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How to gain muscle fast

Patience is overrated—especially in the weight room and especially when it comes to those focused on a specific outcome: To grow muscle.

Sure, change takes time, but if you’re vying to grow and build muscle and aren’t seeing obvious size increases from month to month, it’s a sign that your approach is off. And a workout is a terrible thing to waste. Plus, even if you are seeing progress, there’s no reason you can’t see more.

How do you rev up your results? Here are nine ways.

1. Increase Your Training Volume

Training volume—your number of reps multiplied by your number of sets—is a primary determiner of hypertrophy (aka how to grow muscle). And to increase volume, you may actually need to go lower in weight than you might guess.

“Compared to training for strength, intensity is going to drop during the hypertrophy phase of a program, with intensity sitting between 50 and 75 percent of the person’s 1RM, the maximum weight he or she can lift for one rep,” says Ava Fitzgerald, C.S.C.S., C.P.T., a sports performance coach with the Professional Athletic Performance Center in New York.

To get the volume your muscles need, she recommends performing each of your lifts for three to six sets of 10 to 20 reps.

2. Focus on the Eccentric Phase

When lifting any weight, you’ve got a concentric (hard) and eccentric (easy) phase. For instance, as you lower into a squat, you’re performing an eccentric action. When you return to standing, that’s concentric. And, according to research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, eccentric work is far better at triggering hypertrophy.

To increase the amount of eccentric effort in your workout, you can do two things: either slow down the eccentric phase of each exercise you perform or integrate eccentric-only variations into your routine.

Take the squat, for example: To make it eccentric-only, you would lower to the floor, and end the exercise there. Note: If you’re trying eccentric-only exercises, you’ll need to substantially increase the weight that you use. Physiologically, muscles are far stronger moving eccentrically than they are concentrically.

How to gain muscle fast

SPARTAN Helmet Kettlebell

3. Decrease Between-Set Rest Intervals

If you touch your phone between exercise sets, it better be to set its timer to 30 to 90 seconds. When lifting for hypertrophy, rest periods of 30 to 90 seconds encourage a quick release in muscle-building hormones (including testosterone and human growth hormone) while also making sure that you really, truly fatigue your muscles, according to Fitzgerald.

Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology last year suggests that, irrespective of rep and set scheme, fatiguing your muscles is a prerequisite for hypertrophy. Don’t be afraid to feel the burn.

4. To Grow Muscle, Eat More Protein

Exercise training breaks down your muscles. Protein builds them back up. And the harder your lifting workouts, the more important of the muscle-building foods to consider is protein intake to solidify recovery, Fitzgerald explains.

According to research from the University of Stirling, for optimal protein growth, weight lifters need to eat 0.25 to 0.30 grams of protein per kilogram body weight per meal. For a 175-pound person, that works out to 20 to 24 grams of protein at every meal. You’ll get that in three to four eggs, a cup of Greek yogurt, or one scoop of protein powder.

5. Focus on Calorie Surpluses, Not Deficits

This can be a hard one to get used to, especially for those who are used to counting calories in the hopes of losing weight. But to most effectively build muscle mass quickly (that means weight gained, not lost), you need to consume more calories than you burn each day.

That’s because, when your body senses that it’s in a calorie deficit—meaning you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning each day—it downshifts your body’s tendency to build new muscle. After all, if your body thinks food is in short supply, getting swole isn’t going to be its main priority.

Aim to eat roughly 250 to 500 extra calories per day. To make sure that any weight gained is from muscle, Fitzgerald recommends that the bulk of those calories come from protein. In a 2014 Pennington Biomedical Research Center study, people who ate a high-calorie diet rich in protein stored about 45 percent of those calories as muscle, while those following a low-protein diet with the same number of calories stored 95 percent of those calories as fat.

6. Snack on Casein Before Bed

Long popular among bodybuilders, casein protein absorbs slowly into the bloodstream, meaning it keeps your muscles fed with amino acids for longer compared to other types of protein such as whey and plant proteins. In one Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise study, consuming casein protein immediately before bed boosted young men’s levels of circulating amino acids for 7.5 hours; they built muscle all night long while they slept.

To get some pre-bed casein, try cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and milk. For smoothie lovers, casein-based protein powder works like a charm.

