How Do Muscles Get Bigger?

How do muscles get bigger is important to anyone lifting weights or playing sports. Getting bigger muscles is the top priority of anyone working out with weights.

Lets look at how your muscles get bigger and then you can figure out what it will take for you to increase your muscle gains. If you have ever wondered how to grow bigger muscles, then I hope this will answer your questions.

Muscle Hypertrophy – The Growing of Muscle Cells

how do muscles get biggerMuscle hypertrophy is when your muscles cells get thicker. You muscle cells will thicken but not lengthen and it is still up in the air as to whether your muscles cell will actually split or divide to get larger.

The best way to cause muscle hypertrophy is to put pressure on your muscles so that they expect to need to push more .

Another form of muscle building is Muscle Hyperplasia and this is the actual splitting of muscle cells.

Anyone that has seen a giant bodybuilder has to wonder if we all have the same number of cells

Resistance Training

build muscleResistance training is simply lifting weights. This is really how do muscles get bigger. It is just about that simple.

What you really want is to make yourself stronger by making your body more able to handle heavier and heavier weight for at least four reps.

Power lifters as you have probably seen in the Olympics are not the biggest guys and that is because their goal is to lift the most for exactly one rep.

To fool your muscles into thinking that they have to be able to lift more they will need to do a few reps at the higher weight. Your body will then get used to this higher weight by increasing the strength of the individual muscle cells

How BIG Should Your Workout Be?

There are many strategies to get stronger and the idea behind all of these strategies is to be able to lift more for a few reps a month from now then your are doing now.

You have a few options to alter over time in the gym and they are these

All of these parameters are a little too much to cover in this article so I will cover them later but for now just think about how you are structuring your workouts and frequency of workouts.

How do muscles get bigger

I hope that this info helps you understand how do muscles get bigger and better at working out always, if you have any questions then you can of course leave comments here as well.

Free Fit In 30 Days Email Course Change your life in only three weeks with free and simple lifestyle changes that will dramatically change your quality of life.What will you get? More energy, better concentration, become stronger, fitter and sleep better.

Our Reader Score
[Total: 2    Average: 3/5]
How Do Muscles Get Bigger? written by fitness guy average rating 3/5 - 2 user ratings


  1. says

    True buddy! I want to add something to it. There are 3 factors to build your body- training, nutrition and sleep. A minimum 8 hours sleep is a must. You must go in for a protein rich diet. Go for means, nuts, almonds, milk etc to give what your body needs. The training has been explained well. So all you body building aspirants out there, go and get that fab body you have always dreamt of. Though I can’t workout now as I am in a Chiropractic health center as I slipped doing lifting and have hurt my back terribly but will keep guiding you guys as and when needed. Chao!

  2. Brian Stratton says

    It’s really all about eatting right and recovery. And recovery is KEY to building ur muscle bigger.

    • Brian Stratton says

      You shouldn’t workout everyday If u r trying to get big your body and mucsle need time to heal and recover you can workout all u want but I ur not giving ur body time to recover then there is no point but to get stronger by workin out everyday

  3. james says

    hey… i’m 19 this year… i been working out for about 3 years… but yes, my muscle has grown, but just a little… i’ve been doing my workouts 3 to 4 times a week… and each time i workout for one hour… so any suggestion to make my muscle grow faster?

    • darrenp says

      you need to continually up your calories, the bigger you get the more fuel your muscles need, try adding 300 to 500 calories a day and shorten your workouts to maximum of 45mins after 45 minutes of intense lifting your body goes into a catabolic state which can burn muscle and hamper your progress and try to avoid cardio when your bulking as this will burn more calories too make sure you have plenty of protein and carbs before and after your trainig as these are the most important meals of the day for bodybuilders good luck bro.

      • james says

        thanks mate… could you tell me how to lose tummy fats? my upper body looks ok… but my waist OMG! layers of tummy fats…

  4. Del says


    I’m 18, 6’2 and 14.5 stone. I have been going to the gym for around 6 months now doing biceps one day, triceps the next and chest the next and this routine just circles for around roughly an hour each session.. I have been getting stronger but not bigger.. My muscles seem to be the exact same size as to where I started apart from when I am tensing or actually using my muscles to their limits.. Can anyone give me some helpful advice on how i can get bigger? Any diets or supplements I should be doing as I seem to be hitting a brick wall :/

    • Muscle Man says

      You need a better routing working out all the major muscles, and the you will see results.
      Try this:
      One day biceps & back
      Next day Chest & Triceps
      Next shoulders/abs/legs
      One day off
      This is my routine and it has showed tremendous results.

