Building muscle is a process that takes time and dedication. However, being patient is overrated, especially when you have such a specific goal: to gain muscle fast. If you already started working out but you don’t have any results to show, it means you’re doing something very wrong. So, here’s a little guide that will bring you quick and impressive results as long as you follow these tips.
Boost your calorie intake
Before you gain muscle, you first must increase your bodyweight. With your calorie intake boost, you’ll not only have enough mass to turn into muscle, but they will also fuel your workouts—more calories will bring you more energy and you’ll be able to work out more. The number of calories you need depends on your age, weight, metabolism, workouts and your gender. It’s not easy to calculate your calorie requirements, but there are online tools you can use to help you come up with a good number.
Load up on protein
Protein is a crucial ingredient for muscle gain. It not only repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue, but also helps with muscle size increase and makes the process of muscle gain faster and easier. However, you can’t just eat all the protein and call it a day. The amount of protein and when you take them is key to progress. The best thing you can do is contact a personal trainer who will give you a good number to work with. If you want to increase your protein intake, you can also opt for protein shakes which are easier to make than solid foods.
The reason you need that much protein for muscle gain lies in the process called protein synthesis. Your body is constantly using protein during the day (for instance, to create hormones) so you’re left with less protein for muscles. This requires you to boost your intake of this important nutrient if you want to reach your goals.
Don’t avoid carbs
We’re taught that carbs are bad and they should be avoided (almost any diet like Alkaline diet or Atkins limits carbs). However, while they are not essential for muscle growth, they give you the energy to fuel your workouts. If you run out of carbs, your energy will be low and won’t be able to give your 100% at the gym. Brown rice and sweet potatoes are good carbs that will serve as your training fuel and allow you to have intense workouts.
Try some supplements
No matter what kind of diet you’re following, supplements can be very beneficial. The same thing applies to a muscle building diet. While supplements can definitely help you towards your goal, they are not intended to replace any of the various foods you must eat in order to gain muscles.
With that in mind, you can grab anything you need online from protein powders to energy shots. What many people neglect are supplements taken after your workout. You can find any post workout product online as well and expect many benefits like faster muscle repair and stronger muscles. Products that contain BCAA or amino shakes are great at boosting protein synthesis and reducing muscle breakdown.
Stay away from junk food and alcohol
This is a tough task, but very relevant. A burger here and a beer there will not destroy your progress, but it can slow it down. If you really want to put on muscles quickly, ditch both junk food and alcohol—they are full of empty calories.
Work your biggest muscles
Beginners need any sort of workout to start their protein synthesis. However, the quickest way to build muscle is to focus on large muscle groups like legs, back and chest. Exercises like squats, pull-ups, bench presses and deadlifts will put all your muscle cells in the state of hypertrophy (the process that makes them grow).
Concentrate on your eccentric phase
Every lifting movement has two phases: concentric (hard) and eccentric (easy). Let’s say you’re doing squats, so when you’re lowering your body, you’re performing an eccentric action and when you’re getting back up, you’re performing a concentric action.
According to experts, eccentric work is much better at triggering muscle growth. So, try to either slow down the eccentric movement in order to prolong its duration or find eccentric-only exercise variations.
Reduce rest time
If you have time to check your Instagram between sets, that’s not good. When aiming for hypertrophy, you want to have rest periods between 30 and 90 seconds to encourage the quicker release of muscle-making hormones.
This will also ensure your muscles really get tired—you want to feel the burn. The goal is not to spend hours at the gym but to feel the fatigue in your muscles after a workout.
Don’t overdo it
Experts say that doing a very high-intensity weight training can increase your protein synthesis for up to 48 hours starting with the last rep of your session. This means you can do a full-body workout and follow it with a rest day and still see results. Your muscles grow when you rest, not when you’re at the gym.
Keep track of your progress
This is maybe one of the most important tips for muscle gain: keep good records of both your training and your diet. If you don’t do that, you won’t know what works for you and what doesn’t and you can waste a lot of time focusing on the wrong things.
Most people think they can keep everything in their head, but putting things on paper is the safest path. This allows you to analyze your workouts and diet months from now and make sure you’re on the right track or make good changes.
If you’re trying to gain muscle mass and nothing is happening, tweak your diet, write it down and see what happens. If you don’t keep these logs, you’ll have no idea whether to add protein to your diet, eat more or reduce fat.
If you stay dedicated to your training and keep your diet clean, you’re bound to see results and see the quick. No matter how skinny and small you are, there’s a big, muscle beast hiding in you, you just have to give it a chance to emerge!
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.