So, how can you build muscle faster? Achieving that eye-catching aesthetic we all want to get is a distant dream in the minds of many people. How many times have you seen a film and awed with envy when you looked at actors such as Danial Craig & Tom Hardy, wondering how they managed to make so much muscle gain?
Well, I am here to tell you that their physiques are not gifted upon them by mere good genetics, but by consistent & dedicated hard work, which in turn resulted in amazing muscle growth. But perhaps you’re wondering how long it took them? how long would it take you? & how exactly do you build muscle faster?
How fast can I naturally build muscle?
There are only two situations where someone can build muscle mass fast in a short amount of time. The first is if the person is using drugs to enhance their growth. The second situation is if the person is extremely new to lifting weights or just exercising in general & this is what is called “newbie gains”.
If you are not able to get access to the gym because of distance, you can start your muscle-building journey with your bodyweight exercises. As a perfect example, you can look at any Olympic player, specifically a gymnast. You can find that you can get bulky and big tissues by just lifting yourself up. It can be achieved but it is more difficult and challenging especially for movements of the lower torso.
The rate at which muscle is built-depends widely on the individual. Average can gain 0.5Ib of muscle per week, 2Ib per month, and 20Ib to 25Ib in their first year. These numbers can increase or decrease & can be affected by a number of factors such as frequency & quality of training, sleep, nutrition, age & gender. Young male teens will find it the easiest to build size due to their boost in testosterone, women boost tissue at a slow rate due to their decrease in the male hormone. Also, as you age your testosterone levels start to drop which means you’ll gain muscle at a slower rate as well.
Basic things about Muscles
Muscles and Fibers
Before going to know about our main topic, the first thing you need to know about human anatomy. A human’s muscle comes in smooth, cardiac, and skeletal muscle form.
Smooth muscle: Smooth muscles are attached around the organs. These types of muscles are involuntary and uncontrollable. It can not be grown.
Cardiac muscle: Cardiac muscles are attached around the heart. Like smooth muscles, these types of muscles are also involuntary and uncontrollable. It can not be grown also.
Skeletal muscles: Skeletal muscles basically attached to the bones. This type of tissue can be controlled. These are the things you are going to grow. These are consist of two kinds of fibers. One is slow-twitch fibers and the other one is fast-twitch fibers. Here, fast-twitch fibers have the scope to boost more than Slow-twitch fibers.
Muscle Contract: Muscle contract basically depends on the signal from the neuron. it receives signals from the motor neuron. You can train your muscles to contract with neurons better. The one who is able to lift heavy weights is able to contract muscles with neurons well. Muscles grow at performing few selected movements.
Growing of Muscles: After an extreme workout session when you relax for few times, then it will start to grow. Workout damages tissue fibers and repairs by fusing tissue fibers. This is when muscle grows.
Muscle increase Rates
Nerve fibers and Muscles allow the human anatomy to move body parts. This also enables internal organs to function properly. Naturally, these are around 40 percent of a human’s body weight. This tissue can be gained by various training programs. But muscle growing varies from man to man but the variation is very minimum. Muscle build is not similar over time, it decreases after a certain period.
You can increase your weight by more or less 1kg/2.20 pound every month if you start lifting heavy weights. Young people gain density very fast unlike females and older people. Females and old people boost it slowly because of less testosterone. Most of the muscle mass gains within the first few years. Because muscle has already built in that time. After that tissue building slowed down. It is also harder to gain more when you have more muscle and strength. It is easy to gain weight but build muscle.
Here is the chart of approximate gain as per squat, fat loss, muscle gain.
