Just How Much Lean Muscle Mass Is It Possible To Gain


How Much Body Fat and Calories are Needed for Maximum Muscle Growth? (Part 1 Growth)

Video taken from the channel: Greg Doucette


How Much Muscle Can You Build Naturally? (The Truth)

Video taken from the channel: OmarIsuf


How Much Muscle Can You Gain in 1 Year?

Video taken from the channel: Total Fitness Bodybuilding


How Much MUSCLE Can You Build Naturally?

Video taken from the channel: Shredded Sports Science


How Much Muscle Will You Really Gain as a Natural Each Year!!!

Video taken from the channel: Greg Doucette


How To Gain Up To 10lbs Of Lean Muscle In 8 Weeks

Video taken from the channel: morellifit


How Much Muscle Can You Gain Training Natural Per Year???

Video taken from the channel: Greg Doucette

So, how much muscle can you really expect to gain in a single month? “I’ve seen anywhere from a pound of muscle per month on the low end, all the way up to two pounds per week. So it does vary,” says Joel Seedman, PhD, an exercise physiologist who’s been training people of various fitness levels for nearly 16 years. Alan Aragon, my coauthor on The Lean Muscle Diet, estimates that an entry-level lifter can gain 2 to 3 pounds of muscle mass in a month without adding much fat. An intermediate can gain 1 to 2. It has been my experience that beginning trainers will typically gain at the rate of 1-2 lbs. of muscle (lean mass) per week when following a complete program (See the Guide’s Muscle Building Program Reviews for the top complete programs).

Again, this is the maximum lean body mass you can carry based on height. In the table above, you can see the maximum LBM for various heights as well as total weight at 10% body fat. If you want to know how much you would weight at different body fat percentage, simply take your maximum LBM x desired bodyfat %. The goal during a lean bulk is not necessarily to aim for a specific amount of pounds to gain each week. Rather, consistently add quality muscle tissue over an extended period.

It’s safe to say that you should really be looking to gain 0.25-0.5lbs of muscle per. Bonus: If you want a free workout for building muscle or getting lean, you can check out My 3 Most Effective Workout Routines, pick the one you like best, and then start building your ideal body faster than ever. For example, a recent review concluded that 0.73–1 gram of protein per pound (1.6–2.2 g/kg) of body weight per day is best for maximizing muscle gain and strength. This equation implies that starting at 160lb, add 5lb for every inch you are over 5’10”, or subtract 5lb for every inch you are below 5’10”. That’s the maximum LBM you can gain naturally assuming you are in the average span of the genetic bell curve.

Keep in mind that it’s physiologically impossible to gain more than one pound of lean muscle per week. For most weight-gainers, half a pound per week would be an even more realistic goal, because they reach their genetic limit. Remember that gaining muscle is a long-term project and not something that can be simply turned on. When you are working to gain lean muscle, you want to avoid large amounts of cardio. Cardio burns calories, and we need calories to build muscle tissue.

I do very moderate cardio 1 – 2 times per week, for no more than 15 minutes, and then it’s on to the weights.

List of related literature:

For these individuals, it is not enough to just gain a few pounds of muscle.

“The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis
by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
Simon & Schuster, 2012

lean body mass per month in the early stages of a rigorous resistancetraining program.100 Because of their smaller muscle mass and lean tissue, young women can achieve only 50 to 75 percent of the gains seen in male counterparts, but with the same relative gain in strength.

“Nutrition” by Paul M. Insel, R. Elaine Turner, Don Ross
from Nutrition
by Paul M. Insel, R. Elaine Turner, Don Ross
Jones and Bartlett, 2004

hyperresponsive and can gain muscle at a very fast rate.18 For instance, many guys can gain up to 25 pounds of muscle in their first year of weightlifting, whereas the best someone like me can hope for is a pound or three of muscle gain in the next year.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

Generally, lean mass that primarily consists of muscle accounts for more than 60% of REE (226).

“ACSM's Clinical Exercise Physiology” by American College of Sports Medicine
from ACSM’s Clinical Exercise Physiology
by American College of Sports Medicine
Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019

During active muscle-building phases of training, a weight lifter might add between ¼ ounce and 1 ounce (between 7 and 28 grams) ofprotein to existing muscle mass each day.

“Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies, MyPlate Update” by Frances Sizer, Ellie Whitney
from Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies, MyPlate Update
by Frances Sizer, Ellie Whitney
Cengage Learning, 2011

Male athletes can target a reasonable gain of 0.5 lb to 1.0 lb of lean mass per week, whereas females can expect a gain 0.25 lb to 0.75 pounds of lean mass per week.

