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Build muscle fast: tips & tricks!

When you hit the gym, you probably want to see results quickly. After all, that makes all that work a lot more fun and easier to keep up with. But what is the best way to build muscle quickly?

The bad news is that there is no trick to growing a six-pack in a month. However, that doesn't mean you can't accelerate your muscle growth. By using these tips, you will optimize the results you get from your training!

How fast can you build muscle?

We all want to build muscle fast. But how fast can that actually go? To set realistic goals, you will also need to know what is and what is not possible.

How fast your muscles grow depends on a number of factors. If you're just starting out, you can build about 3 to 5 kilos of muscle tissue per year as a man. For women, that is 2 to 3 kilos. Then the growth slows down the longer you work.

And what about programs that claim you can build 10 pounds of muscle within a year? Letting it go quietly: that's all blown advertising talk. Focus on sustainable, realistic expectations – that will ultimately be a lot better for your motivation.

Build muscle fast

Muscle growth training schedule

If you want to build muscle quickly, you need a training schedule to start with. So don't do every workout you feel like doing – you'll probably neglect some muscles and overtrain others. Instead, make sure to record what you are doing each day.

For example, a basic schedule in which you train each muscle group once could look like this:

  • Day 1: Chest – Triceps
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Day 3: Rest
  • Day 4: Shoulders
  • Day 5: Back – Biceps
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: Rest

If you want to train your muscle groups more often per week, you will have to tackle more and more different muscle groups per day. Make sure that you always take enough time to recover.

Muscle building nutrition plan

Furthermore, it is important to have your base in order before you start worrying about the growth rate. In addition to a good training schedule, this also means that you have to know what you eat. After all, even the most fanatical training is useless without the right building materials and fuels!

If you want to build muscle, you need a small energy surplus. This gives your body the opportunity to make extra tissue. Sufficient proteins are also essential because they provide amino acids, the building blocks for your muscles. You can quickly calculate exactly how many calories and proteins you should eat with our simple online tool!

Build muscle fast

Do you already have a good training and eating plan, but are you not making the progress you had hoped for? Then the eight tips below may help you to build muscle mass quickly!

  1. Be consistent

Your muscles thrive best with consistent load and growth stimuli. This means that it is better to train twice a week than sometimes not for two weeks and then again five times a week. It is best to choose a number of fixed training days, which are evenly spread over the week.

  1. Train hard

It is sometimes said that you should train lightly for more muscle volume. However, this mainly creates more endurance, not necessarily strength and muscle mass. If you want to focus on that, it's best to choose fewer repetitions.

Use weights that allow you to do 8 to 12 reps if you want to build muscle mass. Are you mainly concerned with strength, not mass? Then you can go even lower in the number of reps. In any case, don't be afraid to choose really heavy weights!

  1. Use compound exercises

If you want to build muscle quickly, you should not focus too much on individual muscles. It is, therefore, best to opt for compound exercises instead of isolation exercises. This allows you to target several muscle groups at the same time and thus achieve more results in a shorter time! In addition, compound exercises ensure that your muscles develop evenly.

  1. Train for up to an hour

It may seem logical to train longer if you want to see more results. However, more training volume does not automatically lead to more muscle growth! On the contrary: if you train for too long, it increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes muscle breakdown. In addition, you will often no longer be able to exert yourself to the maximum during longer training sessions.

So keep your workouts short and sweet: an hour is the maximum. Especially if you use compound exercises, you can really give all your muscles a big stimulus.

  1. Train muscles 2-3 times a week

Building muscle quickly requires a good balance between sufficient recovery time and as much training as possible. A muscle group needs 48 to 72 hours to fully recover after you train it. That means you can train each muscle group up to three times a week.

There are, of course, different ways to plan that. You can choose three full-body workouts, spread over the week. You can also train a few different muscle groups each, as long as you make sure that you never plant the same muscles two days in a row!

  1. Eat Enough (Even If You Don't Exercise!)

As we mentioned above, you need a surplus of calories for rapid muscle growth. And that doesn't just apply on the days you train! After all, your body is busy recovering on rest days, and that also costs a lot of energy.

Of course, you can cut back on carbohydrates on the training-free days. However, make sure that you continue to get enough protein, and that you do not make a difference with the training days too great.

  1. Forget alcohol

We can keep this tip short and sweet. Alcohol is disastrous for your muscle building, and that effect can last for a long time. A night out will have an influence on your recovery for another half a week, and therefore on your results! If you really want to build muscle quickly, it's better to just leave the drink alone.

  1. Go to bed earlier!

And finally: sleep! Your muscles don't grow during your training, but during your recovery – and nowhere do you recover better than in bed. For the best results, you really need those eight hours of sleep a night, and for some people, a little more is even optimal.

Do you have trouble getting to bed on time? Set an alarm to go to sleep! That way you avoid accidentally forgetting the time and zapping your night's rest in front of the TV.

Muscle-building supplements?

You often see that supplements are recommended to improve your muscle growth. In many cases that is nonsense – pills and powders never actually have the spectacular effect that you are promised. You achieve a lot more by optimizing your diet and training, and that is a lot cheaper too.

However, protein shakes can be a solution if you have trouble getting enough protein. Furthermore, creatine gives some people a (temporary) boost in their muscle growth, but that does not work for everyone! So make sure that you can in principle do without supplements, and only use them as an optional supplement.

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