Muscle gain Rates
Here is the chart of approximate muscle gain as per period
|1 year||2 years||3 years|
|Weekly Muscle Gain||0.25kg / 0.5 pound||0.12kg / 0.26 pound||Very small fraction amount|
|Monthly Muscle Gain||1kg / 2.20 pound||0.5kg / 1.10 pound||0.25kg / 0.5 pound|
|Yearly Muscle Gain||12kg / 26.45 pound||6kg / 13.22 pound||3kg / 6.60 pound|
Here is the chart of approximate gain as per squat, fat loss, muscle gain.
|1 Week||1 Month||3 Months|
|Squat Gains||7.5kg / 16.50 pound||30kg / 66 pound||90kg / 198.40 pound|
|Fat Loss||0.5kg / 1.10 pound||2kg / 4.40 pound||6kg / 13.20 pound|
|Muscle Gains||0.25kg / 0.55 pound||1kg / 2.20 pound||3kg / 6.60 pound|
Casey Butt comes with a chart to determine how much muscle mass you are able to gain. Here is the Casey’s formula below for men in approximate value,
|Height||Maximum Body-weight||Maximum Biceps Size|
|1m62 / 5’4″||78kg / 172 pound||41.5cm / 16.3″|
|1m67 / 5’6″||82kg / 181 pound||42.1cm / 16.6″|
|1m73 / 5’8”||86kg / 190 pound||42.7cm / 16.8″|
|1m77 / 5’10”||90kg / 199 pound||43.4cm / 17.1″|
|1m83 / 6’0”||94kg / 207 pound||44cm / 17.3″|
|1m87 / 6’2”||98kg / 216 pound||44.6cm / 17.6″|
|1m93 / 6’4″||102kg / 224 pound||45.3cm / 17.8″|
|1m98 / 6’6″||106kg / 233 pound||45.9cm / 18.1″|
There is no way possible you will gain more than 1kg/2.20 pound muscle every month. Because of the limitlessness of human genetics. If you want to gain muscle faster, work harder and faster. To gain 12kg/26 pounds, you need a minimum of one year if you are consistent.
Short people build less muscle than tall people. People who have thick and large torso structures are able to gain more muscle than narrow build people. In short, muscular density depends on bone structure and height.
How does the muscle grow?
Muscle grows when a person challenges his anatomy continuously. They deal with great levels of weight. This is known as hypertrophy and it occurs when the tissue fibers sustain tissue damage. The torso itself heals the damaged part by fusing them and then the muscle size and mass boost.
Testosterone, insulin growth factor, and human growth hormone play a vital role in repairing and growing the flesh.
These hormones work by:
- Improving the process of proteins.
- Curbing the protein breakdown.
- Activating stem cells or satellite cells.
- Challenging anabolic hormones.
- Enhancing tissue growth
Do males and females have differences in growing the muscle?
The levels of testosterone and estrogen in the human torso, human genetics, and other factors are basically responsible for the muscle building of a person.
Both males and females require different ways to build body muscle:
- Mesomorphic: This type people tend to be muscular. They are able to build muscle mass more quickly than other body types of people.
- Ectomorphic: This type people have a straight and slim frame. They are able to increase their strength by training but they build muscle mass very slowly.
- Endomorphic: This type people basically likely have curvy or rounded shape bodies. These types of people are able to build muscle most productively.
How does Muscle build?: A Basic Understanding
It’s critical that you understand the process as to how growth actually occurs within muscle building. Having a better understanding of what’s actually happening in your torso as a result of your training will further help you make sure that you are doing everything correctly.
If you want to add any muscle you must first lift some weight, whether it be lightweight for high reps or lifting weights with heavy strength training sets. But why does lifting weight result in bigger and stronger muscles? well, when you are in the gym doing any exercise such as lifting dumbbells, squatting, or push-ups, what you are actually doing is damaging those muscles that you are working on and creating micro-tears within that tissue. You can think of these tears like a cut on your knee, your body will work to heal this cut and the same goes for these micro-tears.
Our bodies repair tissue fibers through a cellular process that fuses together tissue fibers to create more tissue protein strands that heal your damaged tissue while making it bigger and stronger. But this repair process doesn’t happen in the gym but happens while you sleep. So In other words, our bodies repair any damaged tissue from a workout and basically adds a new thick layer of tissue that wasn’t there before to reinforce it.
The 3 pillars of building muscle mass fast
There are three important basics to follow & understand if you want to grow muscle naturally and efficiently. To get the perfect shape, These three pillars will always play an important role in training and will provide a great stable base to ensure optimal muscle-building gains.
