While it is certainly one effective way to gain muscle and strength, we more often recommend fiddling with your diet and training so you can find that sweet spot where you’re building muscle and not gaining too much fat.
All of this to say: Yes, can build muscle, but it will NOT be the crazy amount you read about in the magazines, unless you’re taking Dr. Stark’s super serum (ROIDS!). If you had grand visions of looking like the dudes in the ads you see in muscle and fitness, don’t expect to do so in 90 days with a few days of training and protein shakes.
Remember: Expect 1-2 pounds of month of muscle gain…under optimal conditions.
The one possible exception to gaining strength and muscle fast? Noob gains.
What about Noob gains?
Yes, we’ve all heard the stories of guys that have gained 40 pounds of muscle in two months. Those stories aren’t real.
We’ve also seen all the ridiculous ads about “the workout supplement doctors don’t want you to see” with a guy that looks like Bane.
99% of that stuff is absolute bullshit, so let’s just get that out in the open! HOWEVER, If you’re really skinny, young, training hard, and eating all day every day, as a newbie you can produce results very quickly (ESPECIALLY if you are naturally predisposed to building muscle).
It is possible, in the first year of true strength training with intense focus and dedication, to gain 15-20 pounds of muscle. Combine that with 15-20 pounds of fat gain and you can drastically change your appearance if you started out very skinny.
However, this is rare. (It also requires a LOT of eating – my friend Nate Green packed on a, and reflects that it was brutal.)
When I started to take strength training, I felt like I was invincible. I even gained 18 pounds in a month, and I foolishly assumed most of it was muscle. But due to taking the supplement creatine (which allows your muscles to hold more water weight), almost all of it was water weight, along with some fat… and then probably 2-3 pounds of muscle!
I’ve since come to learn TEH MUSCLE GAINZ aren’t that easy. Fortunately, that’s only part of what I learned in that month. If you are new to strength training and you are eating right, you’ll not only pack on muscle, but you’ll see some incredibly impressive gains in your strength training:
- Going from 1 pull up to 3 sets of 15?
- Adding 100 pounds to your squat?
- Adding 150 pounds to your deadlift?