T Nation

Natural Muscle Mass

Ok, please no flaming.

I have read, and heard, that a natural bodybuilder can only put on 2-4 pounds of lean muscle per year. Is this correct? If it is correct, why try to bulk up? As soon as you pass your point of adding all of the lean muscle mass your body can allow, would’nt you be adding fat? What then becomes of these stories of dudes putting on 50 pounds in a year…Is it b.s.? If you guys have any articles in mind, please let me know. I want to get to the bottom of this.

Ya, Ya, Ya, I know “do a search on the left hand side of the page”.

Someone lied to you. The human body is not that limited, especially when you first start training. A newbie can gain 20lbs in one year or more and that is ALL based on their genetics. Granted, someone who has been lifting for years will have a hard time adding upwards of 10lbs a year, but that isn?t the point. How much muscle someone gains is based on their genetics, their training and their food intake and the length of time they have been training. Obviously someone counting every calorie and who is afraid of the slightest fat gain may hamper gaining as much muscle as someone who ?bulks up? and makes sure that their body is getting an excess of calories regularly.

Sure there is going to be an amount that you can put on in a year. But there are to many factors for each individaul. We are all different. All you can do is tilt the scales in your favor any way you can.

Also I think it is a bad idea to put any arbitrary # on how much LBM you can gain in a year. This will only lead to stagnation on your part. Even if you were to reach your limit for a year I think you should push even harder to prove it wrong and add more. This will keep you going and motivated.

Hope this helps.

Dont limit yourself befor you have even begun.


Maybe if you look at the dry weight of the muscle (no fluid substates), but still. Great individual differences are found with regards to hypertrophy potential.
Don’t hinder your progress with artificial limitations!

Great input, thanks guys.

Los J

Someone definitely lied to you. Ten years down the line, yeah, maybe you can only put on 2-4 pounds a year but those first few years… do your best and let convention regulate the body for lifers. I have put on a solid 20 pounds and its only been about four or five months and I have lost some body fat so just push yourself. Best of luck.

That’s bullshit. I’m 18 and I put on 10 pounds of muscle in the last month, and my abs are still clearly visible. I think the article was referring to huge bodybuilders who already weight about 280 pounds and are ripped to the bone. Not to individuals like most people on the forum, even the huge ones.

Where did you read that?

I am a beginner, and from mar 03 until mar 04 I lost 14 kg fat and gained 6,5 kg muscle. I only started regular training from sep 03. I follow HIT, once a week. Free weights, compound exercises. I do the Warrior Diet.

So I would say someone is wrong!