Why build muscle slowly? Discover the secrets of piling on pounds of extra muscle fast to build an impressive body you can be truly proud of. Easier than you think.
The Secrets of Rapid Muscle Growth
You don’t go to the gym for fun, right? You go to grow muscle and build a body you can be proud of.
But when you look around you at the gym, you may see people who have been turning up for months, huffing and puffing through exhausting workouts…yet getting precisely nowhere. They seem to have achieved nothing for all their hours of effort.
Don’t be that person. It’s not necessary. If you learn how to work out the right way, you can build muscle mass fast and see impressive results in a short space of time.
Better still, you don’t need to inject yourself with steroids or other dangerous chemicals to do it. You can do it all naturally. The key lies in understanding which workouts, exercises and principles will get you the results you really want.
So the secrets of rapid muscle growth are actually pretty simple – stick to sound basic principles, and don’t be distracted by misleading books, articles and claims. When you get the foundations right, fast muscle growth will follow as surely as night follows day.
Maximize Overall Muscle Growth
When you go to the gym, success is not just about the effort you put in (although that is naturally important, too). Your technique and your choice of exercises play a huge role in determining how successful you will be.
You need to focus your efforts on the workout options that will deliver the best mass gains overall. And you need to ensure that you are working out with optimal efficiency. Anything less, and you are expending energy for no purpose whatsoever. Here are some principles to concentrate on:
#1: Use Free Weights
Although machines are very important, most experts agree that you can achieve much more if you spend most of your time using free weights. Exercises that use barbells and dumbbells deliver benefits that machines cannot match.
When using free weights, your body has no assistance from mechanical devices. Your muscles not only have to lift the weight, they have to ensure that you stay balanced and stable.
This requires considerable effort and muscle co-ordination. When your routines are based around barbell and dumbbell exercises, you can expect to see muscle growth happen more quickly.
#2: Focus on Compound Exercises
If you want to build as much muscle as possible, it makes sense to emphasize exercises that work more than one muscle group.
While isolation exercises have their place, of course, remember that if you are only working one muscle group, then that is the only muscle group that will grow.
Compound exercises, on the other hand, multiply the results of your efforts. When you do a squat, for example, you are working all your leg muscles, plus many other muscles in your body. You are getting maximum return on the effort invested.
So when designing your workouts, make sure you include plenty of compound exercises such as:
Squats (with barbell and dumbbells)
- Leg press
- Barbell Bench Press
- Dumbbell Bench Press
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Pull-ups, chin-ups
- Military press
- Shoulder Press
#3: Aim for Progressive Overload
Remember those guys we talked about earlier…the ones who never make any progress in the gym? Typically, their biggest mistake is failing to increase the weights they lift. The keep pushing the same size weights every week, and wonder why they make no progress.
Lifting the same weights repeatedly won’t make your muscles grow. If you want to see your mass increase, you have to focus on progressive overload. That is, you need to steadily increase the weights you lift – pushing yourself harder and harder.
However, remember that the key word here is ‘progressive.’ Don’t try to make huge jumps in your weight brackets. What you are trying to do is to push your body a little further, week by week.
When put under pressure like this, your body will respond by building additional muscle to help with the demands being placed upon it.
#4: Lift Heavier for Fewer Reps
Another common gym mistake is doing too many reps. If you can do 15-20 reps of an exercise without failure, then the weights are not heavy enough. You may be burning calories, but you are doing nothing to build muscle.
You need to be lifting weights that will only allow you to do 6-8 reps before failure. Then you are in the zone where your body is working flat out to get the job done – and that’s when your body responds by building muscle where it is needed.
Don’t take a shortcut, though. This doesn’t mean you can simply do fewer reps at your current weight levels. You need to increase the weight to the point where you are really struggling after those first few reps.
#5: Emphasize the Eccentric Phase
The eccentric phase of an exercise is the second part where you are lowering the weights, and the muscle in question is lengthening. You can get great results by slowing down during the phase.
Don’t let gravity do all the work. Focus on controlling this phase by slowly lowering the weights back into place. This way you are doubling the effectiveness of every phase. You are working the muscle in both halves of the exercise, and you will find that this makes a real difference.
#6: Get Your Form Right
Another very common rookie mistake is to think that it’s good enough to get an exercise done, regardless of form. This is a huge mistake. Getting form right is an important part of getting the best results from every exercise.
If you allow yourself to exercise poor form, you will get little or no benefit from your workout. You may even risk injury. This is where it is worth getting advice from a trainer or an experienced bodybuilder. A few simple pointers can get you back on track, and have you building muscle faster than ever.
#7: Restrict Your Cardio
Cardio is great for burning calories, but it doesn’t do much to build muscle. In fact, it can do the reverse. Once you do more than around 20 minutes of cardio, your body runs out of immediate energy, and starts burning muscle to fuel your cardio workout.
#8: Allow Recovery Time
This is the exact opposite of what you want! While cardio can certainly be valuable, keep the sessions relatively short, then switch back to weights. You will get a better result overall.
overy phase is when your muscles actually grow. There is no point in working them to failure in the gym unless you allow sufficient time for recovery. Make sure you alternate your sessions so that you are not working the same muscles groups day after day. There is a ‘chest day’ and a ‘leg day’ for a reason.
Sleep is also incredibly important for recovery, so get plenty of rest. Yes, you really can grow bigger muscles while you sleep! Don’t cut your sleep short. Consider going to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal so that you get all the rest you need to grow your muscles rapidly.
#9: Visualize Your Ideal Body
Your mental approach is as important as your physical techniques. Building muscle fast is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. It is very easy to get disheartened, and to give up just before the real results start to show.
To keep yourself motivated, picture yourself as you would like to look. Imagine what it will feel like to have a fantastic body, and to see it in the mirror every morning.
Think about what your friends will say as your muscles grow, and how the opposite sex will react to your new physique. That picture is what will keep you going when you think you can’t manage even more rep.
#10: Have Realistic Expectations
If you employ all of the above strategies, you can achieve amazing results for sure. But you do need to be realistic. You can’t expect to work out hard for a week and see immediate results in the mirror. It will take time.
But if you keep showing up at the gym and doing what needs to be done, you will get impressively fast muscle growth. If you do things the right way, you literally can’t fail. Simple mathematics and biology tell us that if you keep pushing your muscles, they will continue to grow. You can make it happen if you want it badly enough