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5 Fitness and Nutrition Hacks to Build Muscle Fast

5 Fitness and Nutrition Hacks to Build Muscle Fast


    Building muscle isn’t rocket science. All it takes is repeatedly doing the things that are proven in the lab and gym to work. This article provides the 5 great ways to build muscle fast. None of them require you to spend lots of money on fancy fitness equipment or nutritional supplements either. All you have to be willing to do is make a few adjustments to your diet, workout, and supplement routines. Put forth the effort and you’ll be able to gain 5-10 lbs. of muscle in a month or two.

    1. Eat Enough Protein Every Day

    Contrary to what advertisements for protein powders say, you don’t need to eat and drink hundreds of grams daily to build muscle. The truth is, eating this amount won’t help you build muscle faster. It can actually be stored as fat. All you really need is enough to meet your body’s daily needs and then a little more to stimulate muscle growth. This works out to about .8 grams per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 lbs. you need to eat about 120 grams daily.

    Don’t stress too much over the exactly how many grams of protein are in everything you eat. Use the eyeball method instead. This is done by looking at the protein on your plate and picturing an amount that’s the size of the palm of your hand. This amount contains about 28 grams of protein. Do this every time you eat and you’ll easily be able to make sure you eat enough.

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    You also need to know which foods are protein rich. They include: beef, eggs, poultry, pork, and seafood. Drink a protein shake if you’re having trouble eating enough of these foods. The best type of shake for building muscle is one that uses whey and casein proteins as its primary sources. Research shows these are the best protein powders for building muscle. One study also shows that drinking a shake that contains casein protein before bed can actually turn on the muscle building process.

    2. Do ‘Big’ Lifts

    Forget exercises like curls, shoulder presses, and flyes and training individual body parts (chest, back, biceps, etc.) if building muscle is your goal. You must instead perform exercises that train several muscle groups at once. Scientific studies show that exercises that do this are better for building muscle than the aforementioned isolation movements.

    Exercises you should do lots of include: dips, deadlifts, farmers walks, kettlebell swings, military presses, and pull ups. These are the movements that will really stimulate your body to build muscle fast. This article outlines how to perform my favorite muscle building exercise farmer’s walks.

    3. Train Hard Often

    You don’t have to work out every day for hours at a time to build lots of muscle. What you need to do is train using the exercises I mentioned above often enough to stimulate muscle growth. Lifting weights 3 to 4 days a week is plenty. Give yourself a days rest after every 1-2 workouts.
    Your workouts only need to have 4-6 of these exercises. Choose an exercise for every major muscle group at each workout and you’re set. This includes your legs (squats, deadlifts, lunges), chest/shoulders/triceps (bench press, dips, military press, push ups), and back (bent over rows, pull ups). I like to include a total body exercise every workout too. I find that they are the best exercises for building muscle fast. This includes exercises like kettlebell swings, kettlebell throws, and farmer’s walks.

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    Perform 3-5 sets of each exercise for 6-10 reps. Use a weight that makes it difficult to do the last rep of each set but not so hard that you cannot do it without using good form. Increase the weight you use when you can do every rep of each set.

    4. Rest And Recover Between Your Workouts

    Working out breaks down your muscles and eats into your ability to recover. You build muscle when aren’t exercising. Proper rest and recovery can speed the muscle building process. The best way is to get enough sleep. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night will enable you to train harder, longer and build muscle faster. If you can’t get this much sleep daily, take a 45 minute nap during the day to make up the difference.

    Another way to recover faster and speed the rate at which you can build bigger, stronger muscles is to back off a little bit with regard to the number of sets and reps you do at each workout every once in awhile. Studies show that reducing the workout volume (sets and reps) by about 50% every 8-12 weeks can help you make progress significantly faster. This means that instead of doing 12 total sets at a workout you’ll only do 6 using the same weight. Do this for a week. You can then go back to your normal routine.

    Cutting back every once in a while will help you stay mentally fresh too. This in turn gives you more energy to put into your future workouts.

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    5. Take Nutritional Supplements That Are Proven To Work

    Once you have the 4 other tips in place you can consider taking nutritional supplements to help you build more muscle. The key thing is to use products that work. I felt the same way at one time too. What I did about is spend time reviewing scientific studies to see which products are shown to work and then try them on myself. While there are several that I found to work, there are 3 that work best. They are branched chain amino acids, creatine monohydrate, and fish oil.

    The first supplement, branched chain amino acids are shown in several research studies to give you energy during your workout, decrease muscle soreness and ‘turn on’ the muscle building process within your body. I find that they work well for me too, especially at increasing my energy and decreasing post-workout soreness. You should take about .05 grams per pound of body weight before and after working out for best results.

    Next is my favorite, creatine monohydrate. If you’re only going to take one supplement to build muscle this is the one. This is because there are dozens if not hundreds of scientific studies that show it safely helps you build muscle and get stronger and plenty of real world evidence too. Taking it helped me gain about 10 lbs. of extra muscle in a month. I also notice that I recover faster between sets and my strength increases when I use it as well.

    If you decide to give it a try, make sure you buy a product that is tested and guaranteed to nothing but creatine monohydrate to ensure its purity. When you take creatine follow what’s referred to as the loading phase which is taking 10-20 grams a day for 5-7 days for the best results. Research shows this is the best way to get as creatine into your cells as quickly as possible. You can then back off to 5 grams a day to keep getting benefits. You can learn more about the best way to load and take creatine at this article.

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    Last but not least is fish oil. In addition to being good for the health of your brain and heart, it can also help you build muscle. In one study, subjects taking 2 grams of fish oil daily for 6 weeks added a couple pounds of muscle. They lost fat too. All without changing their diet or exercising at all. When shopping for a fish oil supplement, make sure you buy a concentrated source that’s tested to be free of impurities and pesticides.

    Summary

    • Eat about .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
    • Do total body workouts using ‘big’ exercises like dips, pull ups, and squats.
    • Workout 3-4 days a week using heavy weights.
    • Make rest and recovery a priority. Sleeping 8 hours a night is key.
    • Take a few supplements that are proven to build muscle like creatine monohydrate.

    Now all that’s left for you to do is to apply this info…and get to work in the gym!

    (Photo credit: Weights and Water via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 3, 2020

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

    The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

    1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

    Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

     I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

    To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

    And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

     2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

    Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

    3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

    Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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    4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

    The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

    5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

    Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

    6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

    Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

    7. Positive people smile a lot!

    When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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    8. People who are positive are great communicators.

    They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

    9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

    One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

    10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

    Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

    How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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    I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

    Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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