If you ask almost anyone about their fitness goals, they'll likely give you one of two answers. Either they'll say that they want to burn body fat or that they want to gain muscle.
Are you part of the latter group? If so, you might be wondering what you can do to start putting on muscle and getting stronger.
There's a lot of misinformation out there regarding muscle building, and it's hard to know what to believe and what to discount.
If you're not sure where to begin, keep reading. Listed below are some tips that will help you learn how to build muscle fast.
Importance of Building Muscle
Before we get into specific muscle building strategies, let's quickly address why building muscle is so important.
Contrary to popular belief, building muscle isn't just about looking jacked (although that's definitely a nice perk).
There are also health benefits that come with having more muscle mass, including the following:
• The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be and the more calories you'll burn
• Muscle mass helps to fortify your bones, tendons, and ligaments to prevent injuries
• Increased strength helps you to perform everyday activities with more ease
• The more muscle you have, the less of a chance you have of developing chronic diseases like heart disease
Clearly, muscle mass is important if you want to look and feel your best long-term. Even if aesthetics don't matter to you, you should still make muscle building a priority.
How to Build Muscle Fast
Okay, you can see that building muscle is important. How do you go about building muscle, though? How do you put it on as quickly as possible?
Here are some tips that will help you to expedite the muscle building process so you can start seeing improvements in your gym performance and your overall health:
Do Compound Exercises
Single-joint exercises like biceps curls and tricep extensions have their place in your workouts. But, they shouldn't make up the bulk of your training session.
Spend the majority of your time focusing on compound exercises (exercises that target multiple muscle groups) if you're trying to build muscle. Some of the best exercises to do include squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, and rows.
Do Full-Body Workouts
Full-body workouts, for most people, are better for muscle building that workouts that target a different body part every day of the week.
Full-body workouts give you more opportunities to work on compound exercises and minimize the risk of you overtraining a particular muscle group.
Doing full-body workouts less often (three or four days per week, for example) works better for most people's schedule and increases the likelihood that you'll stick to a plan long-term.
Follow a Plan
Speaking of sticking to a plan, that's the next tip we want to address. Make sure you're following a workout plan designed to help you build muscle.
If you go into the gym without a plan and mess around on a few machines before you head home, you're not going to see the kind of progress you want.
Eat in a Calorie Surplus
If you want to gain muscle mass, you need to make sure you're eating in a calorie surplus. This means you're eating more calories than your body burns in a day.
For those who are overweight and are brand new to working out, research suggests that you might be able to get away with eating in a calorie deficit (eating less than you burn) and still build muscle.
For more experienced lifters, though, a calorie surplus is almost always necessary in order to make significant gains.
Eat Adequate Amounts of Protein
You need to eat more when you're trying to gain muscle. That doesn't give you carte blanche to eat whatever you want, though.
Make sure you're consuming adequate amounts of protein, and try to get the majority of your protein from whole food sources (meat, poultry, eggs, fish, etc.).
If you consume a lot of junk food and don't make it a priority to hit your protein goal, you'll likely end up gaining more body fat than muscle mass.
Avoid Excessive Cardio
Long bouts of cardio aren't ideal if your main goal is to put on muscle.
You don't have to eschew getting your heart rate up altogether during this time. It shouldn't be your primary focus, though.
If you do too much cardio while also lifting a lot of weights, you'll be sending different signals to your body.
This, in turn, means you'll have a harder time gaining muscle mass and seeing significant results from your workout and nutrition plan.
Supplement with Creatine
There aren't a lot of muscle building supplements out there that are actually worth investing in. One of the most effective, though, is creatine.
Supplementing with a small amount of creating (around five grams) can help you to build more muscle. It helps the muscles to produce more energy during your workouts. This, in turn, allows you to push yourself farther and see results more quickly.
Give Yourself Time to Rest
One of the most important tips for those who are looking to find out more about muscle growth is to make sure you're giving your body enough rest. Take regular days off from the gym so your muscles can recover.
You also need to get a sufficient amount of quality sleep each night. Avoid looking at screens before bed and stick to a consistent night time routine. This will give you more time to recover and help you see progress sooner.
Start Building Muscle Today
As you can see, there are a lot of strategies you can use if you're trying to figure out how to build muscle fast.
Whether you're focused on aesthetics or preventing muscle loss as you get older, these strategies will help.
Keep this advice in mind as you hit the gym and you'll have no trouble getting those gains!
Do you want to learn more about fitness, health, and getting in shape? If so, be sure to check out some of the other fitness content on our site today.