It’s time to get back to the gym but this time you want to focus on building muscle. You may think this will be a matter of lifting weights for a few minutes every time you go to the gym, yet this is far from the case.
I’m not going to lie to you. The process of building muscle isn’t easy and it takes a lot of time. But, it can be made much easier and faster by doing it the right way. A little education and planning can go a long way.
Many people struggle to keep muscular and lean bodies simply because they are making common mistakes.
In order to get your dream body and build muscle fast, you need to follow these ten commandments and never lose sight of them!
How to build muscle fast
I’d like you to change the mindset in the first place from how to build muscle fast into how to build muscle as fast as your body allows.
This is because muscle actually grows very slowly. If you’re in this “I-want-all-now” attitude you will not get very far in this game.
It’s a common misconception in the fitness world that lifting heavy weights, “bulking up,” and drinking lots of protein shakes will help you build muscle fast.
Although these may work for some people, it’s not a way to build muscle efficiently or even effectively. I am going to tell you the ways to build muscle that will get you results quickly but will also maximize your benefits.
Don’t get discouraged quite yet. It’s not that you’re doing everything wrong. Making a few small tweaks here and there might be the difference between your progress now and achieving the leanest and most muscular version of yourself.
1. Have a plan
It begins with having a plan and knowing where you are going. Write down your goals: how much muscle mass you want to gain and how much fat you want to lose.
Having the mere goal of wanting to build muscle fast doesn’t provide much motivation for ourselves. Instead, having a specific number goal to reach will push us to our limits and allow us to gain muscle faster.
There are so many sites out there for us to take advantage of. Start with creating a plan that works for you and sticking to it.
2. Keep hydrated
You should already be drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day. It’s what’s recommended by health professionals. Keeping up with this number is fundamental when trying to build muscle fast.
Drinking water is an effortless task and it has been shown to prevent long-term weight loss. On top of that, observational studies have shown that just by drinking mostly water, people have experienced 9% less calorie intake (or 200 calories) on average.
So, why wouldn’t we drink water?
3. Eat clean and watch calorie intake
Clean eating and watching your calorie intake is probably the most important part in building muscle fast. Without a healthy diet, your body will see little-no results. Or you will see results but accompanied by significant rise in blood pressure and myriad of other similar negative health matters.
You should be making sure you are eating enough calories but not overdoing it — balance here is key. This is where keeping a food journal or utilizing a food tracker app will come in handy.
In order to build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus, eating more than you’re spending. This guarantees that your body has enough energy to utilize the protein synthesis which is the gateway to building muscle. Your main focus should be on these calories being from whole, rich foods.
4. Focus on multi-joint exercises
Also known as compound exercises, these are moves that work more than one joint in building muscle. These exercises are much more effective than the ones that work just one joint.
Multi-joint exercises consist of pull-ups/chin-ups, squats, deadlifts, dumbbell chest presses, regular bench, overhead press & lunges. Don’t get me wrong, single-joint exercises are still important to do, but a most of your workout plan should be done in multi-joint exercises.
In order to build muscle fast, your routine should consist of many multi-join exercises with a few single-joint exercises to focus on your main muscle group.
5. Cardio to lose
While we’ve heard both sides of the story about whether we should incorporate cardio into our workouts, cardio is an important factor in building muscle.
Your body needs to be burning fat and calories to create muscle. It doesn’t really matter what kind of cardio you’re doing. It matters how you’re doing it.
I recommend doing HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training. It’s how you burn the most amount of calories and in the quickest amount of time. This could include running or cycling for periods of high intensity while incorporating periods of active rest.
This could include running or cycling for periods of high intensity while incorporating periods of active rest.
I personally like to jump rope. It’s very very effective and portable. And it’s fun as hell because as you get better you can start to do different tricks with the rope and combine them in together. Jumping rope is so much fun that it doesn’t really feel like a must do thing anymore. Highly recommended!
6. Weight training to gain
Yes, it’s a no-brainer that building muscle and weight training go hand in hand. But, there are many aspects that go into weight training; like intensity, repetition and making sure your lifting properly.
In order to build muscle fast, you will need to focus on more weight and fewer reps at a higher intensity. Focus on giving your body the most resistance it can take. You simply cannot go wrong when you’re progressively overloading your muscles with heavier weights.
The way you are lifting matters too. Lifting with proper form not only prevents injuries but reinforces your natural posture which will lead to other health benefits.
7. Get enough protein
We are amidst the protein shake craze. There’s a reason why drinking protein shakes before/after/during workouts has become so popular.
Our muscles depend on proteins and in order to build up more muscle than we break down, we need enough protein in our diets to do this.
So, what helps stimulate this protein process? By taking in more proteins, of course.
Bodybuilders consume around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, or 150 g per day for a 150 lb individual, which is more than enough.
I personally recommend 1.2-1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight.
8. Incorporate a cheat day
We grind six days out of the week, but one of these days needs to be put towards our cheat day.
Depriving our bodies of certain foods isn’t’ realistic. It’s important to have a day to eat or drink whatever we want. It also gives us more motivation to get back into the gym.
One bad day won’t offset your good days. Cheat days are essential to keeping us sane. Structure your workouts with at least one cheat day included!
But bear in mind that you should still have a rough idea how much calories you’re going to take on a cheat day. When bulking up this is not a big issue but if you’re trying to burn fat and you’re been in a calorie deficit for the whole week, it’s really easy to mess the whole week of dieting by eating all the calories back on your cheat day because you’re not watching how much you binge on food.
It’s no secret that stretching leads to better flexibility, but did you know it also leads to rapid muscle growth? Although it may seem like a pain to dedicate time to stretching, the benefits will outweigh the time consumed.
Have you ever heard of muscle fascia? Fascia is the connective tissue that holds the muscle together. It’s something that could be holding back your muscle growth if you don’t take the time to stretch properly.
By taking the time to stretch certain muscles, you give your muscles more room to grow by stretching your fascia. You can read more about how stretching and fascia relate to muscle growth here.
Although these results are debatable, it’s a fact that when you stretch and keep your body mobile you will avoid injuries because you can get into better positions when lifting heavy weights and reinforce your natural posture. And as we know, injuries are one of the biggest obstacles that will shut down your muscle growth we want to avoid them at all costs.
So while there might not be a direct cause and effect by stretching, the fact that it can keep you from getting injured is a big factor in your overall plan of getting the fastest results possible.
10. Get your rest and sleep
There’s no better way for muscle growth than to get the proper amount of rest needed. Eight hours of sleep a day is essential in achieving your goal of building muscle fast.
During your sleeping cycle, growth hormone and protein synthesis occur to produce lean muscle. It’s when our bodies are resting that we are creating muscle.
Rest days should be part of your fitness routine. These could include relaxing and giving your muscles a rest or doing very light intensity exercise, like a jog or bike ride.
Sleep and rest work together to help your body recover and make gains faster.
In order to build muscle fast, there needs to be a strong sense of commitment. Sticking to these ten commandments will get you started.
Remember to train hard and that results won’t happen overnight. You got this!
Please leave any comments or questions you may have below.