These 7 muscle building secrets will show you the best way to gain muscle mass fast. These tips are geared toward gaining weight by stimulating new muscle fibers and increasing strength levels. The key is to train smart and succeed!
Muscle Building Secrets #1 – Eat More Calories
The most important thing that cannot be emphasized enough is that you NEED TO EAT to gain weight. You need to eat like you’ve never eaten before. If you are not eating enough calories, you will NEVER gain weight, no matter what you do. In order to build new muscle, you must eat more calories than your body burns off, creating what is called a caloric surplus. To gain mass, you should strive to eat at least 500 calories above your BMR every day. The extra calories will be used by your body to repair muscle tissue that is damaged during the heavy workouts, and to build new muscle.
Make sure that your diet consists of nutrient dense foods. All calories are not created equal! In other words, some types of calories are not equal to others for gaining muscle. For example, if I said that you need to eat 2,000 calories per day to gain weight, and you eat 4 bags of potato chips each day, do you think you would gain muscle? Not likely. The majority of your weight would be fat. Why? Because potato chips, like most processed junk food, contains empty, totally nutritionless calories. These foods do not provide you with the correct nutrient breakdown essential for gaining muscle.
Muscle Building Secrets #2 – Recover Properly With Post-Workout Meal
Always eat a post-workout meal consisting of a high quality protein and a high glycemic carbohydrate. After your workout is the ideal time to spike your insulin levels and re-supply your body with glycogen. A great post-workout meal consists of 2 scoops of high quality whey protein powder (I recommend Optimum Nutrition) and about 35-50 grams of carbs coming from either dextrose or maltodextrin. MRP’s like Myoplex or MetRX work great in this situation. Liquid meals are great after your workout because you don’t have to deal with the heavy digestion which real foods takes. The goal post workout is to maintain a prompt digestion rate so nutrients can transport swiftly and efficiently to our muscles.
Muscle Building Secrets #3 – Use Basic Compound Movements
The best way to train for optimal strength gains and muscle mass is to use basic core weight training exercises which work many different muscle groups. These movements are considered the true mass builders and will stimulate muscular growth and strength gains in individuals who consistently use them in their overall strength training workout plan. These core exercises consist of:
It’s very important to always have a training partner/spotter when doing these compound, core exercises and focus on really working hard by going to positive failure on every set (after warming up). This will really initiate muscle growth and provide the strength gains you’re after!
Muscle Building Secrets #4 – Keep A Detailed Workout Journal
Keep a detailed workout journal. This way you will be able to record all of your sets, reps and poundages for every exercise. You will have a record to look back on so you can see your overall strength gains and make changes if needed. You can download your free workout journal here:
Muscle Building Secrets #5 – Consistency For Growth
A very important aspect of being able to build muscle, aside from doing the exercise, is to be consistent in your efforts. On again off again exercising proves to be more disappointing than anything else. To truly get results, you need to commit yourself to daily exercise! Human history has us in the fields chopping trees, plowing fields, planting food, hunting animals. We have come a long way from that, but our bodies still need the level of movement that was associated with those times. Get up from that computer, away from that desk, out from behind that steering wheel and spend some time doing some vigorous basic movements for the chest, back and legs! That in itself seems out of reach for a lot of people. The problem is that we tend to think about how much work it will be and how much time it will take and those numbers are too big. Instead, do this. Plan to do 15 minutes. That’s all. You will find that once you start, and 15 minutes have passed, you can easily do 10 or 15 more. The trick is to initially think small. Trick your brain into thinking of it as a small event. The second part is to continue with this daily. Well almost daily. Time off to recover is important too. In order to maintain consistency, choose a routine that you will be able to continue with. Plan to do a small routine daily. The small amounts, compounded daily, and then monthly produces results. If this means just using dumbbells then that is fine. The point is to stick with it. If lack of consistency sounds like your problem, then put this into practice and see how you improve. Think smaller, become more muscular. Remember, being lean is the body’s natural state. It strives for it.
Muscle Building Secrets #6 – Have a Detailed Workout Plan
You would never build a house without a site plan, would you? You would never just pick up a hammer, some nails and start pounding away hoping your dream home will be built perfectly. Just like building a house, when you build your body up, you need a plan to adhere to and follow.
Don’t just wander in and pick out the first five exercises you see. Have a detailed plan of action and know which body part you will be training, which exercises you will use and a specific repetition and set range you will implement. When you have a good exercise plan, you will know exactly what you need to do and your training session will have a smooth flow with no wasted time looking for exercises to perform.
Muscle Building Secrets #7 – Rest For Muscle Growth
One of the best pieces of exercise advice is to understand that your muscles grow when you’re resting not training. That’s right; you don’t actually get bigger and stronger when you’re in the gym. It’s what you do after your workout that’s the real key to muscle growth. If you don’t let your muscles recover correctly, your body will become over trained and it will be in a state of constant “catch up”. This is far from the ideal state that you want your body in. What you want is to truly prime your body for your next workout and give it enough rest and recuperation to fully optimize your training.
The worst thing you can do is over train your body. This will lead to muscle atrophy (breaking down muscle) and you may experience the flu because of this. When you train, make sure to limit your resistance training sessions to 45 minutes maximum. Your body’s testosterone levels start decreasing after about 45 minutes, so anytime after this length and you’re really just wasting your time. Focus on hitting it with a high level of intensity for 45 minutes and get out of there. Take care of business and start your recuperation. When you get back from your workout, you might also try sitting in a Jacuzzi or sauna to really relax and let your muscles recover. Rest is extremely important when training hard, so make sure to take the time to recover and grow from your training sessions.