11 TIPS on How to Build Muscle Fast
You’ve already seen them on pro bodybuilders. The bulging muscles and the ripped physique showing under a glistening sweaty skin in TV commercial ads. It’s almost surreal, and out of this world. You’ve also been training and pushing iron in the gym, but your progress is so slow that it seems like, for every step you take forward, you backtrack with two backward. Maybe you’re doing it all wrong, or maybe you’re strength training routine is wanting.
Whichever the reason, that chiseled, aesthetically pleasing and proportional physique is still nowhere in the vicinity. Unfortunately, however, they are no shortcuts to muscle building. No amount of supplements alone is going to cut it. The same way you shouldn’t be gullible enough to fall for those muscle and weight-gaining pills that populate the internet nowadays. Realistically speaking, the secret to building muscles fast is a combination and culmination of individual factors that would be otherwise inefficient if pursued solely.
That said, here are some quick tips for the beginner who’s looking for a well defined and augmented profile in under a few weeks time.
1.) Add weight if you’re below the normal index.
Not unless you’re blessed with a super genetic combination that you barely need to lift or workout to look chiseled and ripped, then you must begin by planning for your strength training routine. And by that, I mean gaining more mass than your average. It is known for a fact that muscles are built on body mass. Thus, if you’re working out in the gym but not increasing your food intake, then you’re doing yourself a grave disservice. Which, of course, applies mostly to ectomorphs and hard gainers. Building muscles don’t start in the gym- contrary to the common misconception- it ends there but begins in your kitchen. If you’re having a hard time building muscles it’s because, usually, you’d also have problems adding weight. To counter this, eat less but more regularly. For example, instead of the conventional three meals per day routine, you could try eating five meals every day, after every 5 hours or so.
However, it’s not just eating but having a wholesome, healthy diet each time. Just because you’re trying to gain weight it doesn’t mean that you should indulge in fatty, unhealthy junk. Instead, strive to consume as many calories as twenty times your current weight in pounds from wholesome, unprocessed sources only. Which implies that if you weigh 130 pounds, your total five meals-a-day should encompass over 2600 calories to boost your conversion rate.
2.) Start with compound exercises.
Once you hit the gym, don’t rush for the dumbbells and sit the whole day doing a million biceps curls. Not only are isolation exercises retrogressive, but they are also the reason most of us quit the quit the gym even before growing a single sinewy of muscle fiber. Therefore, instead of starting your strength training program with tricep curls or leg extensions that will only train one muscle group at-go, jumpstart your body into a muscle gaining mode using compound exercises. Such include deadlifts, squats, bench presses, and barbell rows.
Besides, in as much as compound exercises are proven to help beginners build muscle fast and get toned, they will also help you do it more proportionately. In addition, compound exercises also aid in burning more fat, something which will save you more time while keeping the common gym fatigue at bay.
3.) Lift progressively- Get stronger by day.
With stronger muscles, you will lift more, and as a consequence, burn more fat while adding more muscle mass. It is advisable to start with less weight before graduating towards the more challenging ones. If in your first week in the gym you were used to 80-pound bench presses, add an additionally 10 pounds in the second week and keep going. This way, your body will adapt to your strength training demands without you experiencing the typical muscle wasting phenomenon associated with overburdening yourself in the gym.
At the same time, progressive training ensures that your developing muscles don’t get complacent, which halts your progress. By presenting a new challenge every week, your body refocuses and readjusts to the new weight. The direct consequence is usually a visible muscle and weight gain.
4.) Don’t change your exercises too often- Be consistent.
It is estimated that over 75% of novice lifters in the gym fall prey to this misplaced misconception of changing gym exercises every now and then. For starters, bear in mind that the rock-hard specs you desire aren’t sculpted by jumping from one gym equipment to the other. Ask those you see in T-shirt splitting chests and they will tell you that they got there after doing more than their fair share of bench presses. Inquire from those with V-shaped backs and they will gladly narrate to you about the number of deadlifts that they do every day. In short, as much as gaining muscle is your goal, isolate one or two areas you want to perfect and then choose a compound exercise that aims or developed for that. It other words, this should be your base exercise.
5.) Diversify your routine.
Although we do not advocate for changing your base exercise too often, we still wouldn’t advise you to be stuck with one routine the whole year. What do I mean? Having a base exercise doesn’t imply that it should be the only thing you do in the gym. In fact, it should always be bolstered by other diversified exercises. For instance, let’s say your primary focus is getting muscular legs. In such a case, squats should be your base exercise but it doesn’t mean you should shy away from the dumbbells every once in a while. While the squats are helping your lateral leg muscles grow, you’ll still need something for your upper torso fibers. That is, for every base exercise, pepper in a couple of minor assistance exercises.
6.) Use more free weights than machine weights.
There’s no denying that free weights are harder and appear more intimidating and dangerous to the average novice weight trainer. However, remember that no real results can be achieved by sitting on the fence or trying to buy your way out with a couple of ineffective ‘comfortable’ exercises. Even better, you could start with machine weights for the first two weeks then condition your body later by substituting them with free weights.
