T Nation

newbie physiology

What exactly is it about newbies that allows them to make such astounding gains?

Is there anyway way to replicate that? (I assuming that steroids do just that, right?)

Also, if I were to stop working out for (let’s say) 3-6 months, and then start again, could I possibly replicate some of those newbie gains? or would the muscle loss not be worth it?

Ok, first off I’d say that they make those gains because some of them are as much as 25% under their base potential. Their body and genes want to be bigger. Their bodies in some cases are striving for growth even without proper diet or training. So, once they take it seriously, and dial in their training/diet, they take off. I think that in some cases taking a big break could allow you to make astounding gains again. But, I think those gains would still be closer and closer to your genetic potential. You would also still have to maintain an intelligent diet in order to solidify current mass and potentiate further development after a long hiatus. I don’t suggest doing this though. The potential strain on the heart seems to me to be too dangerous. Imagine your body running at tip top for say 3 years, then you take 6 months off and sit around doing nothing except eating. Next you jump back into the game trying to buck your previous performance. Your heart has the capacity to do the work but not the endurance… neither would any other muscle for that matter. If you did do this you’d have to do some cardio just to keep your cardio-vascular system in check… then prepare to shrink. It’s a viscious cycle.