We’ve all been there: working out regularly with a mix of cardio and weight training and seeing minimal results. A new kid joins the gym and within weeks he’s buff like you wish you could be. What’s going on? Well luckily for you there’s a checklist that can help you re-ignite your engine. The following tips are intended to show you how to build muscle fast for men. Pay attention and read carefully because, at first glance, some of these things will appear contradictory:
A healthy diet should match your daily calorific needs. You reduce those calories if you want to lose weight. But if you want to put on muscle you need more calories – fuel – to build that muscle with. A small increase (about 500) in your required intake can help but most important of all try to get around one gram of protein per pound of your body weight each day. Get this in your protein shakes (see further down) but also in protein rich, healthy whole foods.
Like eating more this one is a head scratcher at first glance. I don’t advocate no cardio at all but a reduced regime. Cardio for prolonged periods of time can burn up muscle as well as fat and isn’t recommended when you need to increase muscle mass. Do up to two days of light jogging at around 30 minutes at a time. An even better option would be to do sprint intervals: sprint for a minute and then jog for two. This kind of cardio is also high intensity and works your leg muscles better.
WORK YOUR FULL BODY
Most guys I know who lift are focusing on a particular muscle or muscle group. Maybe they want a great chest, maybe they want a six-pack or amazing biceps. Whatever they, or you, want, it’s best to work out more holistically (as a whole). Train either your whole body in one session or your upper body one session and lower body another. To do this you can’t focus on small movements aimed at boosting one muscle. You have to concentrate on lifts that involve lots of muscle groups at once. Classic (and awesome for building muscle fast) examples include: squats; deadlifts; pull – ups, rows, and presses.
The idea is that the more muscles you involve (and the heavier the weights) the greater the hormone release. This really helps build muscle fast. Don’t be tempted to “favour” a particular muscle either. If you’re not into squats but love presses don’t indulge yourself with the bench or push ups. Balance everything so you gain muscle evenly and avoid injuries.
LIFT LESS (REPS)
Don’t do lots of light reps; get as close to the muscle growth ‘sweet spot’ (between 6 – 12 reps per exercise). Lift heavier and (very important) at a slow and controlled speed to compensate. You should also aim to have your workouts clock in under 45 minutes or so. nd your workouts should never last much longer than 45 minutes.
Again, fuel is important. Before you work out, make sure you’ve had a meal with plenty of protein. Some people like to sip a protein shake while they workout. That’s okay – as is mixing your shake up when you’re done. Although I love whole foods, there’s evidence to suggest they take too long to digest and be used in the post-workout period.
LIFT LESS (FREQUENTLY)
Back to back workout plans for men to build muscle are never advised (unless it’s lifting one day then gentle jog the other 0r vice versa). You need to give your body time to recover and rebuild from the damage (which is what lifting to failure does) to the muscle fibers caused by lifting. Never train more than 4 times a week. Sleep is an important part of this. You don’t want to be working out healthily, eating healthily and then burning the candle at both ends. You need 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night.