Contrary to what most think, you can still train safely using free weights. And besides, most of the things that we really dread about free weight training rarely occur. For instance, if you’re afraid of dropping a bar on your face, attach safety pins to catch them in case you fail a rep or have a spotter just in case. The same way, if you’re looking for real results, avoid squatting inside the smith machine and stabilize your muscles by squatting using free weights.
7.) Train more frequently to gain muscle fast.
Look around. How many times do you think Usain Bolt sprints in a week? Michael Phelps did not get where he is today by going to the pool only to splash water leisurely. That says a lot about what successful routines have in common.
If you’re looking to gain muscle fast than the average, natural weightlifter, then be prepared for some intensive, more concentrated workouts. Although most people will advise you only to hit the gym once or only twice a week, such a routine will only work for people who are only trying to lose weight but not build muscles. Brace yourself for up to four concentrated gym sessions per week as long as you want to add more than the average 2lbs of raw muscle in a month. This means that if squatting is you base exercise, then squat more often. Preferably three to four times a week for a beginner.
A word of caution, though, training frequently is not parallel to overtraining or overworking yourself. You’re only likely to overwork yourself if you get stuck with one isolated exercise day-in-day-out. As you long as you’re concentrating more compound exercises, chances of you feeling raw at the end of a week of intensive exercises are slimmer.
8.) Learn how to use supplements correctly.
Lately, there have been a lot of myths and innuendos revolving around supplements. So it’s only fair that we clear the air on this one. First and foremost, supplements are not and should NEVER be your sole source of nutrients. Instead, peg your nutrition on a well-balanced diet coupled with lots of fresh fruits and unprocessed snacks. Supplements were developed only to fill in the gaps left by dietary sources and thus should only be viewed as such. Granted, are still an excellent way of coaxing your body to grow more muscles when you’re not getting enough proteins from your diet.
That said, for those of us looking more leaner bigger muscles while burning more fat, then whey protein powder should be in your muscle building arsenal. On the other hand, casein powder, which helps fight the exhaustion and fatigue at the end of an intensive workout, should only be taken before going to bed. It prevents your already developing muscles from being converted to body fuel during rest.
On the side of the spectrum, creatine supplements are beneficial when you’re graduating from lighter weights to heavier ones. Apparently, studies show that they increase the amount of energy burned by the muscles, thus allowing one to lift heavier equipment repetitively without suffering from burn out. Should you decide to use these supplements, a spoon before and after your workout sessions should suffice.
9.) take some days off.
An efficient and well-balanced strength training routine takes into consideration that your body needs to rejuvenate and recover from an intensive workout session. Besides, rest allows your hard-earned but strained muscle fibers to reknit and proliferate. A rule of the thumb is that every intensive workout session should be followed by at least a day of rest. I.e not unless you want to quit this program faster than you can spell routine. So that means, as a beginner, you should be hitting the gym only three or four times maximum per week.
10.) Once your training session is in progress, eat like a horse.
Since you’re already putting in some concentrated workouts in the gym, your muscles will need a ton of food to recover from the strain. Most folks who overlook this fact are often plagued with rapid muscle wasting or even worse – extreme fatigue and exhaustion.
On that note, your foundation should be whole but unprocessed foods e.g., whole grains, steaks, fruits, chicken breasts, etc. Acknowledge that by dropping the usual processed, fatty and unhealthy snacks.
In addition to that, remember that protein is at the core of any successful bodybuilding program. Speaking from experience, without a sufficient backing of a protein-rich diet, gaining even a pound of raw muscle in a month can be an uphill task, regardless of how many barbells you’re lifting at the gym. Allocate yourself at least 200g of protein per day. For the novice lifter, this should be enough to satisfy the 1g of protein per pound requirement. You can easily source this by having eggs for breakfast, beef at lunch and some cottage cheese for the mid-afternoon snack. For supper, you can have poultry, fish, salmon, etc. In short, for every meal you take, ensure that there is a generous helping of a protein source.
Finally, drink a gallon of water daily. It may seem ridiculous but remember that lifting weights and pushing iron is often accompanied by excessive sweating. Cases of chronic dehydration among bodybuilders are quite common and persistent headaches will be the first sign that you’ve strayed away from the tap. Nonetheless, only quench your thirst 30-minutes after your workouts to avoid water intoxication.
11.) Track your progress.
Yes, you may have noticed the tell-tale signs of some noticeable muscle gain but relying on visual parameters is not enough. Most novice bodybuilders hit the plateau phase (the little or no improvement stage) without realizing because they do not bother to keep track of their improvement. As much as you’re hitting the gym now and then, make a point of weighing and recording your raw muscle mass every two weeks and keep tracking Your Muscle Mass Percentage, and if possible, graph your progress.
here are some Free & Great apps helps for tracking your progress :
Fitness Trainer FitProSport (For Android)
This way, you can easily catch signs of deterioration early enough to adjust your fitness program accordingly.