Everyone wants to know how to build muscle mass as fast as possible, however, the Internet is filled with so much contradicting and complex explanations which leaves many people frustrated. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 5 tips that are straight to the point and simple. So without any further ado here are 5 awesome tips that will help you do just that:
Do compound exercises
Compound exercises are multi-joint exercises which as the name itself implies involve multiple joints as well as multiple muscle groups to lift the weight. These exercises should be the foundation of any solid training regimen. Movements such as squats and deadlifts are excellent because the gravitational force which your body is struggling against when lifting the weight is applied through the spine and hips thus targeting almost every single muscle group inside your body. When you dedicate yourself to continually progress in weights/reps on the following exercises, you are guaranteed to gain muscle fast:
Dips (by continually adding weight to a belt)
Chin-Ups/Pull-ups (also by adding weight)
Compound movements, like the ones above, will cause significant changes in your nervous system, increase hormone production and help to increase the mineral density in your bones in the long term.
Train in the “hypertrophy rep range”
If you want to build lean muscle mass, a process known as hypertrophy, you need to train in a range of 10-12 repetitions and rest for 45-60 seconds between each set. The underlying mechanism is pretty simple. When you train in this rep range, your muscles swell, which is widely known in the bodybuilding community as “the pump”.
This swelling is perceived by your body as a threat, and to counter that threat it will restructure itself by making the muscle fibers stronger to deal with any future demands that you might impose on it. Continually increasing the demand in the form of adding weight and reps will force the body to adapt and become more muscular. It is a survival mechanism.
Our bodies are capable of handling a lot heavier load than we think. You should always challenge it with ever-increasing weights, preferably in small increments, and test its limits. To get the best pump possible, you can also add some drop sets and super-sets into your workout routine and rest for just 30 seconds or less. Look in the mirror and see what happens. You’ll be amazed.
You must lift heavy weights, there’s no other way around it
There are numerous ways to stress your muscles and elicit muscle growth, however, the most fundamental way is through the principle of progressive overload. What this means is that if you do not continually overload a particular muscle group, you won’t give it any reason to grow which in turn means you won’t get stronger and you will have a hard time building new muscle mass. Getting stronger and building muscle goes hand in hand.
To get stronger you need to include heavy sets in your program in the 3-6 rep range with 3-5 minutes rest intervals between sets. This type of training recruits the type 2 muscle fibers. This type of fibers is larger than the type 1 fibers and can endure a much heavier load. You will thus lay a foundation of strength upon which you can build muscle in the long term.
If you want to trigger a growth response every time you train, you can do it by consistently overloading your muscles in each workout, so that they continually adapt to the ever-increasing stimulus. Your nutritional and caloric intake should also be optimal so that your muscles will be able to lift heavier weights each workout. You will be able to sustain permanent weight increase only when you dial in your diet, one consisting of clean, whole, healthy foods. As the saying goes ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’.
While a moderate dose of cardio can help you with maintaining healthy body fat levels, doing too much for too long can hurt your muscle-building efforts. If your main goal is to gain as much muscle mass as possible you should avoid doing extensive cardio sessions. Think of it this way. If you want to train like a marathoner, then it’s only logical that you’ll end up looking like one. It’s that simple. The longer your cardio sessions, the more muscle you’ll burn.
Doing standard hypertrophy-oriented workouts with short rest intervals and numerous super-sets will give enough stimulus to your respiratory and cardiovascular systems that will enable you to maintain an above-average fitness level. It would be a real waste of time and effort to endanger your hard-earned mass gains by doing too much cardio. If you’re one of those few people who like cardio, stay below 45 minutes per workout or as an alternative do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for about 15-20 minutes.
The bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman once said ‘You have to eat big to get big’. No truer words have ever been spoken. It’s basic biology. If you’re not in a permanent caloric surplus, you can’t gain size. If packing on muscle is your goal, this might probably be the most essential fact of fitness that you have to remember. In other words, you are what you eat. The body will never be able to redesign itself in the manner that you want it to unless you provide it with the necessary ingredients which will fuel the mass gain process.
Eat lots of high-quality protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats, and your body will be able to endure almost any load that you stress it with. Once you’ve got your diet dialed in with all kinds of healthy foods containing all of the aforementioned nutrients, you can start thinking about supplementing it with various other sources of protein such as whey protein, casein or use performance-boosting compounds such as creatine. These three are proven to be the most effective by numerous studies and will be a perfect addition to your muscle-building arsenal.
Building muscle mass isn’t exactly rocket science, no matter how much some people try to make it out to be so that they can sell you expensive supplements and training programs. It is hard work though. If you’re not willing to put the necessary effort, you will find it extremely hard to pack on lean muscle mass.
The thing is, our bodies are more robust than we think. We as a species have evolved to do hard physical work, so in our modern age where such work is rarely necessary, we need to deliberately challenge our bodies with heavier weights, more repetitions, and shorter rest intervals.
Test your limits and your body will have no other choice but to adapt. It will thank you for it, as well as your mind. So, what are you waiting for? Head to the gym, grab a barbell do some heavy lifting and make your muscles grow.