Are you stuck in your efforts to build bigger muscles? Are you getting bored of the same-ole tactics like strip sets, rest-pause, and pre-exhaustion?
All of us know that to achieve muscle growth you must consistently train hard, eat plenty amounts of protein, and be in a caloric surplus. What makes this feature different is the fact that there are some effective strategies you can use to achieve muscle growth (as proven by research). Read on for these unique strategies to breathe new life into your workout plan and DOUBLE your muscle-building gains.
Can Muscle Mass Be Increased?
First of all, you should know that it doesn’t matter what type of body you have, your muscles absolutely can be increased. Even a skinny body muscle can be increased through proper nutrition and workout. Of course, genetics can play an effective role, but studies show that eating right and weight lifting beat the bad genes.
Second, many strategies and factors lead to better muscle growth. You should know all of them and combine them with your lifestyle to have bigger muscles. So, don’t think that if I lift weight every day and drink protein shakes, I get double muscles. If you want permanent results, you have to completely go through strategies.
Lastly, one important thing you should know is that “muscles build in the kitchen.” Many studies found that between two athletes with all equal conditions, the one with better nutrition had won the edge. As much important as exercising is, double it for what you eat. Not only does what you eat matter A LOT but also the timing has a significant impact.
In this feature, we are explaining each factor that can help you double your muscle mass fast. You’ll just need to do them and see amazing results showing up after a short period.
What Increases Muscle Mass Fast?
To be honest, your muscles need some time to grow and bigger muscles just don’t appear over a week or two. However, there are some strategies you can use to make your muscles grow faster. Let’s see what are those secret strategies to double your muscle mass fast.
1. Use Supplement with Creatine
Creatine is one of the most extensively researched ingredients, with plenty of evidence on its performance-enhancing benefits. A study between two groups after 10 weeks of a resistance training program shows that Creatine can increase fat-free muscle mass by 60%. Moreover, the group taking Creatine was able to maintain the increases in lean body mass during the period of not training.
While Creatine has been proven to improve performance, these results indicate that it can be beneficial for hypertrophy as well. This is interesting as it seems to be a win-win for all who are struggling to increase muscle mass and strength. Creatine can help you add actual muscle proteins and not just increase the water content.
By simply having 5g of Creatine monohydrate every day, you can see amazing results. Just start with 4 servings per day for a week (20g) to increase muscle stores quickly.
2. Add Some Blood Flow Restriction Training
Training below an intensity of 65% of 1-RM rarely produces bigger muscles. You need to do some high-intensity resistance training regularly to strengthen your growing muscles. Studies show that low-intensity resistance training (20-50% of 1-RM) alongside restriction of muscular venous blood flow (BFR) can increase muscle cross-sectional area (CSA). It also can strengthen this area in a similar manner to traditional high-intensity resistance training.
Blood Flow Restriction training helps you see significant gains in the size of their quads, hamstrings, and adductors. Studies show that you don’t necessarily always have to train with maximal weights. Instead, you can still achieve hypertrophy with the use of light weights in combination with Blood Flow Restriction(BRF) training.
This workout can especially help when you are doing a de-load or injured. BFR is also known as a muscle-building workout as it can increase muscle size even when using very light loads. Thus, if you don’t feel like messing with heavy weights, use BFR to provide a new stimulus. The traditional protocol is 4 mini sets of 30, 15, 15, and 15 rep with 30 seconds rest in between sets.
3. Undulate Periodization
Periodization is the process in which you organize your training in periods of macrocycles, mesocycles, and microcycles. In one period you may emphasize strength, while in another you may emphasize hypertrophy, conditioning, or weight loss.
A study shows that undulating periodization (UP) can increase body mass by 3.7%. Specific periods of strength, hypertrophy, and weight loss focus are inferior to those combining those focuses at some point over a week.
What you need to do is simply vary the intensity and rep ranges trained from session to session, or within every single session. If you train each muscle group twice per week, make one session heavier (5-8 reps) and the other set lighter (10-20 reps). This will amazingly help you achieve bigger muscles faster.
4. Turn Up the Volume
A recent study compared the effects of single to multiple sets on strength. It indicated that both trained and untrained individuals gained 46% stronger muscles while doing more than one set. If you want growing muscles, you should add more volume to your exercise routine. Do a minimum of 2-3 sets per muscle group to maximize results quickly.
If you already train with large volumes, you’ll need more than 2 – 3 sets per muscle of course. Keep in mind that you can’t just keep adding volume and growing. Eventually, you have to manipulate rep ranges, tempo, strength curve, frequency, and other advanced training variables.
5. Eat Fat
One of the most important strategies for growing muscles is to ensure you are eating healthy fats. Why is that so important? Healthy fats help regulate key hormones like testosterone and growth hormone as well as keep your metabolism in check. It provides enough energy while dieting on low calories. So, add some eggs, avocado, nuts, olive oil, and nut butter to your diet for better results in maximizing muscles.
