If you’ve looked on the internet and checked out the forums, articles, e-books, and also checked out real books and talked to guys who’ve been into bodybuilding, you’ll no doubt have heard a whole array of claims about how fast people have put muscle mass on. More often than not, the claims seem to be amazing, don’t they?
The problem with bodybuilding is, it attracts the vain – and they seldom are in the business of telling the truth if it doesn’t make them look exceptional. It’s smoke and mirrors… many bodybuilders will have no qualms about looking you in the eye and telling you they gained 30lb of muscle in 6 months and they did it naturally, when the truth is, they’ve had more pins in their butt than a pin cushion.
Then you’ve got the guys who’ve trained for years, but may tell you they started training just a few months ago. It’s an ego thing, and getting straight, honest-to-God answers can be nigh-on impossible.
People can gain huge amounts of weight quickly – if you include such variables as creatine-induced water-retention, hyper-saturated muscles from carb-loading, and also the inevitable fat gains from regular bulking. But what about actual muscle fibre… how quickly does the actual fibre grow?
Several studies I’ve recently looked at seem to indicate that true muscle growth seems to happen much slower than we think, and may be as little as 0.75 – 1.5lb of muscle a week at best – and that is for steroid-free beginners and may only last a month or two before slowing.
With that in mind, it may be a good idea to ensure you don’t put on much more than that on a weekly basis, because fat certainly creeps up on you – and the more fat you put on whilst bulking, the more time it’ll take to cut – and who likes a long cut?