How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?

For some people, the advantages of muscle gain are clear and they will stop at nothing to get the maximum amount of muscle, as quickly as possible (that is, use steroids).

How Much Muscle Can you Build

Steroids can dramatically increase the amount of muscle you will gain and therefore the rate at which you will gain it. But I’m too scared to take them and I certainly don’t see the purpose as long as I don’t get paid to realize it or maintain muscle.

If you are on steroids or are, this text is probably not for you because you will probably be ready to add more muscle for a month than I am for a year.

For everyone else, read on …

First, let’s get this out of the way; gaining muscle naturally can be a VERY long and exhausting process. you actually have to be in it for a long time, and from month to month. You almost fool yourself into the mindset that you just don’t care if you gain muscle or not because you sure won’t see tangible results over time. the course of weeks or months.

You simply have to keep doing the workouts, week after week. Confirm that you are using progressive overload, and confirm that you are in a calorie surplus. Oh, and pray.

There are a couple of scenarios where muscle growth could be a bit faster;

You have great genetics

Was your father an Olympic weightlifter or a naturally talented athlete in another sport? If so, his genetics are probably pretty good and he has a huge advantage over everyone else. You will probably have A-level muscle mass without even training. And once you train, you will be ready to gain more muscle, at a faster rate than the typical person. You’re lucky.

You’re cool in the gym

If you have never trained before and started lifting, you will build muscle mass very quickly. This is often because your body will react to the new stimulus that is applied to it. this will happen even if their nutrition is not adequate.

You’re eating tons

There is an absolute limit to the amount of muscle that you will naturally gain over a given period of time. However, if you ensure that you are definitely providing enough calories for your body to build new muscle, you will maximize it. potential more than if you were to eat conservatively to tone down the fat gain.

The problem is that eating above your calorie needs can create the perception that you are building more muscle than you actually are because the layer of fat that covers your muscles will also thicken. This is not necessarily a problem, but most people likely reach a point where the fat covering their chest and stomach reaches an unacceptable level and they get upset, start dieting to lose fat. And compromise any progress they have. ” We are doing it with muscle gain.

fat gain around abs
This is from a couple of years ago when I was a bit overzealous with the calories and started to gain a bit too much fat

HOW to roll in hay RIGHT

The volume/cut mentality abounds in the bodybuilding world, and while it would work for professionals competing in Mr. Olympia with a ton of gear, it’s much less likely to have 37-year-old Phil from Stockport training two times per week.

My opinion is that everyone should try to lose as much weight as they want (without compromising their health) in one go. From then on, you’ll just slowly build muscle, eat a little surplus. And generally enjoy your workout and your life without having to try to “cut” every few months because your “bulk” made you too fat.

There are many ways to explain this training philosophy; some call it ‘lean gains’, about the advantages of building muscle while remaining lean. Others might ask it as body recomposition, that is, the method of maintaining an equivalent (or similar) weight but altering the proportions of muscle and fat you need. Just hold (meaning more muscle and less fat).

Believe me, it’s so much better thanks to managing your training and nutrition.

The disadvantages? It’s boring. he would like to feel comfortable with the fact that his physique is not going to change much in short periods of his time. Bulking up is often fun and motivating because you can eat a little more and you start filling up your large tees pretty quickly, although it is part of the reason for being a fat gain.

By the way, if you are a beginner and would like a free training plan. I have placed together below which I will send you a free email;


So what proportion did I EARN IN ONE YEAR?

My goal was to gain 5kg of muscle for a year, keeping fat gain to an absolute minimum.

I did exactly that (well, at least 5kg in weight), going from ~ 75kg in January 2019 to ~ 80kg in January 2020.

I chose 5kg as a goal because it gave me the ability to build a clear amount of muscle. And it had been a huge enough amount to be ready to track progress every month (5kg for 12 months is 0.4kg per month or just less 1b per month).

Anything but that is quite difficult to track, as weight can fluctuate wildly from day today.

Now 5kg is perhaps quite ambitious, especially since I have been training for over ten years (how many of these I have been training “correctly” is up for debate).

Why is it ambitious?


It is difficult to go back to the studies on the speed of muscle growth. But here are a few that I selected;

This study compared low and high-frequency training in 19 participants and found that the average increase in muscle mass was almost 1 kg in 8 weeks. Extrapolated over a year, this suggests that they could expect to reach 7 kg in 12 months. Not bad BUT the typical training age of the group was only 4 years old.

Over the course of a 12-week period, 56 persons (whose training ages were unknown) followed a resistance training routine 5 days a week. Between high and low responders, there have been significant differences in a lean mass increase. (The top and bottom 15 percent of subjects supported the lean mass gains).

How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?
Article: How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?