7. Get More Sleep

Muscle recovery requires more than the right nutrition. It takes time—roughly eight hours per night—dedicated to recovery, Fitzgerald says. After all, when you sleep, your body releases human growth hormone, which helps grow muscle and keeps levels of the stress hormone cortisol in check.

Plus, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, sleeping for five hours, as opposed to eight hours, per night for just one week cuts muscle-building testosterone levels by a whopping 10 to 15 percent.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 sleep seven to nine hours per night. No excuses.

8. Try Supplementing with Creatine.

Creatine doesn’t directly grow muscle. But by boosting your performances at high-intensity lifting workouts, the natural compound effectively promotes muscle growth, according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

In fact, in one Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research review, researchers concluded that, at a given weight, supplementing with creatine can help you lift 14 percent more reps than you can sans supplements.

For the best results, opt for creatine monohydrate, the most thoroughly researched form of the supplement.

9. . and HMB

A natural compound produced in the human body, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate prevents muscle-protein breakdown, encourages muscle growth, and speeds exercise recovery.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to significantly increase levels through food alone. That’s where supplementation comes in. For instance, in one 12-week study of resistance-trained individuals, taking HMB in tandem with a high-intensity lifting routine significantly improved muscle strength and size compared to lifting alone. Plus, in the off-chance that you push yourself too hard, HMB helps prevent the effects of overtraining—including muscle loss.

To boost your efforts to grow muscle, you can take HMB supplements solo or opt for protein and creatine powders that come with HMB baked right in.

Follow these key training tips to accelerate your muscle growth.

How to gain muscle fast

Building a dream body takes days, weeks, and months of persistent work in the gym and sticking to a clean diet. We can throw every saying in the book at you: Rome wasn’t built in a day; slow and steady wins the race; there are no shortcuts to any place worth going; etc.

We’ve preached patience and dedication for years, but we also understand that sometimes you just need to add mass quickly. Perhaps you have a show coming up and you need bigger guns, or you’re looking to impress someone you found on a dating app. Whatever the reason, there are ways to speed up your muscle gains.

These tips won’t make muscles magically appear, but following them will ensure a great pump quicker than whatever it is you’re doing right now.

Just keep in mind that these quick fixes are no substitute for smart programming and clean eating — while these will certainly make you look better, the quest for overall fitness and health is one that still takes some time to achieve. On that note, these tips will do nothing for you if you’re eating like garbage or not getting enough rest.

The basic tenets of bodybuilding and training should still be adhered to, even when you’re trying to speed up your muscle gains a little bit.

How to gain muscle fast

The 15 Most Basic Facts about Building Muscle

The best way to get ripped is to go back to the simple solutions that actually work.

It can be tempting to step on the scale following a week of intense workouts at the gym to check whether you’ve gained any muscle – but chances are, you haven’t.

In reality, building muscle doesn’t happen overnight – and it requires significant work and commitment to see results.

Noticeable, substantial muscle gain is more likely to take years rather than months and the amount of muscle weight gain possible in a month is actually quite small.

Any drastic weight fluctuations over the course of a month are typically the result of fluid loss or retention – and not new, bulging muscles.

How many pounds can you build in a month?

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The amount of muscle any one person can gain in a month varies, according to SPEAR physical therapist Marc Jacobchick, DPT.

“The maximum amount of muscle you can gain in one month differs not only between men and women, but also between each individual,” Jacobchick told The Independent. “Variables such as training intensity, volume, frequency, genetic makeup, diet, rest, and hormonal levels each have a specific effect on muscle gain.”

However, even if your diet is perfect and you maintain a flawless workout regime, do not expect to see a significant weight difference in just a month’s time.

“With all of those things considered, the average man can gain about one to two pounds of muscle per month and the average woman up to one pound per month,” Jacobchick told us.

Exercises that build muscle quicker

Although certain exercises do not make it possible to build more than, at most, a couple pounds of muscle at a time, there are some that will help you build muscle faster in the long run.

Jacobchick told us: “Heavy resistance exercises have been shown to build muscle quicker than light resistance exercises and cardio” – the foundation of the overload principle.

For muscles to change, and grow, the “stimulus (exercise) must be great enough to cause small tears in the muscle that, with rest and proper nutrition, will grow back bigger and stronger than before,” he said.

Essentially, to build muscle, you must use your muscles.

