Maximizing 'Noob Gains'

Everyone has heard of the elusive “noob gainz.”

Like the mythical chupacabra of South America, Loch Ness Monster of that tiny weird lake thing, or the abdominal Snow Yeti of the Himalayas, noob gainz are hard to quantify but surely do exist.

It’s is basically common bro science knowledge that a “no0b”, or “new lifter”, will experience muscular/strength gains at a much more rapid pace than he or she can virtually ever hope to recreate throughout their lifting career. It’s not uncommon for a young lifter to harness his inner muscle building chupacabraness and put on 20 pounds of pure USDA Choice beef in the first year. Good luck recreating that naturally.

So, my question is, what would happen if you ONLY ever lifted upper body for the first year or so? Instead of spreading your mythical loch ness noobie muscle building magic throughout your entire body you could slam pack those pounds onto your upper body, where it really counts. Would this work? Would you end up looking like a mini Arnold up top with legs like Big Bird?

If so, what would happen once you maxed out the newb muscle magic and decided to train legs? Would you tap into some noob reserves and have your punny legs rise from the ashes like a Pheonix? Going from a couple of tooth picks to muscle bound get away sticks that would have skinny jeans bursting at the seams and leave hipsters crying in your wake?

Could this possibly be the most optimal way to build the ultimate physique?
Thoughts?

I did exactly that, looked like shit and still do.

Too much thinking for my tiny brain… just lift heavy things and profit in the musclez.

But in all seriousness I think your gains would be less considering we all know hitting legs hard also helps the rest of your body grow.

I did this too and I bet a ton of other people did as well. I think what happened was once I started legs after being very developed upper body wise, legs got the n00b gainz and came up pretty quick and upper body didn’t really budge much relatively speaking. Guess all the brotein was going straight to the legs at that point?

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
I did exactly that, looked like shit and still do.[/quote]
You obviously weren’t tapping into your inner Lock Ness’iness.
Being Scottish and all, this should have been a no brainer for you.

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
I did exactly that, looked like shit and still do.[/quote]
You obviously weren’t tapping into your inner Lock Ness’iness.
Being Scottish and all, this should have been a no brainer for you.
[/quote]

:frowning: I failed beautiful nessie lol.

I’ve been training a guy that has basically done the same thing. Not done legs more than 5 times in the 18 months since beginning training.

Upper body is poor and legs shockingly bad, his legs are now stubborn as fuck to grow.

Then again I know for a fact his diet is abysmal and complains its too tough to eat 2 chicken breasts a meal.

MAAAAYBE the noob gainz would work in the way you are suggesting if the subject was coached by someone like meadows and had nutrition down to a tee?

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
So, my question is, what would happen if you ONLY ever lifted upper body for the first year or so? Instead of spreading your mythical loch ness noobie muscle building magic throughout your entire body you could slam pack those pounds onto your upper body, where it really counts. Would this work? Would you end up looking like a mini Arnold up top with legs like Big Bird?
[/quote]

Isn’t that sort of what IFBB Physique encourages?

doesn’t pretty much every noob just train their upper body anyway? I sure did.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
So, my question is, what would happen if you ONLY ever lifted upper body for the first year or so? Instead of spreading your mythical loch ness noobie muscle building magic throughout your entire body you could slam pack those pounds onto your upper body, where it really counts. Would this work? Would you end up looking like a mini Arnold up top with legs like Big Bird?
[/quote]

Isn’t that sort of what IFBB Physique encourages?[/quote]
Not quite IFBB physique cause most of those guys are built but maybe other feds do.

i’ll have you guys know, i trained legs (literally no upper body aside from what i got from jerks/snatches) for the first year and they’re getting close to acceptable. just started training upper body consistently back in december and it blew up pretty quickly. arms went from 14" that december to 15" by january, and then to 15.5" another two months later. lats are noticeably bigger, chest is noticeably bigger.

i’d say it’s certainly possible to harness those gains if you’re training them with the right frequency/intensity. but maybe mine only blew up so quickly because my lower body lifts were so far ahead of everything else that the testosterone levels made my muscles bulge out of my skin and explode into a thousand shards of n00b gains the first time i isolated arms that i had no choice but to pack on dem pounds. idk lol.

so perhaps it would only work if you train lower body first, and then upper body.

I think the common theme between the “that’s what I did and I look like balls” crowd is that they didn’t know what they were dling.
What if you knew what you were doing, had nutrition dialed in and were on an “upper only” split?
Could this really work?
Could you use up all your noob gains on upper body instead of splitting it between upper and lower?