This reveals that low responders gained an average of 1 kg in 12 weeks. While tall respondents gained an average of 4.5 kg. This means that low responders may gain a total of 4 kg over the course of a year. While tall responders could gain a total of 18kg.

As we will see, the numbers in the 2 studies (and even within the second study) vary enormously.


The other thing to think about is that the older your training age (the number of years you’ve been training), the less potential you have to build more muscle. The more you train and therefore the stronger you become. The closer you will be to your genetic potential and therefore the rate of muscle growth will slow down.

James Ronald goes into more detail on this, starting with the proportion of muscle that he believes people can gain to support their lifting experience;

In the first year, a muscle gain of 10 to 12 pounds might be realistic. This can drop to 5-6 pounds within the second year, 2-3 pounds within the third year. And would be minimal beyond that. This is capable of giving the typical woman the potential to achieve perhaps 17-21 pounds of total muscle during a lifting run.

How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?
Article: How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?

Taking all of this into consideration and looking for averages, 1-2 kg seems like a sensible goal for an experienced lifter like me.

The bottom line is that if you spend all your time researching and planning instead of training, you won’t gain any muscle. AND you would like to build your goal large enough that you are at the very least ready to track your progress. (If you were simply targeting create 1kg over a year. Which could equate to 0.08kg per month – VERY difficult to track once you consider that weight can fluctuate by several kg over a DAY). So I chose 5kg as a goal.


I worked out an average of 4.5 times each week, doing 13 sets of full-body workouts.

How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?
Article: How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?

I made sure that the entire load volume increased over time. Just by increasing a mixture of weight and reps (extra sets were only used occasionally).

How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?
Article: How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?

I also targeted 5kg (with the idea that increasing the volume load and adequate amount of protein in my diet would mean that most of this was muscle).

In fact, I ended up gaining 4 kg.

Fitbit weight data
Article: How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?

I didn’t track calories, just made sure I was hitting my target protein numbers and consuming enough carbs to give me enough energy to train.


I tried to urge similar shots (ie same position, same lighting, etc.) about a year apart; left is January 2019, right is January 2020.

While the fact that I gained 4 kg is undeniable. Determining how much of that was muscle and how much was fat is challenging. A Dexa scan is one of the most accurate ways to prompt a body fat to lean mass ratio reading; these are extremely expensive and inconvenient, and I didn’t care enough to insist on one.

How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?
Article: How Much Muscle Can You Realistically Build In Your First Year Of Training?

Looking at it, it doesn’t seem like I’ve gained much muscle in the slightest. Although it is clear that I’ve gained some fat.

My clothes are tighter, but again that would just be fat.

Also, this is usually just an angle, I should have taken multiple photos from the back/side, etc.

The simple answer is that I have no idea what percentage of muscle I gained. But if you aim a gun at my head (please don’t), I’d say approximately 2kg.


Definitely; The volume load increased dramatically, which is not unpleasant at all, especially when there was no increase in sets.

Because I weigh 4 kg more, I can also eat quite a lot at 76 kg without gaining weight (because metabolism increases as weight increases).

I’m also proud of my body fat levels, which suggests I can keep doing it for another year.


You can definitely accelerate the speed of muscle growth in two ways;

  1. Eat more. While there will always be a limit to how fast you can physically build muscle. If you ensure that you are in for a substantial calorie surplus. This can mean that you can be sure that you are definitely getting enough calories to take advantage of it all. The potential for expansion at your disposal. For a year, I could have eaten more and grown a little more muscle. But I would have also gained more fat, which I didn’t want. Eat ad-lib if muscle building is your only goal and fat gain isn’t a problem.
  2. Use PEDs (steroids). I don’t know much about steroids, so I can’t tell you what you’ll need or how much you’ll need. But I can tell you that by taking PED. You’ll be able to gain a lot more muscle and at a much faster rate.


If your goal is to increase muscle while reducing the fat gain, you should definitely use this strategy; that is, set a muscle gain goal that is lower the longer you’ve been training. You’re probably aiming for an extra 2-3 kilograms this year. But if you’ve just been training for a few years and are extremely thin, 5-7 kg could be a reasonable goal.

You should definitely keep track of your volume load and check to increase slowly over time.

You should also keep track of your weight every day.


If you thought it was possible to gain muscle quickly without roids, I’m sorry to disappoint you.

The reality is that gaining muscle can be a very slow and boring process that you just can’t take shortcuts with.

Sure, you’ll gain weight quickly (which could give you a bit more muscle). But tons of fat will be the kind you’ll need to diet again.

There is something to mention for slow and steady muscle gain. It means that you will never be in a state where you are not satisfied with your body fat levels. And there is no pressure to eat when you are not hungry.

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