How long can you keep building muscle?

There are two theories about how long you can build muscle.

The first theory is that you can basically keep building muscle forever.

Although progress will be faster during the first six to twelve months or so after you start lifting weights (the “beginner gains phase”), if you eat and train properly, you can continue to “sculpt the statue” until old age and injuries make Lifting heavy weights is impossible.

In other words, even though the rate at which your muscle gain and strength may be slow may be slow, you will still grow and grow in strength for years or even decades if you continue to do so.

The second theory states that there is a hard ceiling to the amount of muscle you can gain and that no amount of training, eating, or supplementation will raise this ceiling.

If you eat and train properly, you will gain almost all of the muscle available to you within a few years after you start lifting weights. After you reach that ceiling, you stop gaining muscle, and the best you can hope for is to hold on to what you have.

Who is right?

Is there a difficult genetic ceiling to gaining muscle you’ll face?

Or, is building muscle more like mastering the golf swing – a feature that you can maintain refinement for years on end, albeit with diminishing returns?

The truth about how long you can continue to build muscle

Here’s what everyone agrees on about gaining muscle:

Most men who eat and train properly can gain about 20 to 25 pounds of muscle in six to twelve months after they start lifting weights ( Newbie gains Stage), and a woman can earn about half that amount.

After this point, progress slows down drastically, but you can continue to gain muscle with a decent clip. good Rule of thumb Is that you will likely gain about half the amount of muscle you gained during the first year of weightlifting in the second year, and half of it again in the third year.

For example, if you gained 20 pounds of muscle in your first year of weightlifting, you would likely gain another 10 pounds in your second year, and another 5 pounds in your third year (for a total of 35 pounds).

Opinions differ on what happens after this point.

Some people claim that after the first three to five years of lifting weights, you will have finished gaining muscle. Don’t expect to see any noticeable changes in the mirror or scale, and since muscle gain is the primary driver of strength gains, don’t expect to see your lifts rise either.

Others claim that once you reach this point, you can continue to gain muscle and strength slowly but indefinitely. If you have patience, know-how, and gifting, your gains will accumulate over time and add up to major increases in size and strength.

According to these types, although you may only be able to gain 1 to 2 pounds of muscle per year, after 10 years, you will gain another 10 to 20 pounds of muscle!


These people are often wrong, but there may be a small kernel of truth in their thinking.

You are often mistaken because after the first four to five years of proper eating and training, you will achieve nearly all of your natural genetic potential for muscle gain.

As Dr. Eric Helms, researcher, natural bodybuilding trainer and member Corps Scientific Advisory BoardPut it, “… one thing is universally true – not everyone can get bigger and stronger forever and everyone has genetic boundaries. In general, the closer we get to our limits; the slower

It will be progress and more intent will be required to go into training in order to make more progress. “

In other words, not only does the rate of muscle gain slow down and then remain constant (like gaining one pound of muscle each year indefinitely). Instead, it gains smaller and smaller amounts of muscle each subsequent year as it creeps towards the genetic limit for muscle gain.

Now, there is some debate among scholars as to whether this is a file Literal or my work Limit.

That is, does muscle gain stop completely, or is it becoming so slow that it is impossible to measure, see, or be feasible?

Some skilled fitness experts, such as Mino Henselmans and Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, have the right to. pointing to Outside There is no scientific evidence of a true genetic limit to normal muscle gain. In other words, we cannot say with certainty that there is a “natural maximum” or what it might be.

Instead, this idea comes from the general observation that all (Oh reallyBodybuilders and natural athletes eventually reach a point where progress becomes very slow and may not even exist. For example, many astute Weightlifters It can go on adding a few pounds to Maximum of one actor Until their late 30s or 40s, which is an indication that they are gaining some (very small amount) of muscle.

Your ultimate ability to gain muscle may be what it is referred to as AsymptoteA point you are constantly heading towards but never reaching. Here’s what this might look like in the form of a graph:

Simple horizontal asymptote image

So, back to the original question, how long can you keep building muscle?

