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...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

Since the first computer was made mobile and we could carry them everywhere, the human posture has devolved back to the fetal position. Even typical...

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Build a Strong Core

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

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

5 Softball Catcher Drills for Throwing Power

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Top 5 Baseball Strength Training Myths

Blast Through Plateaus with Tempo Sets

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

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

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

Build Full-Body Strength With 5 Suspension Trainer Exercises

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

A Better Way to Train Your Core

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method