I have been training consistently for over two years now and maybe its how I look or the gains I have gotten, but I seem to attract people at the gym who want to ask me, “How do build muscle fast?” Sometimes they are training for a particular sport or sometimes they just want to look good with their shirt off. Well there are some secrets concerning how to building muscle quickly that I have stumbled across throughout my time in the gym. Unfortunately I had to learn through trial and error which included many wasted hours in the gym. I am writing this article so you don’t have to go through the same trial and error I did and because I don’t always have time to explain all the secrets to building muscle quickly while I am working out. So I am taking the time to write this article and share with you my top four secrets to building muscle fast. Let me tell you from experience, the human body is an amazing thing. It can adapt to demands that are put on it quicker than most people realize. If you put the right demands on your body, in the right sequence, and with the right amount of rest in between, you’ll be amazed with how fast you can build muscle.
1. Be consistent with your workouts.
Make a deal with yourself right now how often you are going to the gym and at what time of the day. You have to decide this now and stick to it because if you don’t, you’ll always have an excuse as to why you can’t go. Decide what day or day(s) will be your rest period during the week. I usually suggest one day of rest out of a seven day week. When your body starts to realize that you will be lifting weights consistently throughout the week it WILL start developing the muscle to handle the weights. Like I said, do not underestimate how fast the human body can adapt. It may be hard to stay motivated at first, but make some friends at the gym so they will be looking for you to show up each day. This type of social accountability can be a very effective motivator. Also once you start seeing quick muscle gains you will be motivated on your own, but the beginning is the hardest time.
A good workout will tear down your muscles and they will rebuild throughout the day after your workout. Good muscle building diet habits are key! If you want them to rebuild bigger and stronger then they need a lot of good “building materials” to get the job done. I suggest that if you are serious about building muscle you start eating small meals every two hours. Don’t forget to eat! If you miss even one meal after a hard workout your muscles won’t be able to build and if you consistently miss meals you could end up losing muscle mass. It will be hard at first and you will feel like you are stuffing yourself with food. Your body will adapt to this too and having a constant fuel source all day, every two hours, will make gains you wouldn’t believe! Personally, I set my alarm on my watch every two hours to remind me to eat. I am rarely hungry after only two hours, in fact, if you are hungry that means you aren’t eating enough. Trust me here, the worst thing you can do after a hard workout is get to the point where you are saying you’re hungry. At that point your muscles have already been long deprived of mass building nutrients. I suggest eating about 40% protein and 60% carbohydrates. Remember to eat good carbohydrates like whole wheat, brown rice, or if you really want the best possibly carbohydrates have some quinoa. Your body needs both carbs and protein to build muscle fast. One last note here, if you are getting hungry during your workouts, start having a small pre-workout snack. I usually have yogurt mixed with granola and raisins before my workouts.
3. The real key: Record your workouts as you do each set!
The benefit to writing down how many reps you do each set and how many sets you do at what weight is that the next time you go and do the same workout you will know what you did previously. This is the real key to building muscle fast. For building mass, I suggest you do 8 to 15 reps per set and about 4 sets per exercise. Now let’s say you are doing bench press at 225lbs and you did 8 repetitions per set for 4 sets and that was the max you were able to do. Now next time you go into the gym you will see that you are able to do about 1 more rep each set. How does this happen you ask? Because last time you did the workout and you went until you couldn’t lift anymore, your body realized that it needed to build muscle to compensate for the demands you were putting on it. You’ll be amazed when you go in again and sure enough, you really can do an extra rep (sometimes two) per set. Now you are doing 9 reps per set at the same weight. Next time you’ll be able to up it again. Keep going in this way until you get to about 15 reps and then add on a bit more weight and start over. Before you know it, you will be gaining muscle mass and people will be accusing you of taking steroids. I’ve been accused of this many times because of the speed in which I was able to put on size with these techniques. Remember to write all this down each day. Feel free to use this workout log that I created to help record your workouts. Print it out and take it with you to the gym every time you go. Feel free to use it as you wish and modify it in any way you see fit.
4. Don’t forget adequate rest
If you workout the same muscle group before that muscle group has had a chance to rebuild and repair, then you will be far weaker than you expect. You have to let each muscle group get a good two days of rest before you train it again. Depending on how you have broken down your workouts as far as what muscles you work out on what days, this usually is about two days per week for each muscle group. I also suggest your give your full body one day a week to recover. Without this one day a week to recover you will see your gains start to taper off rather quickly. I know because I have made this mistake as well when I was beginning. In other words, do not work out more than six days a week. Period.
These four secrets are the most critical when it comes to quickly building muscle. If you eat well and fulfill all four of these secrets to quick muscle gains then you will soon see your full potential. If I had known these four keys to success I would have saved myself countless hours in the gym. Above all, be strict, you have to stick to your plan you set in the beginning. Your friends will be inviting you out for junk food, asking you to stay up late, trying to get you to have a beer or two. You are going to have to have the strength to draw the line and say no thanks. It won’t be easy, but then again, how badly do you want to gain muscle fast?
Download the free, printable workout log mentioned in this article: Workout_Log.xls