You can build muscle fairly quickly within the first two to three years of lifting weights, and you’ll likely continue to gain a significant amount of muscle over the next year or two. After the first four to five years of weight lifting, your muscle gain rate will be minimal.

However, knowing that muscle gain continues Maybe At this point it can be encouraging.

For my part, although I enjoy the nature of lifting weights and the health benefits that follow, it’s also nice to know that I can be a little bigger and stronger, even if the improvements are practically irrelevant and visually elusive.

Why stop gaining muscle?

Let’s say for a moment that muscle gain never stops – it continues at the snail’s pace indefinitely. Why don’t natural bodybuilders look bigger and stronger at age 60 compared to age 30?

The two most likely explanations are age and injuries.

Although you can Slower The negative effects of aging By staying active, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep, you cannot stop them completely. As you get older, you have it Testosterone Levels, energy, and ability to train hard and recover quickly will be diminished.

As this happens, it will become increasingly difficult to train hard enough to do so Stimulate muscle growth.

Perhaps the best way to lose your ability to gain muscle and strength is to cut yourself badly enough that you cannot take the right path. Strength training program. If your knees cry your uncle while squatting, if your shoulders straighten during bench presses, and your lower back buckles upon a deadlift, you will have difficulty gaining or even maintaining muscle mass.

In other words, perhaps the reason why we can’t keep gaining muscle forever is because we are ultimately taking advantage of our ability to complete the kind of exercises necessary to do so.

Additional evidence for this idea comes from the fact that most weightlifters are bodybuilders Reach its zenith From their early to late 30s, after which the best they can do is try to maintain their strength and muscles. They may not have already reached the genetic limit, but their bodies cannot handle the training that would be necessary to bring them closer.

What about people who continue to gain muscle after more than 5 years of lifting weights?

There are instances when people who have practiced weightlifting for five, ten or more years, can suddenly gain a large amount of muscle mass.

When this happens, there are two possible explanations:

First, they spent a lot of their earlier years Training and eating inappropriately. Not training hard enough, not doing enough sets, not doing the right exercise, not eating enough calories or protein, not sleeping enough, etc. When they correct these mistakes, they have the potential to make entry-level gains despite having trained for years.

Also, remember that most people are – even the most knowledgeable and committed Natural bodybuilding—You don’t do everything “right” 24/7, 365 days a year. Instead, their diet and training plans are disrupted by vacations, trips, illnesses, injuries, personal and professional fluctuations, diminished motivations, etc. Consequently, many people can continue to gain muscle and strength for a decade or more but at a slower rate than they would achieve under ideal conditions.

I am a prime example of this.

I started lifting weights when I was about sixteen years old, but did gain very little muscle or strength in my first few years as I was putting most of my energy competing in triathlons (which also means I was intentionally staying very thin). I didn’t really experience “beginner gains” until about year four of weight lifting, when I went back to my endurance training, ate more, and followed a proper strength training plan.

The second explanation for people who suddenly gain a lot of muscle after years of training is * drumroll *. . . They took drugs.

This may sound harsh, but it is true, according to Scientific literature.

No matter what anyone says, you cannot keep gaining a great deal of muscle and strength indefinitely without taking steroids.

Remember this when people say their body took “ten years of dedication to build.” More like four to five years of proper diet and training followed by another half a decade of steroid use.


Although you can Technically Being able to gain muscle and strength until your mid-30s, in practice, you will stop gaining a significant amount of muscle and strength long before this point if you eat and train properly.

So, wipe the star dust from your eyes and accept that you cannot continue getting bigger and stronger forever, but do not embrace the defeatist attitude that your workouts are “pointless” because you cannot add another inch to your biceps.

For one thing, maintaining a great body is still a worthwhile project that requires consistent effort. Second, remember that progress is progress, and you may be able to extract more PR from your body before it ends.

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