“Krause and Mahan’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process E-Book” by Janice L Raymond, Kelly Morrow
from Krause and Mahan’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process E-Book
by Janice L Raymond, Kelly Morrow
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2020

The upper limit of muscle gain for women is about two and a half pounds per month, so I picked a number that was between half and two­thirds of that.

“The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess” by Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, PhD, RD, Alwyn Cosgrove
from The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess
by Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, PhD, RD, Alwyn Cosgrove
Penguin Publishing Group, 2008

Gaining muscle requires 25 to 30 calories per pound of body weight per day.

“The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle” by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove
from The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle
by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove
Penguin Publishing Group, 2005

So if we want to gain 1 lb (450 g) of pure muscle per month, we might also need to gain 1 lb of fat (creating a combined total of 2 lb extra bodyweight).

“The World's Fittest Book: The Sunday Times Bestseller from the Strongman Swimmer” by Ross Edgley
from The World’s Fittest Book: The Sunday Times Bestseller from the Strongman Swimmer
by Ross Edgley
Little, Brown Book Group, 2018

One study of 18to 25-year-old bodybuilders and football players showed that an increase of 20 percent in body mass was possible during one year of heavy resistance training.36 And although most of the weight gain was in lean mass, individual responses were variable.

“Plant-Based Sports Nutrition: Expert Fueling Strategies for Training, Recovery, and Performance” by D. Enette Larson-Meyer, Matt Ruscigno
from Plant-Based Sports Nutrition: Expert Fueling Strategies for Training, Recovery, and Performance
by D. Enette Larson-Meyer, Matt Ruscigno
Human Kinetics, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • I put on about 17 lbs of muscle in my first 8 months as a natural. I thought this was pretty good, but not freakish. I knew I was an easy gainer, but thought it was reasonable.

  • I watch a lot of your vids so I’m pretty familiar with the concepts you preach. This definitely flies in the face of every mainstream article I’ve read on the internet. Most of these sources advertise 1-2lbs of muscle per month for a man starting out and 0.5lbs for a woman. This was definitely an eye opener. Makes you realize how much fat you’re probably putting on thinking it’s muscle.

  • Your genetics sacks bra I put 10 ponds of muscle in one year. Muscle not fat Ok and I’m still natural for 12 years training like a beast.

  • I’m 17 gained 30 pounds I think around 10 pounds is fat because my abs are fairly visible does this seem realistic or am I being delusional?

  • Everyone thinks that 19th-century bodybuilders were “natural” just because concentrated anabolic steroids weren’t available; but athletes been eating steady diets of animal-testes for THOUSANDS OF YEARS, which is why Greek statues look like they doFROM THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO.

  • If you want to shed pounds, you need to check out Custokebon Secrets on google. They will make it easier to get the body you should have.

  • My problem is that when my coach wanted me to go from 8% body to 15% for football I actually lost almost 4lbs. My strength on lifts went up too so I don’t think I lost very much muscle mass.

  • I’m a “5’2” man and my estimated lean body mass is 138. My estimated fat free mass index is 25.3 and I’ve only be lifting for a little over 2 years. I don’t feel like I’ve reached my natural limit yet.

  • In 8 months I went from 95 lbs to 110 lbs and I’m still skinny as hell im 13 so I’m thinking I probably put on like six pounds of muscle

  • naturally we are very limited in terms of grow beyond default. however, many ppl consider themselves to be natural despite all the crap in the food and supplements..

  • Damn, not going to lie… I have pretty small wrists and ankles. I’m going to cancel my gym membership and invest that money elsewhere. ��

  • Idk I just feel wrist size and ankle size to predict total muscle gain seems ok but there are other factors that can add or subtract from the potential massively. Like you said muscle fibre types is quite important and hormonal levels as well. I thinner wrist person could be highly dominant with type 2 fast twitch fibres and with full muscle bellies throughout his body. Wouldnt this mean his muscle to bone ratio would be higher? Because bone is a living tissue his bones would also become more compact and stronger to support it? Idk its really interesting!

  • I havent trained for years but i have a home gym i put together when i was younger. Around the time when covid-19 started i started putting on weight, ive been scrawny my whole life. Ive gained a bit too much body fat because this was my first attempt at putting on real weight and i put myself into too high of a caloric surplus, but i can still see my abbs. My point with this is, i know im in that first sprint where results are more noticable but i’ve put on around 25pounds, where 15 of them are muscle, in around 5 months i would say. These are results taken by a good bioimpedance scale. Im not saying they are exact, but even with 20% error i would be at 12pounds of muscle in 5 months… Not planning on going to any bodybuilding shows but im curious where ill be phisicaly in 7 months time… Once again nice reality check video!

