If you’re trying to grow your muscles, to achieve a certain physique or increase your physical strength, then you’re pursuing something called hypertrophic gains in your muscles. It’s when your muscles grow because they either store more glycogen (i.e. sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) or because the myofibrils are bigger (i.e. myofibrillar hypertrophy).
We asked the professionals how they achieve hypertrophic gains in their muscles. And here are the tips they shared with us:
1. Put your muscles under stress…
Your muscles grow when they are stressed – usually because they have to move very heavy weights. So if you want to grow your muscles, weight (or strength) training is essential.
2. And change it up every day
Your muscles adapt to their stressors – a weight – fast. And once they’ve adapted to a particular weight (or exercise, rep or set pattern), it no longer works to grow your muscles.
This means you must change up your weight training programme every few days, so you keep applying new “stress” to your muscles.
3. Aim to overload
Expert weight lifters call it progressive overload. It’s about steadily giving your muscles a little more than you think they can handle. Because this stress on the muscle is exactly what causes the hypertrophy.
4. Do more, for your muscles to do more
Experts recommend doing more than one or two sets of a challenging weights exercise. They recommend you do multiple sets. Why? Because the high volume of work really puts your muscles under pressure, and encourages the hypertrophic gains that you’re looking for in your muscles.
5. Make sure you give your muscles the right fuel
If you are doing muscle-building weight training, then your muscles are burning a lot of calories to do the work. So be careful not to be too restrictive with food. Make sure you’re eating plenty of the good nutrients that support your workouts, giving your muscles the energy they need to do the work. Also, be sure to eat sufficient quantities of protein and healthy fats, which are necessary for muscle recovery and growth.
6. Prioritise rest
The muscle growth you’re after eally only occurs when you rest. So don’t put your muscles through intense workouts day after day. Schedule at least one to two days of rest for each muscle group ollowing a heavy weights workout.
Also, make sure you get enough sleep. Pro weightlifters aim to get upwards of eight hours each night.
7. Choose between burning fat and building muscle
If you’re just starting out on your muscle-building journey then you can have the dual mission of fat loss and muscle hypertrophy. But as you progress with your training, you won’t be able to sustain both. You’ll have to choose between fat-loss and muscle gains because the chemical processes involved in fat-loss actually hamper the muscle synthesis that’s integral to hypertrophy gains.
8. Drink water. Lots of it
When you sweat at the gym, your muscles lose water too. Your muscles shrivel up without sufficient water (and electrolytes). So you have to drink plenty of water every day if you’re trying to build bigger muscles.
Put these tips into practice, and you’ll be building bigger muscles in no time!
Are you passionate about helping others achieve increased hypertrophic gains in their muscles? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Training Diploma is the most advanced personal training qualification available which means that you’ll be able to assist your personal training clients with hypertropic muscle gains and so much more. Follow this link to find out more.