Yes, it is possible, and NO it’s not drugs, it’s not supplements.
What could it be? Hard training?
Well, it’s the “secret” of most body transformations you see on social media, except the ones that are fake(and there are a lot) or the ones that use steroids or other enhancing drugs.
In fact, this term “secret” is overly used by the people that try to sell you some bullshit recipe or program that nobody really knows about but you will get access if you pay them and it will be a secret club and only a few ones have access… REALLY??
What I’m talking about is muscle memory and of course, studies show that its real, and I can tell you for sure that for me it worked like a charm.
Science behind muscle memory
Once you start training the muscles begin to adapt to the stress that means they begin to grow. In order to develop, they need to create more nuclei. These nuclei control protein synthesis and the more you have, the more protein you are able to turn into muscle.
As the muscle fibers grow, stem cells cause the fibers to fuse with other pre-existing muscle fibers. This produces larger muscle fibers, that can store more energy, leading to more strength.
What happens when I stop training, will I lose all that hard gains? Not exactly.
The nuclei are never lost, even after detraining. So if you have a long period of rest for whatever reason it’s much easier to get back in shape because your muscles don’t need to create again these nuclei so one step is skipped.
Your muscles remember how much mass you had before you stopped training. Cool huh?
I have been training since I was 17 and gained muscle mass rather easy. Why? well, one factor is the young age, the body is still growing and developing, the cells are young, the stamina is high. My highest weight was 85kg of mostly lean mass, maybe around 8% fat (Most of the time I like to have around 7% fat).
So, I already build my muscles when I was young, during my modeling years I usually stayed around 70-72 kg so I lost about 13 to 14kg of muscle mass.
About 2 months ago I was 74 and now I’m almost 80 kg. I had no dramatic change in my diet but I started training harder so the muscles responded promptly.
In conclusion, muscles require hard work in order to be developed naturally, and there usually is no shortcut. If you start training at a young age you will have this your whole life. The time required to grow, having a previous experience, is like taking steroids compared with the person who is developing his muscles the for the first time.