Muscle gain can feel elusive, but if you are willing to do these five things consistently you will slowly see progress.

There is no hack or cheat code to fast forward muscle gain results. Sticking to these 5 strategies for a minimum of 12 to 16 weeks is necessary to see the START of any noticeable gains.

1. Calorie Surplus: There is no way you will gain muscle if you aren’t eating enough calories to be in surplus. Your body will be in constant catabolism (breakdown) if you don’t eat more than you burn.

2. Eat Enough Protein: Everyone is a bit different, but most people require between .7 grams (that’s point 7 😉) and 1 gram of protein per bodyweight pound per day or the equivalent per week to support positive muscle protein synthesis.

3. Lift Heavy Stuff Often: For optimal muscle gain results, you will need to stress your muscles through progressive overload and resistance training 3-4 times per week, minimum. Try hitting the same muscle groups multiple times per week and include a combination of large, compound movements alongside isolated work on target areas.

4. Sleep: Your body repairs, regenerates, and grows according to the rest and recovery you provide it. Sleep is when your body converts all of the nutrition and hard work into muscle gain results. Be consistent with your sleep. Muscle gain will require that you prioritize sleep. I recommend a pre-bed routine that’s the same each night to get you started.

5. Stress Management: Lack of attention to managing stress can cause your anabolic (building) hormones such as testosterone, human growth hormones, and insulin to be stunted. Unmanaged stress can also cause catabolic (breakdown) hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and glucagon to spike. This will undermine your muscle gain goals. Try using regular mindfulness, meditation, or outdoor play activities to help you to manage life stressors.

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Timothy DiFrancesco

Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge. He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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