Building muscle can be a time consuming task. The amount of time it takes for each person to build muscle will vary depending on a number of factors. Some of these factors you can’t control, such as genetics. Some guys (and gals) can build muscle with a lot less effort than others, the same if true for fat loss.
In the following article I’m going to discuss some of the factors that you CAN control in order to build muscle more quickly. If you’re able to apply the following advice then you will see a noticeable increase in lean muscle mass within 4 to 8 weeks!
Optimize Your Diet To Build Muscle
If you’re trying to build muscle, then your diet needs to be on point. You’ve heard this a thousand times I’m sure, but have you taken this advice seriously? Have you adjusted your diet so that you’re eating the optimal amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates? Do you know how many calories you need to eat in order to grow?
If you don’t know any of that, then you have yet to optimize your diet to build muscle. Just eating “a lot” doesn’t work. You need to get serious and start keeping track of your food. Your meals need to be planned, prepped and weighed out ahead of time so that your macros are exact.
You can’t leave anything to chance. Guessing or estimating the amount of protein you eat each day is not good enough, you need to know without a doubt how many grams you need to eat each day. Then you need to know exactly what foods and how much you’re going to eat to reach that goal.
Here’s a previous article I wrote on How Many Carbs Should You Eat To Build Muscle. It gives a good breakdown on how to construct your diet. Optimizing your diet is literally the fastest way to build muscle!
Training To Build Muscle
In addition to providing the right amount of essential nutrients for muscle growth, you need to provide the proper stimulus in order to build muscle. You can provide the right amount of stimulation by making a few adjustments to your workouts.
First, make sure that the majority of your time in the gym is spent doing compound movements. If you’ve read my eBook “MAX GAINS” (see sign up at top right) then you know that I’m a big advocate of focusing on using exercises that allow you to maximize the amount of weight that you can lift. In most cases these are compound or multi-joint movements like the pull-up, bench press and squat.
By performing exercises that allow you to maximize load or weight, you’ll stimulate the recruitment of your fast twitch muscle fibers. Developing these muscle fibers will allow you to build muscle and increase strength.
Recovery Is King When It Comes to Building Muscle
Your diet, when followed correctly, provides the required nutrients to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. Those nutrients are only put to work if you’re tearing your muscles apart during your workout. However, neither diet or intense training will make much different if you’re not allowing your body to recover fully.
Other than diet, sleep is perhaps the most important aspect of the recovery process. If you’re not sleeping enough then you will not recover completely between workout. Lack of sleep can cause all sorts of issues, one being over training.
If your diet is spot on and you’re getting 6-8 hours of high quality, deep sleep every night then you don’t need to worry too much about over training.
If you’re getting less sleep and you feel like you have less and less energy each day, you’re constantly sore, irritable and your strength is decreasing, then there’s a good chance you’re not recovering completely and you’re at risk of over training and possibly injury.
Lack of sleep can also screw with important hormones that help with the muscle building process. The majority of your testosterone, GH and thyroid hormones are produced while you’re in the deeper stages of sleep. If building muscle is important to you, then getting enough sleep and recovering fully between your workouts should be too!
Building Muscle Takes Time
One of the biggest factors when it comes to building muscle is time. In order for significant improvements in lean muscle mass to occur you have to be consistent with your training and diet for a significant amount of time.
As I’ve mentioned previously, it will take around 4 to 8 weeks to build a noticeable amount of muscle. Significant results will take longer.
It’s best to approach the process of building muscle as a life long endeavor. There are no shortcuts to muscle building. No matter what, your diet, training and recovery will need to be optimized before any new muscle can be built or maintained.