But taking every set past muscle failure is counterproductive and won't maximize muscle gains. Instead, take just 1-2 sets of an exercise to complete muscle failure. In fact, on all sets in which you train fairly heavy—designated as sets in which you do 6-8 reps to muscle failure—rest a bit longer than normal to ensure that you're not fatigued from the previous set.
You want to consume about 250 calories less than what you usually eat to maintain your current weight. Consider doing a Paleo-type diet in which you reduce or eliminate carbs completely and go heavy on protein and good fats . To make sure that any weight gained is from muscle, Fitzgerald recommends that the bulk of those calories come from protein. In it, sport scientists recruited 19 athletic, non-vegetarian subjects with an average age of 21.