I am not very gifted when it comes to building big muscles. That's why I had to try all kinds of training methods just to fail every time. Nothing worked for me - high reps, low reps, light weight, heavy weight, medium weight, supersets, drop sets, pre-exhaustion. You name it, I've done it all - probably more than once.
After years of failure I came to the conclusion: everyone who is somewhat decent/impressive looking is on steroids. It may sound like loser's mantra but to this very day I was never wrong when it comes to detecting guys on steroids. Every time I thought someone is on steroids I was right. Every single time. And I am not talking about Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler - I am talking about the everyday warriors I see in the gyms I've visited over the years. Today for example I added one more number to the successful list. A guy in my gym who was frequently training legs with stupid weights like 180 pounds squats, 100 pounds lunges and 150 pounds Romanian deadlifts came out and said he was on winstrol and deca. To me this was not a surprise because his legs were enormous despite the light weights and he was also holding tremendous amounts of water weight. This very same guy, although impressive for the average gym, could pass for natural any day on YouTube where ignorant teenagers and insecure young male adults sucking to Arnold think it's all about: lifting heavy and eating right.
But let's go back to the topic: Why muscle growth fails? Muscle growth fails because of the average hormonal profile. In other words the average level of male hormones allow only so much muscle to be built. And we are actually talking about something like 20-25 pounds on top of your no trained bodyweight, and that's generous. Training can make your muscles somewhat thicker and bigger but after a very short period the magic goes away. Of course if your lower back can deadlift 500lbs it will be thicker than the non-trained version of YOUR lower back which deadlifts the newspaper. However in terms of actual volume - that's a different story. The difference will not by as insane as you would think. For example, my calves are small but I have no doubt that I can lift more weight on the calve machine than my father who has big calves.
To this day nobody can truly explain "hypertrophy". In my opinion the researches dedicated to the topic are too "dirty" since they are sponsored by supplement companies who have financial profits in mind. Hypertrophy is this mystic process that makes your muscle bigger. Scientist would like you to believe that they got it all figured out but right now the number of skinny guys in the gym is higher than ever. Something must be wrong. Why people fail to look like the Hodge Twins after years of training? Black man genetics? Give me a break.
Muscle growth fails because it's physically impossible after a certain point. It's just not natural. The same way it's not natural to grow taller every year. Eventually it has stop. "Causing micro traumas in your muscles" can only do so much. After that you have to jump on the harmonized train. Kinda sad when you think about it.
A lot of people will come to you with "the perfect routine". They can all suck it. Yes, I've written routines but they are just examples that somewhat worked for me. I don't think there are magic routines. After all most routines have the same moto "add weight when you can and step back when you feel you have to."
What to do?
Well, you can jump on the hormone train to get bigger. The other option I usually recommend to gym warriors suffering from depression caused by poor muscle gains is to simply set a physical goal such as 20 pull-ups by Christmas, bodyweight bench press by my birthday...etc. By setting a goal and achieving it you will feel much better than crying in the dark that you have not added an inch you your arms following Mr. I-am-on-steroids-but-I-will-deny-it-cause-I-am-a-big-insecure-monkey's routine.
Here is a video where you can see people who are 100% natural: