Home / Interviews / Workout Tips / 31+ Fitness Experts Reveal How To Build Muscle (FAST) With Just 3 Simple Tips!
31+ Fitness Experts Reveal How To Build Muscle (FAST) With Just 3 Simple Tips!11/06/2018
So you want to build muscle fast.
You Google: “How to build muscle fast”.
289,000,000 results… “Well damn, I thought this would be easy?”
You click through onto the first 5 results, each with contradictory articles on supplementation, recovery, supersets, dropsets, optimal rep ranges for hypertrophy, supination and time-restricted feeding.
You then think,
“Jeez, this is complicated. I’m going to do some bicep curls on Tuesday, crunches on Thursday, get absolutely tit-faced on Friday and hope for the best”.
We’ve all been there.
Unfortunately, the internet is littered with conflicting information, scientific studies drowned out in complexity and unsupported advice about supplementation from those who want nothing more than to sell you a ‘4 Week Hardcore Muscle Gainer X’ program, all in the name of packing on some muscle.
Because of this…
We contacted some of the biggest names in the health and fitness industry:
From celebrity fitness coaches, qualified personal trainers, registered nutrition specialists to sponsored athletes in order to put to rest the nonsensical bro-science that blights a seemingly ‘simple’ process.
They included the following:
Straightforwardly, click on your favourite fitness personality’s name to jump to their top 3 muscle-building tips.
Without further ado, enjoy these super actionable muscle growing pointers shared by some of the biggest health and fitness experts in the world!
How To Build Muscle Fast: The Pro Secrets
Aside from working out frequently, eating big and recovering well (which are all important aspects of building muscle effectively), from a training point of view – here are a few things you can do to build muscle mass faster:
#1 Focus on contraction – Avoid going through the motions of an exercise without thinking about how you can engage the muscle further. Always aim to squeeze the muscle in it’s shortening phase as this will tear the muscle fibres needed to make the muscle work and grow bigger.
#2 Lower the weights with control – If you’re doing the first tip, it’s important to not neglect this tip either. Lowering the weight with control (for 2 seconds at least) will make the exercise more difficult to perform which will promote even more muscle fibres to tear in its lengthening phase. This will also cause the body to respond.
#3 Lift with full range of motion – This is the most common mistake I see. Lifting with full range of motion is also a form of good technique. It doesn’t matter how much you lift, but how much you lift with excellent form. This is what will give you the progress you need.
I made a more detailed video of these tips on how to build muscle fast which you can check out here:
Lifting with full range of motion is also a form of good technique. It doesn't matter how much you lift, but how much you lift with excellent form. This is what will give you the progress you need. Click To Tweet
About Brandon Carter: Brandon is a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Model and Best-Selling Author. He is also the CEO of ‘Bro Laboratories‘, a US-based supplements company offering premium, science-backed products at bargain prices. You can learn more about Brandon by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
# 1 Calories in versus calories out – Make sure you know whats going in your mouth and focus on being in a calorie surplus (but not too much of a surplus) to ensure you are building adequate muscle.
#2 Progressive overload – Look at increasing your volume over time to challenge your muscles to grow and to avoid hitting a plateau.
#3 Patience – Be consistent with your training and get in the habit of always showing up and working towards realistic and achievable goals to ensure you are giving your body enough reasons to grow.
About Jamie Alderton: Jamie is an ex-British Army Soldier turned Body Transformation Coach, Speaker, Educator and Best-Selling Author. He is also the Creator and Director of GrenadeFIT Gym based in Chichester, UK. You can learn more about Jamie by following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Focus on carbohydrates – Place most of your carbohydrate intake around your workouts (both pre- and post). This is when your body is going to be able to use them most efficiently.
#2 Don’t be frightened of food – For most people you’ll get a little “softer” in the quest for muscle. The goal is to not get fat, but you’ll struggle to grow if your not consistent with food intake.
#3 Train each body part twice a week – The science shows time again, that training frequency really is king when it comes to adding muscle tissue.
About Mark Coles: Mark is an Educator, Physique Coach, Mentor and Brand Ambassador for Scitec Nutrition. He is also the Owner and Founder of M10 Fitness, a personal training service based in Nottingham, UK. You can learn more about Mark by following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Time under tension (TUT) – Performing exercises with ‘time under tension’ is something I see being massively under-utilised. I cannot stress how important it is to train with real intensity and focus. Forcing your muscles to hold either the concentric (shortening of the muscle) or eccentric (lengthening of the muscle) phase of the exercise for a few seconds will either make or break your muscle building efforts.
#2 Eat lots of good food – It’s important to eat good foods to build lean muscle tissue. There’s nothing wrong with having a cheat meal here or there, just make sure you don’t stray off too far. If you’re getting in enough protein, carbs and fats on a daily basis and working your arse off in the gym, you will naturally build muscle.
#3 Focus on good technique – This is another important component of building muscle. Without good technique, you will never engage the working muscle effectively and force it to grow. This will make training with time under tension and eating good food pretty pointless.
Without good technique, you will never engage the working muscle effectively and force it to grow. This will make training with time under tension and eating good food pretty pointless. Click To Tweet
About Kirk Miller: Kirk is an International Fitness Model, Personal Trainer and Sponsored Athlete for Myprotein. We’ve interviewed Kirk on a separate occasion which can be read here. To learn more, be sure to visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Intensity – Too few train with intensity over time (and its easily done). The gym gets a little lack lustre, people get comfortable or tired, our goals get a little lost, but your gym training has to be hard and intense. That doesn’t mean be in the gym all the time, that means perform 3-5 intense training sessions a week.
After all, if you don’t train with intensity, you can’t adapt. Ensure you are telling the body to grow – challenging it in lots of different ways.
#2 Maintain function – Mass is nothing without function. Sure, hit hard body building style workouts and get the volume in, but don’t neglect body weight training, mobility, some gymnastics and a bit of sport – don’t be that guy or girl that can’t use what they’ve created.
#3 Sleep – We can’t over look this. I would rather people train less, sleep more, but trained with intensity – this is key. Rest up, that’s when you grow!
About Ben Coomber: Ben is a Performance Nutritionist (BSc, ISSN), Educator, Speaker and Writer. He is also the Founder of BTN Academy, a company offering online nutrition courses for sustained fat loss and an improved lifestyle. He is also the creator of the UK’s #1 rated H&F podcast ‘Ben Coomber Radio’. To learn more about Ben, check out our previous interview here, visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Willingness to train – My golden rule of thumb for training is simple: if it compliments my day – I’ll do it, if it complicates my day – I’ll avoid it. If you can’t focus yourself to train, you either have something else on your mind, or your body is giving you feedback in some way, shape or form. Save your energy and time for another day. Go for a walk or get something else done.
#2 You don’t need to ‘confuse’ the muscle with new exercises every week – Learning new moves takes time and can be counter productive to mass gain, especially if you haven’t mastered the basics (most haven’t).
#3 Bar speed – Embrace those workouts where the barbell feels like a feather, you’ll know the ones I’m talking about. Everything seems to click and move with sheer velocity. If the bar feels sluggish, there’s a good chance you’re under recovered or going stale.
If you can't focus yourself to train, you either have something else on your mind, or your body is giving you feedback in some way, shape or form. Save your energy and time for another day. Click To Tweet
About Phil Graham: Phil is a Personal Trainer, Ex-Professional Bodybuilder, Entrepreneur and Educator. After becoming diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 16, he created the world’s largest community-based website for diabetes, strength and fitness. He also regularly hosts mastermind classes for those wanting to grow their businesses in the H&F industry. You can read our separate interview with Phil here, visit his website, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn more.
#1 Train to failure – It doesn’t matter if you’re training for strength or endurance, always aim for maximum fatigue every set to challenge your body to change.
#2 Focus on form – Don’t just go through the motions: concentrate on the targeted muscle to make sure you don’t over compensate with dominant muscle groups to maximise progress.
#3 Recovery is most important – Training aims to tear and inflame the muscles. Without the right nutrition and rest, how do you expect them to grow and change?
About Tom Coleman: Tom is a Professional Bodybuilder, Fitness Model and Sponsored Athlete for Bulk Powders. He is also the Founder of Prestige Lifestyle, a fitness clothing line tailored for the modern athletic male. You can learn more about Tom by following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Follow a plan – Before you set foot in the gym, make sure you know what you are doing! Get a program sorted and make sure that you chart your progress and ensure that you are pushing yourself every session.
