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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

5 Ways To Build Muscle Quickly

5 Ways To Build Muscle Quickly

When most people think of building muscle and gaining weight, it seems like quite a long process with a lot of work involved. However, generally this is because people aren’t really sure of the best techniques to use or the latest research involved, which can both speed up the process.

Let’s face it, it seems like we all want more definition in our legs, arms and abs. I can’t think of one woman who wouldn’t like that perfect, subtle, feminine line on her bicep, or a man who doesn’t want a big chest and arms. However, for most these results have seemed nearly impossible to achieve…until recently.

Below are five simple ways to help you build muscle and gain weight fast:

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1. Eat protein before bed and prior to working out

New research in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reports that taking 20 grams of protein after working out, and then again half an hour before bed, increases muscle growth naturally. You body will be working for you while you sleep!

It is important to know that 20 grams of protein equates to seven ounces of Greek yogurt. Don’t like Greek yogurt? You can also get this protein by gulping down two large glasses of low-fat milk! How simple is that!

2. Do resistance exercise training

The most effective way to increase muscle strength and muscle mass is resistance exercise training. Resistance exercise is usually done with free weights or weight machines; however, fast sprints on an ergometer at high resistance can also achieve increases in strength and mass.

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To ensure one doesn’t burn out and can pack on the weight from resistance training, one study in the European Journal of Sport Science mentioned the importance of restoring the depleted glycogen in your muscles by consuming carbohydrates (>1 g per kg) and protein (>10g) early after an exercise session.

3. Take creatine supplements

To assist resistance training and get faster results, there are a few proven supplements that have been known to help. One of which is creatine, and when taken over several days, it has been proven to increase your body mass through water retention. It can also increase your ability to lift more weights in a high-intensity, repetitive ergometer performance. It is important to note that even though supplementation may enhance the strength gains made through training by a small to moderate margin, the trade off is likely to be better results when it comes to bulk.

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build muscle quickly
    4. Before your start, make sure your intestines are clean

    Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you work out or eat, if your organs aren’t functioning properly, or are full of toxins, you may not achieve success. This is why some athletes take very gentle detox teas in the morning or at lunch to help flush the toxins from their kidneys and reduce unwanted inflammation in their bodies. There are a few caffeine-free, yummy, detox teas. One great recommendation I’d make is called Ultra Slender Detox. It’s 100% natural and just contains herbs. It’s also known for helping with skin issues and for increasing energy. This is great to take in the morning when you wake up to kick start your day, and so you will get the most from  your workout.

    5. Conjugated linoleic acid supplements

    You may be wondering what the heck “conjugated linoleic acid” is and how it is different from other supplements out there. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is actually very important to human health and is a slightly altered form of an omega-6 fatty acid. It’s derived from many of the foods we eat, including meat and dairy products.

    So what is so special about CLA? Well, CLA supplementation has been shown to improve the lean mass to body fat ratio; decreasing fat deposition, especially on the abdomen, and enhancing muscle growth. CLA achieves this reaction by reducing body fat though enhancing insulin sensitivity so that fatty acids and glucose can pass through muscle cell membranes and away from fat tissue. This results in an improved muscle to fat ratio.

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    One study out of Norway also had great results with CLA. Specifically, researchers were able to prove CLA increases muscle mass. The researchers studied a group of healthy but overweight men and women, who were given 1.7g, 3.4g, 5.1g, or 6.8g of CLA per day. All groups showed significant reduction in body fat and an increase in lean muscle, but this effect was most significant for the two latter groups. Another amazing benefit that was found in this study was that all group participants showed a reduction in blood fat and cholesterol.

    Have you tried any of these techniques? Let us know how they worked for you. Have you got any other tips for increasing muscle bulk naturally? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Victor Freitas via unsplash.com

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    Last Updated on April 14, 2021

    12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

    12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

    Covid-19 has certainly made getting to the gym more difficult, but if we’re honest, it was difficult before, as well. Between tiring days at work, helping the kids with their homework, and maintaining a social life, where do you find time to squeeze in an hour or two at the gym? Sometimes, the only solution to maintaining your health and fitness rests on the best at home workout.

