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: 28,507,498
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 5,043,502
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 27,784,397

Featured Videos

Get in Shape for Baseball With Austin Adams' Metabolic Conditioning Circuit Views: 2,372
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 7,149
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 326,774
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

Most Popular Videos

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 848,643
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,963
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 883,074
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,501,997
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,741,081

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout