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I am assuming that you want to be a natural bodybuilder or weight trainer. If you aren’t then this isn’t the place for you. I don’t recommend messing with anything that is not based on training and eating, period. If you are looking for the best way to build muscle fast, and to transform the way you look, then I can help.
In fact it is not as difficult as you may think, but it is also the hardest thing in the world to do. And this is because it requires dedication. It requires a person to get into the right frame of mind, and to be consistent. It requires training with heavy weights every week, and it requires you to do this month after month, and eventually year after year. But there are ways to build muscle quickly, here at how to build muscle I can give you some basic advice that will stand you in good stead for the years of sweat and hard labor to come.
Building Muscle Quickly
I am going to be honest and tell you that there simply are no magic routines to get instant muscles. Whatever you do it is going to take months to improve your physique. And in reality it will take years before you look really well muscled. But in just a few months you can certainly change the way that you look quite dramatically, there is no doubt about that.
Once you are out of the beginner stage of weight training to gain muscle you can use things like the Body Solid BB23 bicep bomber to maybe make faster gains in arm size than you could do otherwise, but there are no secrets that will transform you overnight. You must realize that you need to train regularly over an extended period of time to gain a large amount of muscle mass.
But, I want to gain muscle fast.
Of course you do. So get started. Read the best routine to build muscle, the how to get big muscles fast article, and the rest pause training article for maximum gains. Plus the new how to gain weight fast article.
What It Boils Down To
In the end it comes down to a few simple things.
- An abbreviated routine based around a few compound exercises
- Working out a few times a week
- Constantly adding weight to the bar
- Resting enough to grow
- Eating enough to add weight without getting fat
Get yourself some cheap weight sets and get training.
In a few months from beginning a routine you will look very different to how you did before. And this is impetus enough to carry on. Consistency is key. Keep working out as often as you can, ensuring that you are rested, and the muscle will come. Beginners need to ensure that they are eating enough. If the scales are not going up then you will not gain muscle.
Eat until you add weight. For some this will be huge amounts of food, for others just a slight increase. Listen to your body and keep an eye on the mirror.
If you are overweight then cut back on the food until you look good, then add food back in as your training progresses and it gets more intense. But ensure that you never return to gross over eating that got you overweight in the first place.
The absolute best ways to build muscle fast are simply working out with heavy weights. Perform each set until you cannot do another rep and you will grow. It is as simple as that. If you can add weight to the bar once a week then you are getting stronger. And if you are getting stronger then your muscles are getting bigger. This is your goal each and every time you perform a set with a barbell.
This is the foundation of all the workouts discussed here at the site, where I can hopefully teach you how to gain muscle. It is simple in the extreme, but it is at the very heart of how normal people can hope to gain a good amount of muscle mass, and look different to almost every other person they are likely to meet. Most people either have excess weight and no muscle mass, or are what we call skinny fat.
Thin in most places, but with a slight paunch and still no muscle.
Others are simple skinny, and if this is you then you are in a better position than most.
Workout Routine To Build Muscle
You are going to be shocked by both the brevity and the infrequency of the routine. This is for a reason. Recovery is just as important as training. If you train too often then you will never grow. You need to tax your muscles and then you need to let them rest to recover. And then to also grow a little before you tax them again. Let’s look at the routine and then have a quick discussion about frequency. This really is one of the best ways to build muscle fast.
Trap bar deadlifts or Squats Chin Ups or bent over rows Bench press or Dips Shoulder press Biceps curl
That is it, and to be honest even the curls are optional.
Reps are between 15 and 20 for legs and from 8-12 for the rest.
You need to find out what rep range works best for you. And this is where trial and error comes into play.
Progressing With Weights
At the heart of any successful training program to build muscle is weight progression or reps progression. As you get into the groove of your training and are struggling to eek out the last rep you may find that whatever you do you can never get past performing 10 reps.
Week after week you are stuck at this level.
But you may find that if you drop your rep range to a max of 8 then you can progress with adding more weight a lot easier. So always take the ranges as a guideline. The aim is to consistently add weight to the bar as often as possible. If you find that as soon as you add weight to the bar when you can perform 10 reps, but suddenly drop down to only being able to do 6, you have either added too much weight or you are not suited to that rep range.
