When someone decides that they want to start building muscle, the first question that comes to their mind is how to build muscle fast. In this article, we are going to discuss principles that will help you gain the most amount of muscle in the shortest amount of time you.
There is a lot of trial and error involved in muscle building to finally find what works for you. However, this trial and error can be shortened and you can be on your way to building muscle faster if you follow a few basic principles.
You see one of the biggest problems with individuals when it comes to building muscle is that they are always searching for the latest muscle building fad. The truth is, there is no secret shortcut to building muscle. The principles that worked 20, 40 even 60 years ago, still work today and always produce the best results when an individual stick to them.
How Much Muscle Can You Gain Naturally Per Month?
Before I get into the steps you need to take to build muscle, I want to give you a realistic idea as to how much muscle you can gain per month naturally. You see, there are so many bogus ads out there that promise 10-20+ pounds of muscle per month naturally which are just lies and scams to take your money, do not fall for these. You cannot even gain that much muscle per month on steroids so doing it naturally is impossible.
So, how much muscle can you gain naturally? Studies have shown that you can gain up to 2 pounds of muscle per month naturally if you are new to training. As you get into year two and three of training, this can go down to 1 pound to 0.5 pounds per month. Please note, that everyone’s genetics are different and the rate that you gain muscle per month would differ from one individual to another. Not everyone will be able to gain 2 pounds of muscle per month, for some, it may be 1.5-1 pound per muscle per month.
This is what you need to realistically expect, if you think you can gain 5 to 10 pounds of muscle per month then you are in for a big disappointment. Also, do not mistake fat for muscle as this is commonly done amongst individuals trying to gain muscle. They delude themselves into believing that the 10 pounds they gained last month is all muscle.
The First Thing You Need to Do is Pick a Proven Training Program
One of the worst things you can do when it comes to building muscle is, go to the gym and just use whatever machine or weights are available with no structure or plan. From day one, you need to be on a structured program that you follow every week.
There are many programs out there to choose from. However, there are only a few that have been proven to work.
If you are a complete beginner and never touched a weight in your life, the ideal program for you would be a 5×5 program. A 5×5 program is designed to help you build as much strength as possible in the shortest amount of time as a beginner. This program will have you training three days a week and adding more weight to the bar every time you train.
The structure of this program is as follows:
|Workout Session 1||Workout Session 2||Workout Session 3|
|Squat 5X5||Squat 5X5||Squat 5X5|
|Bench Press 5X5||Overhead Press 5X5||Bench Press 5X5|
|Barbell Row 5X5||Deadlift 1X5||Barbell Row 5X5|
You can learn more about this program here.
Upper Lower Program
Now, if the 5X5 program does not appeal to you there is the upper lower workout. This workout program is performed four days a week and is designed to increase strength and size. This program has a strength focus as well as hypertrophy focus, hypertrophy style training is designed to increase as much muscle mass as possible. This element is missing from the 5X5 program. The upper lower program should be performed as the following:
|Upper Power||Sets / Reps||Lower Power||Sets / Reps|
|Barbell Bench Press||3-4 / 3-5||Squat||3-4 / 3-5|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||3-4 / 6-10||Deadlift||3-4 / 3-5|
|Bent Over Row||3-4 / 3-5||Leg Press||3-5 / 10-15|
|Lat Pull Down||3-4 / 6-10||Leg Curl||3-4 / 6-10|
|Overhead Press||2-3 / 6-10||Calf Exercise||4 / 6-10|
|Barbell Curl||2-3 / 6-10|
|Skullcrusher||2-3 / 6-10|
|Upper Hypertrophy||Sets / Reps||Lower Hypertrophy||Sets / Reps|
|Incline Barbell Bench Press||3-4 / 8-12||Front Squat||3-4 / 8-12|
|Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly||3-4 / 8-12||Barbell Lunge||3-4 / 8-12|
|Seated Cable Row||3-4 / 8-12||Leg Extension||3-4 / 10-15|
|One Arm Dumbbell Row||3-4 / 8-12||Leg Curl||3-4 / 10-15|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise||3-4 / 8-12||Seated Calf Raise||3-4 / 8-12|
|Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl||3-4 / 8-12||Calf Press||3-4 / 8-12|
|Cable Tricep Extension||3-4 / 8-12|
for more detailed information on this program please visit this site
If you’d like a more advanced program that specifically focuses on size only, then the MI40 program by IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski is for you. Not only does Ben provide you with a workout program but he also gives you video demonstrations on how to perform exercises. In this program, you will learn more than just lifting a weight from point a to point B for any given particular exercise. Instead, you will learn how to drive as much tension through the working muscle as possible, essentially what you will learn is how to lengthening and shorten a contracted muscle in order to stimulate the most amount of muscle growth in the shortest amount of time.
