When it comes to building muscle, many see it as some type of elusive goal that they are never going to reach. They look at all the people in the gym that look the same year after year and assume that it’s a difficult task.
For some, building muscle is more difficult than others. I won’t deny that. There is no doubt that certain people are blessed with good genetics and body types that allow them to add muscle quickly.
Someone that’s an ectomorph is going to have a harder time adding muscle mass to their frame than a mesomorph. While it may be harder, it is not impossible. Too many people use genetics as an excuse.
The reason that most people I meet have difficultly adding muscle mass has more to do with their habits than their genetics. What you do in and out of the gym plays a large role in your ability to add quality muscle mass.
Like most things in life, your habits have a direct effect on your levels of success. Gaining muscle is no different. You can’t expect to pack on quality mass while eating like a bird.
Building muscle mass fast is not complicated. Don’t mistake that to mean that building muscle mass fast is easy, because it’s not, unless you are a genetic freak or using anabolic steroids.
Just because you do not use anabolic steroids, does not mean you cannot add quality muscle mass in a short amount of time. So get rid of that excuse now.
It is possible and you will be able to do it if you follow guidelines I lay out below. You need to actually do them though and do them consistently. Doing them here or there will do nothing. Consistency is key when it comes to building muscle.
Read on to learn exactly how to build muscle mass fast. While these tips may appear to be very simple, they are brutally effective when done correctly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are too simple to work.
Eat like a king
This is the most important thing on this list. If you want to get big you need to eat big! Professional bodybuilders and powerlifters are constantly eating.
If you are not gaining the amount of muscle that you want to, you need to immediately look at your diet. You need calories to grow muscle!
Specifically, the body needs protein to build muscle. Regardless of your personal diet philosophy, protein is necessary for slapping on lean muscle.
Protein is composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of your muscles and body. Without amino acids, you could not build or repair muscle tissue.
Muscle tissue is not grown while you are actually lifting weights. This is a common misunderstanding. It’s grown during the rest and recovery period after you’ve worked out.
Lifting weights tears down your muscles. As long as you are providing your body with enough protein and amino acids, it will work to repair those damaged muscles. Your body works to make those muscles bigger and stronger to protect you from the same stress in the future.
This is where you play a trick on your body. It wants to protect you and thinks that by increasing your muscle strength and size following a workout, it’s accomplishing that task.
It doesn’t realize that you are going to continue to break down your muscles by increasing your workload in the gym either through heavier weights or more repetitions. Doing this over and over causes your muscles to grow.
The thing is that your muscles are unlikely to grow in a calorie deficit. You can lose weight and fat while in a calorie deficit however, it is very difficult to add new muscle mass. This is why many bodybuilders “bulk”.
Every single skinny guy I’ve heard complain that he wasn’t able to grow any muscle, typically ate like a small child. They would eat one or two meals a day, mostly consisting of garbage, and wonder why they didn’t gain any muscle.
Then they quit and say their body just isn’t meant to grow muscle. Nonsense.
When your goal is to increase lean muscle mass in a short period, you need to give your body what it needs to grow. This means protein and carbohydrates.
The amount of protein that you need varies depending on who you ask, but the general recommendation is to get about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Do not be afraid of carbohydrates either. This isn’t a get ripped for summer diet. You’re looking to pack on solid muscle mass so carbohydrates will be your friend.
Well I love low-carbohydrate diets, they will not be nearly as effective for adding muscle in a short period when compared to a diet containing adequate amounts of carbohydrates.
Eat as much and as often as you can. Just understand that you are most likely going to add some body fat at the same time. This is normal. You can lose it later.
The amount of body fat you gain however, is going to be closely related to the type of food you are eating. This shouldn’t be Mickey D’s burgers and fries every meal.
You should be eating quality sources of protein and clean sources of carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, oats etc. You will figure out your favorite choices for both quickly.
Although eating clean and healthy is important, you are going to have cheat meals and days thrown in there. Depending on how hard it is for you to gain muscle naturally, you may have many of them. You need to gain weight.
Just watch your progress as you go to make sure that you are not gaining too much body fat. Other than that, eat around the clock if you are able to. Some bodybuilders eat up to 12 times a day!