Workouts that involve lifting weights are suitable – and recommended – for muscle gain, whereas cardio-based exercise will result in minimal results.

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“Based on the overload principle, the stimulus of cardiovascular exercise is usually insufficient to cause significant muscle gain,” Jacobchick told us. “Think about it: your muscles don’t need to get bigger and stronger to gain endurance, they need to be bigger and stronger to lift heavier weights.”

Benji Tiger, a personal trainer at OrangeTheory, agreed.

“To gain muscle, you should be doing weight training and minimal cardio,” Tiger told The Independent. “Just doing cardio helps to lose excess body fat, but doing too much can actually result in your body burning through muscle.”

How diet affects your ability to gain muscle

Another thing to consider when working towards muscle gain is your eating habits.

If the number on the scale is rising steadily and frequently, the weight gained may be the result of fat gain and not muscle, if liquid retention isn’t the case.

While you can still gain muscle even if you are eating poorly, a diet of mostly saturated or fatty foods will hinder muscle growth rather than support it.

According to Jacobchick, the “quality, quantity, and timing of your diet have a direct impact on your ability to gain muscle.”

For those serious about gaining muscle, the best foods to eat are natural and high in protein.

Timing is important as it is integral to refuel your muscles after straining them.

For the best results, Jacobchick recommends eating within 30 minutes to an hour of working out – as it’s the “optimal time for your muscles to take in the protein that you ingest and begin the rebuilding process.”

Building muscles may be a slow process, but the dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle will show over time.

How to gain muscle fast

You don't need an expensive gym membership to gain muscle mass. With just a few pieces of equipment or your own body weight, you can learn how to build muscle fast at home with some challenging at-home workouts.

But before you dive into a new training session, brush up on some of the most important parts of muscle gain and learn how you can make them work for you anywhere you choose to train.

The Fastest Way to Build Muscle at Home

There's good news and bad news about building muscle fast when you're just starting a resistance-training program. The bad news is that during the first few weeks of your program, you might not make any gains at all.

A September 2016 study in the ​Journal of Physiology​ found that while muscle damage — necessary for muscle growth — was highest among untrained subjects in the first three weeks of a resistance-training program, it was not associated with hypertrophy (increased muscle size and strength). This is because, when you're brand new to a workout, your body focuses on repairing damage, rather than building mass.

But don't give up! As your body adapts to exercise, you experience less muscle damage after training sessions and greater muscle growth.

Rate of Muscle Gain

The good news is that you only have to wait about three weeks until your body starts building muscle, rather than just repairing damage. After that period, you can put on muscle relatively quickly. Beginners gain muscle at a faster rate than intermediate and advanced lifters, according to Eric Bach, CSCS, a strength and conditioning coach.

Generally, new lifters start to see strength gain within the first 8 to 12 resistance training sessions, according to a December 2019 study published in the ​International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health​. More experienced athletes, though, usually need to consistently vary their training program, as their muscles start to adapt after a period of time.

Volume and Frequency

Whether you're working out in a gym or at home, workout volume and frequency — in addition to your diet — are the biggest factors in building muscle fast. Although you should be conservative in the first few weeks while your body adapts to exercise, after that you build more muscle by working out at a high intensity and with a high volume of sets and reps.

Volume is crucial for hypertrophy. according to a June 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis in the ​Journal of Sports Science​. In the 15 studies analyzed, researchers found that each additional set of an exercise led to an increase in muscle size. This means that the more sets you can get in, the faster you'll see growth.

As for frequency, a November 2016 meta-analysis in ​Sports Medicine​ found that training each major muscle group twice a week proved more effective for hypertrophy than only training once a week.

The researchers could not, however, determine if training muscle groups three times per week causes greater increases. But if more volume leads to more hypertrophy, then it's safe to say getting in three workouts per week per muscle group certainly can't hurt.

Ideal Repetition Range

There are a lot of opinions on the best number of strength training reps and sets and the best rest period length between sets to build mass. As far as reps go, the usual recommendation is 8 to 12 reps per set for hypertrophy, with higher reps being more effective for muscular endurance and lower reps more effective for strength.

However, it might not actually matter that much. A July 2016 study in the ​Journal of Applied Physiology​ found that there was no difference in muscle growth between participants who lifted lower weight for more reps compared to those who lifted heavier for less reps.

