Introduction: Two of the most frequently-asked questions I get are, “How can I build muscle fast?”, and, “How long does it take to build muscle?” And it really doesn’t take a genius to notice how truly confused some people about these topics. Indeed, there’s so much confusing and contradicting information out there about how to reach these goals successfully – mainly spread about by supplement companies and magazines – it’s little wonder people aren’t sure what to do.
So the following 5 tips will help clear up some of the ‘blurriness’ about how to build big muscles for you. Their aim is to provide a neat blueprint of the basics of how to make muscle naturally in the quickest possible time. And the better you incorporate them into your own muscle gain plans, the more impressive your results will be!
1. Have A Plan To Follow
Choose a plan and stick to it. No excuses. No complaints. No deviation. Of course, certain life circumstances and demands may rock you off kilter occasionally, but you really need to stick to it at least 90% of the time if you want to experience the benefits. Also, you want to choose a plan to build muscle that covers at least 12 weeks.
In the meantime, set your magazines aside, and focus entirely on the plan at hand.
2. Use the “Progressive Overload” Principle
Give your muscles a good enough reason to grow, and they will. Sure, it takes efforts, but that’s the commitment you have to be willing to make to build muscle mass successfully.
Each and every workout, aim to “out-do” your previous best effort. This can be achieved by lifting heavier weights, performing more reps with the weight, and also by finishing your exercises in less and less time. It’s this form of progressive overload – in which you sequentially subject your muscles higher degrees of intensity and stress – that result in the best muscle growth gains. Simply put, lift heavy weights with higher and higher repetitions to build muscle fast.
3. Eat Plenty of Healthy Calories
Unless your body receives the right quantity of food, in the right proportions, you’ll struggle. And knowing what to eat to build muscle, begins with knowing how much to eat each day.
So, if your aim is primarily to gain muscle weight, apply this measure to estimate the bare minimum number of calories to aim for each day. Take your Lean Body Mass (in pounds), and multiply that by 17. Your ‘Lean Body Mass’ is simply your overall body weight minus your fat body weight.
4. Sip A Protein Shake Before, During AND After Each Workout
You have to fuel your muscles appropriately during a high intensity, progressive overload, weight training session. Ideally, you want to go for a protein shake that has ‘protein hydrolysate’ as it’s main ingredient – your body can convert this more easily than other forms of protein – and also think about including the supplements creatine and glutamine in your mix as well (5 grams per 100ml each).
I know, I know…Some of you may well be saying…”Wow, three protein shakes is a lot!” But bear in mind, this really is key if you seriously want to to build muscle fast.
5. Rest and Recover Completely Between Workouts
This aspect is usually missing in most trainees’ programs. In fact, it’s a major contributor to so many failed attempts to build muscle.
Returning to the weights room too soon will likely have a very negative impact on your ability to build muscle mass over time.
You’re much better off scheduling a 48-72 hour break between workouts. This will assist not only your muscles, but your immune, hormonal and central nervous systems to recover also. These systems require longer to recover, and do so best when you build in enough sleep and rest between your exercise sessions too.
Use your progress charts as a guide to whether you’re getting enough rest. Aim for a 5% increase in strength each week. And if you’re not making progress from one session to the next each session, consider that a wake-up call to head home and rest up some more.
By incorporating these principles into your own approach to build muscle, you can look forward to noticing a real increase in muscle size within just a matter of weeks. And although this account of how to build muscle fast is more a set of guidelines for the beginner and intermediate alike, it should help you sort through a lot of the waffle out there. So, if you’d like to find out more about the actual specifics of how to build muscle fast, I recommend you use the links in this category to ‘drill down’ into better detail precisely what you’re looking for.