How Big Can You Get Naturally?

No matter how big you want your muscles to be, there is a limit to how much they can grow naturally. Know how big can you get naturally.
Muscle building in women
All about muscle building naturally. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
HT Brand Studio Updated: 7 Nov 2023, 05:12 pm IST
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Most people within the fitness community have one goal – to pack on as much muscle mass as possible. They apply different strategies to achieve the same. Some rely on hard work at the gym, others focus more on diet and nutrition. But how far can these techniques take you when it comes to getting bigger and bigger? We all know setting realistic and achievable goals while working out is crucial. And for that reason, we need to know our natural muscle limit.

That is basically the amount of fat-free mass that you can put on naturally, without the aid of supplements. So, if you plan to get big naturally, there might be a limit to how much you can achieve.

In this article, we’ll explore if there is anything like a bodybuilding natural limit. And if so, how can we determine what’s our respective ceilings?

Let’s find out.

Is There a Max to How Much Muscle You Can Gain?

Yes, there is a limit to how much muscle mass a person can gain naturally without any supplements. Within the scientific community, this limit is often referred to as an individual’s genetic potential.

It is the upper-value of the amount of fat-free mass that you can put on by following proper training and diet programs. Beyond this point, the body is theoretically incapable of putting in any more muscle by itself. As such, bodybuilders often have to resort to using performance-enhancing supplements to get bigger than the average gym-goer.

Your maximum muscular potential depends on a lot of factors, including your genes, birth weight, body composition, age, sex, and even hormonal stability. Because of so many influencing variables, people have always struggled to determine their natural muscle limits.

Nowadays, however, there are modern tools that use precise algorithms and formulas to provide accurate readings. You can determine how much muscle you can gain naturally by using a maximum muscular potential calculator.

The tool takes into account all the major detriments that dictate how much muscle you can build naturally to yield informative results. Using this can be very helpful in the long run as it allows you to learn more about your body.

For example, if you are unaware of your maximum muscular potential, you might try and bulk beyond the capabilities of your body. This might lead to unhealthy weight gains and other negative repercussions for your fitness-centric lifestyle.

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How Big Can You Get Naturally?

There is no universal limit to how much an individual can grow in terms of size and muscle. For each bodybuilder, their maximum muscular potential is different. It is based on a number of varying factors.

For example, even your bone structure can have a significant part to play in determining how big you can get naturally. The more empty space there is between your elbow bone and the lower tricep head, the more difficult it would be for you to grow muscle in that area.

The same is the case with biceps.

These are all the natural factors that you cannot alter. And they determine how much muscle mass you can put on without taking any supplements.

It’s also important to note that progress isn’t always linear. You cannot expect to keep putting on muscle mass at the same rate.

For example, you can gain around 25 pounds of muscle during your first year of training. In the second year, a goal of 12-13 pounds would be more realistic. Finally, in your third year (when you are close to your maximum potential), the growth rate will slow down significantly and reach 5-6 pounds of fat-free mass.

So, it is not easy to determine how much muscle mass each individual can put on naturally unless they calculate their own potential.

For that, you can use the fitness calculators and fitness programs devised by Dr Workout to help you optimize your time at the gym.

You can, however, also use averages to figure out the rough estimate of where you stand in terms of achieving your maximum potential. Here are some key facts that can help you with the same:

  • Men can expect to gain around 40-50 pounds of lean muscle mass naturally over a period of a few years with proper nutrition and a well-designed weightlifting/bodybuilding program.
  • Women can gain over 25-30 pounds of muscle mass naturally. The difference in maximum potential between men and women arises due to genetical and hormonal differences.
  • As you get close to your genetic muscle potential, it would be extremely hard to even gain 2-3 pounds of muscle mass each year.
  • While these figures provide a rough average, they should not be used as benchmarks for determining your own maximum muscular potential.

For that, we have already provided calculators that give precise and reliable readings. It’s important to stay away from misinformation when it comes to anything fitness-oriented to avoid any negative repercussions for your body.

Why is there a Limit on Muscle Growth?

There are many reasons why there is a predetermined natural limit on muscle growth. Most of these factors are rooted in the biology and mechanics of the human body.

Let’s talk about some of the primary detriments that can limit muscle growth beyond a certain point:

  • The genetic predisposition of an individual can determine the number of muscle fibres they have and how these fibres respond to exercise and nutrition.
  • Different people have varying metabolic demands and, therefore, distinct calorie requirements, which play a huge role in muscle synthesis.
  • Differences in hormonal levels of testosterone, IGF-1, and growth hormones can influence the maximum natural muscle mass ceiling of different people.
  • Structural limitations can cause joints, tendons, and ligaments to support lesser or excess amounts of muscle mass compared to normal.
  • Differences in neural adaptations can support or inhibit muscle growth.
  • Biology-related factors like age and sex have a part to play. Younger people experience more maximum muscular potential compared to older individuals. Similarly, males can put on more fat-free mass compared to females.

Final Words

There is, indeed, a limit to how much fat-free muscle mass you can put on naturally without any PED. This limit is determined by factors like genetics, hormonal levels, structural limitations, age, sex, and more.
While there is no standard or universal cap on muscle growth, each person’s unique ceiling can be measured by using efficient tools like the Maximum Muscular Potential calculator.

Acknowledging these limitations and quantifying them is crucial for setting realistic fitness goals. Working within your body’s natural boundaries is important as the opposite can result in negative repercussions.

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