When you're working out at home, it mainly depends on your available equipment (more on that below). If you only have your own body weight to work with, you need to do more reps to exhaust your muscles.

Sets and Rest

When you're starting out, aim for 10 to 12 sets per muscle group, per week. As you start to see results and your body adapts, you should add more sets for more volume. With this approach, you can build muscle at home and improve your overall fitness.

In a January 2019 study in ​Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise​, people who did 5 sets per exercise per body part achieved significantly more muscle growth than those who performed 1 or 3 sets. In total, the group that saw the most gains did 30 sets for the upper body and 45 sets for the lower body per week.

Rest periods between sets for hypertrophy are generally 60 to 180 seconds. However, you may want to lean toward the end of that range. Resting 3 minutes between sets results in more mass than resting just a minute, according to an a July 2016 study in the ​Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research​.

Equipment for Gaining Muscle at Home

Do you really need equipment to build muscle and strength? The answer is a resounding no, according to Al Kavadlo, CSCS, a certified strength and conditioning coach. Classic body-weight exercises, like push-ups, pull-ups and squats, are enough for beginners to start building muscle quickly at home.

But some people like using equipment, and that's fine, too. You can outfit your workout space with the essential at-home workout equipment — or more, depending on your budget — that will allow you to do a variety of fun and challenging exercises in your home workout. For the essentials, consider buying:

If you have the budget and the space, you can consider investing in:

Best Exercises for Fast Gains

Now the really confusing part — which exercises should you do to build muscle at home? The exercises you choose can be either compound, or multi-joint, moves like squats and pull-ups, or they can be isolation, or single-joint, exercises like biceps and hamstrings curls. Which is better for hypertrophy?

This is hotly debated in the fitness field, but according to research, both are equally effective. After observing biceps growth between people who used either compound or isolation exercises, in a June 2015 ​Asian Journal of Sports Medicine​ study, researchers saw no big difference.

The researchers concluded that exercise selection should be based on individual preference, time commitment and available equipment.

Compound Exercises

You're not going to have as much variety at home as at the gym — no machines, maybe not even dumbbells or resistance bands. In that case, compound exercises that use large muscle groups and activate a lot of muscle fibers at once are going to be your best bet.

How to gain muscle fast

Nothing is more frustrating than slaving away at the gym, and not seeing results. Too often, people hurriedly scramble from machine to machine without a second thought towards compound exercises. Usually, this is because of time constraints, lack of motivation, or the free-weight section seems too intimidating.

While machines are great, they rob you of acute growth hormone signaling and opportunities to work harder by using precious stabilizing muscles. Trying to sculpt a chiseled physique without these bread-and-butter exercises is a fool’s errand.

Squats

There’s a reason this exercise is the king. It not only incorporates the entire lower body, but causes the body to respond by naturally releasing a burst of anabolic hormones. Squats are physically demanding, and will stimulate the muscle recruitment and appetite you need to grow.

With all of their benefits, squats can place harsh compression and stress on the spine and joints unless performed properly. Always warm up with a weight you are comfortable with, and always have a spotter with you when possible.

To properly perform a squat, keep your legs about shoulder-width apart and keep your eyes pointing straight ahead. Flex and tighten your abs and glutes throughout the movement. Bring your glutes down as close as possible to your ankles.

You should never reach a dead stop, as soon are you approach the bottom of the movement you should be squeezing your glutes and using them to help power yourself back up for the next rep.

Deadlifts

The steely sinews of the back can be especially resilient to training and growth. It is much more common for forearms to fatigue and give out before the back does. The first recommendation is to get a decent set of lifting wraps to ensure full back exhaustion.

One of the more powerful exercises for stimulating growth hormone release, the deadlift can also be dangerous unless proper form is followed. After loading a comfortable weight on the bar, keep your feet about shoulder-width apart with toes pointing forward.

How to gain muscle fast

There are no shortcuts for building muscle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to build muscle fast — you’ll just need to implement a few key strategies and stay very consistent with your routine. And no, before you ask, building muscle for women doesn’t mean automatically mean you’ll get “bulky.” (Reminder: there’s also nothing wrong with that.) You can build lean muscle, add muscle tone and strength, and look more defined with strategic training and nutrition.