6. Have a Higher Protein Diet
You may know that protein intakes in the range of 1.2-2.0 grams per kilogram (kg) body weight a day (g/kg/d)are needed in active people. According to the Position Stand by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, protein intakes of 1.4-2.0 g/kg/d are needed for every physically active individual.
Although supplements are great, our reliance on these powders can become a crutch at times. Supplements provide high-quality protein when convenient and quickly shuttle critical amino acids into our growing muscles. However, nothing beats real food for building real massive muscle. So, ensure you are eating a variety of whole-food proteins like eggs, beef, chicken, turkey, and fish.
7. Use Supplement with BCAA’s
A huge number of studies have reported the effectiveness of BCAA supplementation in promoting and regulating protein synthesis. In these studies, the BCAA group gained 0.4kg of lean mass, while the carbohydrate group lost 0.9kg of lean mass.
One important point to consider is most studies on BCAA are in those with only low or moderate protein. Therefore, if you are consuming large amounts of protein every day per meal then BCAA may have less benefit.
For most professional athletes and bodybuilders, everyday protein intake is likely high enough to mean BCAA is just expensive water. However, for most general clients or vegetarians, 1 – 2 scoops of whey protein and/or the use of EAA or BCAA is a very simple strategy to grow muscles faster and increase fat loss.
What you need to do is to ensure your protein intake is high enough. Moreover, a supplement with 1-2 scoops of BCAA’s is great for those struggling to get enough protein. It can easily help them promote lean mass gains and recovery.
8. Try Supplement with Whey Protein
Whey protein supplements have a very high concentration of essential amino acids (45–55 g/100 g of protein). So, they are being the richest known source of branched-chain amino acids, particularly leucine (up to 14 g/100 g protein). Leucine is a hydrophobic amino acid that has been identified as a key regulator in the process of increasing muscle protein synthesis. This is the main cellular process behind muscle growth in our body.
While total protein intake is very important, ensure that you get a high-quality protein source rich in leucine because it will help you to maximize muscle growth. Now what you’ll need to do for having bigger muscles is to consume 1-2 scoops of a high-quality whey protein supplement pre and/or post-workout.
Supplements with whey protein can also be used for any other meal or as a snack. It’s great as a meal replacement when dieting or intermittent fasting. If you are struggling to hit a high protein intake, this is a perfect option for you. Take advantage of whey protein and try to use it daily as you need.
9. Change Your Plan and Do the Opposite
Are you a stickler when it comes to having an exercise routine? Are you constantly seeking an order? Then, this is precisely for you. Every once in a while you’ll need to completely reverse the order of your muscle-building workout. Thus, for example, try to begin your next leg exercise with calves then hamstrings, and after that quads. A new perspective gives you new gains!
10. Go Totally Unilateral
Bench presses, barbell rows, and squats populate most mass-gain exercise plans. But, have you ever thought about performing an entire workout unilaterally? You will identify weak sides and strong limbs quickly by working just one side at a time. So, go totally unilateral to find your weak sides and set a good program to work on them.
11. High Rep It
If you are stuck doing low rep sets or the heavy, low rep mentality has stopped working so well, it’s time to use this tip. Try going high rep for a while and remember keeping your reps in the double digits doesn’t mean that you go easy. All professional bodybuilders suggest that pushing a higher rep set to failure will spur metabolism, jack up testosterone and give you that coveted pump. Don’t hesitate to high rep your exercises.
12. Keep Nothing Under 10 Rep
No workout can pack on the muscle mass all over like leg training. Full-range squats taken to failure can get you big in all parts of your body. Unfortunately, most of us don’t train our legs in the pain zone enough. Try to rep out with no less than 10 reps for all leg workouts. After that, find out how real lower body training should be.
13. Do One Exercise for Each Body Part
Multiple workouts for body parts are great. But, inundating your exercise routine with too many angles will begin to diminish your muscle-building returns. Professionals suggest choosing just one exercise per body part for a few weeks and performing 10 sets or so for each part – keep it simple.
14. Squat Three Times a Week
The fear of overtraining is an attitude that is hopefully going the way of the extinct dinosaurs. As mentioned earlier, nothing compares to training legs (especially squats) when it comes to adding muscle mass. Thus, go ahead and squat three times a week – you have everything to gain.
15. Push Yourself to Do Difficult Exercises
Any movement that will improve your current body condition will either hurt or cause discomfort somehow. Do the difficult exercises like squats, deadlifts, clean presses, Romanian deadlifts, and bent-over rows. Just try to embrace it and don’t stay on the easy track.
16. Ignore Isolation Work
Ditch all the isolation stuff such as cable extensions, concentration curls, and even lateral raises for a few weeks. Focus on the BIG compound moves like benches, rows, overhead presses, squats, and deadlifts. Many studies show that compound moves lead to better muscle growth. So, go big and then go home!
17. Exercise Semi-Fasted
Have you ever trained on a full stomach and felt sluggish after that? Did you feel unable to get a pump? When you eat the food right before your training session, all that food in your stomach will attract a massive amount of blood to help with proper digestion. Thus, there is no wonder why you feel unable to get a pump.
