Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength Gain 101

With fall quickly approaching many young athletes and gym-goers across the country are trying to put on muscle. What are the most effective methods of adding muscle tissue? What are some good recommendations to help put on muscle and gain strength? We spoke with personal trainers over at Every Body’s Personal Trainer, and this is what they had to say.

In order to gain muscle tissue or hypertrophy, a stimulus is needed and a load on the muscles is required to break down its tissue. Once it is broken down, it can then recover through proper rest and nutrition and grow and get stronger. So, what are good stimuli to incentivize muscle growth?

Well, that resistance training in the form of weight training is the most readily available and beneficial way to put on muscle mass. By following a fitness regimen where an increased load is progressively levied on the muscles, they can be broken down and trigger the response for growth. By training with heavier weights, or simply by increasing the intensity of one’s workouts, one can easily break down this muscle tissue.

Once muscle tissue is broken down, the next step is proper nutrition to ensure recovery. As we all know protein is responsible for building, maintaining, and repairing muscle mass. By increasing one’s dietary protein intake recovery will be more efficient and thus the growth. A good rule of thumb is to shoot for 1 gram of protein per pound body-weight to ensure that one is ingesting enough protein.

Taking into consideration the right protein sourcing, as far as amino acid profile, is also vital. Animal sources such as beef, chicken, eggs, turkey, Etc. are great sources of protein. Whey protein in the form of an isolate is also very beneficial to help aid muscular gains. Timing is also very important. Most coaches recommend taking in protein every 2 to 3 hours to make sure that there is proper amino acid availability for the muscles to recover. Drinking a whey protein shake post-workout is also very important. The anabolic window, which is roughly 30 minutes post-workout is a very important time to ingest protein.

Finally, we need to also examine sleeping patterns and recovery. If one does not recover from this muscle breakdown, then the muscles cannot recover and grow stronger and bigger. By making sure that adequate sleep is present, one should make sure to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night and possibly even a nap during the day. Without proper rest and recovery, the process cannot be completed, and muscle hypertrophy will not be present.

By accounting for all the factors listed above, gaining muscular size and strength doesn’t have to be so difficult. However, there is a genetic element of course but anybody can put on muscle size and strength. By making sure to increase the intensity of the stimuli and break down the muscles the process can begin. Following proper nutritional guidelines and sleep patterns will also ensure and help one’s progress. Remember achieving fitness goals is really all about consistency over time, so be sure to stay consistent with your fitness regimen.