3 Simple Steps to Build Muscle Fast | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

3 Simple Steps to Build Muscle Fast

March 1, 2013 | Mike Samuels

Must See Strength Training Videos


You don't have to be a wannabe bodybuilder to desire instantaneous results. We've all dealt with the frustration that stems from working our butts off bench pressing, squatting and curling for gains that seem nonexistent.

Building muscle is a slow process. It doesn't matter who you are, you're not going to become Mr. Olympia overnight. But besides learning a lesson in patience, you need to focus on three simple aspects. You'll see that building muscle doesn't have to be overly complicated, and you'll build muscle faster than ever before. (Here are 3 More Quick Tips to Build Muscle.)

Watch Your Calories

Without a doubt, calories are the most important factor for building muscle. Although you may not necessarily be concerned with your weight, to build muscle fast you must consume more calories than you burn. To accomplish this:

  • Figure out what your total daily energy expenditure needs to be (see Calculate How Many Calories You Need to Eat).
  • Add 300 calories to your maintenance level.
  • Weigh yourself regularly. If you're putting on more than two pounds per month, you're probably adding too much, so cut your calorie intake back a little.

Take Progress Photos

Progress photos are the easiest way to gauge improvements in muscle growth and decreases in body fat. Here are some tips:

  • Take three photos once a month on the same day, from the front, side and back.
  • To get a reliable comparison, wear the same clothes and take photos in the same lighting.
  • Pose the same way every time.

Use Progressive Overload

It sounds blindingly obvious, but to build muscle you have to put in the work in the weight room. Look around your gym. It's no coincidence that the ripped guys are lifting heavy and the skinny dudes are still stuck on the pink dumbbells. How to progress:

  • Push yourself to lift heavier so your muscles will adapt and grow; but select  weight you can lift safely.
  • Perform more reps and sets at a slower tempo. To progressively overload your muscles and spark growth, perfect your form and reduce your rest periods.
  • Aim to improve on every lift in every session, even if it's just doing one extra rep, or using a two- instead of a one-second negative.
Topics: BUILD MUSCLE
Mike Samuels
- Mike Samuels is a UK-based personal trainer, diet coach, writer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist. He has a Level 3 Personal Trainer certification...
Mike Samuels
- Mike Samuels is a UK-based personal trainer, diet coach, writer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist. He has a Level 3 Personal Trainer certification...
Must See
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 22,766,091
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,305,238
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,153,708

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 297,020
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,256,323
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 29,699
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

Having trouble teaching a new athlete to squat? Try an Unloaded Squat Sometimes even an athlete's own body weight is too much for them to squat,...

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

5 Exercises to Develop Soccer Power

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

A Better Way to Train Your Core

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts