- Exercise & Fitness
How to Build Muscle Fast
So you've been going to the gym almost every day for months in an attempt to build muscle fast but you are still seeing no progress. Sound familiar? As frustrating as this scenario can be, there is hope. If you are wondering how to build muscle fast then there are 3 major factors you should analyse – and if needed change – if you want to achieve your muscle building goals. These 3 factors are the types of training you do, your diet and your lifestyle. If you pay attention to these 3 areas and take them seriously then you will be building slabs of lean muscle soon enough.
The Right Type of Training
When most people first start to try to build muscle by going to the gym, they usually pick up and mess around with a few dumbbells, jump on the pec deck or other apparatus and then hope for the best. Any training is beneficial of course, but if you want to really start building a strong muscular frame that gives you that ‘look of power’ then you need to start thinking about switching to free weights and concentrating on the kind of exercises that have been done for centuries, exercises that don’t just work one or two muscles at a time but that work groups of muscles or even every muscle in the body. I’m talking about exercises like squats, bench press, shoulder press, deadlifts and the like. Done properly these exercises won’t just give you strong biceps, they’ll give you the kind of overall strength that true bodybuilders have and if you steadily increase the amount you lift week on week and keep on top of your diet and lifestyle, you will almost certainly see the results in the size of your overall muscular frame.
While these free weight exercises will help you to build muscle fast, they are also the kind of exercises that need to be done properly if you want to avoid injury, so special attention should be given to researching the correct technique for these exercises. In my experience the exercise that can really give people problems if not performed with the correct technique is the squat, mainly due to the strain it places on the knees but deadlifts can also cause major injury if not performed correctly, so be sure to research proper technique.
Don’t overtrain - While you may have it in your head that you need to go to the gym every single day to see results, for most people this isn’t necessary and can even hinder their muscle growth goals. If your goal is strength and power rather than cardiovascular fitness then for most people, training 2 or 3 days a week but training HARD could help you to build more muscle than training every day and it will also help you to avoid injury. When you train hard your muscles literally tear, these tears are only minute but they are tears nonetheless and tears need time to heal. When these muscle tears do heal, the muscle fibers don’t just knit back together but they knit back together bigger and stronger, provided they are given the right fuel to do so of course. That’s where having the right diet comes in.
Note: Some people still decide to train almost every day by working different muscle groups each day, but I'll leave that up to you.
The Right Diet
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes people make when they are trying to build muscle fast. They go to the gym every day, burn a ton of calories, but they then don’t make any changes to their diet.
For your body to repair and build muscle it needs energy, lots of energy! If you are training hard as well as maintaining a busy lifestyle then you are going to have to increase the amount you eat if you are ever going to build and maintain a strong frame. This means you are going to have to increase your overall calorie intake as well as paying attention to the types of food you eat. This article is more intended as a quick guide on how to build muscle fast so you will need to do more research in this area or else this article could quite quickly turn into an eBook. That being said, you will be looking to increase your intake of high carbohydrate foods to give your body the energy it needs to grow. Foods like pasta, rice (I prefer whole grains) and potatoes are all good foods to increase carbohydrate consumption. It will also be essential that you increase your protein intake. Some people choose to do this through protein shakes but if you don’t want to go down the supplement route then chicken, fish, eggs and milk can all be good sources of protein. Again, do your research on how much of a particular food or drink it is safe to consume as there are many differing opinions out there, especially when it comes to eggs and milk and their potential to raise cholesterol levels.
Finally don’t overlook your vitamin and mineral intake. Many of your body’s metabolic processes rely on having an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals and it won’t be able to use energy properly without them, so be sure to add a varied range of fruit and vegetables into your diet if you don’t already.
How fast do you want to see results?
The Right Lifestyle
So you’re training hard, doing the right exercises and you’re eating the right foods in increased quantities. These things alone will be a great base for increased muscle growth but there is another important factor you definitely need to consider if you want to see serious gains, and that is your overall lifestyle.
One major thing you will need to consider is getting enough sleep. Your body repairs itself more during sleep than at any other time. While you are sleeping you are also not moving around as much or using as much energy, so your muscles have the time and energy to repair.
You will also want to think not just about what you eat but also when and how often you eat. Top bodybuilders don’t just eat three HUGE meals a day, many of them eat 4-6 or more smaller meals a day to ensure that their body has a constant supply of energy to build and maintain their frame. This kind of diet plan could obviously involve some lifestyle changes as you try to fit in these new more frequent and nutritious meals. After all, picking up a healthy midday meal from the shops isn’t as easy or as cheap as you might think, not if you’re doing it all the time anyway.
Then we have alcohol. Alcohol can have many negative effects when it comes to muscle growth. Firstly it dehydrates. I should have mentioned the need to stay hydrated earlier so I’ll mention it here instead. To build muscle your body doesn’t just need energy, it also needs to be able to use that energy effectively and proper hydration is essential for this. As we all know alcohol is a diuretic which can badly dehydrate you if you drink it in excess. Alcohol has also been shown to slow down protein synthesis and reduce testosterone levels, neither of which is helpful if you are looking to build muscle fast.
There’s So Much More
That’s quite a lot of information to take in at one sitting I know, so we’ll leave it there for this post. There really is so much more to learn though so be sure to keep researching and don’t become too despondent if you don’t see instant gains, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a powerful frame. If you do the things we’ve mentioned on a consistent basis though then the gains will come and you will be able to get the frame you so badly crave.
Do you have any tips for those looking to build muscle fast?