Resistance Training Recommendations to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy in an Athletic Population: Position Stand of the IUSCA

  • Brad Schoenfeld Department of Health Sciences, CUNY Lehman College, Bronx, NY, USA
  • James Fisher Solent University, Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences
  • Jozo Grgic Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Cody Haun Fitomics LLC, Birmingham, Alabama;
  • Eric Helms 5Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), Faculty of Health and Environmental Science, Auckland University of Technology
  • Stuart Phillips Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
  • James Steele School of Sport, Health, and Social Sciences, Solent University, Southampton, UK
  • Andrew Vigotsky Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Statistics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
Keywords: muscle growth, muscle size, strength training, lean mass, sport, hypertrophy


Hypertrophy can be operationally defined as an increase in the axial cross-sectional area of a muscle fiber or whole muscle, and is due to increases in the size of pre-existing muscle fibers. Hypertrophy is a desired outcome in many sports. For some athletes, muscular bulk and, conceivably, the accompanying increase in strength/power, are desirable attributes for optimal performance. Moreover, bodybuilders and other physique athletes are judged in part on their muscular size, with placings predicated on the overall magnitude of lean mass. In some cases, even relatively small improvements in hypertrophy might be the difference between winning and losing in competition for these athletes. This position stand of leading experts in the field synthesizes the current body of research to provide guidelines for maximizing skeletal muscle hypertrophy in an athletic population. The recommendations represent a consensus of a consortium of experts in the field, based on the best available current evidence. Specific sections of the paper are devoted to elucidating the constructs of hypertrophy, reconciliation of acute vs long-term evidence, and the relationship between strength and hypertrophy to provide context to our recommendations.

How to Cite
Schoenfeld, B., Fisher, J., Grgic, J., Haun, C., Helms, E., Phillips, S., Steele, J., & Vigotsky, A. (2021). Resistance Training Recommendations to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy in an Athletic Population: Position Stand of the IUSCA. International Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 1(1).