The best way to build muscle FAST

Everyone wants to build muscle fast, and before you say "no they don't" because most women will turn around and tell you they just want to be trim, tight and toned, then let me tell you, that is muscle building.  The tight and toned is actually just…. tight toned MUSCLES!!  From gaining huge muscle mass to being tight and toned, the answer to how to build muscle fast is …. lift weights.  HEAVY weights.

Through my years of studying the art of muscle building, whether it be for the male who wants to "get buff" or the female who wants to lose weight and tone up, i have found that the answer is always…. lift weights.  Why?  Because by lifting weights we get stronger.  By getting stronger, we are pushing our bodies to adapt to being able to lift heavier weights, and therefore we grow muscle.  As we push our bodies to lift heavier and heavier, out bodies adapt, grow more muscle, and in turn get bigger if your a male, or more toned if your a female.  Please click here for my article on "Women and weight lifting" to see the reasons behind the differences of males and females and weights!

So how do we build muscle fast, what weights do we lift, how heavy, how many reps and sets do we do, and what are the BEST EXERCISES?  Here's a few guidelines that i know work, i have seen men get bigger and buff, women lose weight and get trim tight and toned, and i know it works…..FAST!!

Lift Heavy to Build Muscle Fast

 How many times have we seen people walk into the gym, spend HOURS there doing multiple sets and reps of exercises they CAN do!  Yes, they sit there pushing the leg press in out in out in out, rest, repeat, in out in out in out, rest, and not once do you see them try push something that they are struggling with.  Yes they may fatigue their legs slightly and get a little puffed, but in terms of getting toned thighs, higher bottoms, and muscle gain, by doing what you already CAN do, your body doesn't need to change.  Why would it need to change if it can already do what your making it do???  BUT…. if you went in, loaded up the leg press, warmed the legs up with a slightly lighter weight, then added a bit more and aimed for a set of 10-12 reps, which, by the 8th rep, you were now REALLY having to exert strength and PUSH HARD, and by the 10th you probably couldn't do anymore, then rested, what is your body learning now?  Its now been pushed to its absolute potential, has found it was really hard, is going to go away and have to recover, and go through a recovery and super compensation stage, in other words, recover and build muscle fast so that the next time it gets put under that pressure it can do it more easily!!  Brilliant… now we are changing!!  

Lift heavy for fast results in less time

You don't need 3 sets of 12!!!!!!  The dreaded 3 x 12 that is written on every generic gym program card has to stop!!!!  Your goal is to fatigue your muscles, to the point where they probably couldn't do anymore, so that they can now go away, rest, recover, super compensate and get stronger.  So, my recommendation is this:

  • 1 warm up set at 50% of your goal results set weight (just to warm up the movement) only about 8 reps.  If you are going to push/pull really heavy for some of you men out there, i would then recommend 2 warm up sets, add a bit more weight, 20% less than your results set goal weight, and perform 5 reps there.
  • Then load up you movement to a weight that you know you are going to only be able to perform 10-12 of.  No more than 12.  By the 10th one you are really struggling.  (please note though, this should never be too heavy that your form is compromised).  Rest for a minute or 2.  Repeat again at that same heavy weight and just do as many as you, should be no more than 10.
  • Now we're getting tired right??  Now, drop your weight by 20%, and perform as many reps as you have left, so that by the end of this, your movement is well and truly exhausted!!

Big exercises get big results

Which exercises??  Big exercises get BIG results, heavy weights build muscle fast.  I'm a huge believer in fast hard workouts get you fast and hard results!  Sure, you can take hours  working every individual muscle group, or you can choose exercises that work multiple muscles groups at once.  Plus, these are usually functional movements, so are movements that you do every day, and therefore going to benefit you in your every day life.   Some examples of these:

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • StepUps
  • Press ups
  • Dips
  • Bench
  • Chins

Train less and allow your body time to recover and grow stronger

What exercises you do and how you do them is vital, but the big changes are formed in your rest times.  As mentioned, your body needs time to recover and super compensate (grow stronger) so that the next time you perform the exercises, you can push heavier or do more reps.  I have seen so many people train and train and train, and complain that they are just not getting any results, and have seemed to hit a "plateau".  As soon as i tell them to train less, they suddenly find that they start building muscle fast, they start getting results, as they are allowing their body time to recover and grow stronger (instead of training so often that they never allow this process to happen so just keep doing the same thing over and over again).  Please please please don't get tricked into thinking more is more, in this case, less equals more!!!

Increase muscle by increasing intensity

The only way your body is going to get stronger is by pushing it to the fatigue point mentioned in point 2, and then recovering, and then being able to do MORE!!  The key now is to make sure we are progressively overloading our body, by increasing its ability.  This can be done by increasing the number of reps or increasing the weight.  So, lets say when i started I could do 10 good squats holding 10kgs, and after that couldn't do much more without breaking my form, and was really struggling to stand up after this.  I've done by 2 results sets, and gone away and rested for 5-7 days, over which time my legs were sore and then got better. I now go to  do my squats again, and find that I'm able to do 12 squats until fatigue, brilliant, i have got stronger.  Rest again, and i know that i could do 10kg x 12 squats, so i better put my weight up now, i go to 15kg, and manage 10, brilliant, i am again stronger!!  Its working, and i am building muscle fast!  Yay!