T Nation

Muscle Growth Factors?

  I don?t think we know as much about the factors involved in muscle growth as we would like to believe.  Sure, we do know a lot, look at the size of some bodybuilders, etc., but there are some mechanisms at work that I don?t think have been discovered.  I?ll tell an anecdote, I?m interested in hearing what others think about it.

First, the who in this story is a black woman 5?6?, 27 years old, and very feminine. She definitely didn?t display any signs of high testosterone. Practically zero body hair and a very hourglass figure with very large (real) breasts. Measurements: 38D, 24, 40 with very big thighs. Not a sign of testosterone, but probably plenty of estrogen.

We were dating at the time.  We ran together and I worked out at the gym regularly.  When I invited her to work out with me, she told me she had ?lifted once for a week and ended up looking like a linebacker.?  I didn?t think a thing about it and ended up convincing her to work out with me for a month to see how she felt about it afterward.

She started off with the 5 lb dumbbells, pretty typical, but I convinced her to really lift, to find her true maxes and work with those weights.  So, she was on a 4x/week split push one day, pull and legs the next.  The workout centered on the compound movements.

While I was making my typical barely noticeable if at all gains, she literally started blowing up with muscle within a week.  In two weeks she was squatting and deadlifting 225 for reps, easy, and benching about 155.  She was ready to quit after seeing how big she was getting.  I was frankly fascinated and convinced her to finish out the month.

At the end of the month, she was huge.  Bigger than (but not nearly as refined as of course) Lenda Murray, who I happened to see in the gym a year later.  And way bigger than me.  It really wasn?t even close.  17? arms and 29? thighs in a month.  Huge traps, huge lats, delts that looked like softballs, and a microscopic waist.  Everything I could ever have wanted as far as physique goes, and she really didn?t want it.  As a matter of fact she quit immediately with an ?I told you so.?

How could this happen?  No steroids for sure.  Nothing to indicate she had elevated testosterone levels, no special workout routine, no special diet, nothing but a simple routine with medium reps.  What is the mechanism for someone to grow like that?  Believe me, I?d love to find out.  I would never have believed someone could naturally grow that fast, much less a woman if I hadn?t been there and seen it.