Mass gains are more complicated to track accurately, as opposed to fat loss which can easily be measured. When you lose weight, especially if you follow the right diet and training plan, you can see your progress week by week; with mass gains, you need to be careful not to confuse it with fat gains, as your body will automatically be ready to store more calories.
The key is to keep all the ratios under control – and to do this, you need to calculate a reasonable, healthy amount of weight gain as a goal for yourself.
Reasonable Mass Gains
Before you identify a specific rate for gaining muscle mass, it’s important to know how much you can reasonably expect to gain over most of your lifting career. This will help to guide you in the right direction and prevent you from gaining weight too fast, or gaining excess fat.
A natural athlete can expect, on average, to gain around 25 kilograms of muscle during their lifting career, which usually takes about five years to achieve.
If you are still new in following a mass building program, most of these gains will come quickly, during the first year and gaining around 10 kilograms of muscle in one year is not unheard of. From here, the rate at which you gain muscle will slowly decrease – adding lean mass is much harder for pros than for people who are just starting out.
Here’s another guideline that might be helpful to determine expected mass gains:
- Novice athletes with less than two years of training: 1.5% of bodyweight per month
- Intermediate athletes with three to four years of training: 1% of bodyweight per month
- Advanced athletes with more than five years of training: 0.5% of bodyweight per month
Don’t Rely on the Scale Alone
Keep in mind that your daily mass gains are so small that a scale might miss it. Chances are, your scale isn’t accurate enough to reflect a 0.02-kilogram gain per day for an athlete weighing 80 kilograms, let alone count in all the other factors such as glycogen stores, hydration and so on.
A good idea is to take weekly measurements and use that to track your progress. And, as you progress with gaining muscle mass, you will need to increase your scale weight to ensure that you are picking up enough weight. Remember, you’ll have to accept some fat gains with your increased mass, but fat is easy to lose, unlike your hard-fought muscle.
With the right measurements and a consistent training plan, you’ll be able to pack on the maximum amount of lean mass during your various training phases. At GymNation we can help you to get on track and achieve your mass gaining goals with a healthy and effective training program. Contact us today for more information on our mass building programs.