    The good news is that it’s possible to train from home without any equipment and get fantastic results. As long as you’re pushing the body hard enough, you’re going to be fine. The bad news is that you may not know where to start.

    There are a plethora of different training regimens out there, and it’s difficult to know which one is best for you, especially if you’re used to live classes or in-person workout programs.

    This article will cover the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use for strength, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and mobility. There will be an exact breakdown of all the exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and instructions required to stay fit, healthy, and happy while on lockdown.

    The following sessions are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts to accommodate any experience level. They are all bodyweight exercises that can be combined into a full body workout to build strength while working out at home.

    A thorough warm-up is also included to ensure that you don’t get injured. Please check each workout before you perform it to make sure that the exercises and movements don’t cause you any pain from previous or pre-existing injuries.

    If you need help getting into the habit of working out at home, you can try Lifehack’s free 30-Day Resistance Band Workout Challenge.

    Read on to find the 12 best at-home workouts you can use to upgrade your strength, burn some calories, and improve your flexibility while training at home.

    Warm-Up

    Complete the warm-ups below for 5-6 minutes before each of the best at home workouts you’ll find below. Complete each exercise for a total of 15 seconds at a slow to moderate pace, and your body will be ready to jump into more intense exercises.

    Repeat for 3-4 rounds, as this will help lubricate your joints, slowly elevate your heart rate, and get your body ready for exercise[1].

    • Exercise 1: Squats

      • Exercise 2: Lunge

        • Exercise 3: Leg Swings

          • Exercise 4: Star Jumps

            • Exercise 5: Push-ups

              • Exercise 6: Squat Thrusts

                Dynamic Stretches

                Complete the relevant dynamic stretches after your warm-up. For strength workouts, complete the stretches relevant to the session you’re about to partake in (e.g. upper body stretches before an upper-body workout).

                For HIIT workouts, complete both the lower body and upper body dynamic stretches. For mobility workouts, you don’t need to do these.

                Aim to do 15-20 reps on each side for 1 round.

                Upper Body Dynamic Stretches:

                • Exercise 1: Arm Swings

                  • Exercise 2: Arm Circles

                    • Exercise 3: External Shoulder Rotations

                      • Exercise 4: Torso Twists

                        Lower Body Dynamic Stretches:

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                        • Exercise 1: Step Throughs

                          • Exercise 2: Lying Side Leg Swings

                            • Exercise 3: Quadruped Kickbacks/Hip Circles

                              • Exercise 4: Leg Swings (Front & Side)

                                Strength Workouts

                                1. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                This is one of the best at home workouts if you’re a beginner looking to build upper-body strength. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                                For exercises 2-6, use two water bottles to mimic weights. For exercise 7, you can use the couch or a chair to support yourself.

                                • Exercise 1: Push-Ups — 2 sets, 5-10 reps

                                  • Exercise 2: Bent-Over Row — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                    • Exercise 3: Shoulder Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                      • Exercise 4: Floor Chest Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                        • Exercise 5: Lateral Raises — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                          • Exercise 6: Bicep Curls — 2 sets, 12-15 reps

                                            • Exercise 7: Triceps Dips — 2 sets, 12-15 reps

                                              2. Abs Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                              This bodyweight workout is great for building muscle tone in your abs. Complete all exercises with 30 seconds rest between sets, and use a yoga mat if you have one.

                                              • Exercise 1: Air Bike — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                • Exercise 2: Crunches — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                  • Exercise 3: Russian Twists — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                    • Exercise 4: Bridges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                      • Exercise 5: Plank Shoulder Taps — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                        • Exercise 6: Flutter Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps (each leg)

                                                          3. Leg Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                                          If you’re looking to add some strength to your legs, this is the best at home workout for that purpose. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. For exercises 3-4, you can use the sofa or a chair to support yourself.