I think so. I think there’s a certain point each muscle group will grow up to easily and then from then forward it’ll slow down dramatically. So if you start training legs a year later than your upper body then after the end of the second year your legs would be proportional to your upper body after the first year, you’ll have trouble making them catch up though because they’re still behind by a year of “slow gains”. This is my broscience

[quote]myself1992 wrote:
I think so. I think there’s a certain point each muscle group will grow up to easily and then from then forward it’ll slow down dramatically. So if you start training legs a year later than your upper body then after the end of the second year your legs would be proportional to your upper body after the first year, you’ll have trouble making them catch up though because they’re still behind by a year of “slow gains”. This is my broscience[/quote]

I agree with this. I think “noob gains” is mostly muscle-specific, rather than whole-body specific.

I would venture a guess that this is because “noob gains” consists mainly of improving CNS efficiency to actually use most of the muscle fibers you already have, and also establishing a baseline of muscle tone so that the fibers aren’t sitting in a completely relaxed state all the time.

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
I think the common theme between the “that’s what I did and I look like balls” crowd is that they didn’t know what they were dling.
What if you knew what you were doing, had nutrition dialed in and were on an “upper only” split?
Could this really work?
Could you use up all your noob gains on upper body instead of splitting it between upper and lower?[/quote]

Good questions…never thought of this before. Are you willing to fully decondition yourself back to noob status then do a reboot to find out?? lol.

[quote]flch95 wrote:

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
I think the common theme between the “that’s what I did and I look like balls” crowd is that they didn’t know what they were dling.
What if you knew what you were doing, had nutrition dialed in and were on an “upper only” split?
Could this really work?
Could you use up all your noob gains on upper body instead of splitting it between upper and lower?[/quote]

Good questions…never thought of this before. Are you willing to fully decondition yourself back to noob status then do a reboot to find out?? lol.[/quote]
That’s a tough call but I would consider it.
I think “muscle memory” would skew the results slightly.
We need a total T Nat untrained noob to get their own coaching thread to test out this hypothesis lol

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:

[quote]flch95 wrote:

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
I think the common theme between the “that’s what I did and I look like balls” crowd is that they didn’t know what they were dling.
What if you knew what you were doing, had nutrition dialed in and were on an “upper only” split?
Could this really work?
Could you use up all your noob gains on upper body instead of splitting it between upper and lower?[/quote]

Good questions…never thought of this before. Are you willing to fully decondition yourself back to noob status then do a reboot to find out?? lol.[/quote]
That’s a tough call but I would consider it.
I think “muscle memory” would skew the results slightly.
We need a total T Nat untrained noob to get their own coaching thread to test out this hypothesis lol[/quote]
Ah yes, muscle memory, didn’t consider that. Do you think muscle memory is permanent? I remember quitting training at 23, then came back at 33, thinking i’d been completely detrained, but it took me a month or two to pick up right where I left off and now have surpassed all my previous numbers (although I’m more serious about the eating this time around). Wonder what would have happened had it been 19 and 42 instead?

Every time I take a break from BB bench and then come back to it - I seem to get stronger on it.

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
I think the common theme between the “that’s what I did and I look like balls” crowd is that they didn’t know what they were dling.
What if you knew what you were doing, had nutrition dialed in and were on an “upper only” split?
Could this really work?
Could you use up all your noob gains on upper body instead of splitting it between upper and lower?[/quote]

Abso-freaking-lutely. Oldest noob trick in the book. I did it, about 15 years ago. Who the shit gvies a damn about legs when you’re a 17 year old kid looking to hit some pussy? Chicks dont care care about rear delts, but they DAMN sure sure dont care about hamstrings.

My noob gains were incredible and I think when Immaxed them out I was nearly 10kg heavier than I am now, and I had no legs, so I must have been big.

In most beginner LP programs, don’t the upper body exercises stall out before the legs? So, I think it’d make more sense to do it in reverse. For what it’s worth, I’m currently doing Texas Method upper body and LP lower… but that’s due to a knee injury that set me back.

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:

[quote]flch95 wrote:

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
I think the common theme between the “that’s what I did and I look like balls” crowd is that they didn’t know what they were dling.
What if you knew what you were doing, had nutrition dialed in and were on an “upper only” split?
Could this really work?
Could you use up all your noob gains on upper body instead of splitting it between upper and lower?[/quote]

Good questions…never thought of this before. Are you willing to fully decondition yourself back to noob status then do a reboot to find out?? lol.[/quote]
That’s a tough call but I would consider it.
I think “muscle memory” would skew the results slightly.
We need a total T Nat untrained noob to get their own coaching thread to test out this hypothesis lol[/quote]

Next time a kid posts on the forums saying he has been doing bodyweight exercises for a year and wants to start weight training, recommend your program to him!