If you’re training hard at the gym you better be getting stronger. Otherwise, what’s the point in training those muscles?! This post explains how much strength you should gain in 6 months.
Untrained beginners typically get stronger by around 50% in 6 months. This is for the 5 main compound lifts; bench press, shoulder press, barbell row, squat, and deadlift. A good training and diet plan is recommended to maximize strength gains.
Below, I reveal the strength numbers you should be aiming for.
These numbers have been generated through personal experience and research!
Expected Strength Gains In 6 Months
Check out the Buff Dudes’ tips on how to maximize your own genetic strength potential!
I turned to Strength Level to find out how strong the average beginner can get in 6 months (half a year).
This is a database with user-generated 1-rep max’s (a measure of strength) for all of the main weight lifting exercises.
Additionally, the database compiles data from people of different:
- Body weights.
- Training levels.
Here’s how much stronger the average beginner can expect to get in 6 months according to my research:
|Strength Exercise||Month 1 Weight||Month 6 Weight||Total % Strength Gains|
|Bench press||100lbs (45kg)||150lbs (70kg)||50%|
|Overhead shoulder press||60lbs (30kg)||90lbs (40kg)||50%|
|Barbell row||90lbs (40kg)||120lbs (55kg)||33%|
|Squat||140lbs (60kg)||190lbs (90kg)||36%|
|Deadlift||170lbs (80kg)||230lbs (105kg)||35%|
Wondering why I sampled these 5 exercises?
These are collectively known as the “5 main lifts“.
Each lift is a compound exercise that works multiple muscles simultaneously in one complex movement.
And together, they work every muscle in your body.
Put simply- how much weight you can lift in this collective group of exercises is a good representation of your full-body strength!
How Much Stronger You Can Get In A Month
Beginners can usually add 5 to 10% to their main compound lifts every month. This rate is based on someone who is following an optimized strength program. A good diet and training structure is essential to get quickly get stronger.
The 5-10% monthly rule is just an estimate of course.
In reality, numerous factors affect how quickly you gain strength, the main ones being:
- Training level. Beginners gain strength much faster than trained lifters due to newbie gains; a honeymoon period of accelerated muscle growth.
- Weight training program. Some workout plans like the Stronglifts 5x5 are designed specifically for building strength fast.
- Diet and nutrition. Eating a bulking diet that’s high in calories and protein is essential to fueling muscle recovery, repair, and general strength gains.
Based on personal experience, here’s how perceivable strength gains are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 months of training as a beginner:
|Months Of Training||Perceived Strength Gains|
|1||Barely noticeable strength gains.|
|2||Beginning to notice strength improvements.|
|3||Noticeably stronger in all lifts.|
|4||Very noticeable strength gains in all lifts.|
|5||Highly noticeable strength gains in all lifts.|
|6||Up to 50% stronger in all lifts which is extremely noticeable.|
You can check out my other post to see what results you can achieve in a 6 month skinny to muscle transformation!
The Natural Human Strength Limit
Every human has a natural strength limit. This is mainly determined by genetic factors such as; body composition, height, hormones, and bone density. The average person can reach 300-650lbs on their main compound lifts with enough training.
An important point to note is that strength gains are not linear. They instead follow the law of diminishing returns.
In other words; you can expect to see rapid strength gains as a beginner.
But those gains will come innately get slower the longer you train. These diminished strength gains are natural.
Muscle size and strength gains are not linear but follow the law of diminishing returns!
Why does this happen?
First of all, the newbie gains period explains why beginners can build strength at an accelerated rate.
But your muscles become increasingly adapted as you become stronger.
And the more they adapt the more they reach their natural genetic potential for growth and strength.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for you to be able to double the weight on your main compound lifts within a year.
But come your second year of training, don’t be surprised if your rate of strength gains decreases by ~75% year on year.
You can check out my other article for more details on why 6 months is sufficient for an effective bulk!