#2 Be consistent – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the body of your dreams. Training regularly and consistently will allow your body to make small, incremental changes that will stick around and be easier to sustain and maintain.
#3 Go Hard or Go Home – Now this doesn’t necessarily mean “going heavy” – rather, just to push yourself close to the point of failure! When you are training in the gym, you want to put a big enough stress on your body so that you get the desired changes and adaptations. Going through the motions and not working hard will definitely not put any muscle on your bones, so give your workouts everything you have to get the best results!
Before you set foot in the gym, make sure you know what you are doing! Get a program sorted and make sure that you chart your progress and ensure that you are pushing yourself every session. Click To Tweet
About Shaun Stafford: Shaun is an International Fitness Model, 2x Pro Fitness World Champion and Sponsored Athlete for Gymshark, Optimum Nutrition and Bodybuilding.com. He is also the Director of City Athletic, a personal training service based in Central London, UK. To learn more about Shaun, visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Make sure that you are in a calorie surplus – Be sure you’re eating above your maintenance calories by 10-20%. Have a source of carbohydrates, for example: porridge, pasta, rice and so on at least 1 hour pre-training for energy, and within 2 hours post-training to replenish glycogen (energy) stores in the muscles.
#2 Use (heavy) weights – Heavy weights during compound exercises such as a squat and bench press will go a long way in building bigger muscles. When you’re comfortable with a weight, aim to gradually increase the resistance/reps/sets that you do to keep the muscles challenged.
#3 Eat an adequate amount of protein – Eat at least 1.6g of protein per kg of body weight a day. In practice – this means eating protein at each mealtime and at most snack intervals. Supplements such as whey protein shakes are only needed if you’re not getting enough protein from food alone.
About Nichola Ludlam-Raine: Nichola is a Registered Dietitian (BSc, PGDip, MSc), Personal Trainer and H&F Blogger. She was voted as having the ‘Best Individual Health Blog’ in 2015 and has also made regular appearances on the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV to give expert views on diet, fitness and nutrition. You can learn more about Nichola by visiting her website and following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Find the right muscle-building program – The best “Build Muscle Workout Program” that I have ever used is the 20 Rep Squat Routine. This program has been around since the 1950’s and it works just as well today as it did back then. Of all the training programs I’ve followed, this one stands out as one of the most productive short term muscle building routines that I’ve ever followed. I have a video demonstrating the 20 rep squat routine on my YouTube channel:
#2 Keep to a sustainable diet plan and remain consistent – It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it needs to be consistent. I recommend 20 calories per pound of body weight and a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. If you eat this much day in and day out, along with following the 20 rep squat routine, you’ll fill out your frame with muscular mass.
#3 Get a good night’s sleep every night – You need at least 8+ hours of good quality sleep per night. If you skip out on sleep, you’ll skip out on your gains. Do whatever you can to get plenty of sleep. Go to bed early, sleep in late, take an afternoon nap, do whatever it takes to ensure you get optimal sleep for rest and recovery.
About Lee Hayward: Lee is a Competitive Bodybuilder, Fitness Coach and Founder of Total Fitness Bodybuilding. He has previously been voted one of the Top Fitness Trainers on YouTube and has been involved in the H&F industry through online coaching since 1999. You can learn more about Lee by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Be patient and perform basic compound exercises – Building muscle takes time. If you build muscle too fast, you’ll end up tearing ligaments and tendons, and we obviously don’t want that!
With that being said, there are a few exercises I prefer when looking to build strength and muscle tissue: deadlifts, shoulder presses, and any and all types of squats are my go-to muscle building exercises.
#2 Focus on proper technique – It’s important to have sound technique for all exercises you are performing before increasing the load. I prefer supersets to get a good sweat going, plus they make me feel like a badass!
#3 Have fun – At the end of the day, the best program or exercises to follow are the ones you’ll actually DO. If you aren’t inspired, motivated and having FUN during the process, you won’t be successful.
