So you want to gain some muscle fast? Great. But like anything, it's about the effort you put in. Gaining muscle isn't easy, but it is simple. Follow the steps below, and you'll be on your way to packing some lean muscle onto your body. Let's get into it…
You Must Get Strong - It sounds so painfully obvious. Still, hardly anyone who lifts actually focuses on getting strong when they go to the gym. I'm specifically talking about getting strong in the basics, some good old compound movements. They enter the gym without a plan, do the same workouts repeatedly, and never track what they are doing. If you want to see your body change, you need to write down your sets and reps in big compound lifts and consistently improve those numbers over time. I advise picking a few key exercises like the squat, bench press, and deadlift and focusing on getting strong in the 5-12 repetition range. For example, let's say today you do 135 for 5 reps on the back squat; make it your goal to slightly increase the number of reps you can do over time. Once you can get 135 for 10 reps, then add weight to the bar. If you build up slowly and in 6 months, you can now do 195 for 5 reps on the back squat; you will have added muscle, guaranteed. Constantly work to set new PRs in big compound lifts, and you will build muscle.
Work Hard In The Gym But Don't Destroy Yourself - Don't get me wrong, you need to push yourself, but a dumb thing you can do is take every set to failure without ever leaving reps in the tank. When you can no longer get a repetition without compromising your form, then it's time to end the set. If you are bench pressing and have to blow your back out to get the weight back up, you are doing it wrong. It's better to be safe and stop when your form is still intact, even if you probably have another semi-clean rep in the tank. 95% of your training cycle should follow this slow burn. If you take every set to failure, it's only a matter of time before you burn out. Every once in a blue moon, you can take a set to almost failure to see where we're at. Keyword, once in a blue moon. This approach to training assures you get stronger, pack on muscle, and most importantly, stay injury-free.
Eat More Protein - Most lifters either overconsume or don't get enough. Like a giant meathead, you don't need 15 scoops of protein powder a day. That's plain stupid, counterproductive, and will wreak havoc on your health. At the same time, you don't want to be under-eating protein. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by .8, and that is how many grams of protein you should eat in a day. If you are a 195-pound guy and multiply that by .8, you'll get 156 grams of protein per day. Break that up over 4 meals throughout the day, which will have you eating 39 grams of protein at each meal. Focus on getting your protein through whole foods like eggs, fish, meat, yogurt, and cottage cheese. If you struggle to eat that many grams of protein in real food, invest in a high-quality protein powder and use a couple of scoops daily to meet your total. 1 to 3 scoops max and consume the rest through real food.
And last but not least…
Make Recovery A Priority- This one could be as important as any mentioned. I can't emphasize what I'm about to say enough: Everyone worldwide should prioritize getting high-quality sleep. If you take nothing else out of this article, at least consistently strive for 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep and see how your life improves. If you neglect this, you are not getting the best out of yourself in all areas. On top of good sleep, get some movement every day, even when you are not in the weight room. Go for a walk, do mobility drills, take a yoga class, get a massage, or do a float tank. These will help you recover better to get the most out of your next strength training workout. Treat your body right, and it will grow more muscle.
Following the above advice, you're on your way to adding muscle to your frame. However, if you need a plan that leaves out all the guesswork, you are in the right place. We have many programs to choose from but to keep things as simple as possible, check out MAPS ANABOLIC, our foundational program. The 3 full body resistance training workouts per week, plus the off-day trigger sessions for recovery, will help you pack on muscle faster than anything you've ever done. Now go build some muscle!