1. Lifting Heavy
Ever heard that strength is the size? well, it’s absolutely true. More strength is more muscle and if you lift big you get big. Lifting that heavy barbell off the floor or rack means more pull from gravity, forcing your body to work harder and releasing more growth hormone, which is a key driver for growth. Lifting heavy and focusing on strength training not only works your tissues but also your nervous system resulting in strength gains along with your increase in muscle size. This pillar is important because of its effectiveness in creating hard, dense, and functional muscle that will aid you in future workouts.
2. Compound Movements
Some people go into the gym and only do isolation exercises such as bicep curls, ab crunches, or chest flyes. The big problem with these is that they only work one muscle at a time and limit how much weight you can add to the exercise. But compound exercises provide the most muscle building potential in the shortest amount of time due to them working multiple muscles all in one movement. These include legendary hypertrophy & strength training exercises such as the
- Bench press
- Barbell squat
- Pull up
- Barbell row
- Military press
And any other movement where your entire body is a work to perform it. You might notice as you explore compound movements that none require any machines but solely rely on barbells, dumbbells & body weight. This can be used as a point of reference to determine if certain exercises are compound movements.
Isolation exercises limit the weight you can move, but compound lifts are limitless as to how far you can go. you can continually put more weight as you get stronger. As a bonus, because compound movements that work for multiple tissue groups at once cutting your gym time.
For example, doing an isolation exercise such as the dumbbell fly works solely your chest muscles, but a compound variation such as the barbell bench press works your chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, core, and to an extent your legs, meaning that more tissues are being worked and once. This allows you to lift much heavier weights than compared to the dumbbell flyes and also cuts your time needed to spend at the gym because you’re working more muscles at once and getting more bang for your buck!
3. Progressive overload for building muscle:
Progressive overload is the principle of gradually increasing the stress put on your muscles throughout you’re training. This forces your tissues to gain strength & size so your body can handle heavier weights in the future.
As you lift weights, our bodies are continuously trying to adapt and it does this by repairing the tissue and making it stronger so the next workout when you lift that same weight again, your anatomy will be able to lift it better & easier. But if you continue to lift the same weight every workout, your body is eventually going to adapt to that weight leaving no reason for your body to grow and get stronger.
This is where applying the principle of progressive overload comes into play. You can do this by adding weight or reps to each exercise every time you go to workout. Do this for as long as you can and you’ll suddenly notice that you’re squatting 30Ib more than you were three months ago meaning, you got stronger. Because we discussed earlier, more strength means more size and if you not lifting a heavier weight than you were last month, you’re not getting stronger.
Tips for beginners
Beginners can get a good fitness if he works hard. Consult with a fitness training specialist to get the best advice on the fitness equipment. They are able to give direction to the people on the correct form to use the fitness equipment and lifting weights. The rule of thumb, Using the right techniques is able to reduce the injury risks and enhance the ability to heavy workouts and build muscle.
Here is the advice from fitness training experts which you need to know:
- Before engaging in cardio workouts or strength training activities, you should warm-up and stretch at least for 5–10 minutes.
- You should begin with light activities. Start with lightweight training and increase the weight level in activities gradually.
- Try to carry out all workouts using the appropriate form, controlled movement, and breathing techniques.
- It is common that you will experience tissue fatigue and soreness after exercise. It will certainly happen in the early stages of exercises. If the workouts are too frequent, too intense, or too long, you will feel too much exhaustion or discomfort. So, you should gradually increase workout time and workout intensity.
New practitioners should consult with a doctor before introducing any new exercise. Because doctors are knowledgeable about health conditions and possible injury on different types of exercises. Either way, you can also consult with a fitness trainer about safety guidance.
For muscle building… Eat! Eat! & Eat!
Training and nutrition go hand in hand. Results come from being as dedicated in the kitchen as in the gym.
Eating Enough Calories
A caloric surplus is essential when trying to get muscle. This is when the amount of calories you eat is greater than the calories burned. This usually happens during someone’s “bulking” phase.
As discussed earlier, our bodies repair the torn tissue fibers and reinforce them with more tissue strands to make them stronger. Well, how do you think the body is going to get the resources to repair and built reinforced muscle? That’s right! calories!
