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TitanWIP 03-21-2010 08:07 AM

Realistic first year expectations
Me and a couple guys at the gym were talking about realistic first year expecations. One of my friends is a huge follower of Stuart McBrawn, or whatever his name is. The hardgainer author. I brought up this post from Casey Butt's blog. Casey says:


Pipe dreams and promises aside, if you're a typical beginner you can realistically expect to build about ten to twenty pounds of muscle in your first year of serious training. Structurally very large men may even get closer to 25 pounds under the right circumstances, while structurally very small men may max out at under 10.
The WeighTrainer Blog: Rate of Drug-Free Muscle Gain

So my friend says that most men won't come near a 10 pound gain in a year. He believes most of us are hardgainers.

My question is, what arer realistic first year expectations for strength and size gains if the guy has a goo dapproach and diet?

BendtheBar 03-21-2010 09:58 AM

I've seen a lot of chatter recently regarding just how many men are truly hardgainers. Some believe that this is just an excuse, and some believe a majority of men are hardgainers. I'm talking both strength and muscle.

Personally, I believe if you are relentless about progression and have your diet down, you may gain at a slower rate, but over time you will make consistent physique and strength improvements. I've heard stories about guys that simply can't grow, or just can't squat more, etc. I often wonder if these guys are taking any new steps to cure these stalls, perhaps by adding in powerlifting style strength-building moves such as good mornings, or by eating more food for a given period of time.

Sometimes trainees need to train less. Sometimes more. Sometimes they need higher rep squat work. Sometimes they need more food. Unless I am certain that this individual is taking all steps necessary to learn his body and improve, I don't believe that have plateaued.

I have a hard time believing that men can stall after 5 pounds of muscle, or after a 200 pound squat. Certainly, there are genetic freaks on both ends of the spectrum, but I surely don't believe that a high percentage of beginners will stall with only 5 pounds of muscle their first year.

A realistic expectation is 10 pounds of muscle.

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