If you do not have a huge appetite this is going to be a struggle, but I said this wasn’t going to be easy right? You will probably be force feeding yourself on several occasions.
Overtime, you will increase your bodies appetite and it won’t be such a struggle anymore.
On top of eating enough, you are going to have to train hard and often. This does not and should not be complicated though.
Stick with the basics while lifting
Eating without training properly isn’t going to do anything for you. In fact, it’s going to make you fat since you’re just taking in a ton of calories without giving your body a reason to grow new muscle.
My recommendation for all lifters, particularly new ones, is to keep it simple. In this information overload age, people feel that they need complicated repetition schemes and workouts.
Internet “trainers” want you to believe that building muscle is a complicated task. It’s not. You can pack on a ton of muscle by sticking with basic exercises.
The best athletes in any sport understand that the basics are the most important. Without building a solid foundation on the basics, that foundation is going to crumble as you go up in the ranks. Bodybuilding is no different.
Luckily for bodybuilders, the basics are the most effective. The best bodybuilders primarily use basic exercises. They train hard and heavy, but they don’t complicate it.
It will not confuse you and leave you with more questions at the end than you had in the beginning. It is a brutally effective program that will work for newbies and seasoned veterans alike if you put the work in.
I am not going to tell you how many workouts to do or how often, as that’s laid out in the program. It’s also largely dependent on the person.
I can work out more often and longer than someone new to working out, as I’ve been lifting weights the better part of 20 years.
When lifting to increase your muscle mass quickly, it is important to train heavy and increase your strength as much as possible. You should be going for personal records during each workout during this time frame.
This is why I like focusing on basic compound exercises like the bench press, pull-up and the squat when it comes to building muscle quickly.
As long as you train the basic exercises with brutal intensity, you are going to see great results. That added with the massive amounts of food you will be taking in is going to start you down the path to quick muscle growth.
While much of bodybuilding and adding muscle is physical, much of it is also mental. Many people don’t understand this and overlook the mental aspect of it. This is a huge mistake. If you want to get big fast, you are going to have to get your mind involved.
I am a huge fan of visualization and have used it to achieve my goals time and time again. Visualization is extremely important when it comes to bodybuilding and adding muscle.
Whether you believe in it or not, visualization works. It’s been found time and time to be effective with athletes. Great athletes like Jack Nicklaus (golf), Muhammad Ali (boxing), Arnold Schwarzenegger (bodybuilding) and Michael Jordon (basketball), all utilized the power of visualization.
They imagined the end result of their match, game or body. They understood that imagining the end results they wanted to achieve in their mind was going to help them get there in their body.
Bodybuilding is perhaps the most important activity for visualization. There is nothing else where the appearance of the body is more important than bodybuilding. That takes a vision.
The best bodybuilders envision what they want their body to look like. Even though it may not look the way they want it to in the mirror, they are able to see their ideal body in their mind.
You need to have a clear picture of what you are trying to build. You can’t be vague when you say you just want to add muscle and hope for the best.
What do you want to look like? Which body parts do you want to grow? What is your body going to look like at the end when it’s exactly the way you want it? How great is that going to feel?
These are all things that you need to think about. Constantly. You need to consistently visualize all that muscle you are going to pack on. I promise it is going to help you tremendously.
Imagine having the bulging biceps and pumped-up chest. Imagine what having the rippling quads or calves is going to feel like. Really feel it!
Visualize the muscle you want to gain all the time. When you’re training, try to keep your image in mind. If you’re doing back, imagine your lat muscles getting bigger with each rep.
When you’re at home or before you go to sleep, take a few minutes to visualize and imagine all the muscle you’re going to pack on.
The more you can do this the better.
You need to be obsessed
If you want to grow muscle mass quickly, you need to be obsessed with it. It has got to be a 24-hour thing. Every waking hour and hopefully even sleeping hours will be devoted to gaining that muscle.
When you’re not training, you’ll be eating. When you’re not eating or training, you will be visualizing all the gains you are making.
Watch bodybuilding videos. Read bodybuilding articles. Do whatever you can to keep your mind focused on getting big and building muscle.
If you want to accomplish anything, you need to be obsessed. The most successful people are obsessed with whatever they choose to do.
