Do or Die: 5 Step Plan to Grow 5lbs of Muscle in 6 Weeks

Do or Die: 5 Step Plan to Grow 5lbs of Muscle in 6 Weeks

Imagine that someone walked up to you and offered you $1,000,000 to gain 5lbs of muscle in just six weeks.

Most people claim that a lack of motivation is the number one reason why they aren’t in amazing shape, or a lack of time. But what if you had the motivation? What if you had the time? Would you even know where to begin?

In this article we are going to look at a 5 step plan for growing 5lbs of muscle in just six weeks.

Before we start

One question that we should address before starting, is it even possible? Remember we’re not talking about gaining 5lbs of bodyweight (a single Holiday season is usually enough to get most of us 5lb heavier). We are specifically talking about 5lbs of muscle. Before you can decide whether it is possible to accomplish or not, you need to know certain facts about yourself.

  • What body fat percentage are you?
  • How much do you weigh?
  • How long have you been training?
  • What weight will you be when you hit your targets?
  • How many calories do you currently consume?
  • How many calories would you need to consume to gain the required weight?

When people successfully build muscle, they do so by increasing their calories. Unless you are very overweight and have not been training for a while, it is very difficult to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. But even if you are overweight and untrained (haven’t been to a gym regularly in a while) you would not be able to gain as much as 5lbs of muscle in 6 weeks without focusing entirely on muscle building.

You need to know how much you currently weigh, and what percentage of your body is fat. You can usually do this via skinfold callipers but they aren’t very accurate. As crazy as it sounds, using a chart and your own reflection in the mirror can give you a decent idea (so long as you are honest with yourself).

Let’s say that you weigh 220lbs (100kg). You find out that you are currently 20% body fat, which means that your lean mass (muscle, bone, etc) is 80kg. You are looking to increase your muscle mass by 5lbs, which is 2.27kg. This means that your new lean body mass will be 82.27kg and your new weight will be 102.27kg. You need to adjust your calories to achieve this new goal, but remember that you will probably burn some fat while doing this, even if it is not very little.

Staunch Starter Pack

How long you have been training is an important factor in how successful you are in building muscle, but perhaps not in the way you were expecting.

A lifter who has been training for decades would really struggle to add on much muscle over 6 weeks, this is because they are much nearer their genetic potential [1]. While a new lifter could theoretically gain a lot of muscle over that period.

But if you have never lifted before you will have to deal with:

  1. Lack of knowledge
  2. Lack of co-ordination
  3. Poor recovery (DOMS for days)

If you have been training for a few weeks and know what you’re doing, then you will theoretically be the ideal candidate for gaining 5lbs in 6 weeks. In all seriousness, if you have been training for even 1-2 years and have not had great results, then a change in program (and attitude) could help you gain a lot of muscle. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s explore the five step plan to growing 5lbs of muscle.

Step One: Sleep

Bet you thought that the first step would involve a cool new exercise, or amazing supplement right? Well they’ll come later. Before you do anything you need to get your sleep schedule on track. Sleep is where growth hormone and testosterone are maximally released, and it is where muscle protein synthesis mainly occurs.


This is the process where dietary protein is used to repair and rebuild damaged muscle fibres. Muscle protein synthesis is crucial for muscle growth and recovery from exercise. Poor sleep will prevent you from hitting that 5lb muscle mark, no matter what else you do.

Tip: Give yourself a bed time and stick to it, get up with your alarm and don’t snooze it, buy a natural sleeping aid, and consider meditating before bed. These will help improve sleep quality and quantity.

Step Two: Exercise

To get great results you NEED to be exercising, you need to be hitting the gym at least 3 times per week (preferably more). The type of exercise that you do is also important. Remember if you want bigger muscles that means you are training for hypertrophy. If you want stronger muscles then that is a whole other thing.