5 Tips To Reach Your Full Strength Potential In 6 Months
So far, I’ve explained how much strength you can gain in 6 months.
But this is just an estimate for your maximum strength potential.
Note the word “potential“…
Realistically, you won’t reach your full strength capabilities if you don’t follow a good training and nutrition plan.
Here are 5 of my best tips to build muscle and gain strength fast:
- Lift in a low-rep range using heavy weights. Anywhere between 3-6 reps per set are considered a low-rep range. I found 5 reps per set to give strike the ideal balance between muscular size and strength gains. Lift at least 85% of your 1-rep max to challenge your muscles for growth and adaptation.
- Follow a strength-based full-body split. Don’t just work on your mirror muscles. Give your legs some love too. The lower body provides stability to all your other lifts. So it’s essential to work on your legs to gain the most strength in 6 months. You can find my adaptation of the Stronglifts 5x5 program here in my skinny to muscular workout plan.
- Apply progressive overload. A good strength program has you overloading weight regularly. This keeps your muscles challenged so they keep getting bigger and stronger.
- Consume a bulking diet. Eating a calorie surplus is essential to get stronger in 6 months. The extra calories are funneled toward muscle growth and development. You can’t get jacked without a bulk!
- Eat at least 1g of protein per lb of body weight. Protein is the building block for muscle. So you better eat enough of it to get fitter, bigger, and stronger!
You may also be interested in my other post for tips on how to go from skinny to buff!
Why 6 Months Is Enough To Build Strength & Muscle
Just like strength gains, muscle mass gains also have a natural genetic limit.
This is generally accepted to be around 2lbs of pure lean muscle mass per month of training as a beginner.
That’s 12lbs of muscle gains in 6 months.
So whilst you can’t expect to build an impressive amount of muscle and strength overnight, you can expect to gain a considerable amount in 6 months.
You can check out my other post to find out how much muscle you can gain in 6 months.
How To Get Stronger In 6-Months At Home
If you’re interested, here’s the home gym setup I use.
It’s not the most budget-friendly setup but it does give beginners all the weight required to make impressive strength gains without paying for a gym membership.
|Top Top Top Top Top Top Top||CAP||Heavy-duty steel barbell rack for squats and bench press. Spotter arms maximize safety for solo lifters.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top||CAP||20kg/45lbs stainless steel Olympic barbell with 2" sleeves.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top||Papababe||Rubber-coated Olympic bumper plate set with 2" holes. Fits any Olympic barbell.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Clout Fitness||Barbell clamps to secure plates onto the bar.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top||Flybird||Folding weight bench that can be adjusted with flat, incline, and decline settings.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top||Inc Stores||High-density rubber mats to protect your floor and weights when deadlifting.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top||Sports Royal||Standalone dips and pull-up tower that does not require drilling. Easy to assemble.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top||Undersun Fitness||Heavy-duty resistance bands. Great for pull-up and dips assistance, adding extra weight to dumbbells, and for direct band workouts to build muscle on the go.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top||Everymate||1.25kg/2.5lbs microplate for regular progressive overloading.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Top||PowerBlock||BUDGET alternative to a barbell setup. One of the best adjustable dumbbells on the market. Each dumbbell replaces up to 28 individual weights (using the add-on kits). Newer and cheaper version of the old PowerBlock Elites.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
|Myprotein||Whey protein shake containing 21g of protien per serving. Low-calorie ideal for lean muscle gains.||Prime||Check Amazon Price|
I’ve explained how much strength you can gain naturally in 6 months.
The average beginner can increase their main compound lifts by around 50% and their muscle mass by around 12lbs in a 6-month (half-year) period.
Trained individuals can expect to see much slower rates of strength gains. This is due to the natural genetic muscular potential we all have and the law of diminishing strength returns.
Whilst half a year is usually insufficient to get jacked, you can get noticeably bigger and more ripped!
How do you aim to get stronger in the next 6 months?
Let me know in the comments!
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)