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How long does it actually take to put on a considerable amount of muscle?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 10, 2013 at 10:07 PM

I hear all this bull about putting on 20lbs of muscle in a month and so on, but I am starting to think that the only thing you could put on in a month is 20lbs of fat. I have been training seriously now for about 1 year and I have only gained 2.5 pounds with no fat. Too me, it seems like too little. I just really want to regain the mass I had in my legs. I have lost 3 inches total in my thighs from following a low calorie diet, and inactivity due to injuries. It is important for me to be at least 145 at 5'7. for improved strength and competitve capacity in soccer matches. Have any of you successful bulkers managed to put on a considerable amount of muscle in short time <1 year, with little fat gain. If so, do you guys have any tips and secrets?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 12, 2013
at 05:13 PM

I weighed myself after working out this morning. I am at 183, so eating relatively clean appears to be working- it is just really slow. I started at 170. The two week pig out got me up to 185, but I quickly ended up down around 178 when I cleaned up. I am still eating quite a lot, but non-workout days are more fat, while workout days are more carb oriented. So by clean I mean I keep them separated, and, of course, paleo.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:12 PM

Liking those stats. That is where I want to be, but I am at 130 lbs at 8%.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:11 PM

LOL yep, the Nate Green experiment is what got me thinking, "if he could do it, why can't I."

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:10 PM

Yeah that has become my general line of thinking. Strength over mass.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:09 PM

Yeah. I pigged out for a while too, but then I started eating clean and lost the weight, yet my body looks the same.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:08 PM

Trust me when I say, being fat has never been an issue. I have a very low body fat percentage from playing soccer.

67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on July 11, 2013
at 06:52 PM

He certainly needs calories but I was looking at it from the perspective that he worked a very long time shedding fat and now wants muscle but not really be a builder. I may have read wrong.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 11, 2013
at 05:09 PM

The carbs/dried fruit/fruit are actually part of what he needs to get anywhere.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 11, 2013
at 03:16 PM

Good god, thank you for posting the biggersmallerbigger link. Not only informative and applicable, but also hilarious :)

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 11, 2013
at 12:36 AM

Like I said above, you can add on 20+ lbs of water weight, which would not show up in bodyfat, or lose 20+ lbs of water weight, but you will not gain that much true muscle. Do you want more muscle, or just look like you have more muscle?

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6 Answers

3
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 10, 2013
at 10:29 PM

First off, it is hard to put on a sizeable amount of muscle or fat in a month, but you can put on a lot of water weight if you like. As for putting on muscle mass, you will need to eat a lot, and exercise in a way that stimulates hypertrophy. Short intense bursts of activity stimulates HGH and testosterone, both important for muscle mass growth. Also, for lifting, heavy weight, medium reps. This means you want failure (or pretty darn close to it) in 4-8 reps. You also need lots of rest between lifting days, at least two. BTW, I am 5'7" 146, and sub 7% bodyfat.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:12 PM

Liking those stats. That is where I want to be, but I am at 130 lbs at 8%.

2
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on July 11, 2013
at 08:55 AM

What???s My Genetic Muscular Potential?

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/whats-my-genetic-muscular-potential.html

I tried gaining as much quality mass (mostly muscle, not a lot of fat) as I could in 28 days. Then I tried to lose it all in 5 days. Then I tried to gain it all back in 24 hours. - Nate Green

http://www.biggersmallerbigger.com/

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 11, 2013
at 03:16 PM

Good god, thank you for posting the biggersmallerbigger link. Not only informative and applicable, but also hilarious :)

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:11 PM

LOL yep, the Nate Green experiment is what got me thinking, "if he could do it, why can't I."

1
67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on July 11, 2013
at 04:12 PM

Remember, too, dudes who get big are WORKING at it. I'm not meaning they're lifting lots (which they are) but they're also FEEDING all the time -- as in never hungry -- and they do virtually zero metcons. They're trying to Pack It On. That will be muscle and water weight in the muscles but that's dudes who want to be big.