      Another thing is you need to increase your reps and sets. For example, I do 5-6 chest work outs with a minimum 3-4 sets per work out(10 reps each) Triceps I do 4 workouts with a minimum of 4 sets(10 reps each).
      Biceps I do 5 work outs with 4 sets each(10 reps). Back I only do 3 work outs 3 sets per work out 10 reps each.
      Shoulders/abs/legs/ vary, but usually its a minimum of 3 workouts for each with a minimum of 3 sets(10 reps each)

      Also, protein powder will help you out. When I started using Muscle Milk, it showed results within a few weeks.

      Hope this helps

    • darrenp says

      hey del,
      try doing 3 full body workouts for mass a week doing compound exercises, example
      3 sets each for
      1. bench press or dumbell incline 2. pullup or barbell row. 3 deadlift .4 squat or lunge and then 1 set for triceps and biceps ie close grip bench, tricep extension, barbell curls, hammer curls these will work all the muscles in your body three times a week which is great for beginners and hardgainers ive had great results the chest one day back another is more for people who have been working out for years make sure you have plenty of protein before and after your workout and a simple form of carb ie white bread sports drink i guarantee you will see great gains good luck.

  5. joseph says

    hello animals well some of us are animals others will be animals you want to get big get in the gym and when i say get in the gym i dont mean go and lift some dumbells get a drink of water then go hit some curls on the curl bar and get some water then look at yourself in the mirror then go get some water then talk to you buddy then get some water then do a few more sets and get some water and then you go run on the treadmill to get sweaty and go home that was a workout for women

    a workout for men is go big go small then go home thats what i do start my workout with extreme s to where you are going to failure in the first 4 reps while maintaining good form after doing eight exercises on whichever mucsles you incorporated in your workout that day. then you will go to smaller s with more reps in 10 to 15 range going to failure as well doing this you will see the gains with the tone all in one package just be careful while doing this can lead to injury that is why you always start with big s first be sure you are stretching properly to loosen up all those tight muscles you have been working so hard stretching will also give you gains by ripping your muscle tissue before you start your workou good luck.

  6. Zeus:) says

    The #1 thing eat your ass off ive been lifting for 2years Im 6ft tall When I first started I was 6ft 170 pounds now im 220 I set an alarm for every 2 in a half hours to eat i eat 6 meals a day 8000 cals 800 carbs 300 protein ooh and if your wanting strength alota red meat will shock you how much stronger it makes you Squat Deadlift bench incorporate it in your workout eat big and grow no matter what build you are.

    • arian says

      this one is the best im airan bordeliu im champion in albania i have 97 kg tall 1.84 i was training 2 years but nothing than i started eating like animal 5 times a day 4 milk shakes only whey protein now i do 4 years im great its not just work out ,work out is 20 percent 80 percent is food what you eat . good luck gladiators keep training.

  7. says

    I am been trying for two months now and only gained about 5lbs of muscle then platoe what do I do I can’t get any bigger in the chest and tighter in the core
    If anyone can help LMK

    • Trent says

      I doubt very much that you have platoed so to speak giving the fact you have only been lifting for such a short amount of time. First off if you have just started lifting ie two months ago then your body is starting to relax a little bit and getting more adapted to the routine you have. You can most likely keep this routine for some time and see growth but I would recommend changing it up some. If you want gains then your going to have to work hard and concentrate on certain areas during certain days such as Mondays doing chest and abs and Tuesdays Bi’s and Tri’s, you get the picture. If you are already doing this great now to step it up, don’t do this frequently but do supersets every so often and what I mean is go in working the entire body with lower on the cable and bars and pump out to max but no rest moving on to the next routine immediately following (research this for a routine) now on regular days if you are doing 3 sets of 12 thats fine but to get bigger you will need to alter that and increase the and do something like 3 sets of 4-6 on occosionally max out with 1 rep to find out a measuring point so you can follow your progression. You will get bigger and stronger doing the 10-12 but true gains come from heavier s but its up to you because of your end goal. Work in some cardio to burn some calories but don’t do this on days you do a super set.

  8. ElasticMan says

    Stay away from protein shakes unless you are prepared to risk the potential of kidney stones. Also make sure you have enough rest between training and make sure you do lots of compound exercises instead of wasting your time on isolated ones. Eat properly, drink properly and train your legs! Squats are a must!

  9. Mike says

    “Resistance training is doing s. this is really how do muscles get bigger. It is just about that simple. What you really want is to make yourself stronger by making your body more able to handle heavier and heavier for at least four reps”.

