Muscles grow from working them, but the bulking occurs when we’re outside the gym. No, it’s not opposite day: it’s science. While we’re at rest, our muscle tissue increases as our body recovers from workouts.
Workouts tend to target muscle groups, but whole body strength is critical. We have 650 skeletal muscles in our bodies (that’s a lot of muscles to work out!).
When each one is working at their best, they’ll assist in creating our ability to gain thicker muscles. Genetics play a big part in how much muscle weight we can achieve, too.
A cursory look at a flyweight versus a heavyweight shows us this. Understanding you can’t change genetics will help you make the most of what you do have.
Whether you’re new to the gym or need help tweaking a routine, here are 10 ways to build muscle fast.
Set Specific Goals
We tend to want results from every workout, whether it’s sculpted arms or a smaller waist. Targeting your workout toward your goal is vital.
Men tend to gravitate toward wanting upper body strength. Women tend to want help with lower body and legs.
But those aren’t specific goals. Do you want to tone or lose inches? Both? Set specific goals for muscle groups such as the biceps or the glutes.
Then you can configure your workout for results you want. Targeting specific areas helps build muscle faster where you want it.
Weigh Out Results Every Week
Weighing yourself each week will reveal much about your progress. For those wishing to gain weight, an average of 1/4-1/2 pound a week gain tells you your workout is producing muscle.
If weight gain is more than this, you may be gaining fat, not muscle.
Experts say strength training along with weights will add muscle gain and burn more calories. Add a few of these to your routine for faster results:
- Push Ups
- Jumping Jacks
- Walking Lunges
- Body Weight Squats
Using strength training will fatigue muscles faster, and build them up quicker.
And, fuel your big workout with the right stuff. Maintaining a high protein diet also helps put muscle on fast.
Between the Reps
Your weight routine should include sets, reps, and rest. Most weight gurus will instruct on how much time you should rest between them.
If you cut your rest time to 60-90 seconds, you’ll feel the burn as your muscles fatigue much faster.
This fatigue is the building block of producing more muscle fiber faster.
Now that you know your muscles build while you’re resting, you need to rest a lot. Get at least 8 hours every night, nine if possible.
The more strenuous your workout, the more tired you’ll be anyway. Those who don’t get enough rest may not see immediate results.
What You’re Not Eating
Foods high in protein help nourish our muscles. There are also some foods to avoid when trying to gain muscle fast. We should not fear carbs, but overloading on them can reverse our hard work.
Those who need to gain weight can consume carbs in earnest. Those trying to lose weight should moderate carb consumption.
Though you may hear that carbs are only OK on workout days, that’s not always true. Varying your calorie intake too much on off days can work against you.
Your body is trying to build muscle fast, and too few calories (from any source) can force your body to burn off some of your hard work.
Where Does It Hurt?
There’s no quicker game stopper in the road to muscle mass than pain and injury. Feeling the burn is one thing, but overworking your body is quite another.
Soreness is familiar, but so are injuries. If pain does not subside, check with your doctor. This could mean you have an injury that needs to heal, which requires rest and patience.
Avoiding injury will avoid time you have to spend not working out (aka not building muscle).
Also, an injury doesn’t mean you have to sideline your workout. There are exercises which allow you to rest an injury and build muscle.
For example, a painful shoulder (a common injury) may indicate military presses are out. But you can build arm, lat, and back muscle without hurting the shoulder.
Make the Most of Gym Time
If you haven’t given compound weight training a try, you should. These workouts can provide muscle growth a kick in the butt.
Classic weight training can isolate one muscle group. But using a range of motion and working various muscles at once provides fast results in the same amount of time.
Here are a few exercises bodybuilders recommend:
- Barbell Squats
- Barbell Bench Presses
- Dumbbell Military Presses
- Pull Ups, Chin Ups, and Lat Pulls
- Deadlifts, Lunges, and Step-Ups
Once you try any of these, you’ll find triceps and delts are working as hard as your biceps, for example. For legs, quads and glutes work harder and smarter together than either does alone.
Whole Body Workouts Build Muscle Fast
It’s common practice to work out one body area each gym day. But for those looking for faster results, an entire body workout is for you.
Simple math shows us why: an upper body workout on Monday, a lower body workout on Tuesday, and a rest day Wednesday is ordinary.
This schedule means muscle groups are not getting training for more than two days. For some, this can slow down results.
Working out all groups every day will train these groups more often and build muscle faster.
If you outline your goals, then knowing when you’re successful should be a no-brainer. You’ll see when your waist is starting to suck in or your shoulders look more cut.
If you do not see any changes, try varying your routine. Ask fellow weight trainers in the gym for advice.
Most important, don’t give up. A few tweaks can make all the difference.
Chances are others will spot your success, too. This is the time give yourself a boost of confidence with awe-inspiring muscle gear. Once you got it, flaunt it.
Read much more about that from the experts.
A Few Words on Calories
We need more calories when we train than when we don’t. Our body cannot build muscle fast without enough fuel. But too many calories will produce fat, not muscle. Some who are new to training may confuse the extra weight as muscle.
For men, the ideal amount of tissue to gain each month is 1-2 pounds. For women, it’s 0.5-1 pounds. If you’re gaining more than that, cut back on calorie intake.
Of course, some folks are skinny and need to gain weight. One suggestion for them is high protein/calorie shakes during workout time.
This addition will ensure enough calories are being consumed to build muscle fast.
You at Your Best
There’s little doubt we all feel better and look better when we take care of ourselves. If you’re ready to build muscle fast, you’re on the right track.
Of course, it takes time and diligence. But quick results offer the motivation to keep you going. You at your best is what our lifehacks are about.
Check out more healthy lifestyle hacks on our blog.