Anyone who has been involved in resistance exercise for any length of time has noticed that some people seem to add muscle more rapidly than others. In this era of high-dose anabolic drug usage, it's easy to write off apparently rapid muscle gains to the use of the drugs. Indeed, recent studies show that the largest use of drugs such as anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and others are not professional bodybuilders and athletes, but rather just recreational exercisers who want to develop more muscle mass and are seeking an easy way to reach that goal. Unfortunately, thanks to the massive amount of misinformation about drugs promulgated over the Internet, many of those who use the drugs are under the false impression that you cannot develop any reasonable degree of added muscle mass without resorting to using the drugs. Even worse, much of the drug regimes they use are based on nonsensical information offered over the Internet that is based on zero science. Of course, if you use enough anabolic drugs such as steroids you will see results in terms of added muscular mass. But the results can vary widely. In my over a half-century of training, I've seen countless men and women use anabolic drugs with widely disparate results. Some of them responded amazingly. I've witnessed some of the most famous bodybuilders of the past 50 years transform their bodies in just a short time when using drugs. One example of this was none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his heyday of competition, Arnold would go on a steroid regime about 3 to 4 months prior to a contest. At other times, he trained but didn't use any drugs. The transformation he would make once he got on the drugs was nothing short of spectacular. Within eight weeks of getting on the drugs, Arnold would once again change from just a big guy who wasn't very impressive, except for his biceps and calves, to a Mr.Olympia body. On the other hand, I also observed many of Arnold's training partners who used the same drug regime, same training routine, and even ate the same way as Arnold, yet didn't come close to achieving Arnold's level of muscularity and size.
Arnold was what some call a "fast gainer." This is related to both his drug response as well as his training response. What caused such rapid response to exercise in Arnold and other fast gainers, who seem to add an inch to their arm by just thinking about training? And conversely, why do others who seem to do everything right in terms of exercise and nutrition just seem to gain at the proverbial snail's pace? The most immediate answer to this question would be one word: genetics. You cannot discount the effect of genetic predispositions in relation to how fast anyone can pack on added muscle. Some have gone so far as to . . .