    So you you can only build muscle and get lean from lifting gym s? I always thought those gymnasts looked weedy.

  10. freddie says

    Hello guys,

    I’m 19 years old and I’ve been going to the gym 4 times a week sometimes more since the age of 17, I’ve got much stronger and much bigger but I’ve seem to have hit a brick wall and cannot get further than I am at the moment, I just want my muscles to gain size and become much bigger, I eat healthy and do 2 protein shakes a day. Has anyone got any suggestions on how to gain more size what protein shakes to use or creatine even steroids. Thanks guys

    • Ganesh says

      k creatine is an anabolic which will make you stronger and make your muscle grow…. i say take creatine or if you want a mass gainer take RUSSIAN bear 5000. Another important thing that you have to look at in your diet is a lot of vitamins and minerals . Try to eat carbs before your workout and protein after

    • Gabe says

      Heavier Weights / Fewer Reps= Bulk or Buff… Five or six reps then failure…
      you should be lifting so much that on your 6th or 7th rep you go to failure ( meaning you cannot lift the any further for that set)
      Lighter s / More reps in a set (say 20 reps) that gets your muscles Toned or Defined
      If you are trying to build up then I suggest heavier s first… then after a few months after you reach your desired size go for the toning with lighter s.

  11. Anthony says

    Hey man!

    Thanks for the info. above really helped, but any ways I just wanted to ask what I should do once I reach a plateau. I know you have to mix it up, but can I just put on heavier s on the dumbbells? will that solve my plateau?

    Because I don’t know how to mix it up for biceps, they are all the same. I don’t know any other ways to build the biceps except for the normal curls and hammer curls, concentration curls etc..

    And also when mixing it up can I just do it a different day? for example if I always did biceps on Mondays, should I change it to, lets say Tuesday or Wednesday?

    Thank You so much and I hope you can answer my question :)


  12. says

    i hear that you have to workout one day and the next day you have to take a break and thats the fast way to gat bulit but im not sure if thats true so someone plzzz tell if that true or not

    • elias says


      if you workout your biceps for example on monday, you should give them 1-2 days rest. so within tuesday and wednesday while your biceps rest, workout triceps and chest. its the resting stage in which your muscles get bigger

    • Trev says

      Your muscles need 48hrs to repair. So if you work out biceps monday at 6pm you shouldnt work them out again until Wednesday (preferably at 6pm). Unless you’re on steroids which will allow you to work out harder and rest less.

  13. Aman says

    hello friends i take GYM for last five months but my muscles easy little tight i tjink there will be no change my muscles
    I do two excerise one of biceps and another of chest i take it continue daily one another my mean one day biceps and next day chest
    There will be no change
    I take five sets of each excercise
    Please say anybody in wha way i will make big muscles please

    • elias says

      well it sounds like you should change your workout routine because your muscles will adapt to your workout and you will hit a plateau. also, make sure you let your muscles rest, they need it if you work them out hard enough. you could also try looking into any protein supplements or lifting pills they do help alot

  14. Niko says

    I do 4 sets of 4 different exercises on the same muscle for that day (Mon.-Fri.) of 10 reps. Going up in each set. I’ve been working out for about 2 years. I see very little results. Am I over training or need any supplements? I see everyone else getting bigger and I’m staying at 145 lb. 5″9. It sucks. I’m 18 years of age. Could someone help me out? Thanks

    • dan says

      I think there are several problems that you are dealing with Niko but i would love to help you and anyone else out that would like it :) One of your first problems that occured to me is your training. i use to do sets of 10 also which is more like a bodybuilders workout but then i had a friend intoduce me to powerlifting and i dropped down to sets of 3 to 5 and just by doing that my strength has skyrocketed, before i started lifting with this guy who introduced me to powerlifting i couldn’t even do 315 for a sets of 3 of rack pulls, but now about 5 months later i just hit about 500 the other night so again just by dropping the reps down i increased that much! Another big problem that may be holding you back is your eating. that same powerlifting frined told me 5 to 6 meals a day, 50 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbs if you wanna get bigger. so switch up your routine a bit, drop down the reps and start eating more and i can assure you that you will see some results :) if anyone wants a great powerlifter program i have one all you gotta do is ask and i would be more than willing to share :) Remember tho, there is no magic pill or protein shake that will give you huge muscles, it 50 50. 50% is your lifting and 50% is your eating so make sure that you are doing both right and i can assure you that you will see noticable results. But just so i don’t get anyone’s hopes too high it also depends on genetics on how big you will get but i know guys in the gym that use to be about your size in high school and now this guy is about 200 pounds of muscle so it’s not impossible but it may be harder for you than others. I am your age and i have been doing this for about 6 or 7 years now and i know exactly what you mean but don’t give up if you want it bad enough i know you can do it! if anyone wants that powerlift workout just post a comment and i’ll get it up for ya and updates on the lifting would be great! Rock on my frineds! Happy Lifting!