If you’re looking to build lean muscle fast, it helps to know exactly what kind of timeline to expect. ACSM-certified personal trainer and registered dietitian Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, said the average beginner can expect to gain two to four pounds of muscle in their first two months of training. To achieve these results and hit your muscle growth goals, follow this advice from these two experts, who are both registered dietitians and certified personal trainers.

How to Train to Gain Muscle

Although getting muscle gains is equal parts diet and exercise, how you train makes a big difference.

  • Do full-body strength workouts three times a week. White recommends three full-body strength workouts per week. Within each workout, aim to do eight- to 12-rep rounds of each exercise, “which promotes muscle hypertrophy (maximal muscle growth).”
  • Pick a weight that feels doable, but challenging. Experiment with lifting dumbbells and kettlebells. Try choosing a weight light enough that you can complete the eight- to 12-rep sets, but that still feels like a challenge. If it feels too easy, go heavier; if it feels too hard to complete only a few reps, go lighter.

Muscle-building exercises to add to your workouts include:

If you’re looking to get started, check out this beginner’s four-week strength-training program.

What to Eat to Gain Muscle

Nutrition is also key when it comes to building muscle. You want to make sure you’re fueling your body properly to support your rigorous workouts and eventually see gains.

  • Make sure you eat enough protein. For muscle growth, White recommends eating about 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight each day. For a 150-pound person, that’s 82 to 136 grams of protein a day.
  • Eat about 20 grams of protein every four hours. It’s a good idea to split up your protein consumption across the day. Registered dietitian and certified personal trainer Marisa Michael, MS, NCCPT, told POPSUGAR that eating about 20 grams of protein every four hours or so will stimulate muscle building and repair.
  • Eat protein with high amounts of leucine. Michael recommended prioritizing leucine, which is an essential amino acid that plays an important role in synthesizing protein. It can be found in whey, dairy, meat, and eggs, and for vegans in soy, white beans, kidney beans, lentils, and peanuts.

You also need to be eating in a calorie surplus to see those gains. Michael said that you need those extra calories to build new muscle tissue. “Women sometimes don’t eat enough overall calories,” she said. “When they are trying to build muscle, calorie intake is important!” She added that when you train hard but don’t get enough calories, it makes you less likely to hit your goals and is more likely to have a negative impact on your bone density and lead to decreased immunity and mood disturbances.

  • Carbs fuel your workouts. Michael explained that your body uses carbs as fuel for exercises. If you’re lacking energy during your strength workouts, you’ll be less efficient and lose stamina more quickly, which means you’ll be getting less out of the moves.
  • Using carbs for energy frees up protein for muscle building. If your body doesn’t have enough carbs to use as an energy source for your everyday activity, it’ll start using protein — which could otherwise be used for muscle repair, Michael said. By ensuring you eat adequate amounts of carbs, you’ll encourage your body to use carbs for that energy and protein for muscle-building.
  • Your body processes protein better if carbs are available. White told POPSUGAR in a previous interview that your body is better able to utilize protein if you have carbs available as well. Carbs are important for a muscle-repair process called “muscle glycogen resynthesis,” he added.

Although you should meet with a registered dietitian to find out your exact calorie target for gains, White said about 300 calories more than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is a good place to start to see muscle growth. As for your macros, he recommends focusing on carbs, with a general macro breakdown of 50 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 20 percent fat.

Building Muscle With Sleep and Rest Days

Although working out is important, you should be mindful of taking rest days, especially as you’re just starting out. If you are strength training three days a week, spread out those days to every other day and throw in some cardio days or active recovery days in between. Rest days give your muscles time to rebuild and repair.

Also, sleep is crucial. Make sure you are logging an average of seven hours a night; this also gives your body time to repair and recover. And if you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to head to the gym with energy and crush your workouts.

Find out how consuming too much protein can harm your body.

Seems like everyone at the gym is doing it: filling up on protein to bulk up those biceps. But it’s a misconception. Eating extra protein actually doesn’t do much toward boosting your muscle mass and strength.

In fact, medical research shows that consuming too much protein — more than 30% of your total daily caloric intake — could actually harm your body, says protein expert Gail Butterfield, PhD, RD, director of Nutrition Studies at the Palo Alto Veterans’ Administration Medical Center and nutrition lecturer at Stanford University.

