How much muscle can you gain in a month?


Lifting weights has been shown to increase muscle growth in all people, regardless of age, gender and training level. However, how quickly you gain muscle depends largely on the individual and their training program, diet, lifestyle and genetics

So, how much muscle can you actually gain in a month?

Gaining 2-4 pounds of muscle per month is a realistic rate of muscle gain for most beginners. More advanced lifters should aim to gain 1-2 pounds of muscle per month, as research shows that the more advanced a lifter becomes, the slower the rate of muscle gain.

It’s important to note that these ranges assume you’re training optimally, eating right and recovering adequately (all of which are discussed below), so you shouldn’t expect to be at your best if you’re not doing these things Muscle gain rate.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

  • How much muscle can you actually gain in a month?
  • 8 Factors Affecting Maximum Muscle Gains
  • How to Gain More Muscle This Month

What do you realistically expect to achieve in a month?

After searching the topic of muscle growth and studies of how quickly various subjects gain muscle tissue through resistance training, we found some of the most compelling studies to share with you.

Note that the studies below are not the only ones on this topic, but they are the studies that detail the most succinct answers to the question of how much muscle you can gain in a month.

Study 1 – Beginners can gain up to 4-4 lbs of muscle in 2 weeks

When looking at maximum muscle growth over a month, many factors can play a role in the end result. One of these factors is the age or level of training of the lifter. 

One study found that untrained (beginner) men who participated in resistance training five times a week gained an average of 2 kilograms of lean muscle mass, or about 4.4 pounds, per month

An average weekly gain of one pound of muscle tissue (not scale weight, which is a measure of muscle tissue, water weight, and fat tissue), is a very optimistic and positive benchmark.

It is important to note that these subjects trained five days per week on a high-volume training program per muscle group (typically 20 work per week per muscle), with sessions lasting over 90 days in a highly monitored and controlled setting. minute.

In addition, they strictly followed a high-calorie diet ( caloric surplus ) and supplemented their post-workout milk consumption. The group that prioritized drinking protein and carbohydrates post-workout did best.

Take Away:  Most lifters should aim to gain 4-0 lbs per month (weekly 5.1-0.5 lbs) of lean muscle mass. Beginners should expect to gain more lean muscle mass than more advanced lifters.

Study 2 – Resistance Training Significantly Increases Muscle Hypertrophy Regardless of Age or Gender

In a study examining the effects of training in young and elderly men and women, it was found that the relative increase in muscle mass has been shown to be significant in all groups, regardless of age or gender

This is great news for weightlifters of any age who may have previously been daunted about gaining muscle, as this study shows that you can still gain significant muscle mass no matter your age or gender.

Takeaway:  When combined with the other studies in this article, you can gain about 2 pounds of muscle tissue per month for most people, with beginners and more untrained individuals likely to gain at a slightly faster rate.

Study 3 – More Advanced Lifters Progress Slower

The beginner’s payoff is real.

Most advanced lifters should aim to gain 1-2 pounds of muscle per month, which is about half the rate of muscle growth for beginners.

While the exact reasons why this happens are unclear, studies have shown that the more experienced a lifter is, the slower the rate of muscle growth ( 3Trusted Source ).

For example, if beginners gain three pounds per month for the first six months of their training career, they should be prepared to gain muscle mass at a slower rate as they become more advanced. Some researchers believe this is due to the body’s greater resistance to hypertrophy when it’s closer to its genetic potential ( 4Trusted Source ).

To further illustrate the slower rate of progression as training progresses with age, we collected data points from the FitBod app tracking 1RM strength for primary barbell lifts (bench, squat, and deadlift) for beginner users.

We omit any data for non-beginners, as we wanted to track untrained or newly trained beginners to further illustrate this point.

Factors Affecting Gaining Muscle Faster in 1 Month

Optimizing how quickly you gain muscle tissue during training depends on many factors, most of which you can control.


The biggest factor in how quickly you grow muscle during a workout is your overall training method.

Training volume and intensity are the two most important factors in observing maximum muscle growth.

Some of the variables that can be manipulated to achieve optimal training volume and intensity are training frequency (how often you train), exercise selection (movements you perform), and tension development (how many reps you do and the cadence you use ).

Below, you’ll find a full list of training recommendations you can follow to maximize muscle growth:

motor skills

  • Focuses on a fuller range of motion, allowing for deep eccentric stretches of muscles at controlled speeds.
  • Maintain muscle tone, therefore minimizing and excessive momentum or weight swings
  • Maintain proper body posture and alignment throughout the movement, and focus on feeling the muscles stretch and contract under load.

