Muscle gain rates for women

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 04, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Hello everyone! I've been lurking around these forms for a while, and have learned quite a bit but I do have a question that's been in the back of my head for a while. I'll try to keep this as concise as possible.

I'm a 22 year old female, 5'5" and weighing about 126lbs, BF 17%. I've pretty much maintained this weight for a whole year after spending my entire life overweight/unsatisfied with my weight**. I credit diet overhaul and consistent exercise for the initial weight loss. Back in october I overhauled my diet and exercise to primal style eating (I eat some greek yogurt, whey protein) and focusing on strength training. I workout about 6 days a week: Four days weight training (lower/upper body split) and am still doing some running and HIIT twice a week. I've been keeping a food journal for a whole year so I'd be happy to post some sample days but generally I eat a lot of veggies and meat, with at least one salad beast a day.

My question is what is a typical number of pounds of muscle a woman can gain within a month span? The past week or two the scale has been sittin' pretty at 129. My measurements are still the same and I still have my tone and definition. Is it really possible that I gained three pounds of muscle in two months? I suspect that the rate is smaller/slower for women than men but I was curious.

**During that year I also suffered from a brief, but very intense "bout" with anorexia nervous. I managed to get back up to 125-126 and maintain. Obviously I'm still dealing with the mental side of this. Not sure if it's relevant to my question but it was an extreme weight loss and I needed to gain weight very quickly so I was thinking it's having an effect of my body's physiology.

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2 Answers



on December 04, 2012
at 07:49 PM

I've found that this article is pretty close: http://www.builtlean.com/2011/10/13/how-fast-can-you-build-muscle-5-factors-that-affect-muscle-growth/

Is it possible to build 3 lbs of muscle in two months? Probably, but that would be near the top for you. Coupled with the fact that you have been lifting for a year and then suddenly jumped 3 lbs, I would be a bit skeptical that this weight is pure muscle.

My advice? Ditch the scale! It doesn't do anything for you. If you are looking to chart your development, chart how much you lift -- and if you have to chart your measurements. Those are much better than a scale.


on November 26, 2013
at 01:12 AM

Agreed, and there are always some pretty easily implemented tips to have the best possible chance at gaining the muscle, such as the mind muscle connection.

For a beginner, 3lb of muscle is a pretty easy task, assuming the person is eating in a calorie surplus. Once a person starts to get into the intermediate/advanced level of training, each lb of muscle is a tough task.

For more Paleo Diet hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/177021/muscle-gain-rates-for-women.html#ixzz2li3ysIlN

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