Building muscle is a slow process. It could take weeks and months just to add on couple pounds of lean muscle mass.
Check out my jeff b’s transformation where he put on a whole bunch of muscle.
And even though there’s no way around the hard work and putting in the time there are proven ways that you can speed up your progress.
So Today I’ll be going over the 5 best ways to build muscle faster as a natural. And these aren’t going to be just some random tips based on bioscience,
every tip is 100% backed by real scientific evidence. By following the recommendations drawn from the Decades of research on building muscle we can be guaranteed to get faster results.
The first way to speed up results is by increasing training frequency, training intensity, and your training volume per session. Training frequency refers to the number of days per week that you work for the same muscle groups.
So if you only work each muscle in your body once a week, you’ll have a lower training frequency than someone working each muscle 3 times a week.
With training volume, I’m referring to a combination of the total amount of sets and reps you perform for each muscle group.
And intensity refers to the weight load you’re using. You can think of the total amount of work you perform as frequency x sets x reps x weight load.
Studies show that if your goal is to build more muscle we want to work on increasing the total amount of work performed over time as we adapt.
The total body routine 3 times a week had a significant advantage over the split training routine targeting each muscle one time per week.
Those in the 3 times per week group experienced a 68 percent increase in quad thickness as well as much greater increases in forearm size and strength when compared to the 1 time per week group.
Now, this doesn’t mean that split training is worse than full body training because there are ways that you can perform split training more than once per week.
Also, frequency has to be balanced out with volume and intensity because when you train at a really high volume or,
when you lift really heavy weight your muscles need more time to recover and don’t need as high of a training frequency.
But this study does show that when everything is equal a higher training frequency will provide faster results. With volume, we can increase either sets or reps,
and just increasing one of the two can lead to greater muscle growth. For example, one study compared the effects of using either 1 set, 3 sets, or 6 sets per exercise.
And it found that doing at least 2 to 3 sets per exercise was associated with 46 percent greater strength gains than 1 set.
Also, multiple sets were associated with 40 percent greater hypertrophy than a single set, with 4-6 sets resulting in even greater gains.
But again we can’t increase frequency, sets, reps, and weight load all at the same time they have to balance out,
so which should you focus on? Well, another 8-week long study compared a higher amount of sets and reps versus a higher amount of weight used. Essentially volume versus intensity.
The results of this study showed that the high-intensity low-volume group had more upper body strength gains and muscle gains than the high volume moderate intensity group.
They concluded that focusing on training intensity over volume may provide an advantage for accelerating muscle growth and strength gains.
So to sum all of this up you want to first primarily make sure that you’re exercising at a high intensity where you’re lifting heavy weight loads, that’s goal number one for naturals to consistently increase muscle mass.
Next, by doing more sets and more total reps with a higher weight throughout the workout you can increase the total amount of work performed further leading to even greater gains.
Aim for at least 2 to three sets per muscle group.And finally, you have to balance all of this out with training frequency.
Now you might be wondering since intensity is so important, what’s the best way to increase it and that’s actually my second tip which is to use progressive overload.
Progressive overload is basically splitting up your routine into micro mesh and macrocycles. You can imagine this as splitting up your routine into weeks, months, and years.
You would spend a few weeks focusing on one rep range like 5 to 8 reps then you switch to another rep range like 3 to 4 reps
and then you could switch a higher rep range like 12 to 15 reps. You don’t only have to change up reps either,
you can also apply periodization to your sets as well as other variables like training frequency.
Now within the realm of periodization, you have the standard block or what some people call the linear periodization model.
Where you would stick to the same cycle of let’s say 5 to 8 reps for 3 to 4 weeks before switching to a new cycle.
Let’s move on the next thing you’ll want to do which is to eat a higher protein diet. Muscles are mostly made up of protein,
so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that having a higher protein diet will help you build muscle faster.
But, how much protein is enough?
They also mentioned that more protein may be necessary when restricting calories and for really lean individuals.
This goes hand in hand with another study by Eric helms that recommends increasing protein intake between 0.8 to 1.3 grams of protein per pound of body weight as you increase your caloric deficit and get leaner.
Also, another study confirms that 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight is a great starting point although athletes may benefit from even greater protein intake.
This leads many people to believe that you’ll just continue building more and more muscle as you increase your protein intake higher and higher, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
One study compared a very high protein intake of about 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
At the end of the 8-week long study, the researchers concluded there were no significant changes between the groups for body weight, fat mass, fat-free mass, or percent body fat.
and if you’re really lean or you’re cutting calories to lose body fat you can slightly increase your protein intake higher than that.
The last thing I want to go over is supplementation. There are only 2 supplements that have consistently proven to be effective at accelerating muscle growth.
The first one is creatine. Even though there are so many studies proving the effectiveness of creatine I just want to draw your attention to one metanalysis of over 100 different studies.
In this giant review of creatine and its effects, it was concluded that creatine monohydrate is the most extensively studied,
and most effective nutritional supplement available to athletes in terms of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity, and lean body mass.
It’s also safe for both short-term and long-term use, although one study did find a link between long-term creatine use and hair loss.
However the evidence on hair loss is inconclusive and requires further research, but it’s something to keep in mind. All you need is three to five grams of creatine per day to experience the benefits.
Even though it’s not required you can also load up on creatine for the first three days to quickly increase stored creatine levels.
You would do this by consuming about .14 grams of creatine per pound of body weight and then after the three days switch to just 3 to 5 grams per day to maintain elevated creatine levels.
Also, studies suggest that when you combine creatine with a source of carbs and protein it appears to increase the muscular retention of the creatine.
And protein powder is actually that second supplement that’s proven to be effective.
One analysis of over 32 studies concluded that protein powder won’t help you if you just take it without exercise, but if you are training it can help increase muscle hypertrophy and strength.
Plant-based protein sources don’t have as large of a variety of essential amino acids as animal-based ones, but you can mix multiple plant-based sources of protein to get all your amino acids in.
The last study I want to mention is a study that compared the effects of whey protein and creatine on lean body mass.
The group that took whey protein experienced more lean body mass gains than the placebo group and the group that took whey protein and creatine experienced significantly more muscle growth than both.