So, you’ve decided you want to start building muscle. The question of how to gain muscle fast is enough in itself to keep many gym-goers debating for hours and hours.
However, despite this, there is certainly a tried-and-tested route towards muscle gain. It’s a balancing act with several variables, including your workout regime and the food you consume.
Before we get into precisely how to build muscle mass, however, let’s begin at the top, by defining what we mean when we talk about building muscle.
What exactly is ‘building muscle’?
It may sound like an obvious question, but many people don’t know the internal processes that cause us to build muscle. In order for our muscles to grow, we use resistance training, which causes them to hypertrophy.
Muscular hypertrophy is when our muscles adapt to the pressure which is regularly being exerted on them i.e. by you lifting weights in the gym. In adapting to this change, the muscles grow in size, in order to be able to more capably complete the work required of them.
Because your muscles adapt in this manner, you need to progressively overload them to ensure they keep growing. If your workouts and nutrition aren’t pushing yourself, you’ll struggle to see the results you want.
However, this doesn’t mean your gym sessions can’t be enjoyable. If you get your plan right and stick to it, you can still have a lot of fun, and eat meals you enjoy.
How to gain muscle mass: 10 steps
1. Get plenty of protein
Protein is crucial to muscle growth and recovery. Your body’s protein reserves are constantly being used for necessary repairs all over your body, so you need to stock up if you want to grow.
Aim to consume around 1 gram of protein per pound you weigh every day. Eating a diet rich in lean meats, eggs, nuts and cottage cheese can up your protein intake, as can protein powders and shakes.
2. Up your eating
One great thing about building muscle—you get to eat more. To figure out how much you need to eat, follow these easy(ish) steps:
- Take your weight in pounds
- Multiply it by 12 to find your basic calorie intake (the amount you need to live, with no movement etc.)
- Multiply this number by 1.6 to find your resting metabolic rate (how many calories you need to go about your day, without factoring in workouts)
- Multiply the number of minutes you lift weights per week by 5
- Multiply the number of minutes you spend doing cardio activities by 8
- Add these two together, and divide by 7
- Add this number to your resting metabolic rate to calculate your daily calorie needs (how many calories you need to maintain your current weight).
- Add 500 to this number. This will give you the total calories you need to consume every day in order to gain one pound of muscle in a week.
3. Use multi-joint movements
Rather than focus all your time on isolated movements like bicep curls, instead, opt for compound movements that use multiple muscles – like kettlebell snatches and swings.
Also Read: Best Protein Pills
Other movements that use many different muscles at once are squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows and pullups.
4. Lift heavy
While high-rep sets can be valuable, for muscle gain, you need to be lifting heavy weights for fewer reps. These cause greater tears in your muscles, which can then be rebuilt to gain more muscle.
Sets of 5 reps with heavy weights that push you to your limit are effective, particularly if you’re using the compound exercises detailed above. The added bonus of compound exercises is that, as they use many muscles at once, you’ll be able to safely lift heavier weights.
If you want to get the best of both high and low rep exercises, kick off your workouts with sets of heavy weight, low rep exercises, then when you’re warmed up, gradually build up the reps while lowering the weights to a more manageable level.
5. Drink your shake before you workout
In 2001, the University of Texas found that gym-goers who drank a protein shake before their workouts saw greater protein synthesis than those who drank a shake post-lifting.
Drinking your shake between half an hour and an hour before your workout will see you reap the benefits, as the protein is absorbed faster when in liquid form.
6. Rest is important
Your body needs rest in order to grow. If you’re forever training to exhaustion, your body will never be able to climb down from battle mode and begin to heal.
Also Read: Legal Steroid Alternatives That Work Fast
If you’re doing tough workouts, space them out over the course of a week, rather than cramming them into a span of a few days.
This way, you can fully recover between each workout and increase the potential for muscle growth.
7. Consume carbs after a workout
When you’ve just torn up the gym, you need carbs to aid your recovery. By eating high-carb meals, you’ll increase your body’s insulin, which slows the rate at which proteins break down.
Anything could do the trick—a piece of fruit, a peanut-butter sandwich, or a recovery drink.
8. Eat regularly
Eating something every three hours (roughly) is optimal. Taking long spans between snacks and meals can slow the rate at which your body makes new proteins.
In order to keep up a healthy and regular eating routine, calculate the number of calories you need in an average day (formula above, remember) and divide it by six.
This gives you the number of calories you want to be eating at each meal throughout the day.
9. Snack on ice cream!
Yep, you read that right. Two hours after your workout, eat a small bowl of ice cream.
Compared to other foods, the insulin released by ice cream is far higher, which again, will slow protein breakdown. Excellent.
10. Use Brutal Force
Here at Brutal Force, we produce safe and legal steroid alternatives, with 100% natural ingredients.
With no injections, there’s not a side effect in sight, allowing you to recover faster between workouts – and go harder in the gym in the first place! With reduced muscle soreness, increased testosterone levels and a boost to your body’s natural fat-burning abilities, it’s time to smash those muscle building goals.