Exercising semi-fasted helps with hormone regulation and blood flow. So, next time you eat a very small meal an hour or two before your training.
18. Do Compound Sets
A compound set is two sets done back-to-back for one body part or group of body parts. These are often performed with smaller, single joint moves like incline curls compounded with standing barbell curls. Don’t be afraid to do some big exercises such as barbell squats compounded with leg presses.
19. Go Machine Gun Sets
An age-old style of working out can still double your muscle mass fast today. If you train with a partner try to rest between sets just long enough for your partner to finish his set – no longer. This I-go-you-go style is usually referred to as machine gun sets. Machine gun sets are an ideal way to decrease between-set rest intervals which leads to more tension on muscles.
When you are lifting for hypertrophy, rest periods of 30 to 90 seconds (as much as your partner needs to finish his set) encourage a quick release of muscle-building hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone.
20. Get More Sleep
Your muscles require more than the right nutrition for a good recovery. It takes time — just about eight hours every night — dedicated to recovery. Plus, your body releases human growth hormones when you’re sleeping. This helps grow muscle and keeps levels of the stress hormone cortisol in check.
Moreover, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, sleeping for five hours a night for just one week decreases muscle-building testosterone levels by a whopping 10 to 15%. The NSF (National Sleep Foundation) suggests that adults ages 18 to 64 sleep seven to nine hours per night. Make no excuses and sleep more for bigger muscles.
21. Double Up Sets in Less Time
If you’re doing enough muscle-building workouts, now it’s time for a new challenge. You may not be used to it, but it affects your growing muscles in many ways. Try doing twice as many sets in the same amount of time per exercise. You’ll need to take shorter breaks, get in some supersets or do whatever else to just get in double the work. Simply double up sets in less time to double your muscle mass fast.
22. Keep It As Simple As Possible
Although dumbbells, cables, Hammer Strength, the Smith machine, and other machines are great options, you should try going old school sometimes. Perform all barbell exercises, bench presses, bent-over rows, squats, shoulder presses, barbell curls, and Romanian deadlifts. Researchers found that you’ll probably lift heavier while keeping things simple and basic.
23. Limit Your Training Total Time
It’s obvious to have a plan that includes a set amount of volume. But, have you ever considered simply trying a time limit on your training session and just going until time is up?
This is one of the best ways to put tension on your muscles and make them grow faster. Next time you’re at the gym, just set a time limit for your training. It will not only boost the muscle growth process but also increase your body resistance and strength.
24. Have a Total Rep Goal
Much like setting a time limit for your training, setting a total rep goal could have a similar effect. This can be applied to either a specific workout, a specific body part, or an entire exercise. Just set a rep goal and try to achieve it.
25. Make It Full-Body
Your body makes muscle mass better when you simply perform full-body exercises. Full-body routine benefits are two-fold. On the one hand, you get full-body muscle and hormone stimulation every workout. On the other hand, it allows you to train each muscle three or more times a week.
26. Stick on Calorie Surpluses, Not Deficits
This may be a hard one to get used to, especially for people who are used to counting calories in the hopes of shredding fat. However, when it comes to how to gain muscle mass fast, you need to eat more calories than you burn every day. Doubling your muscle mass means weight gained, not lost. So, this is so natural to focus on calorie surpluses.
Moreover, when your body senses that it’s in a calorie deficit — meaning you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning daily — it downshifts your body’s tendency to build new bigger muscles. Lastly, if your body thinks food is in short supply, getting swole isn’t going to be its major priority.
What you need to do is to eat roughly 250 to 500 extra calories every day. That way you can ensure any weight gained is from muscle.
27. Pre-Load Your Muscle
Recent studies tout the benefit of pre-loading a muscle. But, what the heck is pre-loading? After a perfect warm-up of squats, for example, load the bar with enough weight for 3 to 5 reps without going to failure. Immediately after that, decrease the weight to your normal working weight and do your set. This is called pre-loading. You will notice the set is much easier than normal when you do this.
How Long Does It Take to Double Your Muscle Mass?
Gaining muscle is a slow process and it roughly takes about 3 to 4 weeks to see a visible change. You can expect to see some real results after 12 weeks. However, many professionals say it all depends on your goals and the type of strength training you are doing.
Of course, change takes time. But, remember if you’re trying to double your muscle mass fast and you’re doing whatever it takes, then there aren’t many obvious results, something is wrong. If you eat and train properly and yet there aren’t any size increases from month to month, it’s a sign that your approach is off. In addition, even if you are seeing progress, there’s no reason you can’t strive to see bigger muscles.
It seems that there are many factors all important when it comes to growing muscle. All these tips along with each other help you double your muscle mass quickly. What is important to note from this feature is that “more” is not better. You cannot expect to double your muscle by more protein, more exercise, or more weight in weight lifting. What matters is to go through all strategies and give your muscles some time to get bigger.