How to Gain Muscle?

Weight Gain


Published on: 14-Sep-2022


10 min read


Updated on : 02-Nov-2023




Amrita Sandhu


How to Gain Muscle?

How to Gain Muscle?

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Is muscle building the first thought in your head when it comes to improving your physique? Learn how to gain muscle and what exactly is the science behind it!

Muscle growth takes time and a long-term commitment. While it may seem challenging to acquire muscles, one can build muscles with proper workout regimens and a diet with adequate nutrients. Adding muscle mass will improve your lean body mass, define your muscles, and give your frame the appropriate amount of bulk and size.

Table Of Contents

1. Basics Of Muscle Building

2. The Physiology Of Muscle Growth

3. Mechanisms That Make Muscles Grow

4. How Do Hormones Affect Muscle Growth?

5. How To Eat To Gain Muscle?

6. The Final Say

7. FAQs

Basics Of Muscle Building

Anatomically, skeletal muscles are a series of parallel cylindrical fibers that contract to produce force. All of a person's movements outside the body are made possible by this muscle contraction. Therefore, the amino acids in your muscles are constantly being replaced and recycled by your body.

  • You will lose muscle if your body expels more protein than it takes in.
  • If net protein synthesis is balanced, there is no discernible change in muscle size.
  • And finally, your muscles will grow if your body stores more protein than it expels.

The secret to gaining muscle mass is to boost protein synthesis while reducing protein breakdown. Resistance training's main objective is muscular hypertrophy, a procedure that increases muscle mass.

The production of hormones like growth hormone and testosterone, as well as the availability of amino acids and other nutrients, all play a role in growing muscle. Resistance training and consuming enough protein and other nutrients are your main tools for accelerating your body's rate of protein synthesis, which is essential for the growth of new muscle tissue. The right amount of resistance training triggers your body's hormones to create muscle. Still, for the process to produce muscle gains instead of muscular losses, enough protein and calories must be available.

The Physiology Of Muscle Growth

After working out, your body uses a biological process to fuse damaged muscle fibers to create new muscle protein strands or myofibrils to repair or replace them. The thickening and multiplication of these repaired myofibrils result in muscular hypertrophy or growth. Muscular development occurs when the rate of muscle protein synthesis exceeds the rate of muscle protein breakdown. This adaptation does not take place whilst lifting weights.

So, how can you truly give your muscle cells more muscle? Here, satellite cells step in and function as muscle stem cells. When triggered, they directly contribute to the formation of myofibrils by assisting in the addition of additional nuclei to the muscle cells. 

The Physiology Of Muscle Growth

Mechanisms That Make Muscles Grow

The capacity to consistently increase the amount of stress on the muscles underlies all progression of organic muscular growth. This stress causes your body's homeostasis to become disturbed and is crucial to muscle development. The stress and subsequent disruption in homeostasis cause three main mechanisms that spur muscle growth.

1. Muscle Tension

It would help if you exerted stress greater than your body or muscles. Lifting progressively heavier weights is the primary method. This increased strain on the muscle contributes to chemical changes that enable growth factors like muscle activation and satellite cell activation. The relationship between the motor units and the muscle cells is also impacted by muscular stress. 

2. Muscle Damage

If you have ever experienced soreness following an exercise, you have suffered from working out-related localised muscle injury. Localised muscle damage releases immune system cells and inflammatory molecules, which prompts satellite cells to become active. This does not imply that you need to be hurting yourself for it; instead, it only means that your muscle cells must show signs of damage to the workout.

3. Metabolic Stress

The impacts of metabolic stress can be felt if you have ever experienced the "burn" from an exercise or the "pump" at the gym. In the vicinity of the muscle, metabolic stress promotes cell swelling, which aids in muscle growth without necessarily enlarging the size of the muscle cells. This results from the accumulation of muscle glycogen, which contributes to the swelling of the muscle and the development of connective tissue. 

How Do Hormones Affect Muscle Growth? 

Since they control the activity of satellite cells, hormones are another factor that is significantly responsible for muscle growth and repair. The two most important factors that encourage muscle growth are insulin growth factor (IGF)-1, specifically, mechano-growth factor (MGF) and testosterone.

When lifting weights, most people focus on the hormone testosterone. There is some truth to the notion that testosterone boosts protein synthesis, activates satellite cells, prevents protein breakdown and incites the production of other anabolic hormones. Strength training helps release more testosterone and makes the receptors of muscle cells more receptive to your free testosterone, even though the majority of testosterone is bound in the body and not usable (up to 98%). In addition, by increasing the number of neurotransmitters at the damaged fibre site, testosterone can also trigger growth hormone responses, which can assist in activating tissue growth.

By promoting protein synthesis, enabling glucose uptake, redistributing the uptake of amino acids into skeletal muscles, and, once more, activating satellite cells to boost muscle growth, the IGF controls the amount of muscle mass growth.

How Do Hormones Affect Muscle Growth? 

How To Eat To Gain Muscle?

The second component of the equation for gaining muscle is your diet. If you do not provide your body with the nutrients it requires to build new muscle tissue, no amount of weight training will be adequate.

1. Bulking Versus Cutting

Most bodybuilders, athletes, and muscle-building enthusiasts use the bulking and reducing cycle. Bulking phases are training phases where you consume more calories than you expend to support muscular growth. While eating and exercising sufficiently to prevent muscle loss, cutting reduces calories to reduce body fat.

You need to give your body the right amounts of everything, including calories, minerals, and protein, to grow muscle. Doing this will encourage the synthesis of new muscle proteins from the nutritional protein you consume, which is encouraged by your weight-training efforts.

During a bulking phase, the primary objective of your diet should be to give your body the nutrition it needs to grow without overfeeding it with calories that cause you to build more fat than muscle. Something ideal is when your body creates muscle without storing much fat, usually when you consume 300–500 extra calories.

2. Proteins 

According to recent studies, people trying to grow muscle through exercise should consume 0.72 grams of protein per pound (1.6 grams per kilogram) of body weight each day. A dietician can advise you on what foods to eat. However, consuming various protein sources would be a great thing.

3. Carbs And Fats

In terms of your carbs and fat intake, the recommendations are more varied. Among other things, you require dietary fat to ensure proper hormone action.

A recent bodybuilding study recommends consuming 0.22-0.68 grams of fat per pound (0.5-1.5 grams per kg) of body weight per day. If you typically prefer foods with more fat, start at the higher end of the range, and work your way down. The remaining calories in your diet should come from various carbohydrate sources.

Since protein has 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram, you can calculate this by multiplying your daily protein goal by 4 and your daily fat intake goal by 9. Your intake of calories from protein and fat will depend on this. The grams of carbohydrates you must consume to meet but not go over your daily calorie intake are then determined by subtracting this amount from your estimated daily energy need and dividing the result by 4 (the number of calories in one gram of carbohydrates). Long-term muscle building without excessive fat gain is possible with a steady protein intake and a daily caloric limit of 500 more calories.

The Final Say

Resistance training and eating right must be prioritised to gain muscle. Compound and isolation movements with weights should make up most of a muscle-building workout. Still, specific exercises, sets, and repetitions should be changed to promote steady, long-term muscle strength and development gains. In addition, the right amount of protein, fat and calories must be consumed concerning your daily energy expenditure to promote muscle growth while avoiding excessive weight gain. Finally, you must lift heavy, eat well, and maintain consistency to achieve your muscle-building goals.


1. The thought of starting to work towards a muscular body intimidates me. Where do I start?

Know your goal first! Prepare a plan and implement it. A muscular body requires time, dedication, and sheer commitment.

2. What should my plate of food look like when trying to gain muscle?

There is a 50-30-20 rule regarding muscle gain, i.e. 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fats.

3. How can I prevent muscle loss?

Eating a high protein diet, having good fats in your diet, and stick with resistance training.

4. Are there any supplements I can consume to aid muscle gain?

Yes, many supplements help in muscle gain, like whey protein, casein protein, Glutamine, and BCAAs but always consult your coach before taking any supplements.

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