According to PolicyAdvice.net, the global gym industry in 2020 was worth a staggering $96.7 billion. This is just one statistic that shows the epic scale of how much the health and fitness industry has exploded in the last decade or so.
As a result of such huge industry growth, there are so many competing ideas on how to gain muscle mass fast. It can be mind-boggling to know what advice to follow, even to the point where it’s off-putting to try and build muscle.
In this guide, we’re going back to basics and running through seven classic ways to build muscle mass fast. You can also combine these methods to maximize your chances of building bigger muscles faster. So, let’s get started!
1. Lift Heavier And More Often
When it comes to the question of “how to gain muscle fast,” the first and most crucial thing you have to do is start lifting heavier weights. Lifting heavier essentially tells your muscles they need to grow to cope with the new level of strain you’re placing on them!
It’s pretty straightforward to lift heavier if you go to the gym. Just select heavier weights than usual and lower your reps. For example, you might currently be doing 3 sets of 12 for dumbbell chest press using 20 Kg dumbells. To start building more mass, up the weights to between 25-35 Kg and lower your reps down to say 8 Kg, while still keeping the 3 sets in place.
If you don’t go to the gym, look for ways where you can add more weight to your exercises. An easy way to do this is to load some weight into a backpack to make your push-ups and pull-ups harder. Don’t worry too much about getting loads of reps out, but instead try to “max out” your muscles to the point where you can’t do anymore.
You also want to be hitting the gym, or wherever else you do your exercises, at least 2-3 times a week, with the aim of doing more days in the future. The reason for this is quite simple; when you train more often, you decrease the time it will take to see muscle gains (generally speaking and to a limit).
There is the possibility of overtraining. So just make sure you listen to your body and understand that if you are exhausted maybe cut back a little on your training schedule, and take a few days off too.
2. Focus on Major Muscle Groups
Slamming out heavier lifts on isolated muscle groups like bicep curls isn’t going to help you build larger muscle mass around your body very fast. You need to do exercises that focus on your major muscle groups.
Some of the best gym exercises you can do are barbell squats. When you’re just getting started, try to focus on getting your technique right, and then you can start piling on the heavier weights when you feel more confident.
Using a Smith machine, to begin with might also help you get the feel of the up and down motions when squatting. Yet, we recommend you do the exercise free-standing with a barbell as soon as you can. The reason for this is that when you do your squats without the aid of a Smith machine, you start engaging all sorts of core muscles that you want to develop for better stability and all-around strength.
Another killer exercise to build muscle mass quickly is bench pressing. We think it’s a great idea from the get-go to do flat, incline, and decline bench pressing all in one session. By doing this from the very start, you start igniting all the muscles in your chest along with many in your arms and shoulders. Again, focus on a lower amount of reps and heavier weights.
3. Eat More
With all the heavier lifting you’ll be doing, your body will be crying out for food! Make sure you get the calories you need for heavy lifting, otherwise you’ll feel tired all the time and might experience atrophy: this is where you start to lose muscle!
How to gain weight fast? You should focus on a high protein diet, but don’t neglect the carbs either when you’re bulking up!
Ideally, you can aim to eat 1-2 grams of protein a day for every Kg that you weigh. And try to get a large bulk of that protein into your body straight after you’ve done a heavy weights session as your it will be screaming for it!
Carbs are important if you are training regularly as you will need mountains of energy to do all the heavy lifts. Complex carbs are a better choice in general when you are eating meals. However, some guys will eat or drink something sugary to give them a quick energy boost before a big lifting session. For instance, some guys like to eat a handful of gummy bears pre-workout, while others buy pre-workout formulas (which are a bit more pricey).
4. Use Supplements
For anyone who is wondering how to bulk up fast, supplements can be a major contributor to getting the muscle gains you want! On a basic level, protein supplements are the first things you should explore in the supplement realm.
The idea with taking protein shakes and protein bars is you have an easier way of fulfilling your daily protein requirements to gain muscle mass, than if you were only to eat food. For instance, you might have to buy a lot of steaks and plenty of eggs to hit your 1-2 grams of protein per kg you need in a day. Many protein shakes offer a quick and easy hit of protein, with one shake often having between 25 to 50 grams of protein content.
Creatine is another tried and tested supplement to explore which can support you in getting the gains you want faster. When you start taking creatine, you’ll start to feel stronger, meaning you can attempt heavier weights than before to promote muscle growth.
Another supplement to check out that helps loads with muscle recovery is HMB. So look at incorporating HMB supplements with your post-workout meals or before you go to sleep.
Also, casein protein supplements are great to take before bed. The reason for this is casein is a slow-releasing protein, meaning your body can have a supply of protein for muscle rebuilding as you sleep.
One of the most interesting supplements you can explore these days are Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs). It might sound crazy-complicated, but in essence, SARMs are descendants of traditional anabolic steroids. They use a selective type of action within your body, which is claimed to not cause the damage that traditional steroids have been known to do.
If you wish to find some of the best SARMs on the market right, check out the link we just provided. Of course, make sure to read up on this new generation of supplements to figure out what might work best for you. You will find when you do a bit of research on SARMs some of the impressive results people are getting in terms of bulking up fast!
5. Get a Personal Trainer
When you are just starting out, one of the better muscle-building tips that many people neglect is to make use of a personal trainer. The point here is that a personal trainer has the potential to keep you motivated on your initial goals. They’ll also help you develop good form and technique with your exercises from day one.
You can then opt to keep your personal trainer, if you can afford one, after the first month or two. Or, it might be the case that after a couple of months, you feel confident enough in your exercise routine to go it alone.
A nice idea is to employ a personal trainer maybe once or twice every month for them to assess you on your goals. They may then be able to give you suggestions on what to do next to develop new training goals.
For example, in three months you might have bulked up your body to a point where you feel you’re big enough. A personal trainer can then come in and give you advice on “getting cut,” which means getting leaner and more defined. They might tell you to start doing more reps and adding some more cardio-based and HIIT-based training into your routine.
6. Be Realistic and Make a Basic Plan
As much as you might want to bulk up really fast, remember that you have other commitments in your life. If you start training too hard, then you might end up neglecting some of those commitments.
A solid approach to ensuring you don’t go overboard and burn out too soon is to start off slow and steady. With your 2-3 days a week in the first month or so, of course, push yourself, but ensure you have plenty of rest time and solid nutrition.
And if you need a few days off or even a week, don’t sweat it. As long as you hit back hard at the gym the following week, you’ll be fine! This is way more achievable if you have a basic plan to follow.
Planning at the end of the month is a good way to understand what you’re going to be capable of the following month. For instance, you may be smashing out 80 kg on the bench press by the end of month one. So in month two, you might want to aim for the target of doing 90 kg or more.
The key is to listen to what your body tells you throughout the process of bulking up and stay focused on your basic goals. Don’t fall into the trap of watching video after video on YouTube telling all sorts of overly complicated ideas about training. You need to get past the first fundamental stages of gaining muscle before getting into the more detailed stuff.
7. Make New Gym Buddies for Motivation
One of the biggest motivators in the gym for bulking is to have friends there that can push you harder than you would alone. Gym buddies can hold you into account more, as they might expect you to turn up on the same days to spot them with things like the bench and shoulder presses.
These new buddies can also help you get on the right track with new and interesting exercises to do. More experienced gym goers will be able to help you with form and technique as well as advice on meal plans and supplements.
Moreover, making the gym more of a social experience means you’ll look forward to going for that, just as much as for the training. When you have that new social experience in your life, you might be less inclined to go out drinking at bars and clubs so often, or splurging out on junk food for stay-in movie nights. It might even be the case you make some great contacts regarding work and employment too down at the gym.
What about if you don’t want to use a gym?
If you don’t wish to use a gym, then we recommend you try and find a workout buddy to go along with you to the park or wherever you train. If they have similar goals to bulk up and gain muscle mass, that’s even better. The point is, that having others around to hold you accountable for your workouts and schedule is a great motivating factor.
Simple Ways of How to Gain Muscle Mass Fast
If we’re being realistic here, hitting the gym and lifting heavy weights is the best first step to the question of “how to gain muscle mass fast.” Then ensuring you have plenty of rest and food intake (high protein diet) is key. Try to focus on your major muscle groups and don’t overtrain!
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