The Four Most Important Factors For Building Muscle Fast!

First, I want to make sure that there is no confusion with the title of the article. When I say “building muscle fast”, fast is relative in comparison to the rate at which you will build muscle if the muscle-building factors I am going to discuss are not in place. The fact is building new muscle is NOT a fast process. It takes weeks, months, and years of hard work and dedication, both inside and outside of the weight room. This slow “rate of return” on muscle-building is one of the main reasons people give up on building muscle all together.

We live in a society where if we want something we want it RIGHT NOW. Well, a lean muscular body just cannot be obtained that quickly. Building your ultimate physique is like an ongoing art project that takes years and years to complete. However, the time and effort required is far outweighed by the masterpieces we are able to create.

So, even though it is going to take some time to build your masterpiece, adhere to these four essential ingredients for muscle growth so that you can get the job done in the most effective and efficient manner as a natural bodybuilder.

1) Train heavy and with as much intensity as possible

If you want to build the most amount of muscle in the least amount of time then stick to the basics and train heavy! We have all seen the guy in the gym loading up the machines until they simply cannot hold anymore weight. He goes through his workout routine swinging the weights around like a madman using terrible form and way too much momentum. Just about everyone stares and some of the faint of heart even leave the weight-room in fear. This guy obviously either 1) has no idea what he his doing or 2) has an ego that is farther ahead in development than his muscles. But you know what? I’ll bet you a box of meal replacements that the guy is carrying around some pretty decent muscle.

Even though his form is very poor, lifting all that weight forces overload upon his muscles and overload is the single most important factor in stimulating muscle growth in the weight room. Now, before you go out and try to do one arm curls with the 100 lbs dumbbells (unless you are Skip LaCour who really can do this), let me make it clear that I am NOT advocating that you train like our friend I described above. The point is that even with less than perfect form, lifting heavy weight with intensity will produce muscle overload and muscle growth. Your goal should be to train heavy while using proper execution and allowing for some momentum. The best muscle building exercises to train heavy are the basics, such as squats, dead lifts, barbell bench presses, and barbell curls.

The best training program I have found that enables you to continue to make gains by overloading the muscles is the Max-OT or Maximum Overload Training Program, created by Paul Delia, President of AST Sports Science. Max-OT is centered around basic compound exercises using heavy weight and progressive overload. The workouts are relatively short (30-45 minutes) which is why INTENSITY is very important. These short intense workouts build muscle in a more efficient manner compared to longer workouts and also eliminate the concern for decreased testosterone and increased cortisol levels that can occur with longer workouts. You can sign up for the free Max-OT training course at the AST website (www.ast-ss.com).

2) Feed your body to grow all day long

Alright, we have stimulated our muscles to grow in the most effective and efficient manner with heavy weight training. However, that is only half the battle. No, actually that is only like 20% of the battle. At least 80% of your success in an attempt to build muscle is based on how well you feed your body the 23 hours that you are not in the gym. Science has proven it, I have seen it in myself, I have seen it in my clients, and anyone else who has made the commitment to make nutrition a priority has seen it as well. Once you begin to practice proper nutritional habits on a consistent basis the results from your workouts will improve by leaps and bounds. The key word here is consistency. You can’t eat right for a couple of days then have a day where you miss two meals and eat junk food for a few others. You must eat properly on a consistent basis to really obtain the powerful benefits that proper nutrition has to offer.

There are many different nutrition plans that can help you build muscle and I am not going to go into the details of any specific plan. However, I will give some general guidelines for eating to build muscle.

o Include a source of lean protein with each meal

High quality protein provides your muscles with the proper nutrients to build muscle. Examples include chicken, turkey, egg whites, lean beef, tuna, and meal replacements, such as Ny-Tro Pro 40.

o Eat enough calories to put your body in a positive nitrogen balance

A positive nitrogen balance is needed in order to build muscle. This is obtained by consuming enough high quality protein (at least 1 gram per pound of body weight) and enough carbohydrates so that the protein you consume goes towards building muscle and does not get converted to glucose for energy. Just because you need a lot of nutrients to build muscle does not mean that you must eat massive amounts of food. Eating high fat low nutrient food just because you are “bulking” will do nothing for building muscle and everything for making any definition you have disappear quickly!

o Limit saturated fat but include some “good” fat in your diet

Diets low in saturated fats protect against many problems such as heart disease and high cholesterol. However, if your total fat intake is too low then testosterone levels will decrease and your body will become less efficient at performing many mandatory functions. You need a certain level of “good” fats containing Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Examples of foods containing these “good fats” include flax seeds and flax seed oil, olive oil, canola oil, and CLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid.

