Appropriate Training Stimulus To Force Adaptation. It should go without saying that if you do not have sufficient training stimulus to force adaptations, then you will not grow muscle. The majority of the calorie surplus will be stored as fat.
Sufficient Protein Intake You need to have a sufficient level of protein intake for tissue repair and growth. Insufficient protein intake will hamper your gains.
Enough Sleep, Management Of Stress
Insufficient sleep and a high level of stress will hamper recovery from your workouts and your growth. The more advanced we get with our training; the more stress we are able to put on our bodies, and thus this comes of increasing importance as we progress.
Before I take a coaching applicant on as a client I check to see that these elements are on point first, if not then I decline to take them on. Please take your sleep and stress management seriously, as it will flatten the curve and shift it down and towards the right.
The leaner we are; the more of the weight that we gain has potential to be muscle. There are calorie partitioning benefits to being leaner. The chronic low-grade inflammation associated with obesity decreases the anabolic and increases catabolic signaling in the muscles themselves.
If we start at 10-12% body fat for example, then the majority of the weight gain can be muscle. However, if we start bulking at 20%+ then the majority of that will probably be fat tissue. So, by starting our bulk while we are fairly lean, we can bulk for longer and it will be of a higher quality (a greater proportion of the mass gain will be muscle tissue).
Everything Else (Fat-carb macronutrient intake, micronutrients, meal timing & frequency, supplements.)The importance of each increase as we advance with our training and get closer to our genetic potential.
How Quickly We Can Expect To Grow
So we know that our level of training advancement determines our rate of muscle growth potential, which decreases with experience. (Contrast this to when we have a fat-loss goal. Body-fat percentage determines how quickly we can lose fat and has nothing to do with training experience.)
By categorizing our training advancement, we can get a reasonable estimate of the amount of muscle. We can hope/expect to gain per month, which becomes very useful when setting calorie intake and body weight gain targets.
Classifying your training experience/status is a sticky area, but fortunately, some smart guys have done this hard work for us. Lyle McDonald does it by ‘years of proper training,’ Alan Aragon. And Eric Helms go byBeginner, Intermediate, and Advanced categorizations.
If you have been training seriously for less than a year. And you are able to make linear load increases week to week in the main compound lifts, consider yourself a beginner.
If you can no longer make linear load increases week to week. And need some form of periodization in your lifting to progress, consider yourself an intermediate trainee. And If you’re an advanced trainee, you damn well know it.
Here is a rough breakdown of the rate of growth you can expect based on these classifications if you do everything right: 🙂 🙂
|Muscle Growth PotentialTraining Status | Gains per monthBeginner/Novice | 1-1.5% of bodyweightIntermediate | 0.5-1% of bodyweightAdvanced | Less than 0.5% of bodyweightNote: Novice trainees that are very well muscled already (through a life of sports perhaps or manual labor job) will probably be best to consider their growth potentials as that of the intermediate trainee.|