Try dropping to 8 reps and seeing if you can stay consistent with that rep number while still adding weight every week.
The faster you can progress at any given rep count whilst adding weight consistently then the quicker you will grow muscle.
Best Bodybuilding Routine
At the heart of a successful bodybuilding routine is the leg work. This is brutal. Reps should always be high, between 15 and 20. This stimulates muscle growth through the whole body and is the core of the whole workout. You should aim to add a lb or 2 each and every workout until you are lifting some very impressive poundages.
Do this for a few years and your whole body will be transformed.
See the article on how often to train to build muscle for guidelines of how often you should perform this workout. And if you perform rest pause training this is of prime importance. Never neglect your leg training, and make sure that it is done in perfect form, keep adding weight, and you will stimulate huge amounts of growth over your whole body. Your legs will grow, your back and shoulders will grow, and so will your arms. And if possible train in one of the power racks for sale that I have reviewed, safety is paramount.
How Many Sets
For the legs a maximum of 2-3 sets is all that you should need. And once you progress to real rest pause training for the legs then you are not going to want to pick the bar back up after 1 set, it is brutal to say the least.
For other exercises 3 sets are recommended.
Reverse Pyramid Training
This is my preferred way of training. You do your first set with your maximum poundage for the given rep range. Then on subsequent sets you will lower the weight so that you can match the rep range. It means you are always using the heaviest weight you can for each set.
Alternatives are that you use the same weight for each set. This means that the first two sets will be hard but nowhere near as tough as the final set, where you will be feeling the burn and getting pretty exhausted. But it is not as intense as reverse pyramid training, and for most it will not give the best results. i.e the quickest progression in terms of muscle gain and weights progression.
Are You Serious!????
I know, the brevity goes against everything that you have read. But this is for a reason. Recovery is so important that it should not be overlooked. Train hard, train very infrequently, and as long as you are progressing with the poundages week after week, do you think that you won’t be getting bigger?
Look at it this way. If you can perform chin ups twice a week and in a years time you can perform 10 reps with 50 lbs around your waist hanging from a belt, how much bigger do you think your arms and your back is going to be? A lot, right?
So, keep is simple, keep it brief, and add weight to the bar every single workout if you possibly can. And don’t forget to eat! If you are thin and simply cannot seem to add weight then you need to eat more and more and more until this begins to happen. See the how to gain weight quickly article for more info on this. If you are overweight then watch your diet, eat clean, cut out the crap, and make a slight deficit under your maintenance level.
Get ready for a routine that is simply guaranteed to pack on pounds of muscle. I seriously mean it. This rest pause leg training workout is a KILLER. It isn’t for the faint hearted, the whiners, the losers or the ones that don’t REALLY want it, this is for trainees that want large muscles and want them fast.
This is based on the muscle building routine I recommend, i.e the one I devised And is part of the rest pause training for mass collection of articles. It is super abbreviated, intense, a killer to perform, but it delivers results. Combine it with the how to gain weight quickly guide and you are going to be transformed, and quickly. But it requires an insane amount of will power and effort to see it through to the end.
Rest Pause Leg Workout
You will be surprised by the brevity, people often are, but it is like this for a reason. Too many sets in the workout will simply fry you. This is a specialization routine intended to be done every third or fourth or even every fifth day for a month. Much longer than that and you run the risk of over training and getting nowhere, or even losing strength and mass as your body simply will not be able to recover.
Chin Ups 3 Sets 8-12 Reps Bench Press 3 Sets 8-12 Reps Trap Bar Deadlifts or Squats 1 Set Rest Pause Style 20 Reps
Super abbreviated but super productive. Perform the routine as often as you can as long as you are recovered. For normal people it will mean doing it twice a week or maybe on every 4th or even 5th day. It is intense to the extreme.
Building Up To It
As stated in the rest pause main article, you need to begin by just adding 10% to the normal weight you use for your top set of Squats or Deadlifts. This is so it is not too much of a shock to the system. Gradually build up until you are using a much heavier weight than normal.
Now our month of training in this manner begins.
Each rep is like a workout in its own right. It is exhausting. Obviously the first few reps will be easy but it should get hard very quickly.
To illustrate this point here is the scenario you should find yourself in when performing this workout for the legs to guarantee muscle.
Let’s take the Squat as an example, although I do prefer the Trap bar deadlift. And make sure you train in a power rack. Set the bar catchers just at the bottom point of the rep so you can drop the bar if need be.
A Set Of Rest Pause Squats
Remember, this weight should be built up to. But it should be at least 50% more than you would perform a usual set of 20 rep squats with. I told you it was brutal!!!
Deep breaths, bar set up in the power rack.
Nerves hit, the fear grows, you know what is in store for you and it is going to take all your will power to complete the task ahead. But HUGE muscles don’t build themselves.
Step under the bar and shoulder it. Time to get busy.
Down and up. 2 deep breaths.
Down and up. 2 deep breaths.
Down and up. SHIT! This is hard. 3 deep breaths.
Lower down, keeping good form and push up, this is tough.
Another one. Woo Hoo! 5 done, 15 to go!!!
And on it goes.
By rep ten you will be sweating. You will be taking longer between each rep. It will be killing you.
By rep 15 you will be trying to keep from giving up.
Don’t. This is where you will make the most gains in terms of muscle growth.
Each of the last 5 reps will take all of your will power to complete. You will be struggling for breath and you will want to lie down on the floor and collapse. And you will, after the last rep.
The last rep will see you resting for a good ten seconds if not more before you attempt it. And it will still feel like you are shouldering a truck not a bar with plates on it.
It will take you a good 5-10 minutes to even recover from this enough to move properly. And this is why I recommend you perform it at the end of your workout. I simply cannot complete the other exercises if I do it first in the routine.
This is a brief workout for a reason. The 1 set or resp pause deadlifts or squats is enough of a workout in its own right really.
Do this as often as you can once you are rested and recovered, and do it for a month and you will have made massive gains.
You will need to eat like a horse to get the full benefit. But your appetite will take care of that. You will be starving day and night as your body tries to recover.
In the large arms workout I showed just how impressive the size gains can be, but it relies on having access to a dip stand and a pull up bar.
Rather than buying both separately, the economic answer is to buy a cheap pull up dip station. Luckily they are now cheaper than ever before.
Amazon currently have some great prices, so I wanted to simply let everyone know that they don’t need to spend a fortune if they want to be able to perform these most excellent compound movements to pack on the muscle.
View the many options here
I am not going to make a specific recommendation, it will depend on a number of factors. Space being just one of them.
What Is The Best Pull Up Dip Station
A combination pull up and dip station needs to be sturdy. That should be the basis of any buying decision. There are enough cheap ones that you are not going to have to spend a great deal, even for something of a very good quality. My advice is to read reviews of the products on offer to see just what comes the most highly recommended.
Personally I have tried both the Body Vision PT600 power tower and the Stamina 1690 power tower, both are nice and rugged. But there are so many different options that there is no point looking at them all here. Price and available room are going to dictate what you buy.
If I had to give you a solid recommendation then the Stamina tower is cheap, very cheap. And it does the job. I am all about not paying more than I have to.
I simply recommend that you take a look and see what takes your fancy. All of them are going to allow you to do chins and dips, you will just find that a few options are a little more versatile. i.e. you can use them to perform bent leg crunches and the like. Although if you perform heavy leg work, like rest pause training, then you will be developing a solid core without the need for any abdominal work at all.
If you are going to buy a station for chins and dips then don’t discount a power rack instead though. They come with chin bars and dip handles on many models, and also allow you to train in safety.
Whatever you do buy, remember one thing. The aim is not to just be able to perform dips and pull ups with bodyweight. To really pack on the muscle you want to be aiming for adding weight to your body. Use a dip belt and add a few pounds, or even a single pound, once you can get up to ten or twelve reps.
When you begin you may well find that even getting close to this is a struggle. But keep at it and you will be amazed at how quickly you can get into the groove.
If you can’t do a full set then do as many as you can. Then use negative training to finish the set. This means you jump to the top position with a bounce, and then lower your weight to the bottom, 4 seconds a rep is a good figure to aim for.
If you can do this for a number of workouts you will be able to very quickly get to a point where you will be hunting around for extra plates to add around your waist. And this is when the muscle realy begins to get added to your frame.
Training to positive failure, i.e until you can no longer raise the bar to the top position in a set, is a topic that is going to have a myriad of different opinions, and it is certainly going to result in a lot of arguments. How often should we train to failure, should we train to failure at all, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of such a training system. Not to mention the more advanced technique of training to negative muscular failure.
All of these points will be addressed in this article. First let’s look at what we REALLY mean by training to failure, many trainees really do not appreciate just how brutal this actually is. Don’t forget that the harder you train the less bodybuilding training frequency you need.
HOW TO TRAIN TO FAILURE
Training To Positive Failure
When we talk about training to positive failure we are talking about reaching the point in a set of reps where we can no longer raise the bar all the way up. This may be not being able to get the bar up in a set of barbell curls, pushing as hard as we can but no longer being able to lock out in the extended position in a set of shoulder presses, or (and this is very dangerous) getting stuck in the bottom position in a set of squats.
To failure training means that we simply cannot move the bar more than a a tiny amount in an upward direction.
And it is BRUTAL!
Many people believe they have trained to positive failure when this is not the case at all. True “to failure training” should leave us exhausted, our muscles will be gorged with blood, and we will probably need a bit of a lie down. But this is as nothing to training to negative failure
Training To Negative Failure
This is a whole other ball game.
If you are wondering
Should I Train To Failure
Then you should know that there are some benefits to this kind of weight training, but, as we shall see later on in this article, it must be used in the correct way, and with the right frequency.
To negative training is the most brutal form of this kind of training and can make severe inroads into your body’s recuperative abilities. This is, in reality training beyond failure, as we will need assistance in the form of a spotter or a body movement, to get the bar to the top position. Let’s say we are performing a set of barbell curls. We have reached the point of positive failure in our bodybuilding routine, we can no longer raise the bar to the top position.
We no have two options, we can use a spotter to apply some force to the bar to help us lift it to the top, or we can swing our body to get the same effect. This is known as “cheating”. Once in the top position we slowly lower the weigh, ideally to a 4 second count. This action is repeated a number of times, until we basically cannot fight against the downward force of the weight, and it literally drops from our exhausted hands.
It is taxing on the muscles and the system as a whole in the extreme.
Should I Train To Failure
What does it mean to train to failure?
It means that
You can no longer lift the bar to the top position
Your normal set of reps is finished
Your muscles are gorged with blood and severely taxed
You will have made severe inroads to your system as a whole
Recovery will take longer than training a rep or two shy of total positive failure
If using negative to failure training you will have pushed your muscles and system to the extreme
Both forms of training take it out of you and recovery will be longer. And this needs to be considered.
So, should you train in this manner.
To Train To Failure Or Not
To Failure Bodybuilding Positives
Weight training to failure should only ever be done on a very abbreviated routine, most trainees would do well to tread the workout routine to build muscle and follow it relatively closely. Learning how to build muscle means that most people need only very brief and infrequent workouts if they want maximum gains.
The positive if training to failure, positive or negative, is that you MAY increase your rate of growth and the rate at which you are able to consistently add weight to he bar. If you are looking to gain weight quickly then this may be the answer to the fastest rate of growth.
Why Not To Train To Failure
The down side of this type of training is that it makes severe inroads into your body’s ability to recover. If you are not used to training like this, and normally stop a rep or two shy of positive failure, than suddenly training like this may mean you cannot train as frequently. And the most workouts you can perform in any given period of time is going to result in maximum growth and gains.
But this is only true if you have recovered from your previous workout. And for many, this means a number of days of rest before performing another weights workout.
It is down to listening to your body and seeing how it effects your training frequency. If you can train more intensely, and still keep progressing with the weights you use, then you are onto a good thing. If training like this makes inroads that are too severe and you simply cannot progress in almost every workout, or at least once a week, then you may find that your body is better suited to training that is a little shy of failure.
This is the one thing you will not hear in most bodybuilding circles, you must listen to your body and train accordingly.
How Often (Train to failure every set?)
So let’s get to the meat and bones of this article, now that we have a little bit of knowledge about what we are getting ourselves into.
Done correctly, with the right nutrition, the right routine and the right level of rest, this type of training can be super productive. So how often should bodybuilding routines be performed to failure? As often as possible as long as it does not severely effect recovery.
If you can keep progressing with the amount of weight you add to the bar, or the number of reps performed each workout, then train as hard as possible. The problem is that may trainees, especially your averagely genetically blessed trainee, may find it takes too much out of them to train like this every workout.
The best solution is to train full body, using to failure techniques, and see how you respond. If you simply take too many days to recover, and it effects your training frequency, then training a rep shy of failure may be best. No two people react the same, so it is up to us to find what our bodies can handle.
If training like this for every set it too much then we may be better of cycling the exercises we train in this manner. Maybe run a cycle of a month or so where you use this style for one body-part only. A month of training the bench press to failure, only as long as you train in a power rack, or have suitable bench press stands, and then switching to focus on another body-part, part may be the ideal solution.
Listen to your body and train accordingly.
Above all else you must ensure that you recover between workouts. If you find it too hard to get in a workout with a respectable period of rest then don’t train in this manner. Or cycle it so that only one exercise per workout is performed in this manner. We want to get big and strong, and this means progressing with weights or reps in a set nearly every, if not every workout.
If you want to know how to build muscle then there are a few simple things that you need to keep at the fore in your mind. You need to train hard, get plenty of rest, sleep a lot, and eat enough to gain weight. If you can take care of all this then you are guaranteed to pack on the pounds. It sounds simple, but it requires a lot of dedication and a willingness to commit to a long term training routine, and leading a clean life for maximum gains.
The best training program for mass gains is going to focus on these 4 principles. So let’ take a look at each one in depth. Miss out on either of the 4 and your gains are going to be nowhere near as good as they could have been.
Workout For Mass Gains
The heart of our mass gains is based around the best workout for mass gains. Please read that article for the routine. At its simplest we are concentrating on a few compound exercises a maximum of twice a week. Those who already have experience with training may well find that twice a week is too much.
We need to ensure that we are making poundage progressions at every workout, so if you are not then add in an extra day of rest between your workouts. Rest pause training for the legs should be at the heart of any serious attempt to build real mass. Heavy leg work done in a rest pause style is going to be the absolute best way possible to add incredible mass all over your body. It stimulates the appetite in a way that nothing else can. It also leads to muscle development all over the body, not just in the leg and buttock area.
This simple and infrequent style of training allows you to maximize the time you spend working out in terms of productivity, and it also allows you to much more easily take care of the other three factors.
Getting adequate rest is of prime importance. You can work out as hard as you want, but without full recovery and minimal other physical activity you will not make the best gains. Not only do you need to ensure that you give your muscles time to recover from the stresses and strains you impose on them, you need to actually give them time to grow as well.
It means that you should never workout again until you know for sure that you have grown all that you can. As mentioned in previous articles you can only gauge this by ensuring that you make progress in terms of weight added to the bar at least every other workout. If you cannot fulfil this criteria then you are working out too often,or you are not taking care of the other factors.
If you are getting enough rest, sleep and food, but not making gains in the Gym then you need to add another rest day between workouts.
For maximum mass gains from working out with weights you need perform little in the way of physical activity apart from during your workouts. The more you can rest your muscles the quicker they can recover, and the quicker you can hit them hard again in the gym, or at home using cheap weights sets.
Sleep should never be overlooked as part of a training program to gain mass quickly. You need all the rest you can get, and the best rest of all is sleep. It allows your body to recover and build itself up like nothing else. At a minimum you should be trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. And more if you possibly can.
If you can get to bed early, and get a great night of sleep, then you are doing your best for your body. It can recover and grow quicker and it is the absolute best way to get energized for the workouts ahead of you.
Get into a pattern of going to bed at the same time every night, and sleeping for as long as you possibly can.
After doing heavy leg work you should find that you sleep like a baby, and will actually need at least 8 hours of sleep if not a lot more.
Nutrition is so important if you want to gain mass with bodybuilding. You need to concentrate on what you eat and how much of it you eat as well. To get mass gains quickly and to really make the most of the exercise regime you are on, you need to eat lots of good quality food. I am not going to get into an argument about the number of times you need to eat each day, let your hunger dictate that to some degree.
Suffice to say that you do not need to eat 6 meals a day. 2 or 3 a day, as long as you get a surplus of calories is going to be more than sufficient. But you have to be realistic about it. You need to ensure that you are getting enough calories in you. If you do heavy leg work then you should be hungry nearly all the time, so you should have no problem eating enough to gain weight.
And gain weight you must. To gain mass with your training program you need surplus calories. And the bottom line is that as well as adding muscle to your frame you will also be adding a little bit of fat. It is mostly inevitable.
But if you can eat healthily then you can minimize the amount of fat gained, and ensure that nearly all of it is muscle.
Aim for a few pounds a month minimum in terms of weight gain.
If you can keep that up for 6 months then you will look like a totally different person. 12-14 pounds of mostly solid muscle is going to make you look better than anyone else that you know. If you can stay lean whilst gaining this weight you will look incredible. Many beginners simply underestimate how much they need to eat to gain weight. Read the how to gain weight fast article for more information on this. But basically you simply need to keep eating and eating until you finally begin to add weight each and every week.
The thinner you are then the more you can eat and the faster you can gain weight. If you are very slim then for a limited period of time you may even be able to add as much as a pound in weight every week. But it will take some dedication to the plate, along with drinking plenty of milk as well.
If you can follow all of these pieces of advice, and stick to it for months at a time, then you are going to gain mass very quickly. This training program for mass gains revolves around getting all the factors near enough perfect. And you must do this day after day, week after week, and month after month.
Starting a diet can almost be fun. We are motivated to lose weight and are excited to get started. Hopefully, we have done our homework and have found the right diet to follow to reach our weight loss goal. We are ready to get going, we have the right diet plan to follow, and we KNOW we will lose weight!
Then, reality sets in. Losing weight is a commitment, and once the “excitement” of starting the new diet wears off, we are faced with the work of sticking to it to reach our goals.
First, understand that motivation is what gets your started on your diet, but it is discipline that will keep you on your diet. Before you begin that new diet you need to understand this. You will start with excitement, but by day 5 your real world has set in and your have most likely slipped into old habits. You need to include in your diet plan a way to handle the realities of life. Like waking up late, rushing out of the house to get to work on time, and grabbing a muffin to eat in the car. Or, traffic is a nightmare on the way home and by the time you are almost at the gym, you are so tired and frustrated you decide to skip it and just go home. This is life, and if you have don’t have a game plan to deal with temptation, you will end up slipping into old habits.
So, what to do? First, do not get so frustrated that you give up on your diet! Instead, understand that you need to learn to cultivate your motivation. And the way to do this is to plan for and commit to small successes. Small successes, like grabbing some fruit instead of the muffin, will keep you motivated. Then, when you are face with a temptation like skipping the gym you can motivate yourself to stick to your workout goals. Stay committed to your plan, and you will be surprised how much motivation this will give you the next time you are face with a temptation.
Do not wait until you “feel better” or “feel like it”. You never will! Use temptation to your advantage and follow through with your plan, whatever it was, and you will be building your motivation. Once you prove to yourself that you can do it, you will be more motivated to stick to your goals the next time you are face with temptation.
Bottom line, losing weight and reaching your goals is all up to YOU. When starting a diet you will be motivated, but understand that will end, and you will need to work through temptations. If you choose to work through them, you will be increasing your motivation, and you will reach your weight loss goals.
If you are planning on starting a diet soon, or have started one and have reach a point where you are struggling with motivation, take this advice. Work motivation goals into your diet plan, anticipate times of struggle and know what you will do when faced with it. Then, you will find weight loss success.