7 Best Tips for Building Muscle Quickly? The Expert Opinion

 

Don’t.
That’s the best tip that I can give you for building muscle quickly. Sure. You CAN pack on pounds of muscle in a relatively short amount of time by going crazy at the gym, sleeping 10–11 hours a night, using SARMs or anabolic steroids, and eating like a fucking lion.

But it’s not healthy.

You’ll screw up your tendons, ligaments, and joints and probably end up feeling like crap most of the time.

Realistically, if you want to build serious amounts of muscle (20 lbs.+) it will take 12–24 months.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true.

It took me several years to get to my dream physique (6′ tall at about 185 lbs. and 10% body fat), but it was well worth it.

All that being said…

You can do many things to build muscle FASTER than you otherwise would.

Top 7 Tips for Building Muscle Quickly

These tips won’t result in a Captain America-like transformation.

Building Muscle
But they will help you avoid the traps that most people fall into that cause them to spin their wheels for years without ever making real progress. The first 3–4 tips are admittedly boring but essential to building your best body.

The last few tips are more advanced-level hacks you can use to pack on more muscle in a relatively short amount of time. So without any further ado, here are the 7 best ways to build muscle faster and more consistently than you’ve ever done before.

See Also: Best Home Workouts For Weight Loss 2023

1. Track The Sh!t Out of Your Workouts, Diet, and Sleep

When it comes to building muscle, there are only three core components that impact muscle growth.

  1. Time under tension (a.k.a. training)
  2. Nutrition
  3. Recovery

If you get any one of these wrong, you will stunt your progress and prevent yourself from making real gains.

So what’s the solution?

Track every important metric! Starting today, you’re going to buy a small notebook and a pen and keep track of the following things.

Your body weight (hop on a scale every morning butt naked after using the bathroom and average your weight out each week)

Your body fat (use bodyfat calipers to get the most accurate reading)

The quality of your workouts (record the weight lifted, reps, and rest times, and take note of your form and how your body feels)

Your food intake and macronutrient breakdown (you don’t HAVE to weigh out your food forever, but doing this for a month will help you understand the nutrient breakdown of your meals better)

The amount of sleep you get and your overall sleep quality (you can use the free Sleep Cycle or the more expensive and accurate Oura Ring)

Now I know this sounds like a lot… But here’s why you need to do this.

You are GOING to hit muscle gain plateaus. You’re going to have weeks where you don’t gain as much muscle as you should, based on your training. And by tracking all of the above items, you’ll be able to figure out WHY.

By keeping tabs on your body weight and fat measurements, you’ll be able to make sure that you’re gaining muscle at the right pace without packing on too much body fat. If you notice that you aren’t gaining enough muscle, increase the amount of calories you’re eating or push yourself harder at the gym. If you aren’t gaining muscle fast enough but are eating well and training hard, try to get more sleep and better quality sleep.

The more meticulously you can track these items, the better your results will be.

Hey… I said these tips would help you gain muscle faster, but I didn’t say they’d be easy.

2. Progressively Overload Your Muscles Using the Right Rep Ranges and the Right Exercises.

Getting big means you need to lift big… PERIOD.

But you also need to lift RIGHT.

All of the guys you see in the fitness magazines telling you to lift in the 15–20 rep range with isolation exercises are full of crap. They’re on steroids and could gain muscle no matter how they lift. If you’re planning on gaining muscle without PEDs (my recommendation), then you need to use the right rep range for your exercises and progressively increase the weight or number of reps that you use.

Most studies have concluded that lifting in the 4–8 rep range is ideal for building muscle and strength at the same time. Any higher, and you’re in the land of muscular endurance. Any lower and you’re only building strength but not eliciting hypertrophy.

But just as important as the number of reps you do is the types of exercises you use.

Namely, compound multi-joint exercises like:

  1. The deadlift
  2. The squat
  3. Bench press
  4. Military press
  5. Loaded carries (more on those in a minute)
  6. Hang cleans

You can vary these movements and do some isolation work, but your workouts should consist primarily of these movements in the 4–6 and sometimes 6–8 rep range.