  • Im a big fan of yours Greg but I have to disagree. I started vigorous training in July ’19 and gained 9kgs of lean muscle (almost 20 lbs) within a year. I was 31 when I started and don’t have “great” genetics (5’9 in height). It’s taken 6 days of weight training per week…4 of which also included cardio. And before you jump to conclusions…yes I am completely natural. No sarms, peds, test, gh, roids or any of that rubbish. And no, I barely increased body fat percentage in the progress…IT CAN BE DONE!!!

  • so if the bone to muscle ratio is present, if I were to gain larger muscle on areas of the body with thinner bone, will pain be present to the bone as the muscle grows?

  • This is interesting actually. I am natural and I dont use any growth enhancing supplements and I drink protein shakes maybe 3 times a month..but before I joined the military I was 130lbs back in 2014, now I’m 170lbs and I’m lean. I’ve been feeling a bit plateaued lately also, so it makes sense.

  • Someone help me im 5’11 at 154 small arms and chicken legs with a flat ass. This will be my first year i wanna stay natural how should i eat and lift

  • i gained 45 pounds natrually in 13 years. from 17 to 30. started at 132 lbs (60 kg) and am now 177 lbs (80 kg).
    i am 6’1 (186cm) very ectomorph (“hard gainer”) and naturally very lean (not “skinny fat”).
    this is the absolute limit i can attain. I also obviously gained a bit fat as i am not quite as ripped as a 17 year old without gym experience (around 15 % body fat instead of maybe 12 or so when i was 17).
    just some rough numbers. 45 lbs are NOT all dry muscle though obviously. i am on creatine so alot is water, some is fat, as i said.
    but 45 lbs of mass increase without getting very fat is possible for a typical “hard gainer”. in 10 to 15 years.

    to give you an idea

  • I guess you can get so big naturally that most people won’t believe it. But it takes time. I trained for many years and when I was vegan I didn’t gain any muscle, but after switching to carnivore I built 14 pounds in 4 months. I thought this is not possible without steroids. So guys, don’t be discouraged by steroidmonsters, just stay natural, eat meat and train smart!

  • dude, why are you doing this video? you are chubby with skinny arms. maybe you should do a cooking video. bodybuilding is just not your thing

  • I gained 17 pounds not saying it was all muscle cause it’s not and I am 14 and started in February 2020 97lbs and now august 12 2020 I weigh 115 now so how much pounds of muscle do think I’ve gained

  • Just wonderful, I have been researching “190 all muscle” for a while now, and I think this has helped. Have you ever come across Lilyhen Strength Sabrmetrics (do a search on google )? Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my neighbour got great success with it.

  • When considering eating healthy, you have to never fall victim to modern day fad diets. Extreme diet plans undoubtedly are a danger for your health, especially ones that seriously limit your daily nutritionary intake. Many of these fad diet plans work for a short period and then the benefits decrease after a while. It is best to look up Fenoboci Diet Plan on the google search engine as it isn’t just another fad diet where you starve yourself.

  • “In 2 years of natural training you should look like maybe you work out”
    Finally someone said it. Greg is on point here again. Guys have such wrong expectations when they join the gym (that included me).

    btw I gained about 26 lbs in my first year and I am sure at least half of it was fat. Probably more. In 3 years I gained 66 lbs. I went from the guy who looked like he was starving to the guy who looks like he is bulking all year.

  • At my biggest I was 107 kilos completely roid free.
    Unless that protein powder was loaded by stuff that was convinienty hidden from the ingridience label.
    Not bad for a guy who stands 181 cm tall. I should add that my dad weighted in at 93 kilos and he never trained with weights.

  • Hey, Greg thank you for videos they have lots of value, I would like to have your advice on this if you only 3 days to work out would you work during the 3 days doing full-body workout? or would you divided those into 2 body part per day to work out example biceps/back legs/shoulders triceps/chest. Thank you so much for taking to read this.

  • So when you look at competitors like Eddie Hall, Thor Bjornsson and more like that, are the gains they are putting on natural and just due to amazing geneatics?

  • I agree with you a ton but your wrong in this aspect especially with certain body types if they don’t bulk they just do not gain muscle. Personal experience. Every single great bodybuilder from the 90.s bulked and then would cut. Ya some people can gain muscle in a strict diet atmosphere but for the most part bulking is needed

  • When I was 13 I was 80lbs and just started football, One Year later I had gained 70lbs and got up to 150lbs while losing enough fat to see my abs clearly

  • when I eat more calories than my daily calorie expenditure…….. that makes a clories surplus right???? so the Xtra clories gets stored I gain fat……..???????? so I’m gaining muscle and I’m adding fat…….right???

