How to Gain Muscle Faster | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

How to Gain Muscle Faster

November 15, 2010

Must See Strength Training Videos

Gaining muscle mass: it's a primary training goal for many athletes. By spending time in the weight room, you will gradually increase the size of your muscles; however, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.

When gaining muscle mass, you are actually enhancing the muscles you already have. In other words, resistance training doesn’t increase the number of muscle fibers, it just causes each fiber to enlarge. This process is called hypertrophy.

In a progression model, the hypertrophy stage typically precedes the strength and power phases. In contrast to them, it’s characterized by higher volume [reps, sets] and lower intensity [weight load]. The general guidelines for hypertrophy training are as follows:

  • Load: 50 – 75 percent of one rep max
  • Sets: 3 – 6
  • Reps: 10 – 15
  • Rest: 30 – 90 seconds

Although you’re not lifting at a high percentage of your max, you are challenging your muscles to fatigue with high volume and short rest between sets. Studies have shown that this method of training leads to the largest increases in muscle mass.

To optimize muscle mass development, it’s also recommended that athletes perform three or more different exercises for the same muscle group. This fatigues the entire muscle by engaging it from different angles and with different loads, ensuring that fibers left idle during some exercises are activated by others, and leading to even further exhaustion.

Athletes can also boost their muscle mass growth outside of the weight room. Eating a proper pre-game meal provides muscles with the energy they need to complete a workout with quality reps every set. After a workout, protein consumption provides muscles with the amino acids they need to rebuild and increase their size.

Sleep also affects muscle mass development. Approximately 50 percent of human growth hormone—a powerful hormone that stimulates muscle development—is released during deep sleep. Athletes should strive for at least eight hours of sleep each night so their bodies can naturally promote muscle growth.

Check out these articles for more information on how to gain muscle:

Georgia Basketball Mini Routine for Muscle Mass
Lean Muscle Mass Nutrition
Building Strength and Mass With LSU
Hypertrophy and Atrophy

Topics: BUILD MUSCLE
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,007,069
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,222,480
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,306

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,672
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,880
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,427
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,006,048
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,529
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,176,187

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Todd Durkin

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout