Some people want to grow muscle so they can bulk up for athletic performance. Others are after a toned body that looks good in a bathing suit. And there are those who just need to build some strength simply to feel better.
We all need to grow muscle even if it is only to support an active lifestyle. Then there are times when you need to grow muscle fast.
When we want to grow muscle, most of us immediately imagine weeks, if not months, of lifting weights or chugging away at the machines at the gym. To grow muscle always seems to equal a long-term project with slow but steady gains and a lot of sweat and hard work. Growing muscle fast can seem like an impossible goal.
But there are ways to grow muscle fast. Maybe you have an important athletic event coming soon and you need to grow muscle fast in order to compete. It is just as likely that a beach vacation is coming sooner than you realized and you need to grow some muscles to look your best on the beach. In any case, it is possible to grow muscle fast. With some dedication and attention, there are steps you can take that will build muscle quickly
No matter the reason, it is possible to grow muscle fast. Yes, to really put on toned, strong, and lean muscle, you need to make a commitment to a workout program.
But to grow muscle when you need it, there are a few methods to grow muscle fast. A combination of dietary changes, workout supplements, and solid exercise can really grow muscle fast and you do not need to get into the business of chemicals or exhausting workout routines.
This guide will walk you through 10 proven ways to grow muscle fast.
Up Your Training Volume
Your training volume, that is the number of reps multiplied by the number of sets, will set the rate for how fast you grow muscle. The technical term for building muscle is hypertrophy, and the key to successful hypertrophy is increased intensity with respect to the way you work the muscles. The more work, the more the muscle increases in strength and size.
An increase in training volume means an increase in intensity over an increase in weight. Rather than working toward building up the resistance factor through increased weight, build up the number of reps for heightened intensity. This will accelerate the “burn” phase of your workout. What this means is that your muscles are going through the most intense strain and will subsequently go through increased muscle generation. By breaking down the muscle protein, you boost muscle protein synthesis. This equals more muscle and fast.
By focusing on the level of intensity, hypertrophy gets kicked into action. In order to maintain this level of intensity, we recommend a high-energy pre-workout supplement that will give you the endurance you will need to push through these kinds of workouts. NF Sports Pre-workout has added creatine and beta-alanine that will make it possible to work out at this level.
The Eccentric Phase of Your Workout
All workouts have two phases. These are basically the hard phase, concentric, and the easy phase, the eccentric. In the concentric phase, you are doing the most difficult part of the workout. For example, when you are lifting, the phase in which you are actually fully exerting yourself to resist the weight is the concentric phase. Lowering the weight, though it requires strength, is easier and is the eccentric phase.
We tend to focus entirely on the concentric phase because that is when we feel like we are getting the real work done. You can increase hypertrophy by focusing more on the eccentric phase.
To increase the eccentric phase, you can do one of two things. Slow down the eccentric phase of each exercise. Or, you can create a workout that focuses on the eccentric phase. The benefits of resistance training are just as effective during the so-called easy part of the workout as they are during the more dramatic lift.
One example of an eccentric focused regimen would be with squats. Rather than working toward the full rotation of moving the weight down and back up, you will take the squat all the way to the floor. Muscles are actually stronger during the eccentric phase than they are during the concentric. By focusing primarily on the eccentric, you boost muscle growth.
Less Rest Between Sets
Make sure the rest between reps does not exceed 30-90 seconds. Taking less rest between reps encourages the release of a muscle-building hormone. These include testosterone and human growth hormone. By taking shorter rests between reps you are encouraging your body to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that pushing yourself through reps with shorter rest periods between is the most effective way to stimulate muscle growth. It is the burn that does the work more than the increase in resistance.
This is really another way of increasing the burn. By taking shorter rests, that part of your workout that seriously taxes the muscles becomes the main focus of your workout. Again, the course of wearing down the muscle at an increased rate leads to faster muscle growth.
In order to sustain the energy levels you need for this level of training, NF Sports Beta-alanine will give you the required stamina and endurance. This provides increased energy and combats fatigue as you reduce the rest time between sets.
Increase Protein Intake
This just makes sense. If you want to grow muscle, you need to give your body the materials necessary to synthesize muscle. Stick with a diet of high -protein foods to give your body a substantial natural source of protein.
You can supplement your protein intake with a quality protein supplement. You want a supplement that includes not only protein but branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that convert directly into muscle growth without having to go through the complex metabolic pathways. NF Sports Nutriwhey contains high levels of natural whey protein as well as the full range of BCAAs
The combination of protein and BCAAs gives your body high levels of protein for the active workout phase. BCAAs by-pass digestion and are made immediately available for muscle protein synthesis. A high-protein diet and a solid protein supplement that contains BCAAs will grow muscle fast.
Build a Calorie Surplus
This may seem counter-intuitive, but for building serious muscle growth you need extra calories, not less. We tend to think in terms of cutting calories in order to decrease the chance of gaining weight from fat rather than muscle. But fast muscle growth requires calories. You have to give your body some source of energy in order to sustain the levels of intensity you need for growing muscle fast.
When you do the kinds of workouts necessary to build muscle fast, your body needs an increase in glycogens and other sources of energy to sustain the level of exertion associated with high-intensity exercise. If you do not increase calories, your body will sense a calorie deficit and shut down muscle growth.
You will need anywhere from 250-500 extra calories to ensure any progress is in the form of increased muscle growth. This can translate into as much as a 45 percent increase in muscle.
Bodybuilders have relied on casein as a high-protein supplement for a long time. Since you are working primarily toward muscle growth, you will need to supplement your protein with the rich available proteins of casein. The advantage of casein is that it is slowly absorbed into your bloodstream. Eat a casein snack before bed, and you will have a slow and steady supply of proteins and amino acids that will continue the process of muscle growth well after your workout.
One study showed that a before bed casein snack resulted in significant anabolic muscle synthesis for as much as 7 hours after a workout. This may be the easiest step to take for increased muscle growth.
You can eat things like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or even milk for a good dose of casein. Eat these as a nighttime snack to add the protein from casein to your body so it can be metabolized overnight.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Muscle recovery is just as critical to muscle growth as the workout. It is during muscle recovery that the body releases human growth hormones to stimulate muscle synthesis. Rest and a full 8 hours of sleep to ensure that the benefit of the workout finds its complement in the muscle protein synthesis phase.
A study by the American Medical Association showed that not getting enough sleep inhibits the release of testosterone, a vital hormone for muscle growth. Getting the full 8 hours of sleep is a crucial step in building muscle fast.
Creatine supplements are another go-to feature of workout supplements. While creatine does not directly stimulate muscle growth, it does promote the energy levels required for high-intensity resistance training workouts.
As we said above, you need to increase your reps and take less rest time in between. In order to sustain this level of intensity, you will need to increase levels of energy. Creatine provides this. Studies show that creatine can increase your reps by 14 percent.
NF Sports micronized creatine will increase energy levels and reduce fatigue for the kinds of workouts you will need for enhanced muscle growth.
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, HMB, is derived from leucine which is one of the main branched-chain amino acids that directly stimulate muscle growth. While HMB does not stimulate muscle growth, it does inhibit muscle break down and this encourages muscle growth. Effective, HMB retains the muscle you have while enhancing other metabolic processes that cause muscle growth.
HMB supplements have been clinically proven to inhibit muscle loss and enhance muscle growth. When taken in conjunction with these other steps you get the two-fold benefit of preserving healthy muscle while new muscle growth builds on what is already present.
One last recommendation specifically for your workout. Supersets involve stacking two parts of your workout on top of each other. As with the decreased rest time between reps, move from one part of your routine to another without resting. This creates what trainers call supersets, effectively combining two exercises into one.
The way to maximize the benefits from this is to focus on the muscle groups you want to build quickly. If you are primarily interested in upper body gains, stack two upper body exercises together with minimal rest between. This will set all of the processes described in motion and create serious muscle growth in the areas you want to build.
Wrapping things up
Building muscle quickly is not often the goal of exercise. Most of us are taught early on that muscle growth is the result of a commitment to serious workouts and training. Big gains do not come fast, and those who are seriously committed to strength and endurance are the ones who are willing to workout every day for the long haul.
However, it is possible to grow muscle quickly. Sports medicine and the science of exercise have refined our abilities to focus on specific aspects of working out. High-level competitive athletics has led to training programs that can accelerate muscle growth.
If you need to build muscle fast for athletic competition, or if you need to tone your muscles and put some definition into your physique, the methods detailed above will give you results. These methods are scientifically backed and tested.
For supplemental nutrition and for the kinds of supplements that provide specific benefits for muscle growth, recovery, and for the endurance necessary for intense workouts, NF Sports has a full line of workout supplements. From pre-workout to recovery, these supplements pack the proteins, amino acids, and recovery elements that will grow muscle quickly.