How much muscle can you build without using anabolic steroids? And anyway, is it possible in principle to obtain the answer to this question? We will try to find it through science.
Physiological Limits in Bodybuilding
We live in an era in which people don’t like limitations; in an era where most of even natural bodybuilders do not want to hear the bitter truth.
Although from different parties, they are constantly encouraging phrases in spirit “to believe that you become great, all you need to do, just as you can train harder, each has its own limit, or as it is called, genetic ceiling in the increase of muscle mass.
Let us see what this science is all about. It is important! for a start, it should be noted that, to attain your genetic ceiling, you can only be subject to adequate nutrition suitable particularly for your strength training programs.
Alan Aragon Model
Calculate your limits by Alan Aragon’s model while you rely on the current weight and the amount of muscle mass which you already have.
Specialist offers a simple model in which a novice can expect to gain muscle mass in District 1-1, 5% monthly from its weight, medium-level athlete- 1 0.5% gain in the month and advanced athlete-only by 0.25 -0.5% of their weight in a month.
For example, newcomer weighing at 65 kg can rely on qualitative weight gains from 650 grams to 1 kg per month for the first year of training.
1. Lyle Mcdonald Model
In his article devoted to the maximum genetic potential for muscle growth, called what’s My Genetic Muscular Potential, expert notes: it’s firmly believed that athletes must competently train and do not divert their attention on what they may or may not achieve.
I also believe that everyone has a limit that is defined on a biological level. This is a simple reality, recognizing that many will save you from unnecessary mental anguish about what they were supposed to reach (how they think) or could achieve if worked hard enough.
According to McDonald’s in the first year of training, really ramp up 10-11 kg of high-quality mass (0.9 kg per month), in the second year- -5.5 4.5 kg (450 grams per month), the third is about 2.5 kg (230 grams per month), and in all subsequent years, a little more than 1 kg of muscle per year.
2. It’s also noted that these values are for men but women can grow smaller muscle approximately in 2 times
Dr. Casey Batta Model
As noted by Lyle McDonald, their with Alan Aragon model for calculating the maximum muscle growth, it’s greatly simplified because they do not take into account some factors that can make the difference.
One of the main factors influencing genetic ceiling, is the size of the core, which is determined by the width of the wrists, ankles and other parts of the skeletal system.
Natural bodybuilder and great wise guy (as it’s called Mcdonald), Casey Butt conducted an exhaustive study which examined the anthropometric data of 300 natural bodybuilders for top level speakers in the period 1947 to 2010 year.
The scientist has developed a prediction calculator with maximum potential muscle growth, using data such as human growth, percentage of dry matter, as well as ankle and wrist.
After collecting all the data, Dr. Butt was able to develop a very precise formula that can predict genetic ceiling for athletes that do not use anabolic drugs.
In addition, the formula also includes the target percentage of fat, which is possible to achieve genetic ceiling. What valuable formula is to be used so that, on the basis of each may not ne absstract, but achievable goals.
The formula looks like this:
Formula shows maximum dry weight, i.e. weight excluding fat (fat percentage may be different and changing much easier).
- H is the height in inches;
- A-ankle circumference
- W-wrist circumference (bump on the outside of the wrist);
- % bf-percentage of fat in the body in which you want to predict your genetic Max;
For the sake of facilitating payments in the near future revision, we plan to introduce formula in the annals, and while you can use this calculator, there are some Important things to take note.
As the author of the formula, very thin man can reach only 95% of the result from the calculation of the figures. On the other hand, a person with very wide hips, shoulders, wider than medium-sized and large abdominal muscles are able to surpass forecasted figures to 5%.
McDonald confirmed the words of his colleague, referring to the study which showed that, more light and thin person who had less muscle than athletes with larger bone architecture. Both groups, while trained by identical power program.
The specialist noted that, one of the factors that determine the width of the bones is the testosterone level and underlines, the possible biological relationship between the size of the skeletal system and the level of hormones.
Criticism of Casey Batta formula
After designing a formula from Batta, some scientist appeared very much as opponents and claimed that, even science is not able to predict genetic ceiling for natural bodybuilders.
However, when this formula is used to calculate the maximum muscle growth possible for past champions and top athletes of our time, it incredibly predicts the outcome accurately again and again.
All the same, Lyle Mcdonald emphasizes that, although the Dr. Batta formula is more conservative than Alan Aragonom calculations, they are within reach of each other.
For a stronger understanding of genetic differences between those who are able to grow muscle over upper limits and those who at best reach only 95% of the ceiling suggest you dig a little deeper and look at what happens to muscle hypertrophy biochemical level.
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certified specialist, Brett Contreras in his article, ‘The Truth About body building Genetics‘ brought the results of a study that showed that, while some people speak very well on strength training, other body don’t responds to training at all.
Researchers even came up with a special term for such people as “non-responders” that can be translated on power load. Below are 2 of the study mentioned by Brett.
In 1985, specialists from the University of Alabama conducted an experiment, during which 66 subjects received power load over 16 weeks. As a result, scientists revealed that 26% of the subjects marked muscle growth were observed.
More “fresh” study, which held in the year 2015, scientists from the University of Massachusetts have provided data reflecting the wide variation in growth, strikingly muscular mass and strength.
As a result of the experiment, in which the men were trained with weights, scientists have identified a group of people who are not only not gaining muscle, but also lost 2% of its quantity, with the increased power figures.
The group involved, which showed an increase in the cross-sectional area of muscle (scientists analyzed changes in the biceps shoulder muscle, the weaker hands based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI) incredibly achieves compared to the first group of 59% growth, and increased power indicators of +250%.
Note that both groups had the same training program. Why is it so? The answer is hidden in the number of cells satellites surrounding our muscles. Let’s consider the position of the British specialists, taken from The Journal of Biochemistry Cell Biology.
On the outer surface of the muscle fiber cells are satellites that are stationary. Satellites are intended to serve as a reserve population of muscle cells and are able to quickly multiply in response to the trauma (microtrauma that get muscles after enough resistance training intensity).
The main function of cells satellites is the regeneration of skeletal muscle. Petrella and colleagues’ study showed that, the difference between athletes who perfectly respond to strength training and those who do not receive the visible result is precisely the degree of intensification of satellite cells.
The authors of the study suggest that, individuals with a large number of original cells satellites have great potential for muscle growth even before the start of training.
That’s where the answer hides, muscle growth depends on the number of cells satellites that surround the muscle fibers. The more of these satellite cells surrounding our muscles, the greater the likelihood that they will be able to merge/grow together with the nucleus of the muscle cells, with the result that we get the coveted hypertrophy.
In other words, due to the presence of a large number of satellite cells, muscle will be able to get enough genetic material to give their cells the signal to grow.
In her article on the item before us, NSCA certified specialist Anoop Balachandran noted that, athletes that are growing by leaps and bounds from any training programs have activated a large number of these satellite cells.
Anoop explains, why not copy blindly training champions, and look for something that suits for each person individually. Well, says Brett Contreras, some of us have disrupted this genetic jackpot, while others got far more modest possibilities.
Whether one generally obsess over its genetic potential in muscle growth? According to some opinions, it is wiser to use Council Lyle Mcdonald and devote all their efforts in the right direction. It is hard to train and pay due attention to nutrition.
Instead, worry about what you can achieve or that you can not reach ahead of time and what you are able to influence now. Let the figures give you purpose and motivation not to stop at least until you still see that you can raise a qualitative rather than quantitative.