5 Factors that Will Make Your Muscles Grow

By: Joe Brammer, Best Selling Author, CPT, Certified Sports Nutritionist,

To get the most out of your weight training program wether you work with a personal trainer, train alone at Gym Des Moines or in Venice beach at the Original Mecca Golds Gym. You must understand the end goal. Doing more sets, reps and moving the weight for a longer time or heavier weight are simply the tactics these are not the end goal.


Being focused on out doing the guy next to you or lifting a heavier weight should not make you lose sight of the reason you are doing it: muscular development.


So to maximize your muscle growth first you must know what directly will stimulate the response you want. There are really 5 major factors that make your muscles grow. Here they are in order of most to least importance. Put these into play next time you visit your Des Moines Gym and hit the weights and soon you will see new growth in your muscles.

  1. Stretching Tension– The negative phase of a lift (for example the decent of the bar on a bench press after you have lifted the weight off your chest) is the most important factor. Your muscles resist the pull of gravity on the weights, this confrontation of forces causes a lot of cellular damage to the fibers of your muscles and forces them to repair and grow bigger. To use this information to your advantage one good strategy is lowering the weight or yourself on body weight exercise for 3-5 seconds.

  1. Contraction Tension– When your muscles struggle to contract because of the force of heavy weight on them, your muscle must strengthen itself. So simply continually use progressively heavier and heavier weight to stimulate the muscle building response.

  1. Time Under Tension– Another important factor to consider is the amount of time you spend moving the weight. The heavier the weight the fewer the repetitions you can do, the lighter the weight the more you can do. So if your max on squat is 315 and you do it 1 time you will stimulate power but not enough time is spent under tension to stimulate muscle growth. On the other hand if you pick up a weight and can do, 20,30 or more reps that is more cardio training than weight training and you wont stimulate muscle growth.

So the optimum range to stimulate your muscles to grow is about 70% of your maximum or 6-12 reps.

  1. Lactic Acid Build Up– Once your muscles flood with lactic acid they means they are reaching the maximum of what they can endure. Handling this pain for as long as possible will take your muscles to the edge of what they can do and forces them to grow. So resist the burn as long as you can.


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  1. The Pump-the more reps you do the more blood will pump to them. This is what Arnold referred to as “the Pump”. This pump of blood floods your muscles with nutrients that aid in recovery and restoration. Use this technique: do more reps 15-20 slow and controlled on the positive and negative phase with a lighter weight a few days after you have done a heavy day of say 6-12 reps with a heavier weight. This will pump blood to the muscles and aid the recovery process. But don’t push it too heavy on these days or you could sabotage your muscle growth.


There you have it 5 Factors and Techniques to add to your Des Moines Gym routine to get better muscle definition and speed up your metabolism.