When you can hit 8 reps with a specific weight, add 5–10 lbs. (depending on whether you’re using dumbbells or barbells) and then rinse and repeat once you hit 8 reps again.

People like to complicate muscle growth (because they can make more money that way) but the truth is, it’s simple. Lift heavy weights. Do compound exercises that strain the whole body. And progressively increase the amount of weight you’re lifting.

That’s it.

3. Focus on Macronutrients vs. Calories

Calories matter.

Some people say that they don’t, but it’s darn near impossible to gain muscle when you aren’t in a caloric surplus. But what matters even more than calories is the quality of the macronutrients you consume.

For example, you can eat 3,000 calories worth of Pop-Tarts, oven-baked pizzas, and candy.

But that’s not ideal for gaining muscle.

Ideally, you want to get 80% of your macronutrients from whole food sources (things that had a face or grew in the ground), and the other 20% you can cheat on.

The “ideal” macronutrient breakdown (everybody is different so you need to experiment to see what works for you) is:

  • 1 g of protein/lbs. of body weight
  • 0.5–0.8g/fat/lbs. of body weight
  • 3–4 grams of carbs/lbs. of body weight

If you eat at these recommendations and follow step #2, you WILL gain muscle.

4. Prioritize Recovery More than You Think You Should

Building Muscle

Look… Muscles might be broken down in the gym, but they’re built in the bed and in the kitchen. You can do everything right with your diet and training, but if you aren’t getting enough high-quality sleep and time to recover, you will not gain muscle as fast as you otherwise would.

When you’re just starting out, try to complete 4 days of resistance training each week with a day of rest between days 2 and 3. Sleep at least 8 hours (probably more like 9–10).

But getting enough sleep isn’t enough. You need to get HIGH-QUALITY sleep and prioritize your recovery in other ways.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

  1. Buy blackout shades, a sleep master sleep mask, ear plugs, and a humidifier for your room (make it a sleep sanctuary)
  2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  3. Go to bed before 11 p.m. (this is when your body begins to release hormones designed to aid in recovery)
  4. Stop eating 3 hours before bed or have a light bedtime snack of a few celery sticks and some almond butter with a tea of your choice (I like Kava)
  5. Supplement with 50 mg of zinc, 1000 mg of Magnesium, 100 mg of L-theanine, valerian root, 100 mg of 5-HTP, and a few drops of CBD
  6. Avoid alcohol 3 hours before bed
  7. Meditate for 15 minutes a day. (It sounds weird, but it can help you build muscle.)
  8. Turn off the TV and all electronics 2 hours before bed and pick up a relaxing book instead
  9. Take a 15-minute Epsom salt soak or do contrast therapy (a 15-minute shower alternating between 2 minutes cold and 3 minutes hot) after a workout

These tactics will help your body recover faster and increase the gains in the gym and your energy outside of the gym.

See Also: Power of Cottage Cheese Nutrition: Protein-packed Superfood Can Boost Your Health

5. Use Topical DHEA to Support Muscle Growth

This is a trick I picked up from Tim Ferriss and all I can say is, it works.

I don’t know how much science is behind this particular strategy, but I’ve found that using topical DHEA (cream) before bed helped me increase my muscle gains and reduce soreness the next day.

Give it a go for yourself and see what results you get.

6. Do Loaded Carries More Regularly

Farmers walk, barbell lunges, sandbag carries…

Anytime that you increase the load on your entire body and then move around with that load, you’re going to speed up muscle gains.

These are some of the most powerful yet underrated exercises in existence, and they’ll be your secret weapon to building a strong, powerful body.

Do these 2–3 times a week (never more, as they’re incredibly taxing on the nervous system), and you’ll be astounded by your results.

Pair them with a few high-rep front squats (one of the few exercises that’s worth doing in the higher rep range), and you’ll be packing on muscle faster than any of the guys following cookie-cutter body-building programs.