Exercise intensity and volume

  • Train 1-5 times left in the tank (representative of good skill). If you’re using too light a load and don’t have less than 5 good reps in the tank, you’re not training hard enough. Conversely, if you train until your technique breaks down and you risk injuring yourself, you can get the same results from training one less time than fatigue.
  • Training volume is a range to explore, but for most muscle groups, you can effectively build muscle in 12-20 work sets per week. The working set assumes that you are training at an appropriate intensity. More isn’t always better, but it has more impact on other people.
  • Your goal should be to work out hard so that the workout causes some soreness but is not debilitating, as you want to be able to train your muscles 2-3 times a week for optimal results.
  • Train muscles in various repetition ranges, such as 5-10, 10-20, or 20-30. Find the repetition range that accumulates the most metabolic fatigue, stretch, and tension in the muscles. 8-15 reps are best for most muscle groups, and most of your training should be in this range.

practice selection

  • When done right, compound lifts are great for building muscle and strength, and are generally great in the low to mid-rep range (not 20+ rep sets).
  • Machines are an excellent choice for training medium and higher repetition ranges, as they get you closer to target muscle failure without having to worry about other limiting factors like balance, surrounding muscle fatigue, etc.
  • Listen to your body. If you have good muscle extension, contraction and muscle pump doing machine hack squats, go for it. If you do back squats and your lower back hurts, chances are you’re not doing enough back squats, you’re training too hard, or your quads may be underdeveloped, so you should prioritize the exercises that work best for them.

go on a diet

Diet is critical to muscle growth.

For beginners, especially those who may have extra body fat (over 10% body fat), they will likely be able to start exercising and gain muscle.

The more advanced you are and the leaner you are, the more you will need to increase your calorie intake (eat more) to build more muscle, most people need at least 500 calories per day than their maintenance diet, even more.

However, the more body fat you have to lose, you may be able to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, which is not the case for leaner (less than 10% body fat) people.

Focus on eating more calories, preferably more carbs and protein. Aim to eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Then, aim for 2-4 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. The remaining calories will come from fat.

Note that the biggest factor in muscle growth and weight gain (and weight loss) is energy balance.

You need to burn calories to build new muscle (except for people who carry more fat, who can do it most of the time). Focus on getting enough protein and prioritize carbohydrates in your diet, as these are the preferred fuel for hard training and can also be stored in the muscles themselves (muscle glycogen).


Stress (from any source such as family, relationships, work, finances, etc.) is associated with reduced recovery, which can have effects on hormones, sleep habits, diet and energy

But how does stress affect your performance in the gym (i.e. your ability to build muscle)?

Studies have found that people who self-report themselves as having “lower stress in their lives” experience greater gains in both bench press and squat strength ( 6Trusted Source ). Higher stress means less energy to train hard, and a slower ability to recover from said training.

It is important to note that high versus low stress is highly dependent on the individual and their perception of stress. Some people may subjectively feel that they are under the weight of the world, while others may not feel stressed under the same conditions.

Having the ability to rationalize your stressors, recognizing what you can and cannot control, controlling your diet, getting enough sleep, and prioritizing controllable actions you can do to reduce your stress is key.

In the end, the same study showed no significant effect on performance due to higher versus lower levels of social support, meaning you can 100% build muscle and get results on your own.

While it may be “harder” for some to get motivated, research shows that the same results can be achieved with or without social support.

actual age

The rate of muscle tissue loss decreases with age, but exercise has been shown to significantly slow this decline.

As mentioned above, significant improvements in muscle mass have been reported in older adults regardless of gender.

While younger people may be able to gain more absolute muscle mass in 4 weeks, research does show that when we compare muscle growth between trained and untrained young people with trained and untrained older people There was no significant difference in the relative rate of muscle gain when increasing speed (2).

Regardless of your age, resistance training has been shown to significantly increase muscle mass compared to untrained subjects of a similar age. The rate of muscle gain was similar to the relative rate of muscle growth in young adults (trained vs. untrained).

Beginner vs. Trained

Training age can be defined as the length of time a person has been training seriously.

In general, beginners (less than six months of regular resistance training most days of the week) tend to have a higher rate of muscle gain for a given training period than more experienced lifters

Most beginners can expect to gain 2-4 pounds of muscle per month during the first few months of training, with a downward trend in muscle growth rate as they progress.

More advanced lifters can expect to gain 1-2 pounds per month, but when the other factors on the list are accounted for, the best results are seen by all lifters regardless of training age.

common problem

Here are two of the most frequently asked questions about how much muscle you can gain in a month.

Can you build 10 pounds of muscle in a month?

No, it’s highly unlikely, as research shows that under ideal conditions, starting from a very low base, most people can gain 4-5 lbs of muscle per month within a month. The body can only build new muscle tissue so quickly, and as far as we know, it seems to be the fastest without performance-enhancing drugs.

Can you add an inch of muscle in a month?

This is a relative question and really depends on the individual, their diet, training and genetics.

Getting an inch measurement on a limb or body part is not the same as getting an inch of musculature because in most cases this requires taking the measurement without skin or fluid (for most people this is not measuring muscle A practical way to grow).

If you’re asking this question, you’re probably wondering, can you grow your arms an inch in a month?

Yes you can, but it also depends on your initial initial measurements, water retention, diet and training plan. If you want to increase muscle size, choose to train the muscles to fatigue so that you get an intense muscle pump, generally following the training guidelines above.

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