How an Indiana Basketball Freshman Gained 12 Pounds of Muscle In Under a Month

When an incoming freshman arrives on campus for summer workouts, they can make some amazing gains in a short period of time.

Getting into a college strength and conditioning program and having access to proper nutrition (and lots of it) can make a world of difference in a young athlete's body. Case in point—Jake Forrester, a freshman forward at Indiana University. Clif Marshall, the team's director of athletic performance, recently tweeted that Forrester had gained 12 pounds of lean muscle in under a month:

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Sheesh! For Forrester to be downing roughly 6,500 calories a day, those must be some serious meals and snacks. But those calories wouldn't be building lean muscle if it wasn't for the hypertrophy-focused lifting plan he's been following.

What is hypertrophy? In simple terms and as it relates to building muscle, it's the increase in the size of the cells which compose the muscle. Strength and size gains occur when muscles are challenged with bodyweight or resistance training exercises. When a muscle is fatigued, its fibers break down and adapt to the stress of an exercise—whether from high reps or heavy weight. The muscle then uses amino acids (the components that make up protein) to rebuild with an improved contraction system in each cell and to increase in size, which builds strength and size over its pre-training status.

One area where Forrester has also likely had to commit himself to pull off these impressive gains? Getting enough quality sleep. Many athletes overlook the importance that sleep has in building a better body, especially during the summer months.

Photo Credit: @ClifMarshall on Twitter

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