At the end of the day, the best program or exercises to follow are the ones you'll actually DO. If you aren't inspired, motivated and having FUN during the process, you won't be successful. Click To Tweet
About Christmas Abbott: Christmas is a Professional CrossFit Athlete, Fitness Model, National Bestselling Author and Olympic Weightlifter. She is also the Founder of ‘Bourn Relentless‘, a US-based supplements company offering premium, vegan friendly, gluten and soy free products. You can learn more about Christmas by visiting her website and following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Ryan John Baptiste
#1 Compound exercises – I would certainly involve as many compound lifts to my workouts as possible including: squats, bent over rows and the incline bench press. Also, involving a lot of supersets within your program will be very beneficial for building muscle fast.
#2 Training split – I would design my training split like this (if you can): chest, legs, rest, back, shoulders, arms followed by a weaker muscle group of yours. This should help with concentrating on each area and giving each session a focus on really hitting the particular muscle group with intensity.
#3 Food – In terms of food, I would recommend having a mixture of refined and wholegrain carbs (having the refined typed post workout). Every meal should consist of a high amount of protein and I would suggest having regular meals throughout the day (I currently have a meal every 2.5hrs). Also, do not forget to add fats to your diet as it’s very important for blood flow, hormone production and so on.
I would certainly involve as many compound lifts to my workouts as possible including: squats, bent over rows and the incline bench press. Also, involving a lot of supersets within your program will be very beneficial for building muscle fast. Click To Tweet
About Ryan John Baptiste: Ryan is a Professional Bodybuilder, Fitness Model and Sponsored Athlete for Scitec Nutrition. He is also a Body Transformation Coach with his own workout program and posing sessions available on demand. You can learn more about Ryan by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Dr Emilia Bonnar Thompson
Here are my 3 actionable tips on how to build muscle fast:
#1 Eat in a calorie surplus – Consistently.
#2 Eat sufficient high quality protein – Roughly aim for 2g protein per kg body mass per day. Ideally, eat this in 4-5 meals throughout the day (morning, lunch, pre- or post-workout, dinner, last thing before bed).
#3 Progressive overload – Aim for a steady increase in training volume, through weight lifted or reps completed. Log your lifts to ensure you are consistently and progressively overloading your muscles.
About Emilia Bonnar Thompson: Emilia is a PhD Qualified Nutrition Consultant, University Lecturer and Bikini Competitor. She was awarded the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Sports Nutritionist of the Year Award in 2017 designed to highlight the H&F industry’s ‘Gold Standard’ in fitness and training in the UK. You can learn more about Emilia by visiting her website and following her on Twitter and Instagram.
Below are my top 3 tips (and 2 bonus tips) to accelerate the muscle building process by way of effective training methods rather than wasting the first 6, 12 or 18 months doing workouts that don’t reap much reward or benefit:
#1 Invest in a trainer/coach who KNOWS what they’re doing and cares – The quickest way to accelerate anyone’s training is to have more knowledge and better application of methods.
#2 Follow a high protein diet with a balance of carbs and fats – Don’t restrict any food groups. Focus on the quality of your food rather than fancy supplements to build muscle fast – your nutrition will give you far more than a tub of the latest ‘super supplement‘ could ever give.
#3 Be consistent – Random training gets random results. If you want to build muscle fast, lift weights and stick to a ‘hypertrophy’ rep range with some strength work (typically 6-20 reps – mix of compound movements and smaller accessory work).
#4 Push yourself – Focus on progressive overload and keep a log book.
#5 Rest – Probably the most important tip of them all. Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
About Dominique Binns: Dominique is a Bikini Competitor, Fitness Model, Personal Trainer and Sponsored Athlete for USN. She was also a semi-finalist in the TV talent show ‘Britain’s Next Top Model’ and has since gone on to found her own Online Coaching service. You can learn more about Dominique by following her on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Food – Consume the right amount of protein to grow (anywhere between 1 – 2g of protein per kg of body weight).
#2 Sleep – Make sure you are getting enough sleep (8 – 9 hours of sleep every night is optimal and what you should be aiming for).
#3 – Workouts – Make sure your workouts have a good mix of different rep ranges to work your muscles at different intensities to hit every muscle fibre.
About Carly Thornton: Carly is a Professional Bodybuilder, Body Transformation Coach and Competitive Stage Posing Specialist. She is also the Founder of GluteyWear, a fitness clothing line for women to bring out the best in their physique whilst training. You can learn more about Carly by following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Treat your warm-ups like rehearsals or practice – You don’t need to get “warmer”, you need to master a movement.that hopefully you will perform perfectly even under stress (load, fatigue, pain – what comes with working sets).
