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How to Build Muscle Fast: 10 Steps to Be Strong

How to Build Muscle Fast: 10 Steps to Be Strong

Most people who have the goal of building muscle don’t want to wait a long time to see results. It can be frustrating to train for a long time and feel like you’re working hard, but not really see a difference in your body. Want to know how to build muscle fast? Try these 10 steps to be strong in a short period of time.

1. Weight matters.

That sounds obvious, but to build muscle, you need to challenge yourself with increasingly heavier weights. If you keep lifting the same amount day after day, you won’t build muscle. So challenge yourself to lift more, and you’ll build that much more quickly.

2. Go fast.

Don’t try to time how long it takes you to lift, hold, and release when you’re lifting. Instead, think about powerful movements and increase the tempo a bit if you can. You’ll use more of your fast-twitch muscles, which will help you see results faster.

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3. Watch your form.

Having said that, though, make sure that you’re performing the movements correctly when you’re lifting weights. You don’t want to hurt yourself because you’re doing it wrong. So if you’re ever in doubt, go slowly enough to make sure you’re lifting properly, then speed up a bit if you can, while maintaining good form.

4. Work your muscles together.

Lots of people like to do single-joint movements like bicep curls. But to get strong quickly, multi-joint exercises are so much more effective. Next time, try doing some deadlifts or bench presses, and you’ll see results a lot sooner.

5. Eat.

You need a lot of calories for the hard work you’re doing, and calories are necessary for building muscle. Make sure you’re eating 250 to 500 more calories a day than you were before you started trying to build muscle. You’ll probably need to up your protein intake, too; some experts say you should eat a gram of protein for every pound you weigh. It’s a really great idea to have a protein-packed snack within half an hour of wrapping up your workout, too, to aid in recovery.

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6. Drink.

Staying hydrated keeps you healthy in all sorts of ways, but it’s especially helpful to aid in recovery when you’re working out hard. Drinking enough water will ensure you don’t get fatigued and need longer to recover.

7. Be willing to rest and recover.

Speaking of recovery, don’t think that the best way to build muscle fast is going to be working out hard every day. That’s a sure route to injury. You need to work out as hard as you can, until the muscles are really worn out, but then give them a couple of days to repair before working them out again. Remember, lifting a lot of weight is literally tearing up your muscles; building up muscle is your body’s way of repairing that damage. If you don’t give your body time to do that work, you won’t see results, you’ll just get hurt.

8. Do some cardio, too.

So what do you do while you’re recovering? Certainly you’ll have different muscle groups to work on different days, but you can also spend more time focusing on cardio on those recovery days. But if you have time to do both on the same day, do your weights first. That way your heart rate will be up when you start your cardio, so you’ll burn more fat, thus showing off your muscle that much faster.

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9. Supplement if you want.

There are all sorts of supplements out there that claim to be effective to help you build muscle fast and get strong in no time. A lot of these are full of hype rather than results, but there are a few specific supplements that are helpful, including branched chain amino acids, creatine monohydrate, and fish oil. Check out this article on fitness and nutrition hacks for building muscle for more about these supplements and how to use them.

10. Watch your stress levels.

When you’re stressed out, levels of cortisol jump and testosterone takes a nosedive. Testosterone helps build muscles, while cortisol actually damages your muscles, so you need to limit your stress as much as possible while you’re building muscle.

Check out “10 Workout Hacks for Building Muscle” for more tips and ideas to help you build muscle quickly.

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Featured photo credit: Man lifting weights from user dmscs, via morgueFile.

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Sarah White

Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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