Gain 40 pounds of Muscle

by Brad Pilon

The Q:

Hey just wondering what’s your take on people who have claimed to gain something like 40 pounds of muscle in a year as a beginner? I guess that would be “wet” muscle as apposed to dry muscle maybe that would be the difference? Just curious…

My A:

Great question,

A lot of it has to do with Juvenile muscle growth, or just young growth in general (I explored this when writing Anabolic Again).

If you look at standard height and weight growth curves, men are expected to gain about 20 pounds between the ages of 16 and 20 (they also gain a couple inches in height).

Add in weight training during this same time and you can see where people get close to 40 pound claims.

The other things is that since lean body mass is related to height, these larger claims also come from taller people.

Gaining 15 pounds of muscle over a summer is possible for a 19 year old pro athlete who is 6’4″.

It’s a little different for a 34 year old who is 5’10” and has been training for 20 years (not going to happen without drugs).



Mike February 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm

The “Colorado Experiment” is another example of a way to inflate muscle gain claims. Basically, you take someone who is really big and well trained. Starve them to nothing. Start the experiment and watch them grow. Most of the growth is just re-gaining what they already had so during the experiment it looks like they are gaining a lot, but if you took their pre-starvation measurements, it would only seen like modest gains.

Mark Young February 11, 2011 at 8:09 am


This is simply not true. I gained 40 pounds of muscle just last week using [enter latest fad muscle building program affiliate link here].


Great post!

sandro February 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Hi Brad,have planned a new version of “How Much protein..”?and if it so,when it will be available?


Brad Pilon February 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Yes, working on it now…

It’s taking longer than I thought, but I’m trying to get right down to the original research, where we actually got the idea that protein ‘built muscle’

Aiming for summer.

Joe February 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Thanks for the answer. Im sure i couldnt gain a whole lot of muscle weight since im like 5’4″ but im not concerned about the weight as much as the way i look.

Brad Pilon February 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hey Joe,

No worries, for me measuring circumferences will always be more important than weight.

Vaclav Gregor February 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm

for older folks not gonna happen, but it doesn’t stop supplement companies from making these claims. And more and more people are being traped by that.

JOE February 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

So i just purchased and read through your 2 books and i thought they were awsome. Totaly hard ideas to get used to. Anyhow the one thing i wasnt sure of you said you still have to be at a certain calorie ratio but how do i know how many calories to eat. Im 5’4 and around 130 probably 13 percent body fat so what would the cal. ratio be if i was trying to gain weight? Or at least how do i figure it out?

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