4 Principles To Build Muscle, Jump Higher and Dominate Your Sport

January 19, 2010

How To Jump Higher

One of the best ways to be better at your sport is simply to be stronger.

Almost all sports require some form of weight lifting because as the sports get more and more competitive, every athlete is looking for that edge to be the best.

I remember Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, and LeBron James, are incredibly strong guys.

You can tell just by looking at them.

Sure, conditioning, drills, and isometric training have their places in your training regimen, but to really become a stronger athlete, nothing beats good old fashion weight lifting.

People in the gym and people I’ve trained come to me with questions about how to get bigger and they have their heads chock full of stuff that’s just misinformation.

When it comes to building muscle, there are many ways to do it right, and many more ways to do it wrong.

I want to give you some basic principles on how to build muscle the right way.

You can then use these principles to become the dominant athlete in your sport.

1. Progressive Overload

    Your body is an amazing piece of work and so are your muscles.  They will adapt to just about whatever condition you put them in.
    That being said, in order to build muscle properly, you have to continue to overload it.  Your muscles will adapt to the stress you put on them by getting stronger and sometimes bigger if you do it right.
    So in your weight training regimen, if you plan to build muscle and get stronger, week after week, you should be increasing the load you put on your muscles.  And no, this doesn’t just mean adding more and more weight.  There are plenty of ways to increase the load on your muscles.
    You can decrease the amount of rest in between sets, add more reps, add more sets, etc.

2. Progressive Variation

    No, this isn’t “muscle confusion”.  This just means that your body builds the neural pathways to your muscles for a specific motion.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes for you do to that same motion aka “muscle memory”.
    That being said, if you continue to do the same exercises week in and week out for the same muscle, you’ll see that your ability to do more weight will increase, but you won’t see growth.
    What happened was that your body figured out a very efficient way of firing neural signals to your muscles to complete that motion.  So efficient in fact, that it doesn’t require you to grow anymore.

3. Rest

    Yes, go to sleep.  The mistake I see most people making when building muscle or doing any type of training is over training.  When it comes to learning how to jump higher or building muscle, less work is better.
    You don’t build muscle in the gym.  You tear it down there.  You build muscle in your sleep and on your days off.  While sleeping, your body repairs itself by releasing a lot of hormones it needs to repair muscles.
    So if you want to be better at any sport, it’s absolutely imperative that you get 8 or 9 hours of sleep each night.  Train hard, and then get the heck out of there.  Give your whole body, central nervous system, hormonal system, and muscles, time to recover before you hit it again.

4. Nutrition

    No, this doesn’t mean go and grab the closest “nutritional supplement”.  It simply means, eat right by getting the right amount of carbs, fats (yes you need the good kind), and proteins.
    Your calorie requirements will depend on your weight, level of activity, body fat, and age mainly.  So it’ll be about different for everyone.
    Find out how many calories you need a day to build muscle and consume that amount each day by eating the right foods.


These are the four main principles that building muscle properly is built on.

As you can see from experience, there are many ways to get this wrong, but many ways to vary it up a bit.

If you get these down and implement them correctly and consistently, you’ll see steady growth.

Your new found strength will in turn help you dominate your sport.

For a step-by-step blueprint to improve your vertical jump, check out the Jump Manual.

About the author

Mitchell is the author of FitWithMitch.com, a website dedicated to showing the beginner how to build muscle with weight training.

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23 Responses to “4 Principles To Build Muscle, Jump Higher and Dominate Your Sport”

  1. Ekam Says:

    so how often should we change the exercises
    right now this is what i’m doing for the upper body

    bench press
    lat pulldown
    shoulder press
    bicep curl
    triceps pushdown

    i’ve been doing it for 6 weeks now, should i change all the exercises?


    • Jim Says:

      It is a normally accepted training technique to keep your core exercises throughout a program but as Micheal suggested your assistance work should vary every two to three weeks. Many lifters have experienced gains in strength when they return to the first exercises.


    • Mitchell Says:

      @ Ekam, yes, I would recommend changing exercises. If you’re a complete beginner, you can get away with doing the same exercise and seeing growth for 4-6 weeks. More advanced lifters should change every 2-3 weeks. The exercises you’re doing are great compound exercises and should be a staple in your workout plan from time to time.


    • Trever Doge Says:

      yes change it up…that sounds like a weak workout, and it depends on what ur tryin to do like if u wanna jump u better be doing more squating and sprinting.


  2. Barry Says:


    Well, the post is good if you want to change your body aesthetically and lift more weight (become stronger), but to do what is suggested and quote: “Your new found strength will in turn help you dominate your sport” is so just not accurate at all.

