How Do I Gain Muscle Through Exercise?

Muscle gain, scientifically referred to as hypertrophy, involves an increase in the size of skeletal muscle through the growth of its component cells. Implementing a workout routine, gradually increasing the volume of exercise over time, and being consistent will help you gain muscle. More specifically, an effective exercise routine would most likely include 3-6 workouts per week, each lasting 25 -75 minutes and incorporating both resistance and cardiovascular training (Verywell Fit).

Consider The Basics

As you set out to engage in any physical activity, it’s important to consider several tips that will keep you out of harm’s way. Muscle-building activities are often intense, but these techniques will reduce the probability of injury:

  • Prior to strength training, warm up by moving around and actively stretching for 5-10 minutes. Bodyweight squats and moving your arms in circles are examples of effective warm-up exercises.
  • Save the static stretching (holding positions for more than 3 seconds) for after your workout.
  • Begin with light weights and resistance exercises, gradually increasing to the maximum weight required by your workout program.
  • Last but not least, allow for time to rest during your workout. Take 1-2 minutes of rest between sets.

Focus On Progressive Overload

Persistently intensifying the strain on the musculoskeletal system to continually increase muscle size, strength, and endurance is known as progressive overload. This is the most effective and widely recommended way to gain muscle through exercise. According to researchers at Harvard University, skeletal muscles can undergo rapid growth in response to a sudden increase in workload. In addition, the study suggests that increased tension development (either passive or active) is vital to initiating wholesome growth.

Progressive overload is best achieved through increasing the amount of weight that you’re lifting over time. Other strength training activities include, but aren't limited to: using stronger resistance bands over time, adding weight to free weights or stationary weight machines, and doing more reps of body weight exercises (which include planks, push-ups and squats) (Bodybuilding).

Focus On Strength-Building Exercises Rather Than Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise will not result in larger muscle mass, though it is important for maintaining cardiovascular health, weight reduction, and overall health. If putting on muscle mass is your goal, then you want to focus on strength-building exercises when creating a workout routine (themeccagym). 

The Role of Nutrition

When all is said and done, the muscle-building process is incomplete without a balanced, protein-rich diet and plenty of rest. This is simply because proper nutrition provides your body with the calories and micro-nutrients you need for optimal muscle growth and repair. More specifically, intense exercise causes damage to internal muscle fibers, thus requiring enough “bodybuilding” (or protein-rich) foods to repair them (Medical News Today).


Muscle gain is a common goal among individuals from all walks of life. As illustrated here, lasting muscular strength hinges on progressive overload, the right amount of strength-building exercises, a balanced diet, and a generous allotment of time for recovery.




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