  • I expect to gain 6 lbs my first year, assuming I maintain my training and nutrition. My genetics aren’t outstanding, but I also don’t think they’re bottom tier. We’ll just have to see.

  • I’m 6’1 and gained about 10kg the last year. (22lbs) (my first year of training) no more fat. Are you saying my genetics are absolutely freakish?

  • Remember, I am NOT your Doctor. For Merchandise visit: https://teespring.com/stores/coachgreg

    1:48 Bulking if your already fat?
    2:25 Dieting more when shredded?
    3:40 What is your goal?
    4:08 What if your average/healthy?
    5:13 Marathon running can’t miss this analogy!
    6:28 Fastest way to get the body you want
    8:35 How much muscle can you gain?
    8:57 Can you gain muscle with just “supplements”?
    9:52 What you need to do to gain muscle?
    11:05 The bottom line!
    Stay tuned for Part 2!

  • I went from 130 to 160 In a 4 months but I always felt like I’m an ectomorph I know half of it is fat but that’s 15 maybe even less of muscle does this mean I’m that one in a million or am I not an ectomorph

  • We reach our genetic potential on muscle fast sure however you will never ever reach your strength potential you can have enough muscle to bench press 405 but only bench 275 because your nervous system isnt trained correctly

  • How is Goggins not doing Viagra commercials? I mean c’mon on? Oh, and what kinda muscle mass to poontang ratio can I realistically expect?

  • Lee I am 5ft11, 205lbs, and am 17 years old
    My lifts are terrible
    I have a 100kg deadlift
    I can only bench the bar for 10 reps
    I can only squat the bar before fatiguing
    Please respond I really need your help. I can send pics in PM

  • People shouldn’t really care that much about their wrist size because almost all of us will never get close to our natural limit lol

  • I’m a woman and once I’ve gain 0.5 k muscle in one month with being fasting daily and lost 1 k fat.. it was amazing feeling ❤️❤️❤️.

  • Ok, this was interesting. Few years ago I had a client that gained 11-12 kg in 8 months and his waist increased only 4 cm. So this makes him a freaking genetic freak or maybe he was taking some special supplements? ��

  • I have a question. If you eat at a calorie deficit(Or surplus)for a long period time, will your calorie maintenance for your weight also decrease(increase)?

  • Great knowledge, I did this like 10 yrs ago and it works. Went from 140 to 150. The food is the hardest part… �� But I didn’t see it as food it was more like “fuel”.

  • That website told me I can achieve 210lbs at 6 percent bodyfat or 240lbs at 14 percent:) That seems insanely incorrect. Is that how big you could get if you take steds?

  • Go on a TDEE calculator and put your details in. Then eat clen, tren hard and you might test yourself and gain 10lbs of LEAN MASS in 8weeks.

  • I’m 16 years old, when i started at the gym I weighted about 61kg (134lbs) now after 6 month I’m 72kg (158lbs). Does that mean I have good genetics??

  • James, I just wanted to say thanks for turning me to Stronger by Science and alleviating some anxiety I experience in regard to comparison being the thief of my overall fitness goals. Focusing on myself will truly give me the perspective I need martial artist here!

    Enjoy the extra subscription and a new fan. I’ll definitely be passing your channel on to fellow fitness friends.

  • Hey coach Greg I have a question. If you happen to stop training at some point say after year 2 because of injury or whatever and take the whole of year 3 off. How much gains can you make in the year you come back, excluding factors like rebuilding lost gains and muscle memory and so on. Does your body pick up right on that year 3 genetic potential or do you lose it by taking the whole year 3 off?

  • Bs bs bs bs bs bs bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bs bs bs i believe is tdee 5000 calories per week lean meat: stakes fish chicken fibers: beans unsalted nuts lentils carbs: oatmeal whole wheat bread and 9 glasess of water per day. This guy is bs….good luck… My peeps..

  • What I would eat in a day:

    9 cups whole fat milk 71g protein, 71g fat, and 115g simple carbs $1.50
    4 whole fat eggs 24g protein 20g fat 67 cents
    1 cup cooked green lentils (from 1/4th cup raw) 12g protein, 13g complex carbs, 4g simple carbs, and 14g fiber 8 cents
    10 extra large bananas a day 17g protein, 5g fat, 310g simple carbohydrates, 40g fiber 94 cents a day

    Total: 123g protein, 96g fat, and 442g carbs, and 57g fiber for 3124 calories a day $3.19 a day, $95.70 a month

    Optional: 1 stick of butter another 92g fat, 75 cents a day, for 188g fat in all for 3952 calories a day, I may just stick with just 96g fat a day 3124 calories a day unless that cuts too much. $3.19 a day or $3.94 a day. $95.70 a month to $118.20 a month.