Spend extra time “owning” every inch of every rep, master the points where you know you might normally cheat and don’t wear yourself out before working sets. Just get enough good quality contractions to feel ready, and have the movement down perfectly.
#2 View good technique/execution as a form of progressive overload – If you can direct more external load (dumbbells, barbells, machines) to the targeted muscle and the muscle has to exert more force on its attachment, then that is a form of progressive overload. Long-term, you need both. No one got big arms curling 5lb dumbbells with perfect form. On the other hand, there are plenty of people that can “curl” 60lb dumbbells with small arms.
Overall (and over the long-term) maximize load and execution.
#3 Treat the last rep or two of your working set with the importance of playing in the Super Bowl – Those are the reps that change your body. Those reps still need to be PERFECT.
Whatever form you use with the first rep of the set, needs to be maintained with the last rep. It’s the ultimate challenge to balance load/form/tolerate pain. And there’s no simple way to get better at it – it just requires practice and a mindset that knows you can always get better.
About Joe Bennett: Joe is a Bodybuilder, Educator and Hypertrophy Coach. He specialises in growing ‘lagging’ body parts to enhance a person’s shape, symmetry and overall muscle mass. You can learn more about Joe by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Have a long-term focus – Building muscle, getting in shape and staying there should be long-term goals – not quick fixes. You should focus on quality lean muscle gain rather than quick “weight” gain.
#2 Incorporate progressive overload, but don’t rush it – To ensure sufficient stimulus for muscle growth you need to gradually overload your muscles, but take your time to avoid injury risks.
#3 Be consistent – Don’t chop and change your goals, exercises, plans and nutrition every week. To build muscle, focus on a long term calorie surplus with adequate protein. Stick with the same movements so you can see, measure and add progression.
About David Kingsbury: David is a Qualified Personal Trainer and Celebrity Fitness Coach. He has helped train celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence get in shape for films including Thor: Ragnarok, Life and X-Men Apocalypse. To learn more about David, visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Here are a few tips that may help you on your quest to build muscle rapidly – but remember, just because it works for one person at one time, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone all of the time:
#1 Use low rep ranges (1-5 reps per set) – Technically this is ‘strength’ training, but stronger muscles allow you to lift heavier weights and generate greater muscular tension within the ‘hypertrophy’ rep ranges (6-12) reps without compromising metabolic stress – giving you a better chance to grow.
#2 Use high rep ranges (15-20 reps per set) – Technically this is ‘endurance’ training, or the dreaded ‘toning’ zone (shoot me now). If you train at a lower intensity for a longer duration, it can help to increase your lactate threshold. Lactic acid can (and will) interfere with muscular contractions and reduce the amount of work you can perform. By delaying the onset of lactic acid, you can maintain greater time under tension and tolerate greater volumes of work.
#3 Use really high rep ranges (100+ reps per set) – One of the most important components for attaining hypertrophy is volume. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to perform sets of 100+ reps, and if it is good enough for him, it is good enough for me.
Using a light weight, grab an empty 20kg bar at the end of a session and do a Bench Press for 5 minutes (resting when you need to) and see how many reps you can get. Repeat for Squats, Deadlifts, Upright Rows, Military Presses, Bicep Curls etc on different days. Then try to beat your scores.
Lactic acid can (and will) interfere with muscular contractions and reduce the amount of work you can perform. By delaying the onset of lactic acid, you can maintain greater time under tension and tolerate greater volumes of work. Click To Tweet
About Mark Laws: Mark is a Performance Coach, Personal Trainer, Educator and Writer. He is also the ‘Head of Education’ for BodyPower, a global fitness media company specialising in exhibitions and events, as well as the ‘Sports and Performance Editor’ for Muscle & Fitness Magazine. You can learn more about Mark by visiting his website and following him on Facebook and Instagram.
Here’s a simple 3 step process on how to build muscle fast followed by one bonus tip to release fat:
#1 Follow a flexible meal plan that adheres to a fixed amount of macronutrients per day – Figure the amount out based on your desired leanness goal. Then just eat within that range. Simple right? Well only if you choose to adhere to it.
