I am always amazed to see nutritionists, magazines and certain supplements selling bogus dreams about “gaining 10 pounds of muscle in 1 month” or sh*t like that when it comes to the subject of how fast can you gain muscle.
It’s interesting how misinformation regarding fat loss or muscle gaining is exploited by the big companies in their interest just to make people buy their products without actually delivering the results they are claiming.
The first thing you need to do when you see advertisements like “gain 25 lbs of muscle mass in 10 weeks” is to close the window (if you are surfing a site) or rip that magazine and throw it to garbage.
The sad reality is that a natural person doing weight training and watching her diet can only gain approximately half a pound of muscle mass per week.
A pound of muscle mass per week would be the absolute maximum a beginner could gain when he starts training, if he trains with a “perfect” program and also a “perfect” diet in place and this fast progress will only last for a few weeks.
The normal muscle mass gaining rate of a natural bodybuilder is somewhere around half a pound of muscle/week for males and the same value in ~two weeks for females.
Of course, you can see results in people that are claiming increases of 2-3 lbs of muscle mass/week, but again, the sad reality is that most of that “additional” muscle mass is “swollen” muscle, mainly because of creatine usage.
Creatine usage can increase lean body mass but this is not the same as lean muscle mass, because skeletal muscle mass grows a lot slower.
If you think about it, calculating 10 weeks of muscle gaining for a natural bodybuilder, the best result someone could get would be somewhere around 5 lbs of muscle mass if diet and training are top notch.
When applying this to females, the muscle mass gaining rate is even more awful and you can cut that more than half.
But as you probably discovered, nothing’s perfect in this world so you can expect even less than that.
The answer the the question “how fast can you gain muscle” is:
0.5 lb/week for male, in optimal conditions
0.25 lb/week for females, in optimal conditions