We see the ads everywhere: “Gain 20 pounds of muscle”… in eight weeks… ten weeks… twelve weeks. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new bodybuilding supplement to hit the market or a muscle building course; the claims of double-digit muscle poundage gains within the time-frame of a quarter year come barreling at us from the headlines of advertisements.
Should you believe such claims?
I see guys asking this among themselves on message boards. They see an ad for a new bodybuilding supplement. The ad boasts of gains of ten to thirty pounds of muscle within just a few weeks. The guys want to believe it. They ask each other: “Should I try it?” or “Do you think it’s for real?”
What’s my answer to this?
When I’m asked by someone if they should believe these ads, I simply inform them of the words of a top level professional bodybuilder. I heard his words back in 1989 when I attended his seminar at Gold’s Gym in San Diego, CA. Here’s what he was asked by a seminar attendee that day:
“How much muscle do you gain in a year?”
Now keep in mind: This guy took second place at least one year that I know of in the Mr. Olympia contest. He admitted in the seminar that he was a regular steroid user. He possessed incredible genetics that he was augmenting further with the use of powerful drugs. Here was his answer:
“When I started out as a teen, I could gain ten pounds of muscle in a year. Now I’m lucky if I can gain two pounds of muscle in a year.”
Think about this for a minute: If some guy actually was able to gain 20 pounds of muscle in ten weeks (naturally), why wouldn’t he just go ahead and gain 100 pounds of it for the year? What would stop him? Starting out at 160 pounds, he could be 260 pounds of solid muscle in twelve months. If he did, he would be the first natural pro bodybuilder to get his pro card and become Mr. Olympia material in a year. Actually, he'd be the first bodybuilder in the world to do that - natural or not.
Here’s my advice for natural bodybuilders who desperately want to get bigger: Stop worrying about gains of unrealistic amounts of muscle weight on your body. Stop staring at numbers on your bathroom scale and waiting to become heavier. All you need to do is gain muscle on a steady basis without hitting time-wasting plateaus. If you actually did gain 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks, you’d rip a tendon anyway.