She says that a diet containing excess protein can have the following adverse effects:

  • Adding more protein but not more calories or exercise to your diet won’t help you build more muscle mass, but it may put your other bodily systems under stress.
  • Eating more protein and increasing total caloric intake while maintaining the same exercise level will build an equal amount of additional fat and muscle mass, according to a study published in 1992 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Too Much Protein

So think twice when you consider sacrificing the carbohydrates for a protein-dominant diet, Butterfield says. Drastically cutting carbohydrates from your diet may force your body to fight back.

She says that’s because a diet in which protein makes up more than 30% of your caloric intake causes a buildup of toxic ketones. So-called ketogenic diets can thrust your kidneys into overdrive in order to flush these ketones from your body. As your kidneys rid your body of these toxic ketones, you can lose a significant amount of water, which puts you at risk of dehydration, particularly if you exercise heavily.

That water loss often shows up on the scale as weight loss. But along with losing water, you lose muscle mass and bone calcium. The dehydration also strains your kidneys and puts stress on your heart.

And dehydration from a ketogenic diet can make you feel weak and dizzy, give you bad breath, or lead to other problems.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The amount of protein you require depends on your weight and your daily caloric intake. Most Americans consume more than enough protein in their daily diets. A few specific groups of people are at risk for being protein-deficient, including elderly women and people with illnesses or eating disorders. A protein deficiency is defined as eating 50% to 75% of the recommended amount of daily protein, Butterfield explains.

Ideally, you should consume 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight, according to recommended daily allowances (RDA) set by the Food and Nutrition Board. So if you weigh 170 pounds, you need about 61 grams of protein each day.

Protein should also make up approximately 15% of your total daily caloric intake, also according to the RDA. In a diet of 1,800 calories a day, for example, about 270 of those calories should come from protein.

It’s Essential

Although limiting protein intake is important, you should also realize that protein is essential to our bodies’ normal functions. It assists in synthesizing enzymes and hormones, maintaining fluid balance, and regulating such vital functions as building antibodies against infection, blood clotting, and scar formation.

Protein is also a building block for our muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, hair, and blood. Protein-rich foods include meat, cheese, milk, fish, and eggs. For vegetarians, protein can be found in soy products such as tofu as well as in combinations of foods, such as rice or corn with beans.

Whether you are an avid strength trainer, a marathon runner, or just an average exerciser, a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, and complex carbohydrates is what nutritionists recommend.

So after reading my post on “Can You Gain Muscle Fast Without Drugs?“, you will now understand that it simply isn’t possible to make the gains that magazines, websites and drug takers claim, without using drugs, but the good news is that you can make REAL and significant gains. What is important however is that you exploit your body’s natural potential by applying the following tips and techniques to ensure that you gain the most size and strength that is naturally possible.

1) Optimize Your Protein Intake – Notice that I say optimize not maximise! If you haven’t already, read my article on protein supplementation to understand exactly how much protein to ingest, how often, and most importantly, when to have it. It is a complicated topic on the surface that is very simple when you understand it and can lead to good gains. In a nutshell take 20g of protein within 20 minutes to 2 hours post workout, and aim for between 60 – 100 grams per day to maximise your gains.

2) Concentrate on Strength and the Size Will Follow – I cannot think of anyone who is very strong but doesn’t have incredible underlying muscle structure. I can on the other hand think of several people who have far more muscle than me but who I can out lift with ease. Strength builds muscle – fact. If you want to gain muscle fast, concentrate on lifting heavy (with good technique!) and the size will follow. Heavy lifting also results in incredible density which is far more desirable than the “balloon like” steroid appearance.

3) Take Adequate Rest Days – Many of the routines in the bodybuilding world advocate training 6 or 7 days a week. If you are training properly, this places tremendous stress on the body, and without the aid of steroids or drugs, the body simply cannot recover. The muscles need time to recover and grow and overtraining them does not aid them. Believe it or not if you train 4-5 days a week you will have far better quality sessions and gain more muscle compared to 6-7 days a week. Try it if you want to gain muscle fast. Less effort with more gains – how can you complain!

4) Use Compound Movements – You will get far more gains by using compound exercises such as squat, clean, deadliest and so on when compared to isolation exercises like biceps curl. You work several muscles at once and their use results in a solid appearance which will set you apart from the rest. Read my article on “how to get a six pack” to understand how they can also result in a ripping mid section as a by product.

