T Nation

Studies on Max LBM Gains

T-Nation is an incredible resource, both collectively and individually. And sometimes I remind myself that I’m not taking full advantage of that resource.

A question for the exercise phsyiologists out there. Are you aware of any credible studies (recent or older) that show how much LBM the following types/groups of individuals can gain in a year’s time:

  • Trained male athlete
  • Untrained male
  • Trained female athlete
  • Untrained female

I’m looking for studies more than I am anecdotal information.

I am not trying to degrade what you are asking, but the question implies that every possible genetic outcome could be tested somehow. A male athlete could range from someone built like a Wimbledon participant to someone built like a lineman.

The fact that there are gigantic differences in the results one guy may see compared to another, it wouldn’t really matter if a study had been performed. It would only apply to those specific individuals tested and not anyone who fits a different profile.

True! “Trained” could mean aerobically, or it could be referring to resistance training.

I just see different numbers being reported, and I’d like to see how the study was designed or structured.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
True! “Trained” could mean aerobically, or it could be referring to resistance training.

I just see different numbers being reported, and I’d like to see how the study was designed or structured.[/quote]

I honestly can’t stand to hear specific numbers being thrown around because most are completely arbitrary or totally made up on the spot. They are also based on what that specific author has experienced. For anyone to make a claim that the human body is limited to “insert small number here” over a given period of a time is a little ridiculous.

There are too many factors involved, the most important of which is genetic ability. After that, food intake, level of intensity when lifting and stage of development are also factors. There ARE gifted individuals who will always blow someone’s “theory” out of the water. The people who don’t acknowledge that are usually those who had a hard time gaining any size at all and are still holding a grudge.

You may want to check out “The Zone” by Barry Sears. You should be able to get it at the library. In chapter five he relates a 6 week training program for elite football and basketball players. The athletes gained 11 pounds over the time period, increase LBM 8%, and dropped body fat 20%. I would estimate from these numbers about 1.5 to 2 pounds of muscles were gained per week. I am assuming these athletes were big and genetically gifted. They also were training hard and being meticulous about their diet. I suspect what they were experiencing was not normal.

Covert Bailey in his book “Smart Exercise” claims the most muscle mass a person can add in one week is a pound. (page 234)

Dr. Fred Hatfield, in his book “Hardcore Bodybuilding: A Scientific Approach” includes a chart on pages 179 that lists the amount of time it will take to put on a given amount of muscle mass. For someone with a lean body mass of 300 pounds it figures out to about a pounds a week. People with a lean body mass of 100 pounds figure out to about a half pound a week. He also gives ranges in 20 pounds intervals from 100-300 pounds lean body mass. All the figures fall between the half to one pound figures.

From this data I would put the amount of mass a person can put on with dedicated work, proper diet, and good rest between half to two pounds a week. Putting on muscles is a slow, steady process. The numbers may be skewed for those who eat massive amounts of protein and are juiced, but for most people putting on 25-50 pounds of muscle in a year is a major accomplishment. Just my thoughts.

BigDaddyT, that was helpful. I was expecting that the numbers would be all over the place, but those are all names/sources that I’m familiar with and respect. And knowing Sears, I have no doubt that he used an accurate method to test body fat.

I actually asked David Barr, and he wasn’t aware of any studies off the top of his head, so I really appreciate your taking the time to draw from all the different sources you did. Methinks I’ll hit the bookstore tomorrow night! (grin)

Take a look at Kyoshi Moody’s interview and the thread that follows. Especially the pic of him last November in relation to his recent contest win. Not one person in a thousand could probably make that kind of progress, but he did and I’m inclined to believe his claim of being natural.

The point is, as has been said, that outside of some VERY broad absolutes, the answer is there is no answer.