Building muscle is a slow process. So, consistency and hard work is the key here.
It could take weeks and months to put on just a couple of pounds of lean muscle mass. Here, we use the word “FAST,” it doesn’t mean I’m talking about drugs or steroids to get quick results.
In this article, I will share with you five ways to gain muscle faster as natural. These aren’t some random tips. Every tip is a hundred percent backed by real scientific evidence, guaranteeing you to get faster results.
So, let’s dive in!
How to Gain Muscle FAST: 5 Effective Tips
Let’s check out the things you should mainly focus on to increase muscle mass/size fast.
1. Add Extra 500 Calories
Yes, the first thing you need to do is add extra 500 calories per day. How does it work?
Simple, when we consume 3500 calories, we gain 1 pound weight. When you add 500 calories per day, at the end of the week, you’re adding extra 3500 calories, and you’ll gain 1 pound bodyweight.
Remember, you’re adding extra 500 calories on top of your required daily calories, which you need to maintain your muscle mass.
Related: How Many Calories Should I Eat per Day?
How to know the required daily calories?
First, calculate your BMR with this formula:
- BMR for men = 66.47 + (13.75 * weight [kg]) + (5.003 * height [cm]) − (6.755 * age [years])
- BMR for women = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight [kg]) + (1.85 * height [cm]) − (4.676 * age [years])
Then multiply your BMR according to your activity level. For example, let’s say you exercise 3-5 days per week, which means your daily maintenance calories = (BMR * 1.55)
Once you’ve calculated your required daily calories, apply the muscle-building formula by adding extra 500 calories into it.
For example, your required calorie is 2300. Now you’re adding 500 calories on top of it. This means you need to consume (2300+500) 2800 calories per day to build about 1lb muscle mass in a week.
Your macro breakdown would be 50% carb, 30% protein, and 20% fat from your total calories.
Confused, what foods should you consume? I would highly recommend you check out the article on the best muscle-building foods, where you’ll get some of the 30 best food ideas to add to your diet to get faster results.
Related: The 17 Worst Foods for Building Muscle
2. Lift Heavy
The second tip for speed up your muscle gain is to lift heavy, which basically means increase your training frequency, intensity, and volume every session.
Training frequency refers to the number of days per week you train the same muscle groups. Training volume refers to the number of sets and reps you train each muscle group. And intensity refers to the weight load you’re putting in any particular exercise.
Related: 10 Best Foods to Eat Before a Tough Workout
One study compared working out for muscle groups one day per week versus three days per week. Found that training three days per week (using a total body routine) had a significant advantage over only one-day training (split body routine) per week.
However, that doesn’t mean split training is worse than full-body training because there’re ways you could perform split training more than once per week.
Also, frequency has to be balanced with volume and intensity. But we can’t increase the intensity, set and reps, and weight load all at the same time to balance out.
So, what should be our main goal?
An 8-week study compared the effect of high-volume versus high-intensity training. This study showed that the high-intensity low volume group has more strength and muscle gains than the high-volume moderate-intensity group.
They concluded that focusing on training intensity over volume may provide a great advantage for fast strength and muscle growth.
Related: The Best Exercises to Build Muscle at Home
Summary: You should primarily make sure that you’re exercising at a higher intensity means you’re lifting heavy weights and training each muscle group for 2-3 sets with 6-8 reps at least two times per week.
3. Eat High-Protein Diet
As we all know, the muscles are mostly made of protein. So it shouldn’t be a big surprise that consuming a protein-rich diet will help you gain muscle faster.
But, how much protein is enough?
A 2011 study recommends protein intake between 1.3 to 1.8 grams per kilogram (0.6 to 0.8 g per pound) of body weight; spreading between 3-4 meals will maximize muscle protein synthesis. It also mentioned more protein might be required during a calorie restriction diet.
Another study recommends that 0.8-gram protein per pound body weight is a great starting point, especially athletes may experience greater benefits with it.
That seems like the more you increase protein intake, you’ll gain more muscles, but actually that’s not the case.
Another study compared a very high protein consumption of about 2 grams per pound (4.4g/kg) body weight versus 0.8 gram of protein per pound bodyweight. After eight weeks of study, the researchers concluded there were no significant changes between the two groups.
Summary: Having between 0.8 to 1 gram protein per pound bodyweight, spreading between 3-4 meals, seems ideal for faster muscle growth. And if you’re lean or on a calorie deficit diet, you can slightly increase your protein intake higher than that.
Related: How Much Protein Do I Need to Build Muscle?
4. Add Creatine
My next recommendation for you is to add a creatine supplement. Whether you’re taking any other supplement or not, creatine is must-have when it comes to increasing muscle size fast.
Creatine is one of the most widely researched and proven supplements to enhance athletic performance and physical appearance and also safe for both short-term and long-term use.
Even though many studies are proving the effectiveness of creatine, I want to draw your attention to a single meta-analysis.
This extensive review of creatine concluded that creatine monohydrate is the most extensively studied and clinically effective supplement available for athletes to increase high-intensity workout capacity and lean muscle mass fast.
Although one study found that long-term use of creatine may be linked to hair loss, but the evidence on hair loss is inconclusive and requires further research. It’s something to keep in mind.
Summary: All you need to do is take 3-5 grams of creatine before or after a workout with some carbs and protein sources to maximize creatine’s muscular retention.
Related: The 5 Best Supplements to Build Muscle Fast
5. Get Enough Sleep
Taking enough quality sleep is important because it influences our muscle-building goal, strength, and overall health.
For example, a study among Chinese university students found that men with shorter sleep duration (<6 hours) had poorer muscle strength than men who slept for 7-8 hours.
In another study, researchers compared two groups of men where one group allowed for 5.5 hours of sleep and another was allowed 8+ hours per day. Again, all individuals followed a calorie-regulated diet.
At the end of the study, the individuals who slept only 5.5 hours had 60 percent less muscle mass, while those who slept 8+ hours had 40 percent more muscle mass.
Summary: Taking anything between 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep can significantly enhance our overall recovery and speed up muscle growth.
Related: How Long Does It Take to Build Muscle?
How to gain muscle fast? Simple, try to implement the following points (as discussed above) regularly.
- Eat extra calories
- Increase intensity
- Eat protein-rich diet
- Add creatine
- Get enough sleep
By consistently following the points mentioned above, you’ll feel a significant improvement in your muscle size over the weeks and months.
If you’re a beginner and don’t understand where to start your muscle-building journey, I would highly recommend you read this article which covers a step-by-step formula to build muscle mass naturally.
If you have any questions regarding muscle building, please ask in the comment section below. We’ll glad to help you!
Best of luck! 🙂