Isn’t being obsessed unhealthy? Screw that. Study any great person and it will quickly become evident that they were totally obsessed in whatever they did.
People today are trying to get to their goals while doing the least amount of work possible. They try to find any little way to make things easier instead of harder.
Dan Gable was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. While he was a great wrestler and coach, he was known for his insane work ethic.
Gable would literally devote his entire life to wrestling. He would run to class with ankle weights on. While in class, he would do isometrics at his desk. He would stay long after practice ended. He would train around the clock.
That’s what it takes. While you might not need to be as obsessed as Dan Gable was, it certainly wouldn’t hurt. If you want to pack on muscle quickly, it’s going to take obsession!
This is going to have to be your full-time job. No time off. You will need to make a lot of sacrifices in order to build muscle fast. No missed workouts. No missed meals. No weekend party binges.
Gaining muscle fast is not going to be all work though. One of the most important parts is going to be rest.
You need to sleep like a baby
If you want to grow muscle, you have to be able to recover from your workouts. Sleep plays a huge role in recovery and muscle growth.
When you sleep, your body releases something called human growth hormone (HGH). You have probably heard of HGH in recent years after certain athletes got caught taking it to grow muscle and improve performance.
The majority of HGH is released during sleep. Studies have found that poor sleep can reduce the amount of HGH that your body produces.
HGH is responsible for cell growth and regeneration. Without HGH, your body would not be able to increase your muscle mass. It is extremely important for muscle growth and repair.
Since it’s so important, it would make sense to maximize our bodies production of it as much as naturally possible. The way to do that is with deep, quality sleep.
Very few people today are able to sleep well. They have poor bedtime habits, which leads to poor quality sleep. Poor sleep leads to your body producing less growth hormone, which means that you are not growing as much muscle as possible.
If you want to grow muscle quickly, you are going to have to learn how to sleep well. The longer you can sleep the better. I would aim for at least 8 hours however, I have heard of bodybuilders sleeping 12 or more hours a day.
While that might not be possible for you, do your best to get quality sleep. You are going to find that your ability to recover from your workouts and grow muscle is going to improve with better sleep.
Once you have done all that, there’s one more thing that is going to be helpful.
I left this for last topic for last. I just wanted to quickly touch on the importance of supplements when it comes to building muscle. This is a supplement review blog after all.
I didn’t want it to be the focus of this article because I think that all the other things I discuss above are going to be the most important.
The purpose of supplements is to supplement your diet and training. I hope I have made that clear in my articles. Many people think that supplements are the most important. Not true.
Supplements will be a huge help for packing on muscle in a short period after you have already done everything else I suggest.
Supplements, like whey or casein protein powder, can be a great supplement to your diet when you miss a meal or do not have time to sit down and eat. They should not be your entire diet, but they work extremely well.
Aside from protein, another supplement to consider taking during this time is a pre-workout supplement. There will be a lot of days when you just don’t feel like working out.
A quality pre-workout powder is like motivation in a can. When you don’t feel like working out, it can quickly get you in the mood to go from zero to hero. You’ll be slamming weights in no time.
There are a lot of other supplements available to aid in muscle growth, but these will be the most helpful ones during the short time you are looking to increase your muscle mass.
You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with a few high-quality supplements added to your already well-structured program.
The final result
If you follow the guidelines I’ve laid out here strictly, I’m confident that you are going to see increases in your muscle mass in a short period.
How long will it take? That depends on a few things. It depends on how well you actually listen to my advice and follow these suggestions.
If you do actually follow them, you should have some noticeable results within a month. Make sure you take some before pictures so you can see the improvements you’ve made. It can be hard to tell when you see yourself every day.
Imagine if you were able to dial it in and follow these guidelines for six months. Think of the growth that you will have then. I’m confident that these tips work because I’ve used them myself.
As you go through these, you will need to experiment and see what works best for you. Not every single thing that I do will work perfectly for you, but it’s unlikely anyone will fail with these tips.
They are the very basic building blocks to getting big and building muscle. As you go through them, you will be able to tweak them and discover ways to make them your own.
To your growth,
P.S. Have you ever used any of these methods to gain muscle quickly? Do you struggle to put on muscle? I’d love to hear your experience below. I’d also love to hear any thoughts, comments or questions you have below as well!