5) Be Careful With Supplements – If you’ve read my articles on protein supplements and creatine supplementation, you will know that both of these can yield beneficial results. Be aware however that almost every other supplement on the market is little more than a gimmick designed to extract money from your wallet. There is no scientific evidence behind them and all the claims on the tub are simple made up. Sounds far fetched but it’s true. An interesting fact to note is that for most of the supplements on the market the packaging costs more than the product to produce. That should tell you all you need to know.

6) Legs, Legs, Legs – If you want to gain muscle fast this is vitally important. Every gym has its fair share of people with large chest and biceps with skinny chicken legs hiding under those tactically long shorts. The legs contain the largest muscle groups in the body, so it makes sense to train them if you want to grow! Miss legs and miss out.

7) Ensure Adequate Calorie Intake – Beware of trying to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. To gain muscle, never mind gain muscle fast, you need to be in a positive energy balance. Despite what people say, it is simply not possible to gain any decent amount of muscle if you are dieting.

8) Get Adequate Sleep – Work yourself as hard as you want but if you don’t sleep afterwards you will simply not gain muscle. Doing nothing is as important as training. Look at any world class athlete’s schedule and it is dominated by rest. There is no exact figure that fits everyone, but what is important is that you sleep when you’re tired and have enough to feel rested when you wake up. If you want to gain muscle fast this is a must!

9) Vary Your Exercises – Each muscle can only grow at a certain rate over time. By changing your exercises on a regular basis you ensure that every muscle gets trained and has a chance to grow. Read around and discover new exercises and regimes and give them a try.

10) Don’t Underestimate Trial and Error – Nobody gets to where they want to be without making mistakes and learning from them. Everybody has different abilities, mechanics and genetics. Some exercise and combinations will work better for certain groups than others. Don’t just blindly follow what people tell you to and expect to gain muscle fast. If something doesn’t work for you after a month, use your initiative and make changes and try again. Spend time developing your tools and then you will be able to apply them for evermore.

Apply this advice, be patient, train smart and you will gain muscle fast – it’s as simple as that and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Comments

Douglas Chitwood says

Makes all the sense in the world.
I work in a factory loading small to big boxes all day, 8 to 10 hours 3 to 4 days a week. I take a small amount of protein in the morning, a bit also when I get home. I walk during this time at work apron 28 to 35 miles a day picking and loading. I am beat by the end of the day, I am 41yo and in great health. I am easily dehydrated. You say it can be the protein, after just getting out of ER 2 hours ago I think you are right. I would like to get cut again like I was in the Marines and ask of you what would be a good way to get it back, loose weight my be easy but I do need extra food to keep going. Really enjoyed your articles btw. I don’t really want to change my diet but do not know another way. Maby you can help. Thank you…

Brandon French says

“You can not do it” “It is too hard for you” “Just give up” let us be honest, have you ever heard these words when talking about how you want to gain muscle fast? Either you RARELY hear them or you NEVER hear them at all. You see, it is all in your head, all those negative thoughts that you CAN NOT do it? What are you talking about? Of course you can do it! The proper question is WILL you do it? Some people tend to overthink and trust me, their greatest enemy is not anyone else but themselves. Think of it this way, no matter how many people look down on you through the day, when you get home, YOU are the last person to give yourself advice and pick yourself up. Let us just face it, to get something done, you just have to do it, right? Working out and the right supplements for building muscle fast are not going to work if you do not have the right mindset.

I love to learn how to build our muscle naturally without using drugs…

How to gain muscle fastby Kelley Vargo
on July 02, 2015

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How to gain muscle fastby Kelley Vargo
on July 02, 2015

One of the biggest misconceptions about weight lifting is this myth that it will cause women to “get big.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. On the other hand, many women who “lift” weights constantly pick up the same 5-pound dumbbells week after week and wonder why they don’t see any aesthetic changes in their physique. This could be for a number of reasons, but for the sake of this article, we will be discussing the impact of weight training.

Before we get into the “how” of weight training, let’s look at some proven principles and clear up some misconceptions.