Training for hypertrophy involves hitting higher rep ranges than strength training. Aiming for 8-12 reps per set rather than 2-3 will help, but you will benefit from using multiple rep ranges throughout your training. Using low rep sets for a muscle group for one exercise, and then going higher rep for another exercise. 

If you are training 3 times per week you’ll probably benefit from training full body, hitting each muscle during a workout. If you train 4 times per week then you could consider a push/pull program (pushing exercises such as presses, extensions, etc, pulling exercises such as rows, pulls, and curls). Alternatively you could do an upper body/lower body split. If you are training more than that, and your recovery options are excellent, then you could consider body part training.


While training keep your rest times at the 3 minute mark. Studies have shown that this is the optimal amount of time needed for hypertrophy. Any less and your muscles won’t recover enough to smash your second set. Any longer and you’ll lose your muscle pump and your muscles will cool down.

Step Three: Nutrition

We covered this partly earlier, the trick with nutrition is counting your calories. While it is possible to “wing it” this is not recommended. You can end up massively over or underestimating the amount of calories that you are consuming. Leaving you either way smaller than you had hoped, or with more body fat accumulation. Neither is desirable after 6 weeks of hard work.


To gain muscle you need to be in a surplus, in other words you need to be consuming more calories than you are expending. If you are already overweight, then 1) Should muscle gain be your immediate goal? And 2) You are already operating in a calorie surplus, so you have no need to increase calories further. Just use the calories you are already consuming. Don’t try to drastically drop calories, this will work for fat loss, but will hinder your muscle building goals.

Starter Pack

 What you eat is also important, you need to eat a lot of protein as this is necessary for muscle protein synthesis. But carbohydrates and fats are also important, so try not to remove these from your diet either. A good rule of thumb would be to consume 15-25% of your calories from fats. According to Helms, Aragon, & Fitschen (2014) natural bodybuilders should consume 2.3-3.1g or protein per kg of lean body mass [2].

So if you are 100kg (220lbs) and have 20% body fat (as we mentioned above), that means you have 80kg of lean body mass. If we stick to the lower end of the scale, you would need to consume 184g of protein per day (2.3 x 80). Your carbohydrate intake can make up whatever remaining calories you have after hitting fats and protein.

Step Four: Supplements

While not as important as any of the other steps on this list, it would be crazy to pretend that supplements cannot help you to achieve your goals. Whey protein is a cheap and easily digested source of protein that can help you hit your targets. Creatine is one of the most effective muscle building supplements there is, and some natural testosterone boosters can actually help raise your t levels provided that you have low levels to start with (which most men over 30 do).

The mistake that most people make is thinking that supplements can be used to replace hard work or smart nutrition. Think of supplementation as the last 5% of what you need to be successful.

Step Five: Follow A Plan

This last step is where you bring everything together, without a plan you are going to fail. Okay, maybe you won’t fail, but your success will be harder to come by, and you will struggle to learn from it, improve on it, or repeat it. What you want is something that has been laid out in front of you by a professional.

The 15 Step Plateau Breaker by Staunch Nation is exactly what you’re looking for. Each step is designed to help bring you closer to your goals, your nutrition, exercise, and all of the other factors that affect success will be covered. Following a step by step plan can also increase adherence, and help keep you motivated.

Why not check it out today, and you’ll have steps 1-4 completed within the next hour! You’ll be well on your way to 5lbs of muscle gain in just 6 weeks! [3]

Check out Calum Von Moger’s completely free Plateau Breaker Program here


 Koala Freak Preworkout



[2] Helms, E., Aragon, A., Fitschen, P. 2013. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition11(20)



  • I’m a 70 year old bodybuilder and powerliifter. Still winning gold. You are giving your readers very good advice. Thank you!

  • Tried to check out the plateau breaker program but it wouldn’t let me.

    Javier Calica

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  • I’m a 70 year old bodybuilder and powerliifter. Still winning gold. You are giving your readers very good advice. Thank you!

  • Tried to check out the plateau breaker program but it wouldn’t let me.

    Javier Calica