                                                          • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                            • Exercise 2: Forward Standing Lunges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                              • Exercise 3: Bulgarian Split Squat — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                                • Exercise 4: Hip Thrusts — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

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                                                                  • Exercise 5: Romanian Deadlift (Use two water bottles) — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                                    • Exercise 6: Standing Calf Raises — 2 sets, 12-15 reps

                                                                      4. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                      Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                      For exercises 6-7, use two heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                      • Exercise 1: Vertical Wall Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                        • Exercise 2: Pike Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                          • Exercise 3: Towel Row — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                            • Exercise 4: Plyometric Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                              • Exercise 5: Triceps Extensions (from plank position) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                • Exercise 6: Bicep Hammer Curls — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                  • Exercise 7: Triceps Kickbacks — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                    5. Abs Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                    If you need more core support and strength, this is the best at home workout for those who are already comfortable working out. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                                                                                    With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                    • Exercise 1: Jack Knife Sit Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                      • Exercise 2: Lying Leg Raises — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                        • Exercise 3: Plank Hand-to-Toe Touches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                          • Exercise 4: Cocoon Crunches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                            • Exercise 5: Plank Elbow-to-Knee — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                              • Exercise 6: Side Plank Reach Through — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                                6. Leg Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                                Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                                For exercises 4-6, use heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                                                • Exercise 1: Pistol Squat — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                  • Exercise 2: Bulgarian Jump Squat (use sofa) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                    • Exercise 3: Jumping Lunges — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                      • Exercise 4: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

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                                                                                                        • Exercise 5: Single-Leg Hip Thrusts — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                          • Exercise 6: Single-Leg Calf Raises — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                                            7. HIIT Workout (Beginner)

                                                                                                            This is the best at home workout for those who are new to HIIT training. Complete all exercises for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. Complete 4 rounds.

                                                                                                            • Exercise 1: Squat

                                                                                                              • Exercise 2: Toe Touches

                                                                                                                • Exercise 3: Walk-Outs

                                                                                                                  • Exercise 4: Heel Flicks

                                                                                                                    • Exercise 5: Plank

                                                                                                                      • Exercise 6: Jumping Jacks

                                                                                                                        • Exercise 7: Mountain Climbers

                                                                                                                          8. HIIT Workout (Intermediate)

                                                                                                                          Complete all exercises for 35 seconds of work with 25 seconds of rest. Complete 5-6 rounds.

                                                                                                                          • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks

                                                                                                                            • Exercise 2: Burpees

                                                                                                                              • Exercise 3: Push-Ups

                                                                                                                                • Exercise 4: High Knees

                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 5: Plank Ups

                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 6: Star-Jumps

                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 7: Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

                                                                                                                                        9. HIIT Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                                                                        If you’ve already been doing HIIT training for a while, this is one of the best at home workouts to keep you going. Complete all exercises for 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest. Complete 7-8 rounds.

                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 1: Jump Squats

                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 2: Hand Release Burpees

                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 3: Lateral Shoot Throughs

                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 4: Tuck Jumps

                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 5: Plank Toe Touches

                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 6: Spiderman Push-Ups

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                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 7: Sprawls

                                                                                                                                                      Mobility Workouts

                                                                                                                                                      10. Upper Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                      Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                      This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper body.

                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 1: Cat-Cow

                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 2: Upward Dog

                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 3: Chest Release

                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 4: Child’s Pose

                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 5: Reach Through (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                11. Lower Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                                If you need more flexibility in your hips and legs, this is the best at home workout for you. Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                                This workout will help improve flexibility in your lower body.

                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 1: Scorpion Kicks (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 2: Seated Glute Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 3: Lying Quad Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 4: Lumbar Twist (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 5: Standing Hamstring Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 6: Seated Hip Flexor Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                            12. Spinal Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                                            Complete each exercise for 10 reps total, and do 2-3 sets. This workout will help improve your posture, alleviate lower back pain, and increase your flexibility.

                                                                                                                                                                            It’s highly recommended if you’re an office worker that spends most of the day sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 1: Prone Back Extension

                                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 2: Tail Wag

                                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 3: Quadruped Side Bend

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 4: Seated Forward Fold

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 5: A-Frame to Squat

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 6: Side-Lying Rotations

                                                                                                                                                                                        Final Thoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                        These are the 12 best at home workouts that you can use to level up your body, torch some calories, and enhance your flexibility while at home. Give these a go, and you’ll be well on your way feeling fitter, healthier, and more productive after lockdown is over!

                                                                                                                                                                                        More Workouts You Can Do at Home

                                                                                                                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

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