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10 Tips to Build Muscle Fast

Learn how to build muscles as quickly as possible.

By
Ben Greenfield
August 15, 2011
Episode #059

Page 1 of 2

Some people spend years trying to put on muscle or get more toned, but just can’t seem to make it happen. Others see themselves in the mirror wearing a swimsuit, and realize that they want to get more toned or fill out some muscle, but just don’t know where to start. Whether you want to bulk up, get more curvaceous calves, enhance your chest, or achieve any other muscle building goal, you’re about to get 10 tips to build muscle fast.

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Muscle Building Tip #1: Lift

In “How To Build Muscle,” you learn that the only way to significantly increase muscle is to cause muscle fibers to tear, and the only way to do that is to subject your muscles to external forces to which they’re not accustomed. So unless you have a heavy manual labor job like moving or construction, you must get your hands on barbells, dumbbells, and weight lifting machines to see significant muscle building progress.

Muscle Building Tip #2: Go Multi-Joint

Unless you’re already very muscular, single joint movements like biceps curls or triceps extensions do not build muscle quickly. Instead, you should use multi-joint exercises like cleans, deadlifts, squats, and bench pressing. Not only do these exercises work more muscles in less time, but they also allow you to use much heavier weight than you can lift with single-joint exercises.

Muscle Building Tip #3: Go Heavy

Most people who are trying to build muscle do not use an adequately heavy weight. You should be lifting in the range of 8-12 repetitions per set, performing 3-8 sets per exercise, and using a weight that leads to muscle failure by the end of each set. One of the reasons that bodybuilders exercise with a partner is so that someone is there to help them when the weight gets too heavy to lift with good form. If you don’t have a workout partner, you can simply stop when you get too tired to lift with good form, rest a few seconds, then keep lifting to complete the set. This is a better way to build muscle than using a weight that allows you to comfortably complete a set without reaching muscle failure.

Muscle Building Tip #4: Avoid Cardio

10 Tips to Build Muscle Fast

Your body requires calories to build muscle, and if you are doing a significant amount of cardio exercise like running or bicycling, you are burning calories that your body could otherwise be using to build muscle. So if you want to build muscle as quickly as possible, only use cardio for a brief 2-5 minute warm-up, and then focus on weight training only.

Muscle Building Tip #5: Eat

To put on one pound of muscle, you need to consume at least 3,500 extra calories. Since an achievable rate of muscle gain is 1-2 pounds per week, you will need to be eating 500-1,000 extra calories per day to get 3,500-7,000 extra calories each week. But rather than indiscriminately shoving food down the hatch, try to consume calories from healthy protein sources like grass-fed beef, healthy fat sources like avocadoes and coconut milk, and healthy carbohydrate sources like sweet potatoes and yams.

Muscle Building Tip #6: Supplement

In Do Muscle Building Supplements Work? I reviewed several popular muscle building supplements. The top two most effective supplements you should be consuming to gain muscle quickly are 1) a high quality protein powder and 2) a creatine supplement. Other popular muscle-building supplements, such as nitric oxide or beta-alanine, will achieve small results, but will not be as effective as the highly proven protein and creatine supplements.

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