining them is no easy feat. It takes dedication, patience, effort, and self-control. But, with the proper knowledge and training, it is well within anyone’s reach.
Now you know how much muscle you can gain in a month and how fast you can build it. With this knowledge, you can set realistic expectations for your body. You’ll be able to avoid false claims and misleading marketing.
If you come across any program or product claiming to help you gain muscle mass faster, ignore it. Anything built the right way is bound to stay longer than achieved through shortcuts.
You’re well aware of the factors that influence your muscle gain, so now you can focus on them to build muscle naturally. It is vital to stay true to the process. Always eat one gram or more of protein per pound, use a higher volume load, get enough sleep to build hormones, progressive overload as you get stronger, and finally, choose the proper diet and workout program.
Every person builds muscle differently, and the gains vary. That is why you must focus on your body, compete with yourself, and put 100% of your efforts into your workout and diet plan.
With proper guidelines, training, and dedication, you’ll be on the road to achieving your dream body. If you or someone you know is considering bodybuilding, share this article on Facebook or Twitter so that others can learn more about building muscle.