1. Lift heavy.

To stimulate muscle growth, or hypertrophy, a stimulus must be placed on the muscle. As mentioned previously, women tend to typically stick with weights that they are comfortable using for a full three sets. However, a greater stimulus must be placed on the muscles to see any real changes. You need to get out of your comfort zone and put greater physiological demands on your muscles. Once you can make this paradigm shift in your mind, you will be able to make substantial progress in both your strength and muscle gains.

2. How to choose the right weight.

Women often underestimate their strength and, by default, grab the lighter weights. This is a mistake. Instead, choose a weight that can be lifted 10 times, with the last two reps posing a significant challenge. It is important to maintain good form when performing your exercises. As soon as you notice your form starting to fail, drop the amount of weight being lifted or take a rest. The goal here is to lift heavy and well, not lift heavy and get hurt. Be sure to have a spotter when performing exercises such as a back squat, bench presses and overhead presses, especially when going up in weight.

3. Sets and reps.

The typical recommendation for building muscle is to complete three to four sets of eight to 12 reps of an exercise. If you choose a heavier weight and do fewer repetitions (e.g., 3 to 6), you’re more likely to gain muscle strength, while lighter weights and higher repetitions lead to gains in muscle endurance. If you’re aiming for greater strength, take a little extra rest time between sets. If you want to increase muscles size, reduce the amount of rest you take between sets.

4. Frequency.

One of the most important elements to achieving muscle gains is consistency, so aim to weight train four to five days a week, if possible. Recording your exercises and weights in a journal is a great way to track gains. You can have good intentions to lift heavy, but the only way you will know if you are getting stronger is by writing down the sets, reps and weights used during each workout. Another thing to consider is the breakdown of your weight-training sessions. Will you perform total-body workouts or focus exclusively on upper- or lower-body exercises? Or maybe two body parts per workout? Whatever you end up deciding, the key is consistency and overload.

5. Choosing your exercises.

There are countless ways to create a workout to gain muscle mass. Ideally, perform exercises requiring larger muscle groups first, such as squat/squat variations, bench press, deadlifts, lat pull-downs and overhead press. Doing so enables you to expend greater energy on these movements, while still being able to perform well on smaller movements toward the end of your workout. Choose six to eight exercises to perform on any given day. You can split them up into circuits or do them separately, keeping your rest in between sets around 60 seconds.

Sample Muscle-building Exercises

As mentioned above, stimulating muscle growth happens when muscles are pushed beyond their comfort zones. Be sure to include some of these movements into your workout to maximize your muscle hypertrophy.

Squat

How to gain muscle fast

Whether you choose heavy dumbbells, a barbell or the squat rack, this exercise is great for shaping and building muscle in your quads and glutes. Maintaining proper form is key, so gradually add weight as you train while maintaining good form. Ideally, when you look into the mirror, you should pretend you are sitting in a chair at the bottom of your squat, with your heels on the ground and hips back.

Shoulder Press

How to gain muscle fast

There are a number of shoulder-press variations, including the dumbbell press, Arnold press and behind-the-neck press. These exercises are great for the shoulders, traps and upper body. Don’t be afraid to add some weight, and be sure to have a spotter if you are really pushing yourself.

Deadlift

How to gain muscle fast

Whether you choose the single-leg or traditional deadlift, use dumbbells or barbells, this versatile exercise engages the hamstrings, glutes, and back muscles. Form is critical on this exercise, so be sure to keep a flat back and slight bend in your knees. If you feel your back rounding, drop the weight and refocus on your form.

Chest Press

How to gain muscle fast

There are a myriad ways to perform a chest press, including on an incline, decline, flat bench or the floor, which will target the chest from multiple angles. Dumbbells or a barbell can be used, and if you are really pushing your upper limit, be sure to have a spotter.

Biceps curls

How to gain muscle fast

Although a smaller muscle group, the biceps can lift some weight when pushed. Incorporate a few curl variations in to your program, such as barbell curls, dumbbell seated curls, hammer curls or rope curls. Be sure not to rock for momentum and if you feel your back starting to arch, it’s probably time to lower the weight.

Triceps Kickback

How to gain muscle fast

Show off that “horse shoe” by sculpting those triceps. For this exercise, you will need a pulley and an attachment such as a straight bar, rope or v-bar. Start with your arms at 90 degrees and press down until your arms are perpendicular to the floor. On the way up, stop at 90 degrees. Remember to keep momentum out of the equation to truly isolate the triceps and shape those arms.