How much muscle (hypertrophy) can you gain in one month? Are you thinking of starting to work out regularly? Or maybe you have just begun working out. Either way, you agree that 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. No doubt, 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, keep in mind 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. 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.
If you or anyone you know claims to have experienced drastic weight fluctuations and muscle gain in less than a month, they will most likely experience either retention or fluid loss. The Top 5 Gym Equipment to Build Bigger Muscles.
If you genuinely need to understand how much muscle you can gain in a month, allow us to explain. 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 demonstrated 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 that 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 where you multiply the sets, reps, and weight to get the training volume.
One possible explanation is that participants used leg muscles in daily-life activities to a greater extent than upper-body muscles. 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 seem to 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 (>3 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 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 more than 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 conducted a study on 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 indicated by a 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 study on the dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and muscle mass increases in 2017.
The 2017 study found that resistance training volume showed a significant effect on muscle size. The effect size between higher and lower resistance training volume increased by 3.9% more for higher resistance training volume. The findings indicate a graded dose-response relationship whereby increases in resistance training volume caused more significant gains in muscle hypertrophy.
A group of scholars conducted a study on resistance training volume enhances muscle hypertrophy but not strength in trained men in 2019.
The study’s purpose was 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 preintervention to postintervention, the scholars saw significant increases favoring the higher-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 similar to those achieved with a substantially greater time commitment. Alternatively, muscle hypertrophy follows a dose-response relationship, with increasingly significant gains achieved with higher training volumes.
All of the findings share some common threads between them.
We learned from the studies to improve muscle hypertrophy through protein timing, high volume load, and, finally, a reduction in velocity speed. The studies support that the right diet and workout can yield tremendous muscle hypertrophy results in a short amount of time. So how do we do that?
How do your muscles grow precisely?
There’s some fundamental science to how your 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—the rebuilding of your muscle fiber results in hypertrophy or, in simpler words – growth in size.
The muscle hypertrophy repair and growth process is complicated. It takes time and the right nutrition. The repair and growth process requires growth hormones, which we will talk about later. It also requires using your body’s protein content to create healthier and more active muscle fibers that are more contractile.
The more your work out, the more you are conditioning your muscles to tear, repair, and build. This conditioning contributes to muscle hypertrophy and tone muscles. Muscle hypertrophy helps you keep up with your daily exercising demands.
How to gain muscle fast – a few things to always keep in mind 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. There are many marketing ads, socialites, fitness gurus and bloggers, supplements, programs, and products that promise gains in muscle hypertrophy in a short time. They claim to help you noticeably gain muscle fast in a month or even less.
When it comes to gaining muscle fast, accept no magic products or shortcuts to achieve your body’s natural gains in muscle mass hypertrophy. You can correctly increase muscle hypertrophy through exercise and a healthy diet.
Many men and women lose sight of this concept. They keep pushing themselves between programs that promise them super-fast muscle gain or unrealistic gains quickly. Not only do mislead enthusiast overextend their bodies but emotionally reject obvious biological facts.
With such unrealistic ideals in mind, it is easy to set yourself up for disappointment right away. 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 upon 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 in a day, with metabolism of 2500 calories a day, a muscle to fat ratio of 40% to 60%, and a calorie efficiency rate of 90%. You can net 540 calories (4000 – 2500 = 1500 x 40% = 600 x 90%) a week to build muscle. 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 lead you to make correct changes to your diet, exercises, 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 exact answer to this: 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 muscles per week. 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 anywhere 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 the amount of muscle you can pack on. Burning fat or gaining muscle, 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. On average, a woman can gain up to 20 to 25 pounds of muscle in a lifetime.
When we say how much muscle you can gain in a month, we are strictly talking about pure muscle hypertrophy. We are not talking about bodyweight 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. 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 at its fastest pace. So whatever progress you see with the right 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 of both men and women. If you find it challenging to gain muscle, you should 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, sexual, overall 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 it naturally does.
High-hormone levels set anyone at a natural advantage under normal conditions. But with strenuous muscle-building exercises and work out, the added muscle mass gain can put a strain on your heart and other essential organs.
That is why it important to consult your doctor when gaining muscle mass or burn 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 are looking to save money, you can always 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 exactly can you do it?
The three keys to gain muscle fast
Regardless of what programs, products, or lifestyle gurus claim, the basics remain the same: gain 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. 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, grow, and make your muscles more capable of handling the resistance.
That is why a workout program that uses high volume multiple joint movements is vital for muscle hypertrophy. Another technique is to use progressive overload. Choose weights that you can lift initially and gradually increase the weight each week or until you reach failure. 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 fiber to tear up and rebuild on a cellular level.
The right combination of exercises can help you meet your targets for fast muscle mass hypertrophy. But resistance training must balance the right hormone levels caused by a protein-enriched diet and the correct amount of sleep.
Muscle growth much depends 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 of vegetables and high proteins. Carbohydrates are just as crucial since you’ll be needing every ounce of energy you can get to work out.
