T Nation

Pounds Per Week


I've started on Chad Waterbury's 3 Day a Week Program and am SO thankful for it. My injuries have largely disappeared and I am finally putting on weight. I've put on 3 lbs and I would guess half of that is muscle which isn't too bad considering I made no progress for a very long time.

Here's my question for you over 40 lifters. I'm 45 and would like to know what is a realistic expectation for pounds of muscle per week that I can put in for the first couple months of my training? Is a pound and a half of muscle in two weeks kind of slow or about average for my age?

Thx for the help of everyone on this site...


The number I have always heard is 1-2 pounds per week is optimum; however, beginners may experience greater gains. The 1-2 pounds a week is in reference to not gaining too much fat along with the muscle. Also consider you may be gaining water weight.

I would not worry about it too much and give it some time, like 2 weeks, and see how it goes. Find a way to test your bodyfat so that you take the subjectivity out of it.

Eat healthy and lift hard and adjust your program in time if you are not recieving the desired results.


I recommend one. Think about it. A steady gain of muscle, with minimal fat gain.


Any suggestions? The only thing I've heard are calipers and dunk tanks?


You can use a tape measure around your "fat parts"... and see if it is shrinking or expanding.

Just another thing to track to let you know you are going in the right direction, even if the weight isn't moving anywhere.


I thought that would be a reasonable way to do it. I've got to keep it in line: my wife noticed I'd put on both muscle and a little weight around the middle!

What do you mean by "Just another thing to track to let you know you are going in the right direction, even if the weight isn't moving anywhere"? Are you saying if you're not increasing in pounds or reps and your "fat parts" are expanding then something just ain't right?


I think he meant that if the scale isn't moving, you can determine whether you're still losing fat but replacing it with muscle, so long as your measurements are shrinking since muscle is more compact than fat?... (I'm assuming you're measuring your midsection)