    Skinny Tiger Woods was ALWAYS a great athlete. He was killin it when he was a skinny 18 year old. In fact, his injuries are due to his crazy style of weight training. Lebron James..he was a phenom at 14 years old. Getting bigger did not make him better.

    Hershel Walker never touched a barbell. Terrell Owens uses bands.

    A paradigm shift has taken place when it comes to training athletes. Thousands of trainers from all over the world are changing their style to fucntional training, core conditioning and focusing on athletic movement with resistance. Not only does this help make an athlete more powerful, jump higher, react quicker etc, but is aids greatly in the prevention of injury.

    Sorry, but this is so far from the truth and reality. “good old fashion weight lifting” will in no way make one a better athlete. In fact, it will decrease their athletic ability due to the stress and strain in their joints.

    How often do you see an athlete (other than a power lifter) need to press as much as they can by laying flat on the floor? How often are you in a stable position (as in weight training) on the field of play pushing as much weight as possibly just to, well, push as much weight as possible.

    This post seems like it is written in 1970 (switching names with today’s athletes) and is so far off. This is why people are so confused and athletes/coaches not knowing what to do.

    I suggest that Mitchell follow some of the top athlete trainers in the world who are incorporating proprioception, core conditioning and functional training with their athletes.


    • Gandhi Says:

      WOW …..

      Barry, you said a mouth full. I totally agree with EVERYTHING you posted. As I was reading the initial post, I thought, not again. More of the same missinformation. I’m glad you spoke out as I typically don’t. I find it hard to change the views of ours


      • barry Says:

        haha..thanks Ganghi..

        Our friend Kwami certainly doesn’t think so :)

        We are all right in our own philosophies…;)


    • Mitchell Says:

      @Barry, I do agree with your reply, but I think you took the purpose of this article out of context. I never suggested any lifts or any exercises. The purpose of this article was merely to give you the foundation. These principles can just as easily be taken over to functional training – which I did a lot of for track. We did most of our weight training in the off season to build strength. And later trained that muscle with different running exercises. You can always retrain a muscle, but what’s the use of retraining a weak muscle?


  3. popoballer Says:

    thank you this helps alot


  4. trenten Says:

    i do alternate evry other day but run a mile every day to condition


  5. kwame Says:

    Wow bary your comments are so uneducated its amazing. If you think lebron james, or any athlete would be good as they are without improved strength, vertical, overall athleticism. You my frind, are just insane. And he never said that weight training does it. He was just saying that this is how you get stronger THROUGH weight training.


    • barry Says:

      Hey Kwame..

      You are 100& correct..I have NO CLUE what I am talking about..You are right.

      If you got to the end of his post he said the following:

      “If you get these down and implement them correctly and consistently, you’ll see steady growth.

      Your new found strength will in turn help you dominate your sport.”

      HE said it which is why I responded with my uneducated words of wisdom..:)


  6. kwame Says:

    Sive and athleticism are very important to the sport you play. Skinny tiger isn’t as good as stronger tiger, and 14 year old(even 20 year old) lebron isn’t as good as lebron of today is without size and athleticism, why do you there isn’t many 5’8 unathletic people in any sport really(a few exceptions) playing professionally?


  7. jamaal Says:

    i need to know what i have to do to jump higher


  8. kwame Says:

    Yes, and everything he said was pertaining to gaining threw weight training, not the way terrell does it, or herschel walker does it. He’s telling you how to maximize your potential threw weightlifting. And having strength and athleticism is what maximizes your potential in your sport. You will never see a small, weak, and unathletic person rule a game of football or basketball. Thank you for acknowledging your incorrect statements and embracing my knowledgeable ones!


  9. kwame Says:

    Like saying lebron getting bigger didn’t help is absolutely absurd. Your telling me a if lebron was same size, strength, etc. He would still do what he does today in the NBA? Are you telling me that a 6’6 220 pound shaq would put up the same numbers as a 7’1 300 shaq? Hell shaq’s size is a lot of what makes him the player he is today.


  10. Marko Says:

    Dude barry u have no clue what your talking. Ever since I started lifting weights I improved and average over 20 points a game and I’ve been dunking wayy easier. And I’m the kid that played Kobe Bryant one on one at his camp. Look it up on YouTube.


  11. Trever Doge Says:

    I already know these things it is not like this is some sort of great training program we have been handed. Give us the insider info that you only the professional basketball players get.


  12. Mitchell Says:

    @Trevor, I can’t speak for pro basketball players because I’m not one. But this article was meant for those that don’t know these principles or have forgotten them. These are the foundations to which every effective weight training program is built on.


  13. kalleigh Says:

    i just want a website or program that shows u step by step on how to jump higher and not all of this just saying’ur body is this and this is a good program and blah blah blah just tell me how to jump higher!!!


  14. Ekam Says:

    do you guys know a good way to find out how many calories you need in a day


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