Newbie Gains: Why You Make More Progress as a Beginner

newbie gains

Maybe new lifters have something they could teach veterans

Newcomers, or “noobs”, to the gym are both loved and hated by the seasoned veterans that have been lifting weights for a long time. On one hand, you look at a gym newcomer and think “they are bettering themselves, good for them”. On the other hand, you look at them and see them as someone who has no idea what they are doing and will probably just get in the way of the squat rack you want, or they will take the dumbbells you wanted to use. One thing worth noting is that gym newbies make more gains than anyone, if they are training properly, but why is that? These are considered “newbie gains“, and it is one of the best times of your lifting career.

Let’s take a look at what gym newbies are, and why they make more gains than even the most experienced lifters.

What is a “Gym Newbie”?


A gym newbie is someone who is just starting out in the gym, and as stated above, they are loved and hated by the seasoned veterans of the gym. Before you join the newbie hate, keep in mind that at one point before you started your lifting journey you were a gym newcomer too. To some, being a noob is perhaps the most deplorable experience in their existence as a lifter. No matter how experienced one becomes, how much knowledge they acquire and the kind of shape they’re in today, at some point they were lesser, unaware of how to tackle lifting at all. Whether you’re a powerlifter or a bodybuilder on their way to the Mr. Olympia, you were that new guy entering the gym for the first time with no idea what the hell you were doing, and you still made those newbie gains.

What are Newbie Gains?

Now, it is time to dissect exactly what newbie gains are. This is the progress you make within the first few months to a year of training, whether that is strength or size, you are making progress. Often, you will find yourself making more progress in your first year of training than your entire fitness journey. Why is that?

Well, when you are new to the gym, you are stimulating your body in different ways for the first time ever. For example, if you are hitting bicep curls for the first time in your life, your body will adapt more to that than if you were to hit your millionth set of bicep curls. Basically, over time your body becomes more and more used to the training stimuli, making it harder to adapt and grow, so when you are newer to weight training, you will make more gains, “newbie gains”.

How to Continue “Newbie Gains”


Though you more than likely won’t make gains every year like you did with your first year, that does not mean it is all downhill once you become a bit more experienced in the gym. It will be more difficult to put on strength and size after the newbie gains wear off, but it is possible. Let’s take a look at a few ways to continue gains.

Diet and Supplementation

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when joining a gym and starting the fitness journey is that they do not eat right or use bodybuilding supplements. When you exercise, you are breaking down the muscles, and you need to repair them properly in order for them to become bigger and stronger. That being said, filling your body with the proper nutrients is absolutely essential.

The problem is that no matter how much you eat, you still run the risk of not getting the proper amount of nutrients, which is where the use of supplements come into play. Here are some essential supplements to have in your stack:

Follow a Workout Program

One of the biggest ways to continue with making progress after the newbie gains stop is to follow a good workout program. These days there’s a ton of access to different material that will allow a noob to skip all the baby steps and get right to the nitty gritty. Now there’s no need to wonder if the thing you’re doing is stupid or if it’s actually a legitimate way of making considerable gains. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about anything is at your fingertips. There’s no more need for guess work, just go on the internet, type up what you want to know and the answers are just a click away. But in a lot of ways that may not be ideal, as there are a lot of cookie cutter programs out there.

When looking for a workout program, you want something that aligns with your goals, incorporates progressive overload, and really makes it feel like your newbie gains never stopped coming. That being said, check out the Boostcamp App for some great workout programs!

You can also read our full review on Boostcamp here.

Wrap Up

Overall, newbie gains are something that really fascinate the lifting community. There are often times that we ridicule and insult the new blood that enter the gym as if to assert a position of dominance. The funny thing about it is maybe those noobs you’re making fun of have perhaps the best mentality in the gym, and in a few months they may look like a whole new person. A person who chooses to start lifting the old fashion way could prove to be onto something, something that many powerlifters and bodybuilders are missing today.

The great thing about noobs is that they’re trying new things with their body, experimenting with all the equipment in the gym until they completely understand how their bodies respond to different methods, hence the reason they are making some great newbie gains. It’s actually a pretty fascinating thing when you think about it and there are those who’d agree.

What’s your opinion on the idea of newbie gains? Let us know what you think in the comments and forums. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Vidur Saini
Vidur is a fitness junky who likes staying up to date with the fitness industry and loves publishing his opinions for everyone to see. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.