Nutrition to Gain Muscle
Working out in the gym will help break muscle down and set the stage for muscle growth to happen outside of the gym. If you don’t give your muscles the nutrients it requires to grow then usually very minimal muscle growth will happen. Your nutrition is just as important as your workout and you need to make sure you get this part right as well.
Firstly, we need to make sure you get enough calories to help fuel your muscle growth. You don’t want to eat an excessive number of calories as all that will happen is you gain fat. How many calories you need will depend on your current shape.
The Average Joe
If you’re a beginner who has never lifted a weight before and has an average build, you can do what is known as a body recomposition. This is a process where you can lose weight and build muscle at the same time on maintenance calories. For example, if you require 2500 cal to maintain your current bodyweight this is what you need to consume daily.
If you’re extremely skinny, then you want to eat in a caloric surplus. You don’t want to go too crazy with the calories, ideally, you should eat 20% more calories on top of the calories required to maintain your current bodyweight, if 20% does not work, increase it slightly by another 5% or 10%. If you do this consistently over time you notice the muscle gains with minimal fat gains.
If you are overweight, then you will need to start off being in a chloric defect. Ideally, you should consume 10% to 20% less calories than it will take to maintain your current bodyweight. So, for example, if you require 3500 cals to maintain your current bodyweight, you would need to consume between 3150 to 2800 calories to lose weight and build muscle safely.
If you don’t know what your maintenance calories are, you can use calculators such as this one to help you get an estimate as to what your daily caloric intake should be and then from there you can either add to take away calories.
One of the biggest mistakes most people make is not tracking their calories and macros. If you guess this part, you are just setting yourself up for failure as there’s very little room for error with nutrition. Ideally, you should be using a app like MyFitnessPal to track your daily calories and macros. MyFitnessPal is free to sign up and has a huge database of the most popular foods and their nutritional values.
Calculating Your Macros
When we talk about macros, we are talking about proteins, carbohydrates and fats. How much should you consume of each?
For sufficient amount of protein to stimulate muscle growth, you need to use the following formula to work out your protein needs. Bodyweight in pounds x 0.82 = your protein intake. For example, if you weigh 180lbs the formula will look like this: 180 x 0.82 = 147.6 grams of protein per day. Most people like to simplify this formula by saying just eat 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight which makes it easier to work it out. If you weigh 180 lbs then you consume 180 grams of protein. The 0.82 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is recommended as the optimal amount from recent scientific research and studies. However, there is nothing wrong with eating a little more.
Fats are extremely important part of your diet, they may get a bad reputation from the media but consuming healthy fats is extremely important for your hormone production as well as helping to increase testosterone which is extremely important for building muscle. When it comes to consuming fats, you just need to follow this simple formula: your bodyweight x 0.45 = total fat intake. So, for example, 180 x 0.45 = 81 grams of fat to consume daily.
Because carbohydrates are non-essential there is no formula for how much you should consume. What most people do is once they have had their protein and fat intake figured out they fill the rest with carbohydrates.
There really is no magic secret the building muscle fast or special magic pill that you can legally buy. Consistently doing the right things is what is going to help you build muscle fast. Sticking to a good training program and being consistent with your diet is what’s going to help you build muscle fast. I know this advice seems really obvious but it is amazing how many people skip over this basic principle and waste lots of money on fads and scams that simply do not work and make ridiculous promises that you will gain 10 pounds of muscle in one month from taking their product. So, go ahead and pick your program today get you nutrition sorted out, stay consistent and results are sure to follow.