    • Trev says

      Niko, the most important thing to realise when wanting to get bigger is it’s not how much you lift but how you lift it (form). Also, the amount of rest you take in between sets and how often you change your workout.

      If you’re not changing your workout every 6 weeks then your body/muscles get used to the routine and you ‘plateau’. Google “periodization” with respect to workouts to get a good idea of how to change up your workouts effectively. If you’re keen you could also read “Serious Strength Training” by Tudor Bompa, however, there are probably more up to date books on periodization now.

      To get bigger lift slowly – 2-3 seconds on the contraction and 3-5 seconds on the extension (or way down if you’re lifting free s). Do 3 sets of every exercise and take short, 30-45 second rests, after each set. For example, bicep curls – 8-12 reps with good form (don’t jerk the body and go slowly), rest 30-45 seconds and do another 8-12 reps, rest 30-45 seconds, and do your final set.

      Quality is more important than quantity and look into a split routine if you’re serious about getting bigger. Protein supplements are a waste of money. I know many will disagree with me, however, ask any dietitian and they will tell you the same thing.

      • says

        i hear that you have to work out one day and the next day you have to take it easy and thats how you’ll get bulit. i not sure if thats true so please someone tell how that works.

  15. muscle man says

    This is great info thanks. The best way that I have found to build muscle is to stick to a decent training program. I also found that not going overboard on protein is important too

  16. Jack says

    All i do right now is do s, also i eat the right foods for example; Rice, pasta, chicken…etc, also i drink plenty of water and to think at being only 15 and only started my Bodybuilding at 14, i’m in pretty good shape. I haven’t started using protein shakes yet but when i turn 16 that will be one of the first things i’m gonna buy, I really want to take this Bodybuilding seriously, It’s my Passion :)

  17. P Mall says

    I followed the directions for using the “Dr Max Powers Anabolic Stack” and it gave me the results I was searching for. I was a bit skeptical at first since the results were not as obvious as I had hoped for in the first week. The second week I was very pleased with my progress. Overall, I gained about 10 pounds of lean muscle while training 4 days/week while in college. I noticed that my endurance increased and my strength overcame the plateau that I was struggling with.

    Its a great product. I saw visible results in about 10 days without any side effects. I have tried many products over the years and this is by far the best and most affordable. At the price on their website, it is worth a try instead of wasting your money on something that will not work and only costs $5-$10 less. Highly recommended.

  18. says

    If you hit a plateau in your training, definitely do what Radio Controlled Boats said and vary your workouts greatly. I was stuck doing the same thing day in and day out and never had many gains. I was working out like a mad man. I fight MMA so I switched my workouts more for athletics and my muscles ended up getting huge because of the new work out routine. I know go back and forth with the routines.
    Great article!

  19. says

    I would agree with Radio Controlled Boats in that variety is the spice of life..including exercise. Muscle confusion now a days is overshadowed by using too heavy a . Must be an ego thing.

  20. Radio Controlled Boats says

    The key to any fitness and training is to vary your workouts to cause muscle confusion. This is when you start to get real results faster than doing the same traditional training. Breaking the routine is essential.


  21. Monch says

    i used to go the gym when i was younger. Though i did not really develop those big muscles, i manage to improve my physique from being skinny to a more fit built. It’s been more than 10 years ago since the last time i’ve been to the gym. I’m well past 30 and though my chest seems to retain its shape except for some sagging, my tummy however have grown big even if i don’t drink beer or alcohol.

    is it too late for me to get back in shape? thanx. 😀

  22. chuck says

    thanks this helps alot i’m too skinny. i’m in high school but i still want to be bigger so i can get that football scholarship or that UFC debut i’ve dreamed about

  23. andy says

    getting bigger muscles take time. supplements like protein shakes do not work. its 80% food and 20% workout.

  24. says

    Muscle building seems to be really overlooked by many women over fears of getting “big”. It is unfortunate as the only way to get that lean sculpted body is through some type of resistance training.

  25. says

    our lax trainers are always on our backs about being careful not to go too hard when we’re working out. my friend and i started using some supplements that boost your muscles recovery so that there’s less chance of getting hurt lifting. good so far, we’ll see how it works out for a whole 4 months of lifting and playing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *