How I Built Muscle FAST (5 Science-Based Tips)

Is it possible to build muscle fast? It took me years to gain some size and eventually my gains stopped altogether. However, in my recent lean bulk, I implemented a handful of new research-backed muscle growth techniques and managed to gain a lean 20 lbs in 16 months. By far my best bulking transformation and my fastest muscle gains since the early days. So, if you’re interested in learning how to gain muscle fast and how to bulk up fast, check out the 5 things I did to build muscle.

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Number 1: my training. There’s a really exciting new area of research called “stretch-mediated hypertrophy”. Some muscles seem to grow faster from exercises that challenge them the most when they’re in a stretched position. So, to take advantage of this and build muscle fast, there’s two things I did. First, in my weekly routine, I made sure I was doing at least one exercise that really challenged each muscle in a stretched position. Second, I emphasized the stretch by lightening the weight and trying to go as deep as I could with good form. For some exercises like presses and squats I also added a half second pause at the bottom.

Next, to maximize muscle growth, you need to get at least within 3 reps of failure. Now even though I was aware of this, I’ll be honest after I built up a decent amount of muscle I just got comfortable. It wasn’t until I started pushing myself close enough to TRUE failure that I started really seeing my growth take off. This won’t be comfortable and it never gets easier. But there are a few things I did that helped. First, I changed my mindset toward the pain. I simply view it as a sensation and I now link that feeling of pain with growth. Second, I always take at least a few seconds to just close my eyes and mentally prepare myself for the next set. It’s so easy to let your mind get distracted when you’re working out and start scrolling through social media. But to push to the levels required to truly force your muscles to grow, you need to get locked in and that happens before you’ve even started your set.

Next, recovery. Your workouts are what provide the stimulus for your muscles to grow, but the actual growth happens when they’re resting and recovering. For years I would always train at least 5, 6, and sometimes even 7 days a week. When I was younger I could do this no problem. But overtime it became too much. I stopped looking forward to my workouts, had low energy, and my muscles just didn’t recover very well. So I cut down my workouts to just 5 per week and recently cut it down even more to just 4 slightly longer workouts per week with the occasional accessory day. Almost instantly after making this switch I felt MUCH better day to day and a lot more energized going into my workouts. And I definitely noticed my muscles recovered and grew a lot better as a result. Don’t get me wrong you still need to train hard and you still need to do enough weekly volume to grow; at least 8-10 sets per muscle weekly. But more isn’t always better.

Now, all that training wouldn’t have done much to build muscle if I didn’t modify my bulking diet. To maximize growth, you probably need to be eating in a calorie surplus in your bulking meal plan. But just like with workout volume, more calories isn’t always better. So what I did was a “lean bulk”. This is when you purposefully overfeed your body with just a bit more than it needs, typically around 10-15% above your maintenance calories. However, even with a lean bulk, you probably will still gain some fat. In the past I’d always go back to dieting whenever I saw a bit of fat gain and so I never really progressed. This time I decided to stick through it and I’m telling you it paid off tremendously. So shift your mindset and think of it as a long term investment.

So tip number 5 when it comes to how to gain muscle fast was probably the hardest thing to implement. You see, fat loss is a relatively fast process. You can easily lose 1-2 lbs of pure fat per week. But in comparison, once you’re past the beginner stage of training, it can take several months to gain even just 1 lb of muscle. I mean I gained 20 lbs but not all of that was muscle and it took me almost a year and a half to do. But don’t let this discourage you. The small gains you make week to week will overtime amount to big noticeable changes. So be patient and trust the process.

0:00 – Lean Bulk Transformation
0:17 – Training
2:55 – Effort
4:54 – Recovery
6:21 – Diet
8:09 – Time

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