o Eat frequent smaller meals throughout the day

Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day ensures that your muscles are constantly supplied with the proper nutrients they need in order to grow. Breaking up your normal 3 meals per day into 6-8 smaller meals per day is the one nutritional strategy that will have the biggest impact on the amount of muscle you are able to build. Eating this way also increases your metabolic rate helping you to stay leaner, keeps blood insulin levels stable, and increases energy levels throughout the day.

o Drink lots of pure water throughout the day

Our bodies are made up of 1/3 water and our muscles are 70% water! Water plays a vital role in proper hydration, transport of nutrients through the body, digestion, the flushing of toxins from the body, and other important functions of the body. All of these things help equal more efficient muscle growth.

3) Get plenty of rest between workouts

New muscle tissue is not formed from weight training unless proper nutrients are provided to the body as discussed above AND enough recovery time occurs before the muscle is placed under the stress of an intense workout again. In addition to the recovery time between workouts your body needs sleep to allow your muscles as well as all of your other body functions to operate properly.

How much sleep is enough and what is the optimal time to wait before working the same body part? There are many different opinions and theories on both of these subjects, and the “right” answer can be debated all day long. I would say that the “right” amount of sleep each night is however much sleep it takes for you to have enough energy to train intensely and stay awake and alert to perform all of your daily tasks. As far as the optimal time to wait before training the same body part again, this is going to vary based on a number of factors including how long you have been training, how many sets and reps your performed during your last workout, and how intensely you trained during your last workout, just to name a few.

Personally, I have found that I perform and feel my best by getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I also have gotten very good results by training each body part once a week very intensely as prescribed in the Max-OT program.

4) Live a healthy lifestyle and provide the right environment for muscle growth

If you are really serious about building muscle then you must structure your lifestyle in a certain manner. This is not always easy because so many of the normal activities in society involve things that can sabotage your muscle-building efforts. With office parties, lunches, and dinners, family cookouts, happy hour, etc. it can be difficult to stay on your bodybuilding diet plan. Eating un-healthy foods and drinking with your friends are enjoyable activities but they will not help your muscle-building efforts.

Sure, its tough to pass on these activities, but everything worth having in life has a “price tag” on it and the “price” for having a lean muscular body is to train when you are supposed to train, eat when and what you are supposed to eat, and rest when you are supposed to rest. It would be great if we could work out when we felt like it, try to eat pretty good most of the time, go out drinking on the weekends, and still build muscle and stay lean, but life just doesn’t work that way.

The good news is that you don’t have to become a boring hermit who never does anything fun. Go out and do things with your friends. As long as you train, eat, and rest like you are supposed to there is no problem. It helps to find people who have similar interest and healthy goals like you do. Instead of having others trying to tempt you to stray from your workout or nutrition plan, you will be able to encourage each other and help each other succeed.

Conclusion:

Follow the rules above with consistency and dedication and you will build muscle. Even if you just build 4 lbs of solid muscle a year, which is very reasonable, after 10 years of training that is 40 LBS and after 15 years that is 60 LBS! It won’t happen overnight, but if you are patient enough and persistent enough you can build your own masterpiece physique. Train hard, eat right, rest, and reap the benefits of not only more muscle but a healthy life as well.

Best Way to Build Muscle Fast? 5 Muscle Building Tips

There is no single best way to build muscle fast, but rather a combination of factors that will help you to see major gains in a short period of time. Building muscle is not an overnight process, and will take effort, but serious muscle gains can be seen in a matter of a few weeks if done correctly, and without the need for pills or other drugs.

Here I’m going to show you the best ways to build muscle fast, so if you’re a hardgainer who struggles to gain weight and build muscle, then pay close attention as these tips will be especially important for you.

Best Way To Build Muscle Fast – No.1 – Eat More Often

Probably the best way to build muscle fast is by changing your diet so that you eat more quantity and more often. 3 square meals a day just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid, since there is too much of a gap between meals resulting in your body searching for and using your muscle tissue as a source of energy, effectively stunting your muscle growth – this is particularly true for hardgainers and ectomorphs. 3 meals a day also means that we tend to overeat on those meals, meaning we store more fat and find it harder to digest and make use of for energy.

6 smaller but regular meals a day will keep your metabolism and energy levels constant. Focusing on protein-rich foods (like lean meats, fish, egg whites), good carbohydrates (oatmeal, white potatoes, wholegrain rice), and good fats (oily fish, nuts, avocadoes), will feed you and your muscles, resulting in more consistent muscle growth.

