For those of us who like to look our best for the beach season, the Coronavirus could not have come at a more inopportune time. Due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, most of the gyms in the country have been closed for the last several months.
We get it. It was a necessary measure to prevent the spread of the virus and protect people’s lives. However, now that things are opening back up, you have a nagging question. How can you increase muscle mass fast to get jacked and tan for summer?
We’re here to help. While there is no magic cure for small muscles (except perhaps steroids), there are things you can do to ensure a fast track to bigger muscles.
Keep reading for our top tips.
Use Progressive Overload Theory
First, you need to make sure you’re programming is on point. While different things work for different people based on their body type, genetics, and other factors, there’s only one real way to get bigger and stronger. You must make sure you’re progressively lifting more weight for more reps.
Progressive overload is the practice of demanding more of your body each week you work out. For example, if you do three sets of 10 bench press with 150lbs during week one, you need to outperform yourself during week two. This can occur in many ways, for example:
- Do three sets of 12 at 150lbs
- Do four sets of 10-12 at 150lbs
- Do three sets of 10 at 160lbs
Either way, each week, you’re adding to the overall volume of each exercise. Volume can be calculated by multiplying the sets, reps, and weight. For example:
- 3x10x150 = 4,500
- 3x10x160 = 4,800
To stay consistent with the progressive overload theory, you absolutely must write everything down. Keep a workout journal to track your weights, reps, and sets for each exercise.
Lift Challenging Weights
Typically, we like to tell people to lift “heavy” weights to increase muscle mass. However, “heavy” can mean different things to different people. Instead, we’ll tell you to lift challenging weights based on your reps and sets.
If you’re doing sets of 10 to 12, you should be failing on rep 10,11, or 12. If you plow through all your sets without struggle, your weights aren’t heavy enough. Like our minds, our muscles only grow and get stronger through pain and adversity.
Focus on Compound Movements
While all types of resistance training can lead to bigger muscles, some are better than others. To maximize your growth and strength potential, you need to focus on compound movements – the staple of all good lifting programs. These exercises are essential for learning how to get big muscles fast for veterans and newbies alike.
Compound movements are those that call on multiple joints and multiple muscle groups. The most effective compound movements are:
- Military press (standing or seated)
- Bent-over rows
When performing compound movements, it’s very important to keep good form. This will prevent injuries and ensure you’re getting the most out of each exercise. Learn how to keep a neutral spine, especially when using heavy weights.
Have the Discipline to Rest
One of the best tips for learning how to increase muscle mass fast is knowing how to rest and recover. During rest is when our bodies recover. This means repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue (i.e. getting bigger and stronger).
The best athletes in the world have the discipline to rest, which can be harder than it sounds when you have big goals. Failing to rest, however, will result in the continual breakdown of your muscles, which can have an undesired effect on your goals. You need to understand that the muscles of your heart require rest just as your biceps or calf ones do. This is because heavy exercises, tend to push heart muscles to pump more blood to different parts of the body. According to a top cardiologist in Dubai, athletes should ensure that their heart rates and blood pressures come back to normal after heavy workout sessions
Eat Like a King
Learning how to get bigger muscle fast means learning how to properly fuel your body for growth. Losing weight requires a consistent deficit of calories. Building muscle requires the exact opposite.
If you want your muscles to repair themselves, grow, and get stronger, you have to feed them plenty of carbohydrates and protein. You also need to drink plenty of water to keep your muscles hydrated, both during the workout and during recovery.
Invest in Quality Supplement
You can speed up the process of how to get hard muscles by investing in tried and true supplements. While there is an overwhelmingly large number of products out there, there are only a few that have been proven beyond a doubt.
- Protein powder
- Weight gainers (full of calories for growth)
- Pre-workouts (for energy and focus)
However, there are also more effective supplements shown to give great results, like this SARM product. They aren’t in the same class as steroids, but they will give you better growth than protein powder and weight gainers.
Change Up Your Routine
To continuously increase your muscle mass and avoid plateaus, you have to keep your body guessing. Our bodies are incredibly adaptive organic machines. Their primary purpose, in fact, is adaptation.
In the weight lifting arena, it means growing bigger stronger muscles to better handle the demands you place on it during workouts. However, if you don’t change things up, your body will get used to the abuse and stay at the same level.
Instead, change up your routine every couple of months while still applying the progressive overload theory. Here’s a quick example:
- Month 1 – apply progressive overload each week by adding one or two reps to each set
- Month 2 – apply progressive overload each week by marginally increasing the weight used on each exercise
Alternatively, you can mess with the volume of your workouts. For example:
- Month 1 – Perform three sets of 8-10 using moderate weights
- Month 2 – Perform five sets of five using heavy weights
Finally, you can change up your lifting style. Here are some common styles of lifting:
- Pause reps
- Slow negatives/eccentric training
- Tempo sets
- Drop sets
As you can see, there is no shortage of workout styles. Experiment with the styles to continuously change up your routine and promote growth and drastically increase muscle mass.
Want More Tips to Increase Muscle Mass, Lose Weight, or Improve Your Health?
While we understand the appeal and drive to increase muscle mass, there’s a lot more to being fit than having a superb physique. Our blog is dedicated to helping people of all fitness levels improve their physical health and live their best lives.
If you’re looking for more advice about healthy living, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go!