Bodybuilding Basics: Noob Gains Explained

The so-called “noob gains” represent the 5-10lbs of muscle gained during the first 6-12 months of serious training. Those will be easiest and fastest gains that you will acquire as a lifter. Past that point, the progress will slow down tremendously.

Noob gains differ from person to person. If you are really skinny, I mean really skinny, you will experience bigger noob gains than somebody who is of normal bodyweight.

Let’s say that you weigh 135lbs at 6’3″. In that case, your noob gains may take you all the way to 170lbs. That’s because 135lbs is nothing for a 6’3″ guy. In most cases, the reason why people get to such skinny states is poor nutrition, fast and furious teenage growth, weed, drugs, alcohol…etc. Since you are so far away from your average untrained bodyweight, your noob gains will be larger.


If you are fat, on the other hand, you will gain less mass. For example, if you are 5’6″ and 180lbs with a 40-inch waist, you will not gain as much lean body mass during the initial period as a skinny individual. Thus, your noobs gain will be smaller. Most people in that category should focus on losing weight anyway.

Your Bodyweight Can Be Deceptive

When I started training I was 140 lbs at 6′ with a high bodyfat percentage (skinny fat brah). It was nice. People on forums were wondering why I was alive and were advising me to bulk to 220lbs. The heaviest I ever I got was 195lbs. I looked like a bloated fat pig.

Anyway, your true weight is dependent on your bone structure. I have thin and light bones because I am an ectomorph. That’s why I can’t be as heavy as other people of equal height. My father is just a little taller than me but has super thick bones, and he would have to starve to reach bodyweights that are sort of normal for me.

The main point is that your bodyweight does not depend solely on your height but also on the thickness of your bones. People with light bones will weigh less than stocky individuals of equal height. This is why your bone structure and frame have a high impact on your natural potential.

One comment

  1. Eduardo

    I was 6 feet 2+ and 147lbs with a low bodyfat percentage. I gained 21 lbs in 7 weeks and still was lean. After that the gains stopped completely for a year due to chronic overtraining. I was training four days a week, on machines, in a gym full of drugged-up maniacs who couldn’t help me because they had no idea how training works drug-free.

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