Another important thing is for you to divide your meals throughout the day. Irregularly eating isn’t going to help you achieve your goal. You can install helpful apps to remind you of when to eat or even help you prepare your meal plans.
The right nutrition, especially, is vital to your progress. That is why protein-packed snacks like nuts and shakes are imperative for your daily nutritional needs. It is important to remember that while carbohydrates and fat provide you with the energy you need to live and workout, it is protein that builds cells, hormones, and muscles.
Your hormones are tiny little chemical compounds that regulate everything in your body to make sure it functions at its best. 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 in a lifetime.
These hormones are also affected by genes, which you can’t do much about. You can regulate your hormones by eating healthy and getting a good night’s sleep. These hormones will either make your muscle gaining progress speed up 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. They enable you to create bigger and stronger muscle fibers.
HGH is released in a large amount when you sleep. That is why a good night’s rest is essential for achieving your ideal muscle mass gain goal. Also, as prior studies showed, protein right before sleep contributes significantly to muscle hypertrophy.
So, all in all, if you have your workout, nutrition, and hormones in sync, you have the perfect recipe for a fast and healthy gain of muscle mass. You’ll be seeing results very soon.
How fast can you cause muscle hypertrophy?
If you’ve never built muscles before or have just begun to focus 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 accelerates, and you’ll witness a noticeable change in your physique.
Subsequently, once you’re past the first stage of muscle hypertrophy, you’ll find your body responding to your efforts slowly. When your muscles adjust to a massive workload, it takes far more effort to stimulate growth. 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 do 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 is something we continuously emphasize. The motto of muscle hypertrophy is to force the muscles to adapt to resistance to become bigger.
As a beginner in muscle building, you can expect muscle gains fast and furiously. As compared to experienced weight lifters, you’ll be packing on 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. Recent research indicates that this is because 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? We suggest you change up your resistance training and switch up your nutritional sources.
Reaching a plateau means you’ve gotten 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 switch up the resistance stimuli for them, forcing them to adapt to this new variation. A new workout program creates an additional challenge for muscles and induces muscle hypertrophy.
2. Target exercise
Every muscle on your body has the potential for growth to a certain level. For instance, your bicep has less potential for growth as compared to your triceps. The potential for your legs and back muscles is more significant because they’re massive muscles.
Combining isolated exercises with compound exercise 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, after completing six sets of bench press, complete six sets of pec deck. The bench press allows you to work the chest in its natural element but pressure on multiple joints, setting you up for injuries. The pec deck enables you to target the chest more specifically 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. It is best to get a trainer to help assess your progress and micromanage your work out routine.
You can consult a nutritionist to help you set up your diet to bust out of a plateau. They will help you figure out 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 results you need.
If you are looking to save money and know your way around the gym, you can always get them to create a plan for you. 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 great 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 begin to weight train again, the paths help your muscle relearn much faster than the first time. The old pathways are re-activated.
Your muscles retain their strength even when you’ve lost mass. It’s almost like riding a bike after a decade. It comes back to you.
So if you are getting back on track towards muscle gains, you will find yourself gaining muscle faster right from the start, all thanks to muscle memory bodybuilding.
You will regain much of the muscle mass you’d have lost provided that you keep your diet under control.
Weight lifting is suitable for your muscles, body, and overall blood circulation as well. It has beneficial effects on your physiology. 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 be pushing 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 start missing the good old delicious junk food. It can lead you to cheat days, which isn’t ideal.
So to help you stay compliant with your diet plans, we’ve enlisted a few healthy yet delicious food items that you can use with your diet.
1. Blueberries and Bananas
Thanks to these two foods, there’s hope for your protein shakes to turn out better tasting. 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 you’re 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 that 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.
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 are also rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, minerals, and proteins. Regularly consuming nuts is excellent for muscle hypertrophy, as well as your 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 to gain muscle is necessary? 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 you with 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 in your body for your muscles to utilize 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) present 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, according to your height, build, age, and muscle mass, you may need more.
Even if you consume more, it has no additional benefit or harm. Your body burns the excess energy along with carbohydrates and fats. The body excretes the extra protein out 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. You will have to consume extra proteins and add new exercises to your routines.
Muscle memory can also help you. By putting yourself through different resistance training, you will be forcing your muscles to adapt to the resistance. 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 earlier, the goal is simple: lose fat and pack on muscle. Men have high testosterone levels, which enables them to gain muscle mass fast as compared to 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 trained or 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 tend to have a less tendency for packing on muscle. It is because of the low levels of testosterone. It takes more training and lifting to be able to gain muscle mass for 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 good progress.
The same thing applies to experienced women bodybuilders. Muscle gain slows down with time and requires a higher volume load.
Building muscle and maintaining them is no easy feat. It takes dedication, patience, effort, and self-control. With the right 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, you should 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 of weight, use a higher volume load, get enough sleep to build hormones, progressive overload as you get stronger, and finally choose the right 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.