7. Don’t Forget Your Mobility, Flexibility, and Conditioning

Even if your only goal is to gain muscle, you should still sprint for at least 30 minutes a week, do a few yoga sessions, and do plenty of mobility work.

Why?

Because a balanced body is a strong body.

Nothing will stunt your muscle gains faster than getting injured because of improper recovery or building up so much muscle that you lose your mobility.

And nothing is more embarrassing than looking like the Incredible Hulk but getting winded after a walk up the steps or a romp around in the sack.

I recommend that you sprint once a week (do 15 seconds on 45 seconds of walking and repeat for 20–30 minutes), do yoga for 60–120 minutes a week, and work in at least 10–15 minutes of mobility work before or after your workouts.

It’s not sexy, but it will help you stay strong, injury-free, and balanced while you bulk up.

What is the best way to go about building lean muscle?

First, understand your body type.

building muscle
Source: Google Images

There is one type of body; you are a combination of the above three body types; the thing that is left to discuss is where you tend to fall more on.

This analysis is important to plan a diet for you, The spectrum from left to right needs a craving for certain types of foods, and their diets are planned accordingly.

Secondly, understand what happens when you work out according to your spectrum of body type.

building muscle

The above chart shows that if a person was in one of the three spectrums, how much lean muscle he could grow?

The X-axis represents the weight in Kilograms, and the Y-axis represents the duration workout in months.

Assumptions

Same workout for all three types of body.

  1. Not considering fat gain/loss.
  2. Every 3 months, the workouts’ intensity increases.
  3. Hence the change in the graph every 3 months.
  4. This is the first time the person is doing the workout.
  5. This person is a young adult.
  6. Same diet.
  7. The graph is to represent trends only.

Let’s get down to the analysis:

First 3 months:

Here, the body is stressed for the first time.

Hence, there is a huge growth here.

This period is the golden period.

Here, strength and muscle both increase.

All three body types have growth, but the highest is of the Endomorph, and the lowest is of the Ectomorph.

See Also:  The Hidden Gems of Egg Yolk Nutrition: A Closer Look at its Health Benefits

3-6 months:

The growth is marginal.

Compared to the first 3 months, the growth has slowed down.

The Plateau 6-9 months:

This is the real test of patience.

The growth in muscle mass is moderate.

The growth in strength is tremendous.

9-15 Months and so on:

There will be growth.

But the body is used to the type of workout.

Here onwards, if a person keeps doing the same workout with any increase in level of intensity, the growth will remain constant.

There will be more plateaus ahead.

As you know, what happens to the body of constant workout, is what happens in most gyms; the person finds no growth after 6 months into the gym, doing the same workout.

This brings me to the next point.

In the third place is the strategy.

If you have noticed the graph, there has always been progress. Hence, as long as you exercise, you will grow. The question is how to make it everlasting.

Let me pour out some advice, which I know won’t seem appropriate, but then please bear it. A person, after reaching a level of fitness, will realize that there is more to fitness than the growth of muscles. The real answer lies in the strength; having puffy muscles would seem to simply put in lots of effort to really screw the body up. Hence, the person must find a balance in the workout.

So the strategy is to have a balanced workout, the yin-yang logic.

As you saw, the first three months of any new type of workout is the golden period; it doesn’t mean that you work out for 3 months, sit home for a month, and get back to the workout; it doesn’t work that way.

Keep changing the workout, employ more muscles, and even employ the brain like any other muscle. The biggest myth of all time is that strength comes from muscles, which it does not; it comes from the mind.

So do things like Martial arts, cross-training, circuit training, whole-body, individual muscle training, etc

Finally

Learn and read lots of things, and do what works for you.

There is just a lot of knowledge out there, and there are certain types of basics involved in making the workout efficient for you. If you were to learn those things, you would be able to manipulate your growth even more.

There are even lots of myths out there, and you need to debunk them on your own. People are out there doing what the other person is doing without questioning them. Don’t just follow them, even many trainers out there who are just humbugs.

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