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How Much Muscle Can You Really Gain in a Month?

17th Mar 20

When trying to gain muscle, it’s only natural to want to do it as fast as possible. That’s the goal, after all, and the quicker we see progress, the better. It keeps up the motivation, gives us some serious self-satisfaction, and most importantly, lets us see our hard work paying off. How fast that all actually happens, however, is where things get blurry. For many people, the question of how much muscle can you gain in a month or even 30 days gets asked a lot. Sadly, the answer isn’t great, either.

To help keep things nice and to the point, generally speaking, the answer is around 1-2lbs if you are training and eating perfectly (which is hard to do). It really is that small, and that’s significant progress too.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

Why Does Muscle Building Take So Long?

The reason muscle gaining is this slow comes down a lot to the process behind it. Your body is a seriously complex machine that operates 24/7. There’s a tonne of work it needs to be doing at all times to keep you going strong.

When you add muscle building to that list, it’s hard for your body to make it a priority. But, you need to be doing the right things at the right times in the right ways to get the best chance, and it all comes down to what that is.

What Is Muscle Building?

Person doing Russian twists with an exercise ball

The first place to start with this topic is to look at what building muscle actually consists of. The fundamentals of building muscle, if you will. This is the basis of what all of this comes down it, and its’ some awe-inspiring stuff.

It mostly comes down to two things. To keep things brief, they’re progressive overload and hypertrophy. They’re both complex things, but basically, hypertrophy is your body building muscle. Cells swell, muscle fibres tear and rebuild, and you build muscle mass as a result. To do it, you need progressive overload, which is how you make that happen. Lifting heavy, intensely, frequently or just for long sessions all have a significant impact on it.

What Effects Muscle Growth

Two things affect how long it takes to build muscle and even how much muscle you can gain in a month. They are:

  • Diet
  • Exercise

These are the two biggest factors in fitness because they control pretty much everything your body does. So to build the most muscle physically possible, you need to master them both.


Muscular people eating healthily

Even your diet has several different factors involved in your muscle building. Most of it comes down to your macronutrients like protein and calorie intake. You need to be eating the right amount of protein for your body to build muscle (so protein shakes may be wise), as well as carbs to train and healthy fats to recover.

On top of that, you need calorie control too. Eating the right things is all well and good but eating the wrong amount of it has a world of problems on its own. That’s something we need to address sooner rather than later to offer the best result possible. The general answer is to find out your maintenance calories. Take into account what you do in your days too, like if it’s a workday, a training day, a rest day… All of them have a different number of calories used in a day. From there, you need to be making a surplus of 200 calories. Those extra leftovers are what will be used to build your muscle (but too many results in fat stored too).


Person trying to gain muscle by shoulder pressing

To gain the most muscle, especially in as little time as a month, you need to be doing the right exercises and eating enough food to do It. Of course, that comes from a whole new world of complication, but there are still some great things to remember.

The first place to look at is the workout style you are going for. There are always more ways than one to get something done, and that’s where different workout styles come into play. Some people like doing six weekly workouts to hit every muscle group. Others prefer to hit every muscle at once but three times per week. They are all great, but no matter what, make sure that each muscle gets the action it needs and that you are constantly pushing yourself.

The other side of the coin comes from the exercise that you choose to do. Generally speaking, to build the most muscle you possibly can in the quickest time, you need to focus on compound exercises (unless you do isolation exercises but for every muscle group, and that’s where your time is going to get eaten up). Try to do the big lifts like deadlifts, bench presses, squats and rows for the most results. These are the biggest lifts you can do; they all use multiple muscles and a lot of weight. That’s the perfect thing for this.


Ultimately, this is just about everything you need to know on the topic. Realistically speaking, remember that it always comes back to where we started. Don’t expect the world when it comes to muscle. 1-2lbs per month is fantastic progress for muscle gaining. Things may slow down or speed up but aim for that as an average. Also, remember that water weight plays a big role, and so does body fat. Even if you lose weight due to your training, you may still build muscle but be burning fat alongside. That could cause a constant weight, but you have still made progress. It’s complicated but stick it out. Good luck.

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.