How much muscle can you gain naturally?

There’s one question often asked by the beginners, i.e., How much muscle can you gain naturally? No matter what you do and how hard you work, there is some limit and it depends on your body type. The equation completely changes with the drugs in, depending on their work they can gain as much muscle they want.

Natural growth Vs Steroidal growth

The very first principle of exercise physiology is based on the ‘Principle of Individuality’. That is the reason that each individual will respond to the same training, differently. Different persons with different genetical characteristics may respond differently.

Muscle building is a very slow process and it is important to know how much muscle can you gain naturally. It takes a lot of time and hard work. You may not even get a pound of muscle in spite of your proper diet and exercise. You need to beware of people, who claimed that they have gained 20-30 lbs of muscle in a couple of months. Anything faster is either genetic freak by nature or on heavy anabolics.

How Much Muscle Can You Gain Naturally

For every inch increase in your arm size, you need to increase a minimum of 10 lbs of overall muscle growth throughout the body. 18-inch arms are very rare among natural lifters and they rarely exceed 200 pounds.

Today’s problem is that access to drugs is very easy. By admiring the pictures of Bodybuilders, the use of drugs by the youngsters has been increased a lot, without knowing how much genetic potential they have to gain natural muscle mass.

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How much muscle can you gain naturally?

Casey Butt, a researcher, and a natural bodybuilder came up with a formula for calculating how much muscle can you gain naturally (muscle potential based on height, wrist size, and ankle size). His researches state that people with larger bone structures can put on more muscle than the people with smaller bone structure even at the same height and People with wider and thicker wrists and ankles, have a much higher potential for muscle growth.

Another major indicator of how much muscle you can grow is the size of your muscle belly and your tendon. You’re born with it. The size of your muscle belly and tendon is genetically defined.

Your muscle belly is pre-defined. You cannot grow your muscles longer, You can only grow them wider. So, if you are born with longer muscle bellies, you would gain much more muscle mass than the person with shorter muscle bellies.

After several types of research on natural lifters, Casey gave a formula for max lean body mass. You can make a self-assessment of your natural muscle potential.

PicsArt 06 19 02.47.32

where,H = HeightA = Ankle circumference W = Wrist circumference%bf = body fat percentageNote: Height, Wrist, and Ankle in inches

For a 5’9″ (69 inches) tall bodybuilder at 10% body fat with 7.0″ wrists and 8.7″ ankles the Maximum Lean Body Mass would be 173.7 pounds. To convert maximum lean body mass to maximum body weight at any given body fat, use this equation: Bodyweight = (Lean body mass / (100 – %body fat)) x 100 

From the above example bodybuilder, at a healthy 10% body fat his total bodyweight would be: Bodyweight = (173.7 / (100 – 10)) x 100 = 193.0 pounds. The above equation is for bodybuilders in a maintainable state. For the bulking state, the predicted body weight must be multiplied by 1.04 to account for this.
Therefore, Maximum Bulked Body weight = 193.0 x 1.04 = 200.7 pounds

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For individual muscle groups

Maximum muscle size formula

If you don’t know your body fat percentage, look at the below formulas:
Note: Height, Wrist, and Ankle in inches

 CategoryRate of Muscle Gain 
 Beginner1-1.5% total bodyweight per month
 Intermediate0.5-1% total bodyweight per month
 Advanced0.25-0.5% total bodyweight per month

Some other lead body mass formulas:

  • Martin’s formula for lean body mass: Height in centimeters – (98 – 102) = Bodyweight in kilos.
  • LEAN BODY MASS FORMULA: (Your Height in Inches -70) x 5 + 160 = Maximum LBM

The conclusion

Steroidal bodybuilding is too far from Natural bodybuilding. Stop thinking you can get there naturally.

That’s what steroids are for. These plastic bodies are never forever. Muscle building is a slow process, It takes years and years to achieve your dream physique. 
The amount of muscle that you can grow naturally depends on your body type. Commit yourself to whatever you want to achieve and work for it.

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Mujja Saikumar, founder of The Muscly Advisor is an Aeronautical engineering graduate formed an obsession with fitness and helping people to clear all the health and fitness-related doubts through Blogs, videos, and social media. Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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