#2 Focus on including heavy, compound bodybuilding workouts into your workout routine – Aiming for the 4 to 6 rep range, utilizing movements like the squat, deadlift, shoulder and bench press. Go big or go home, as they say.
#3 Protein, protein, protein – If you are going to be training hard and lifting big, you got to get your minimums each day. Base your protein intake on your goals, and if you struggle to get the numbers in each day, look to add-in a protein supplement. I like Serum by PaleoEthics – it’s clean, contains no whey (as it is from beef protein) and it is readily available everywhere.
#4 Make sure to include 2 to 3 HIIT workouts each week – These are great for burning fat, as well as increasing HGH levels naturally. I find it best to do these style of workouts first thing in the morning in a fasted state to maximize the results.
If you are going to be training hard and lifting big, you got to get your minimums each day. Base your protein intake on your goals, and if you struggle to get the numbers in each day, look to add-in a protein supplement. Click To Tweet
About Dai Manuel: Dai is a CrossFit Athlete, Certified Nutrition Coach, Educator and Speaker. He specialises in empowering people to lead a functionally fit life at the highest level through education and encouragement all whilst making it fun. You can learn more about Dai by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Here are my top 3 actionable tips on how to build muscle fast for females especially:
#1 Compound movements – Using exercises that involve more than one muscle group at a time are a great way to build muscle fast. These exercises recruit more muscle fibers than an isolated move. I love doing a squat and hammer curl to overhead shoulder press combination.
#2 Lift heavier – Ladies need to lift heavier if they want to increase muscle mass. I am not talking super heavy, but try bumping it up a little. Challenge your muscles and they will love you back by getting stronger and bigger with a tight and toned look.
#3 Get quality sleep – This is where the magic really happens. When you sleep the body gets a chance to rest, repair and rebuild your muscles. Set yourself up for success and get a good night’s sleep.
Ladies need to lift heavier if they want to increase muscle mass. I am not talking super heavy, but try bumping it up a little. Challenge your muscles and they will love you back by getting stronger and bigger with a tight and toned look. Click To Tweet
About Laura London: Laura is a Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss and Nutrition Coach. She specialises in helping women get in the best shape of their life through holistic training and nutrition practices. You can learn more about Laura by visiting her website and following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
If you’re asking me on how to build muscle fast – for me, there’s only one tip you need:
#1 Pick a workout that you will actually do – It doesn’t matter what’s ‘optimal’: if you can’t face doing it for a minimum of three months you’re never going to see any results from any program. Calisthenics, powerlifting, bodybuilding, it doesn’t really matter – find something fun, and do that.
It doesn't matter what's 'optimal': if you can't face doing it for a minimum of three months you're never going to see any results from any program. Calisthenics, powerlifting, bodybuilding, it doesn't really matter - find something fun, and do that. Click To Tweet
About Joel Snape: Joel is the Editor-At-Large for Men’s Fitness and Writer for The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and an Amateur MMA Fighter. You can learn more about Joel by visiting his website and following him on Twitter and Instagram.
Here are my top 3 actionable tips on how to build muscle fast:
#1 Track your workouts – We know progressive overload (continual progression) is one, if not the most important factor in building muscle. In response to a new stimulus – whether that’d be more weight on a barbell or more volume lifted in a week, the body will adapt. To make sure you are continually progressing, it’s important to track the sets, reps and weights you lift, especially on your big compound lifts.
#2 Food food food – We know calories are super important in building muscle and we often get questions regarding this from hard gainers. The fact is, if you’re not gaining weight on the scales – whether that’d be fat or muscle, then you’re simply not eating enough. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone, so it’s important not to let the weight on the scales increase too fast as eating more calories than you need will make you gain more fat and not extra muscle. It’s a balancing act.
#3 Recovery and sleep – We’re pushing ourselves in our training and at work and this puts a lot of stress on the body. In an attempt to avoid injury, build more muscle, recover faster and feel more awesome – you must aim for around 8 hours of unbroken sleep. So many important things happen while you sleep with regards to performance and recovery both physically and mentally.
It’s a good idea to have a sleep routine to make sure you get a solid unbroken night’s sleep. This will result in better recovery – meaning more time in the gym due to less injuries and less of the “I’m too sore,” or “I’m too tired today” days.