Getting your macros
What foods build muscle mass? To answer this you need to make sure you are eating the right kinds of calories for optimal muscle growth, this comes down to macronutrients. To get better results, there are three macros that provide our bodies with energy for everyday functions, including the growth and repair of tissue. So let’s have a breakdown of each one to have a better understanding.
- Protein contains amino acids, the compound that muscle is made from. Eating adequate amounts of protein helps build muscle by giving the muscle the building blocks it needs, this macronutrient also helps maintain lots of the muscle we gained from our hard work in the gym and increases our bodies ability to produce testosterone & spikes protein synthesis, further aiding in our muscle growth. Some great Whole foods that are high in protein are cottage cheese, milk, fish, chicken, greek yogurt, or any good quality protein shakes.
- Carbohydrates are another major nutrient for our bodies. You can get the most energy from carbs from other macronutrients. So we can train harder. They are also protein-sparing, meaning the body will use carbs for energy instead of breaking down our tissues. You can get great carb from sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal, and many fresh fruits.
- Fats play a vital part in all our bodies’ daily functions, but they play a special role in hormone regulation. Fats help keep Testosterone levels high which is a major hormone that helps upkeep protein synthesis. More protein synthesis equals more tissue growth. You can get good healthy fat from Nuts, Whole eggs, Fatty fish, and cheese.
Below is a good guideline to start out with
- 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight a day
- 2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight a day
- 0.4 grams of fat per pound of body weight a day
1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories & 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories
Here’s an example. By using the information above and doing a little math, we see that a 150Ib man would want to eat
- 2,340 calories every day, separated into
- 150g of protein every day
- 300g of carbohydrates every day
- 60g of fat every day
Drink Sufficient Liquid
Water is an essential substance for building big muscle. When you wake up from sleep, you need to drink enough water. It will exit your body from a dehydrated state and cleanse waste from the body. Not only that, it will help to form the structures of glycogen and protein. Both glycogen and protein need to grow your chest.
Formula drinks improve the health quality of a fitness practitioner. If you want to get the necessary nutrients, drink these drinks regularly. It is a proven fact now that protein shake drinks improve protein synthesis if any heavy lifter drinks this before their workout rather than after.
Drink Milk before going to bed to sleep. Milk has high protein. Milk is not necessary if you put carbs and protein from other substances. Do not make it a meal. Take this 30 minutes before going to bed. It will slow down the breakdown of protein. Because protein breakdown occurs inevitably overnight.
Below is a good guideline to start out with
- Take at least 30 to 40 grams of carbs and 10 to 20 grams of protein approximately in your drink. Liquids to get better and faster digestion. Drink that 30 to 60 mins before the workout.
- Putting a bowl of cereal or some dry raisins in your milk will help your tissue to speed up muscle growth.
Within my post What is Building Muscle Mass? I discuss the importance of drinking water. Our muscles are 75% – 80% water so making sure you stay hydrated is a must for the health of our tissues & bodies
Pro tip: While on a bulk you will be eating more, remember to stay clean, healthy & keep an eye on your body fat. Don’t let it get out of hand since too much of it can hinder your growth.
Finish off with a strength training program!
Last but not least, you need a consistent workout. This really comes down to personal preference as it doesn’t matter too much whether it’s a strength training program or hypertrophy as long as you can stick by and continuously do week after week while increasing the weight, sets & reps. Find one that fits your schedule and your goals. The important thing to remember is that the more you train the faster you will grow. Do not forget to include rest days as those are essential for repairing tissues and keeping you from overtraining.
Below is an example to get a good training split. This schedule allows me to work every muscle three times a week which is optimal for strength training or building muscle.
3-day full-body workout split
- Monday: Full upper/lower heavy training
- Tuesday: Rest/ light cardio
- Wednesday: Full upper/lower heavy training
- Thursday: Rest/ light cardio
- Friday: Full upper/lower heavy training
- Saturday: Rest/ light cardio
- Sunday: Rest
As you progress through your fitness journey, you will learn more about what works & what doesn’t, the most important thing is to continue to learn, practi0ce, experiment, and see what you like. I hope this helped answer the question of “how to build some mass”