If you’re working on building up muscle mass, you’ve probably wondered how long it’s going to take you to reach your goals. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what you can expect from month to month so you can work your routine around a realistic timeline.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of understanding how fast you can build muscle, and we’ll lay out just how long you can expect everything to take.
Why It’s Important to Know Muscle Growth Timelines
As with most subjects, the more you know, the better; muscle growth is no exception. You pour hard work and sweat into your gains, which makes it extra important that you can accurately track what to expect and when. Here’s why:
- Program Effectiveness – Having a good grasp on average expected timelines for your gains can help you determine if the program you’re on is working the way you’ve intended. You might just find you need to switch things up to stay on the right track towards meeting your muscle gaining goals!
- Being Realistic – Remaining realistic while strength training is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Strength trainers often over or under-work themselves in the attempt to make the gains they’re looking for. However, some workout programs can be unrealistic for certain muscle gain goals.
- Adaptation – When you know when and what to expect with muscle growth, you can easily adapt your program to stay on track as you see fit.
- Supplements – It’s common to take supplements for muscle growth while you’re working within a strength training program. That being said, a lot of supplements claim to be more effective than they really are. When you’re familiar with what to expect with your muscle growth rates, you’ll have an easier time determining if the supplements you’re taking are working as well as they should be or if you need to consider switching products.
Average Growth Rates
Muscle growth rates are dependent on a lot of factors. However, there are certain averages you can look for. Here’s a look at what you can expect on average per month:
- Women – Women can expect to gain .12 to .25 pounds of muscle each week. This totals to roughly one to two pounds of muscle gain per month.
- Men – Women can expect to gain .25 to .5 pounds of muscle each week. This totals to roughly one to two pounds of muscle gain per month.
Average Muscle Growth Expectations
You might be wondering just how much muscle growth you can expect to gain over a lifetime, given these monthly growth rates. The truth is, you’re going to top out with your muscle growth at some point or another. While the numbers will vary from person to person, here’s a look at what you can expect on average:
- Women – Women can expect to gain 20-25 pounds of muscle.
- Men – Women can expect to gain about 40-50 pounds of muscle.
Conditions of Muscle Growth
Of course, there are various factors that will affect the speed at which you gain muscle. Consider these factors when you’re planning your program’s timeline and defining your muscle growth expectations:
- Your Age – Youth plays a large role in the build-up of muscle. The fact is, the younger you are, the easier time you’re going to have building muscle. Unfortunately, as you age, you can count on probably having to work much harder to keep pace with your muscle gains.
- When You Started – Similar to many seeing increased weight loss at the start of a diet, many muscle builders report higher gains when they’re just starting out. Some experts believe that muscle gain rates drop as much as 50 percent after the first year of starting a program.
- Your Diet – What you eat directly correlates with your fitness program’s success. Be sure to build your diet plan around your fitness program and goals; otherwise, you could be slowing your gains down without even realizing it.
- If You Take Supplements – Supplements are extremely popular in the world of fitness. If you’re taking supplements, they can help speed up your gains when done correctly. Be wary, however, as some supplement products may have ingredients that are either dangerous or that could impede your results negatively.
- Your Genetics – Some things, like genetics, just can’t be helped. Your genetics can influence things like testosterone levels, hormone levels, bone structure, and more. While there isn’t much you can do to alter your genetic makeup, you can learn what works best for you and devise your program to work with your genetic predispositions instead of against them.
- Your Workout Routine – There’s a possibility that your current workout problem simply isn’t devised to help you achieve muscle greatness very fast. We’ve got a few workouts that might be able to help in the next section.
Speedy Muscle Growth Workouts to Try
Struggling to build your muscle gains as quickly as you want to? These routines may be able to help:
- Compound Lifts – Compound lifting exercises can help you achieve results faster because they help you work out multiple muscle groups at once. Check out these nine compound lift exercises we’ve compiled here.
- Time Under Tension (TUT) – Time under tension (TUT) exercises are excellent for building muscle quickly. With TUT workouts, you focus more on keeping your muscle under strain for longer periods of time. You can learn more about how to incorporate this into your routine here.
- High-Frequency Training (HFT) – High-frequency training (HFT) can help with quick muscle gains by focusing on working out more muscles on rotation within a year’s rotation than normal rotations would allow for. Here’s how to set yourself on an HFT rotation.