Also, I reckon if you're doing paleo, you're trying to have great general health. That said: the dudes I know who are BIG also do some sort of steroid. They assure me it's not like 80s/90s steroids, it's 'safe.' I'm a small woman, so luckily for me, this is not my concern. I think it's crazy to inject botox in a face, though, and I also think it's crazy to eff with the metabolism with steroids. This is my under-educated opinion. What do I know? I'm a hillbilly.

So!

It sounds like you're nothing about that...you're talking about losing fat after a long effort and now wanting to 'sculpt' or put on what I think of as sexy muscle. For that, I'd make sure you are getting enough fat+enough protein= enough calories over all. Since fat was a previous issue, you're probably going to have to watch the carbs/dried fruit/fruit a little closer than most but be sure you're eating ENOUGH. In that same vein: are you overdoing metcons? Again, I imagine after a great effort to lose fat, you're probably really used to a lot of running or whatever. You may need to change that to help build.

67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on July 11, 2013
at 06:52 PM

He certainly needs calories but I was looking at it from the perspective that he worked a very long time shedding fat and now wants muscle but not really be a builder. I may have read wrong.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:08 PM

Trust me when I say, being fat has never been an issue. I have a very low body fat percentage from playing soccer.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 11, 2013
at 05:09 PM

The carbs/dried fruit/fruit are actually part of what he needs to get anywhere.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 11, 2013
at 03:45 PM

I've heard it suggested that it takes about three years to put on 30lbs. This was posited as what a person new to lifting weights could expect.

Bodybuilders and powerlifters- especially the more mainstream ones- seem to take it as a given that you won't see gains unless you also see some fat.

I wasn't gaining at all, until I decided to basically pig out for two weeks. I gained fifteen pounds in that time- some of it was fat. My jeans started to feel uncomfortable, so I reigned myself in again, and lost it rather easily. I suspect I may have managed four actual lbs of muscle, but I am not sure. Fifteen minus four leaves eleven lbs for fat and water. I think this makes sense but I am guessing.

I have been trying to do it cleaner recently, but it is slow going. Visible improvement, but the scale seems to be telling me the same thing over and over. I realized recently I have to make sure I am getting enough protein.

I am generally following a carb backloading style of eating, though I work out in the morning, so the timing isn't perfect.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 12, 2013
at 05:13 PM

I weighed myself after working out this morning. I am at 183, so eating relatively clean appears to be working- it is just really slow. I started at 170. The two week pig out got me up to 185, but I quickly ended up down around 178 when I cleaned up. I am still eating quite a lot, but non-workout days are more fat, while workout days are more carb oriented. So by clean I mean I keep them separated, and, of course, paleo.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:09 PM

Yeah. I pigged out for a while too, but then I started eating clean and lost the weight, yet my body looks the same.

1
C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

on July 11, 2013
at 03:00 PM

There are two groups of people who put on muscle quickly: people new to exercise and people regaining muscle they previously had. Not sure on the reasons why, but those seem to be the success stories I normally hear about. My understanding of Ferriss' experience was that he'd seen a real reduction in lean body mass due to accident recovery before he did his "Geek to Freak" protocol. That doesn't mean it's not an effective protocol, especially for someone new to lifting, but for someone who's already at a high athletic level or has been lifting for a while, you just aren't going to see those rapid gains. Personally, I'd recommend just focusing on strength and let the muscle come naturally; you'll find you can pick up strength without more muscle mass (and vice versa, honestly).

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 11, 2013
at 11:10 PM

Yeah that has become my general line of thinking. Strength over mass.

0
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on July 11, 2013
at 12:27 AM

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 11, 2013
at 12:36 AM

Like I said above, you can add on 20+ lbs of water weight, which would not show up in bodyfat, or lose 20+ lbs of water weight, but you will not gain that much true muscle. Do you want more muscle, or just look like you have more muscle?

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