T Nation

Are Newb Gains Potentially 'Wasted'?


As the title states, would someone waste their newbie gains by training poorly or not eating enough for a year?

I've always wondered if i squandered a good period of growth by training like an idiot and not getting enough cals in for the first year or so I fucked around with weights on and off.

I read conflicting opinions all the time. Some say yes, you'll never have that sort of growth again. Some say no, a person who has made very little progress in terms of size will experience the same sort of growth when they start training consistently with a surplus of cals, etc.

What's the deal?


I trained in HS for 4 years and trained rather hard but with awful nutrition, and a lack of a trusted program. Didn't get that far....but 2 years later I'm back in the gym and my diet is spot on and Im following a program CT gave me and I've made more gains than I did in 2 years of HS.

So as someone who had thought of this question before, I don't really think it's a big deal (mind you I am only 20 now though...soooo, I can't say the same for a 30, 40, or 50 year old for that matter obviously)


^Agreed. In high school I had poor programming and really got nowhere. I'm now 25 and after 6 months straight of lifting I'm much much stronger than ever in high school after 2 years of lifting on and off.


you cant waste newb gains really
i trained in my basement for a year witn bw stuff and some DB with NO IDEA on nutrion. It isnt affecting me now that i have my cards straight


no you can't.

You hear programs having you increase your squat 15lbs per week for a "newbie" and then immediately send you to a 5lb per week program. The body works a bit differently.

Instead you should be starting with 15lbs per week, then 14, then 13 etc etc and after some months it would go down to 5lbs. Newbie gains aren't there till you reach x amount of time training. Its more about y amount of weight(which varies from person to person and exercize to exercize). The basic principle is that your body will adapt harder and harder to more extreme circumstances(more weight). It needs more time to recover and more training to go from 500lbs to 600 lbs squat than from 100lbs to 200lbs.

In short, the more weight you are lifting the more time it will take to get stronger and increase that weight. But its not like you'll be able to increase 15lbs per week like some programs let you think and then once you get to 250lbs you will only be able to increase it 5lbs per week, no more! (not that it's programs that make you think so, rather its a common misunderstanding)


My (limited) experience is that the gains and increases aren't linear either, some weeks the limits go up sometimes they don't.


In 4+ years of lifting, I had a 215lb bench and 275lb deadlift (3 rep maxes). That was November 2010.

In the 9 months since (essentially since I started being addicted to the forums), I've gotten to 275lb bench and 405 deadlift, adding about 25lbs bodyweight.


No, newbie gains are not wasted, if you are considered "weak" it doesn't matter for how much time you trained you are still a beginner.