I think the bottom line regarding gains are really determined by these 2 realities:
(1) Gains become exponentially more difficult to achieve after you’ve made some initial gains,
(2) Once some gains have been made, a Pe’er is left with even less motivation to persevere when further gains become really difficult.
We can discuss a person’s age, health, physical fitness, diet or F:E, but I believe that the above 2 principles are really the greatest hindrances to a guy achieving big gains.
I’m not suggesting that Pe’ers “don’t want” big gains, but let’s face it: gains become DAMN TOUGH after that initial surge that most newbies get. And the word “want” can be misleading; how many people “want” to be fat? Yet, most of America is fat! Most people “want” to be lean & healthy; but realitively few are.
The key, then, is really that internal monologue that we all engage in. It’s a person’s determination & mulish stubborness that will have a lot to do with whether or not they continue to PE faithfully, even though they haven’t gained even 1/8” in the last 7 or 8 months.
Also, I have my suspicions about some of the posters in this forum who’ve claimed to have religiously followed some rigorous PE routine for 12, 18, even 24 months without even 1mm gained. That so flies against human nature that I find it virtually impossible to believe. In fact, I’d like to know how many guys here have faithfully & intensely PE’d for even 12 months straight, without missing (I’ve done that maybe once - and that was while making good gains).
One more point: as I ponder this, I technically have not gained 2” EL. I was counting from my size at age 37, after I’d lost 3/8” EL - and measured in at 6.12” when I first begain PE. But in my youth I was 6.5” EL. So, really, I’ve actually gained about 1.7” of brand new, never-had-before length.
Furthermore, that revision seals it for me that I will NEVER gain 3” EL because, even if I could do it, I don’t want 9.5” of length. If I could nail a solid 8.5” that would put me in the 2” EL Gains Club.
Nonetheless, I’m very happy with my PE gains overall - especially with girth.