    I would have 110g carbohydrates a meal. 6AM 110g, 11AM 110g, 4PM 110g, 10PM 120g

    Prep, cooking, and eating would be less than 30 minutes a day.

    I’m 200 pounds fat free lean body mass not counting bodyfat at 5’9″ natural. I need to take in 4200 calories a day, 144g protein, 201g fat, and 453g carbs (mostly complex carbs). That’s with 2-3 hours of lifting, cardio, and full body yoga 5 days a week. Those hours are mostly weightlifting, 1 minute rest inbetween each set. Even at 12% bodyfat at 227 pounds that’s 200 pounds fat free lean body mass. I’m 250 pounds right now, so 20% bodyfat. But I haven’t been eating those calories because I’m so broke, even eating cheap I’m too broke. Lean body mass 200 X 14 = 2800 resting metabolism (like sleeping) X 1.5 for overall daily activities including sitting = 4200 calories a day. Clarence Bass recommends this formula maintaining 6% bodyfat year round he is very precise in his bodyfat measurement now almost in his age 80s he maintained that bodyfat for over 40 years straight working out 2 hours a day 5 days a week fat burner free. He’s been down to 2.5% bodyfat on a few occasions like for competition but he only recommends going that low for competition he maintains 700 total testosterone steroid free year round at that 6% bodyfat. If I want to bring my fat intake down I would have 95g fat a day bringing my calorie intake to 3246 calories a day. Going too low in bodyfat will cause instant death because the remaining fat in the brain is burnt. The brain is 3 pounds and is 60% fat. Most problems with low bodyfat are dehydration and massive sodium deficiency like in the 4.5% to 6% bodyfat ranges. Ideal bodyfat ranges for athletes is 12% to 17% bodyfat.



  • I put on a little less than 9 kilos / 20 pounds in about a year but am at the age of 16 and 172cm / 5′ 7,7″ tall with alot of hard work… now I am watching the Youtube I trust most about bodybuilding and sports in general and he telling me it isn’t possible to gain that much… what the fuck am I even supposed to say

    Edit: Nevermind

  • According to stories the Nazis tested anabolic steroids on their prisoners, and members of the Gestapo. German soldiers used Testosterone to increase their aggressiveness and to improve their physical strength.

  • Your muscle gain is heavily depending on the size of your frame. I can’t say that you can’t be like body builders. However, your body doesn’t need to have too much muscle mass.

    If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Since, your life doesn’t require too much muscle mass, It should be hard to attain a lot of muscle like movie stars.

  • I have one problem with what you just told everyone. You told them to isolate your muscle and gave a bicep curl as an example. That is the dumbest example you could have given beginners. You need to tell them stop training volume and only use compound movement exercises to gain the most muscles. Push ups pull ups and squats you can do 3-4 times a week with ample time to recover and grow. If you start isolating muscles in the beginner fazes you will slow progression. You can’t recover enough for other work outs if you use volume until your muscles are struggling to gain. Also if you don’t recover enough, well you use more then one muscle for each exercise and maybe one muscle didn’t recover on time that will effect the rest of your lifts.

  • The V shred dude appeared as an ad for this video. I thaught it was part of this video and I was waiting for you to pop up and trash him ��

  • I burn way more than I eat… I have been able to attain a nice shred. However, my goal has been to try and put on the lean muscle mass. My workouts are all on TUT methods.. but since I expend more than intake… I can’t gain the muscle. According to my fitbit watch, with workouts… I expend on average about 4000+ calories a day. I’m not exactly sure how accurate my watch is.. I’d say it’s pretty accurate because I haven’t been gaining much and according to myfitness pal app that I use to log my food… I’m usually at a caloric deficit everyday. Even though I eat constantly throughout the day, and all “good/healthy” calories. I need some guidance or recommendation on what I should do. As far as supplements are concerned, I take 2 fat burners in the morning, and after ever main meal I usually take a teaspoon(approximately 5g) of creatine monohydrate. Most of my protein I’m able to get from the food I eat. However, I do take a scoop of muscletech protein post workout to help with recovery. Lastly, I take a one a day in the morning with breakfast. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

  • Coach Greg does sub optimal training count towards your genetic limit? I was training from 13-15 without a gym and I didn’t do nearly enough volume in callisthenics to build much muscle and my form was pretty sloppy, since I didn’t actually build much muscle in these years should I start my “countdown towards my genetic limit” now since I am only training right and building muscle now��?