About John Chapman: John is a Personal Trainer, ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist and Fitness Coach. He is one half of the YouTube sensation ‘TheLeanMachines‘ and is also the co-author of the best-selling book ‘Lean Machines: Eat Well, Move Better and Feel Awesome‘. You can learn more about John by visiting The Lean Machines website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Eliminate guess work – Track data, the more the better. Count macros, use a log book when training, monitor body weight and body fat. The more data you collate the better picture you can paint and you can make the right changes.
#2 Consistency is key – Be ruthlessly consistent in everything you do. How you eat, how you train, how you recover. Tick the boxes day in day out and you will not fail in progressing.
#3 Push every training session to the max – Don’t waste time and don’t regret not working hard enough. Training should never get or feel easier. You should just push harder.
About Josh Maley: Josh is an Ex-High Level Swimmer, Professional Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer and BSN and Monster Factory Sponsored Athlete. He also has a degree in Sports Science (Bsc) and works closely with athletes to help prepare them for competing on stage. You can learn more about Josh by following him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
My top 3 tips on how to build muscle fast would be:
#1 Get ‘fast’ out of your vocabulary – It’s never fast, and building muscle is a process you should be setting up for by the year, and not by the week or month.
#2 Learn your body – Some movements work better for some than others. A Glute-Ham Raise (GHR) is a terrific exercise in theory, but never leaves my knees in good shape, personally – so I scratched it from my own routines. There are plenty of similar examples with other exercises. Train intuitively and recognize that everyone’s different and responds differently to stimulus.
#3 Recognize your real age and training age – Both of these things dictate just when, how hard and often you push it in the gym. If you’re over 30, you won’t have the same recovery you did at 19, nor the same resilience to injury or missed technique.
Lasting the test of time means having your foot on the gas pedal where your gym journey is concerned, but only FLOORING that pedal every now and then, as you see fit.
About Lee Boyce: Lee is a Strength Coach and Internationally Published Writer. He has written for some of the biggest names in the H&F industry including: Muscle & Strength, TRAIN, T Nation, Men’s Health and Women’s Health. You can learn more about Lee by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
#1 Eat in a calorie surplus – Your muscles need food to grow. Eating 5 meals a day means you can fit in all the calories you need. I also make sure every meal is high in protein, especially the post workout meal which I have as a protein shake including some carbs.
#2 Lift heavy – Your muscles need to be shocked into growth. By putting them under stress, you are encouraging them to tear and rebuild. This is why having protein after your workout is very important as this repairs and builds muscle. I make sure the weight is heavy enough for me to struggle with the last few reps on each set. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
#3 Mix up your workouts – Don’t always stick to the same routine and weight every session. I do compound lifts to start with and then move on to accessory work. Targeting muscles from all angles helps to keep shocking them into growth (therefore getting more results). I use resistance bands to make exercises more difficult and to burn out the muscle even more.
About Kim French: Kim is an Online Nutrition and Fitness Trainer, Full-Time Wife and Mother of 2. She is also a Gymshark Athlete and has been featured in Women’s Health, Popsugar and the Daily Star sharing her story of how she battled with being overweight during pregnancy to get into the best shape of her life. You can learn more about Kim by following her on Instagram.
Here goes my top 3 tips on how to build muscle fast in no time:
#1 Eat BIG – Increasing the amount of food you consume is vital for the physique to develop. This means eating more protein and good carbohydrates to avoid getting into a catabolic state.
#2 Sleep – Try to sleep as long as possible. I personally aim for 8 hours of sleep per night which normally does the trick for me.
#3 Train heavy – I try to increase the amount of weight I lift and reduce the amount of reps. Timing is important too as you wouldn’t want to over train when trying to build muscle. It’s get in, lift heavy as you can and get out. Roughly 35-45 minutes is all you need to have an effective workout.
About Elton Mota: Elton is a Professional Bodybuilder, Fitness Model for Gymshark and Sponsored Athlete for Nocco and BPi Sports. He is also the winner of the 2016 Top Fitness Model in the UK. We previously interviewed Elton which can be read here. You can learn more about Elton by following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Train your ass off – 60 minutes of moderate volume but bringing 6-8 working sets to complete failure to a given body part will help to build muscle quickly.
