I haven’t met too many guys (or women) who are trying to build muscle really slowly. It’s human nature to want to see the fastest possible results for the effort you’re putting out, whether you’re talking about bodybuilding, your career or even planting a garden. Some things need to be done slowly, but others, like building muscle, can be sped up with the right techniques. There are several factors that go into the fastest way to build muscle, but they can all pretty much fall into one of two categories: either training the muscle or feeding the muscle. If you’re sick of being skinny and ready to add some muscle mass, read on.
The Fastest Way to Build Muscle: The Training
For the fastest way to build muscle, you have to address every aspect of training, such as reps, sets, workout duration, rest periods, temp, and etcetera. All of these components are what goes into a good hypertrophy program and you have to consider each one when you’re designing your program, changing it up, setting your goals and evaluating your progress.
Address Both Strength and Size
It’s also important that your program have both strength building phases and size building phases. The reason for this is that if you’re not building strength, you won’t be able to progress to heavier and heavier weights, which is what you need to build that muscle fast. So, it’s important to rotate back and forth between strength-focused training and size-focused training. This also keeps your metabolism and muscle memory hopping, which will help you avoid a plateau. Your protocol may be one of the fastest ways to build muscle, but unless you change it up every so often, it’s going to stop bringing results.
For strength building, the only way to go is to completely immerse yourself in what you’re trying to do. You have to devote a lot of time to working out with heavy weights in order to build that strength and progress to heavier weights on a regular basis. You may see strength gains every two workouts or it may be every five, depending on your program and your body. But you need to see regular progress; otherwise it’s time to change your workout routine.
Changing up Your Routine
The longer you’ve been working out, the more frequently you’ll have to change your routine or rotation of routines. But when you do that, don’t just switch to some new program because you think that anything new will do the job. The fact is that your new program has to build on what you’ve been doing, and so does the next one and the next one. It’s all about progression.
You also have to look at all of the different ways that you can change your program and determine which ones best suit your body and your goals. Should you change duration, rest periods, tempo or some combination of all of the above? Work with someone you trust to help you design your programs until you’re very knowledgeable about the different components of muscle building programs and your body’s reaction to changes in those components.
The Fastest Way to Build Muscle: Nutrition and Other Factors
When most guys think about the proper nutrition for building muscle, they think protein. Protein is important, but it’s just one of many nutritional components that help you build muscle. Getting lots of protein isn’t going to automatically translate into building muscle; in fact, too much of it is just going to mean extra fat to go with your new muscles.
When it comes to protein, you have to know how much protein you need to build muscle, based on your training program, your body type and so on. For most guys, I recommend 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight. You also need to get that protein at the optimal times for it to be used by the body to rebuild muscle tissue. That’s a subject I’ve covered in several other articles, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Suffice to say that you need to eat the right amount of protein and eat it at the right time.
Controlling Your Hormones
One of the fastest ways to build muscle is to get your hormones in balance. That could mean different things to different people, based on their own bodies and their own nutritional pasts. Some guys may need to address high estrogen levels while others need to work on problems with too much insulin. Hormones like estrogen, testosterone, insulin and cortisol have an awful lot to do with your metabolism, fat storage and muscle building and how you eat has a lot to do with balancing those hormones and correcting any problems.
Build Muscle While You Sleep
Sounds like an infomercial for a crap product, but it’s true. Your body repairs and builds muscle tissue during your sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not going to be able to get the results you really want in the timeframe that you want. You’re also going to screw up your hormones again, because some of them, like cortisol, are affected by lack of sleep. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night and at roughly the same time most nights. It’s the easiest set you’ll ever do.
As you can see, the fastest way to build muscle isn’t about mastering one type of program or exercise; it’s about understanding all of the different factors that go into muscle building and learning to manipulate each one without neglecting any of them. To those of you who are beginners, this may seem complicated, but you’ll get the hang of it sooner than you think.