An average male looking to build muscle fast, should look at consuming 3,000 to 3,500 or more of good quality calories per day, particularly if he’s a typical hardgainer.

Best Way To Build Muscle Fast – No.2 – Stick To The Basics, Don’t Isolate

You’ve probably heard a lot of people talk about isolation exercises and they’ll say things like “Monday is my arms day, Tuesday is my legs day…”, and they’ll spend like an hour or two doing all the exercises under the sun that require just those muscles.

Unfortunately, this is not the best way to build muscle fast, for three reasons.

1) Spending so much time on one muscle group will tire that muscle group too quickly, and so for most of the workout you’ll be performing at half intensity, and not benefit that muscle’s growth.

2) Too much isolation can mean you only work out each muscle group maybe once per week. This is not enough if you want to see big muscle gains.

3) By performing isolation exercises you are often not employing other supporting muscle groups in your efforts, which can lead to a problem of muscles that may be strong but not “functional”, i.e. they don’t work well together. This is also the argument as to why many people prefer free weights to machines, because of the extra muscle groups needed to support the weights throughout the exercise.

My advice: Sticking to the Big Basic exercises is one of the best ways to build muscle fast. The big basics involve multiple muscle groups, and include: Squats, Deadlifts, Chest Press, Bicep Curls, Bent Over Rows, Woodchoppers.

Best Way To Build Muscle Fast – No.3 – Heavy Weights And Low Reps

Heavy weights and lower numbers of reps is definitely the way to go to build muscle fast. Progressively heavy weights mean your muscles are always being “forced” to work harder each time you hit the gym – it is this pressure that will enable them to grow strong and large. High reps are good for toning and muscular endurance, but don’t work when trying to build muscle because high reps suggest that you are comfortably lifting those weights and not really trying to push your muscles.

Always aim to lift heavy, but you MUST maintain good technique and posture throughout – don’t force it, as that can result in injury.

Best Way To Build Muscle Fast – No.4 – Workout Less

You may hear a lot about people who workout every day and that you should do the same, like those folks who spend each day on a separate muscle group. Well, if you’re looking for the best way to build muscle fast then working out every day is the surest way to NOT achieve your goals.

The body requires rest and recuperation in order for it to grow. You see, when you workout and lift weights, your muscle fibres suffer tiny tears, and therefore require time in order to recuperate and repair those fibres. It is this process that actually enables your body to build stronger and bigger muscles, as they are being forced beyond their comfort zone and need to adapt to withstand the pressure being applied to them.

3 workouts per week is ideal to build muscle fast. Working out more than 3 times per week on any one muscle group is not the best way to build muscle fast as it leaves adequate rest in between your workouts, for your muscles to repair and grow.

Best Way To Build Muscle Fast – No.5 – Get Adequate Sleep and Rest

A proper night’s sleep is not just good for your mental well-being, but also as one of the best ways to build muscle fast. You see, when you sleep your natural anabolic hormone levels rise. These anabolic hormones are also known as growth hormones and aid your muscles in repairing themselves. Studies have shown that folks who get a proper night’s rest of a good solid 8 hours have far better anabolic hormone production than those who only get 5 or 6 hours at best, or have a disturbed sleep pattern.

Not sleeping enough actually increases the levels of catabolic hormones in your system. As all bodybuilders know, catabolic hormones are muscle building enemy number 1, since they have the reverse effect of anabolic hormones, i.e. they reduce muscle tissue and prevent muscle growth.

So, one of the best ways to build muscle fast is to make sleeping a necessary part of your workout routine.

Bonus Tip – Stretch For Extra Strength Gains

Stretching is often overlooked as a strengthening exercise. It not only helps to prevent injury, but if done correctly can help to build muscle faster and stronger, because as a muscle is stretched is weakened slightly, and so when it repairs itself it not only becomes more flexible but stronger too. Always perform a good stretching routine before and after your workouts for 5-10 minutes. When performing each stretch, hold it for 5-10 seconds, and then slowly try to stretch a little more, hold it again, and try a tiny bit more. NEVER bounce or try to stretch abruptly – these stretches should be performed in a controlled way. When holding a stretch, try tensing the stretched muscle and holding that tension – this will give an extra boost to your muscle gains.

3 Simple Steps for Building Muscle Mass

If building muscle mass is a goal of yours, this is your lucky day because I am about to simplify the process down to 3 easy to follow steps. The challenge of building muscle mass in this day and age is there is so much bogus information floating around out there that it is difficult to know what is fact and what is fiction. You start to follow one piece of advice and when that doesn’t work you move on to the next, and the vicious cycle begins. As I pointed out earlier, building muscle mass can actually be broken down into 3 simple to follow steps, so let’s get to them.