#2 Eat clean and abundant – Focus carbohydrates around training.
#3 Rest – Recovery is such an underplayed portion of building muscle. Look to get as much as possible.
About Brad Rowe: Brad is a Professional Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer and Sponsored Athlete. He is also a Qualified Personal Trainer and specialises in nutrition preparation before major competitions. You can learn more about Brad by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Realise that muscle does not grow quickly – Be patient. If you can get 10lb of lean mass in a year you have done a good job!
#2 Track and log your major lifts – Even one more rep or adding 2.5kg in weight is progress – it all adds up – where 2.5kg a week is 20kg over 8 weeks. Take your 10 rep max on the bench from 60kg to 80kg and your chest will have grown tremendously proving tip 3’s validity.
#3 See training as an art, not ego – Mind muscle connection is EVERYTHING when it comes to growth. Improve the connection with a muscle and the muscle will have to grow more.
About Adam Bates: Adam is a Qualified Personal Trainer, Celebrity Fitness Coach and Body Transformation Specialist. He is also a published writer with articles featured in Muscle & Fitness and RX Muscle. You can learn more about Adam by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Create tension – Moving a weight just simply isn’t enough if you are unable to flex and squeeze the working muscle in hand. This will recruit more motor units and improve your ability to grow.
#2 Control your tempo – If you neglect to control your tempo during the eccentric and concentric phases of any lift you will not be performing the exercise to its maximum potential.
#3 Improve the quality of your sleep – Poor quality of sleep will affect your ability to recover and effectively grow as you increase the risk of illness, injury and overtraining. Quality sleep is essential for proper hormonal balance especially with regards to your natural testosterone levels.
About Olly Foster: Olly is a Fitness Model, Qualified Personal Trainer, Author and Ex-Rugby Player. He is also the creator of ART Training Program, a 12 week body transformation program designed for men and women to build lean muscle mass whilst burning fat. You can learn more about Olly by visiting his website and following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
#1 Intensity.- Building muscle requires heavy weights and hard work to stimulate the muscles into getting bigger. No coincidence that strong individuals are muscular too.
#2 Tempo – A slower lifting tempo is shown to increase Muscle Protein Synthesis as well as Neuromuscular Efficiency (allowing heavier weights to be lifted). Take your time with every rep and use a 22.214.171.124 tempo – 4 seconds down, 1 second up – for a total of 30–70 seconds per set.
#3 Frequency. – If your life depended on building muscle, would you only train once a week? Maximise potential gains by hitting priority muscle groups 2-3 times every 7 days.
About Sarah Lindsay: Sarah is a European Gold Medalist, 2x World Silver Medalist and 10x British Speed Skating Champion. She was also the Strength and Conditioning Coach for several Team GB Athletes before transitioning full time into personal training in 2010. She is also the Founder of Roar Fitness, a personal training service in London, UK offering an ‘olympic-based’ exercise, coaching and nutrition service. You can learn more about Sarah by visiting her company’s website and following her on Twitter and Instagram.
#1 Eat plenty of protein – I have 1.5x my body weight if I’m trying to build muscle.
#2 High volume training and little rest between sets – Focus on heavy weights low reps. Depending on what muscles I want to grow (at the moment it’s back and shoulders), I will train those specific muscle groups 2x a week.
#3 Sleep – Make sure you get 7/8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is the most important thing above all as this is when your muscles repair and grow.
About Claire Aves: Claire is a Professional Bodybuilder, Qualified Personal Trainer and Full-Time Mother. She’s also a Combat Sport Specialist and a Sponsored Athlete for Sci-MX Nutrition. You can learn more about Claire by visiting her website and following her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
And there you have it folks.
Over 90+ tips on how you can build muscle fast.
We hope this post has helped you cut through all of the bullshit which plagues the internet and social media.
As most of these experts have put it, building muscle need not be complicated. So ignore the unnecessary details and articles focusing on the latest pseudoscience into the best set and rep-ranges for growth.
Be patient, consistent and most of all, enjoy the process.
Do these things and everything else will come together.
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Joseph is the Founder and Editor in Chief of CheckMeowt. When he is not sat at the computer guzzling down the nearest thing with protein in it, he can be found pulling up the world in the gym. Occasionally, he is best described as socially unreliable and easily distracte.