1. Dedication and Proper Mindset

The first step in building muscle mass is having dedication and the proper mindset to start with. Without this, you’re destined for failure. Your probably asking yourself this question right now, “Sure, that’s easier said than done”. Guess what, you’re exactly right. However, there are many ways you can help get yourself into the proper mindset to succeed in your muscle building endeavors.

The first thing you must do is set goals for yourself, but make these goals specific. Don’t just write, “I want to build muscle mass,” but instead write, “I want to build 8 pounds of muscle mass in 1 month.” Do you see how much more specific that is? You will feel much more compelled to work towards that specific goal than for the more general one. Once you have written your goals, post them in a place where you will see them everyday, and be forced to read through them. This will keep you focused on a daily basis.

The day-to-day process of building muscle mass can become mundane, so it’s important to have a strategy to raise your intensity level before entering the gym. Visualization is a great tool to use to raise your focus and intensity. Throughout your day or before you workout, visualize yourself having success in the gym. That may be you see yourself finally getting that 7th rep of 235# on the bench press on your last set or reach a new max on the squat. Whatever you visualize, be very specific. Visualize every detail about the situation. The more detailed you can be in your visualizations the more success you will have with this technique. Pro athletes in every sport utilize this technique to reach their goals, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using it either.

Building muscle mass can be achieved while training by yourself, but it is much easier to maintain your focus and dedication if you have a training partner that is counting on you being at every workout. The trick is picking a good partner because if you pick a bad one this can have negative effects on your muscle building quest, as well. The most important thing you must look for in a partner is that they have the same dedication and desire towards building muscle mass, as you do.

These techniques should help you maintain your motivation towards building muscle mass. Now that you have step 1 mastered, let’s move on to step 2.

2. Proper Weight Lifting Program

The second step in building muscle mass is to follow a proper weight lifting program. If you do a search on any of the popular internet search engines, you can easily find a dozen or more weight lifting programs that all claim to pack pounds of muscle on your frame. Some of these programs may work, but many do not because they forget to focus on one simple principle. In order to build muscle mass, you must build strength. Think about it; have you ever seen a 225# bodybuilder maxing out on the bench at 150 pounds? I didn’t think so. As your strength improves, your muscles adapt by growing bigger.

The best way to increase your strength and therefore build muscle mass is to ensure the core of your weight lifting program consists of compound lifts such as the bench press, squat, dead lift, chin-ups, dips, etc. These lifts will allow you to lift the maximum amount of weight which will in turn recruit the most muscle fibers resulting in greater improvements in strength and muscle mass.

To achieve the greatest improvement in strength and therefore muscle mass, you should do all your lifts for 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps. This rep range has been shown to maximize strength and muscle mass gains. For your main muscle groups such as your legs, chest, and back, you should do about 3-4 exercises for a total of 6-8 sets for each muscle group. For your abs, triceps, shoulders, and biceps, you should do an additional 2 exercises for a total of 3-4 sets for each muscle group. The reason we do less exercises for the latter is that they have already received some work during the compound movements we did. A good workout split would be to train three days per week with day 1 being Legs/Abs, day 2 being chest/shoulders/triceps, and day 3 being back/biceps/forearms. This should be all the training you need to reach your goal of building muscle mass.

Now that you know how to develop a proper weight lifting program for building muscle mass, it is time to move on to the last and final step.

3. Proper Muscle Building Nutrition

The third and final step in building muscle mass is ensuring you eat correctly to maximize your muscle building potential. Without proper nutrition, you will never reach your full potential. You must feed your muscle with enough nutrients for them to grow.

In order to build muscle mass, you have to create a calorie surplus of between 300-500 calories above your maintenance level. This simply means you must eat more calories than you burn, so there is enough energy left over for building muscle mass. The simplest method for calculating your caloric requirements is the basic multiplier. For this method, you simply multiply your bodyweight by 17-20 to give you the amount of calories you will need to consume to create a calorie surplus within your body. This will work fairly well for the majority of people with average body types. There are other methods, but they are beyond the scope of this article.

The timing of your meals is also very important because you are going to need to eat every 2-3 hours your awake for a total of 5-7 meals per day. Each meal should consist of approximately 40% lean protein, 40% complex carbohydrate, and 20% fat. Your muscles require protein to grow, so eating every 2-3 hours ensures that there is always a good supply of protein to fuel muscle growth and keep you in an anabolic (muscle building) state. If you don’t supply your body with all of its protein requirements, it starts breaking down your muscle tissue to get this protein, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen.