How to build muscle fast

In the sea of fitness information out there, it’s easy to get lost in a whirlwind of crap. Trendy advice circuits the industry faster than viral YouTube videos of Miley Cyrus. So many gurus have the latest cure for fat loss. So many programs have the solution for Arnold Schwarzenegger arms. But who do you listen to? What programs actually work? How do you sift through all the bullshit and find what truly yields results?

Well, first and foremost, you have to find and listen to people who are well-established and have a proven track-record of success. Thankfully, this post is filled with 54 of these people!

When gathering resources for how to build muscle fast, I wanted to consult with the very best minds in the fitness industry. Not only did I want to present a boatload of high-quality advice for this topic, but I wanted it to come from the very best in the world. From men and women who are at the true pinnacle of fitness excellence. And thankfully, I did!

Below are 54 tips for you to enjoy. Rest assured they work. Not only will you see amazing gains if you follow these tips, but you will see them pretty (all things considered of course) quickly! Your first step is to read these awesome suggestions. Your next step after this, however, is to follow through on these suggestions! Without this follow through, these tips are merely words of encouragement lost in the wind. It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether or not you truly want to build muscle or not.

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2. Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows in your mind.

If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.

In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will drown yourself in negative energy and almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.

Not long ago, a reader (I’ll call her Kelly) has shared with me about how frustrated she felt and how unlucky she was. Kelly’s an aspiring entrepreneur. She had been trying to find investors to invest in her project. It hadn’t been going well as she was always rejected by the potential investors. And at her most stressful time, her boyfriend broke up with her. And the day after her breakup, she missed an important opportunity to meet an interested investor. She was about to give up because she felt that she’d not be lucky enough to build her business successfully.

It definitely wasn’t an easy time for her. She was stressful and tired. But it wasn’t bad luck that was playing the role.

Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything; sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.

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They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.

Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.

I explained to Kelly that to improve her fortune and have “good luck”, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to her; then try to focus on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.

Then Kelly tried to review her current situation objectively. She realized that she only needed a short break for herself — from work and her just broken-up relationship. She really needed some time to clear up her mind before moving on with her work and life. When she got her emotions settled down from her heartbreak, she started to work on improving her business’ selling points and looked for new investors that are more suitable.

A few months later, she told me that she finally found two investors who were really interested in her project and would like to work with her to grow the business. I was really glad that she could take back control of her destiny and achieved what she wanted.

Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?

Training To Build Muscle Fast

So you’re going to have to tear those muscle fibers so they repair and grow.

This means you’re going to have to lift heavy weights, plain and simple.

Pick weights that you can only manage to lift for 6-8 reps at the most and stretch yourself to complete 4-5 sets in total.

This is called hypertrophy training and is most effective when performing compound exercises such as;

  • Deadlift
  • Bench Press
  • Squats

Compound movements recruit multiple muscle groups in your body in order perform an exercise.

This makes them a vital part of any good muscle building routine.

It’s estimated that muscle repair takes 2-3 days.

Which is why I have outlined a weekly training routine below that hits all the major muscles groups twice every 7 days.

Most guys only focus on one muscle group per week.

By focusing on a muscle group twice per week along with compound movements like deadlifts, bench presses and squats you will grw much faster.

4 Of The Best Training Methods To Build Muscle Fast

As you already know it’s important to switch up your training methods and workouts to prevent your body from adapting and plateauing.

Below I have highlighted some of the most effective additional ways of training that are proven to help build muscle quickly.

You can include these techniques as the dominant style in your sessions or simply throw them in here and there on exercises of your choosing..

Drop Sets For Building Muscle

An old favourite heavily endorsed by 8 times Mr Olympia Champion Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Drop sets are an extremely popular and effective way to bulk up.

To perform a drop set you do not take rests between sets.

Instead you lower the weight you are using as quickly as possible and get cracking on another set straight away, again working to failure.

The amount of times you drop down is at your discretion although 2-3 full-blooded efforts should suffice.

Using this particular method ensures you push your muscles to absolute failure, unlike a conventional set of say 8-10 reps which by the end of which you may feel heavily fatigued on – but you will not have recruited all your reserve muscles fibres for.

Pre-Exhaust Training For Building Muscle

A fantastic way to introduce new stimuli for the muscles.

Pre exhausting works by using isolation exercises at the start of your session.

Focusing on volume without recruiting multiple other muscle groups will ensure you fatigue your target muscle group effectively as a pre cursor to compound exercises.

This method of training ensures that when you move on to the multi-joint exercises the sets wont end prematurely due to secondary muscle strain and will force your target muscle to work twice as hard.

Volume Training For Building Muscle

Widely considered one of the best ways to achieve the optimum ‘pump’ during a workout.

Volume training is all about churning out more reps at a lower weight than usual.

Lifting heavy is great and perfect for recruitment of high-twitch muscle fibres but to really make your muscles swell with blood, slow twitch fibres should be hit on occasion as well.

This technique achieves this by keeping your muscles under strain for longer periods of time causing your cells to adapt to the extra pressure.

By incorporating it into your sessions once or twice a week you will increase the chances of reaching your full potential for building muscle.

Supersets For Building Muscle

This method is about performing two exercises back to back with no rest in between.

Once you finish the second exercise you will have successfully completed 1 set.

Supersets are a fantastic way to build muscle, boost endurance levels, shred fat and increase the efficiency of your workouts.

Studies have shown that this technique burns more calories than orthodox resistance training and can boost your overall performance and intensity levels.

Newbie Gains

According to the ‘Protein Book’ written by Lyle McDonald you can roughly expect to gain about 40-50lbs of complete muscle mass over the course of your bodybuilding life.

But interestingly, the book suggests you can expect close to half of those pounds to be put on during your first year in the gym (assuming you know what you’re doing in there!).

To take full advantage of these stats as a beginner I suggest you read each section in full, because without implementing each stage properly and having them correspond with each other, you will not reap the benefits.

When you begin working out and lifting weights, your body will be hyper responsive to this new stimulus you have introduced and you will have the potential to build muscle quicker than at any other point in your life.

The ‘True Rate’ of muscle growth is estimated to be;

  • 0.5-2.5lbs per month for men
  • and 0.25-1.25 for women

As a newbie that knows what he’s doing you can expect to be at the higher end of these ranges.

Intermediate or advanced lifters will unfortunately fall into the lower end of the spectrum for rapid growth and the average person will be somewhere in the middle.

Which is why constantly varying your regimes and pushing yourself to lift more weight is the only way to maximise muscle growth as quickly as possible after the newbie stage.

Recovery – The Key To Building Muscle Fast

Contrary to what you might have heard, your muscles do not grow in the gym.

Take a second to process that fact.

Yes it is in the gym that you will be tearing muscle fibres and doing the damage necessary to stimulate changes BUT it is outside the gym when the muscle will grow.

If you don’t recover properly post workout, you are essentially wasting your time because you will never grow an inch.

Sleep To Build Muscle

I will start by talking about probably the most essential aspect of recovery for any serious bodybuilder – a good nights sleep.

It is estimated that about 2 hours into a cycle of sleep, Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced and in turn protein synthesis occurs.

This is a necessity in order to repair your muscles properly and help them grow to their maximum.

Additionally your energy expenditure is greatly reduced whilst sleeping and the brain cells undergo restoration.

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This means getting 8-10 hours of a sleep a night allows the body and mind to function at optimum levels.

Stretching To Build Muscle

It is important to mention you should always stretch before and after a workout.

This is also a vital part of recovery because it helps relieve muscular tension and reduce soreness thus speeding up your overall recovery time.

Nutrition – Essential For Muscle Growth

This will be the most in depth recovery topic to cover.

You are going to need to have your diet in order because to gain muscle you HAVE to be in a calorie surplus.

This means eating more calories than your body expends during its daily routine.

You also ideally need to be consuming somewhere around 2 grams of protein per kilogram of your own bodyweight.

Good quality protein is full of amino acids which are essentially the tools for building, repairing and maintaining muscle tissue.

To recover sufficiently post workout and grow in the process, a proper protein intake is essential.

Carbohydrates are also needed as these macronutrients are your body’s main source of energy.

Carbs will keep you going during your most demanding workouts and replenish the glycogen within the muscle (energy stores).

They will also keep your blood sugar levels at a consistent level so it is of paramount importance not to neglect them.

There is a difference however between good and bad carbs, so always make sure you choose those that have a high nutritional density.

Finally eating healthy fats is an element of your dieting that should never be undervalued; it is essential for optimal hormone function not least the testosterone you need to build muscle.

Fats provide your body with about 70% of its energy when you are resting and provide your vital organs with vital padding and protection.

The Best Foods To Include In Your Diet For Rapid Muscle Growth

Following a strict diet is not necessarily the best way to build muscle.

What is essential however is that your body gets the nutrients it needs from the food groups I mentioned above, with particular focus on maximising your protein intake.

Lean meat, fish & poultry, eggs and dairy are all examples of high quality proteins but obviously do not neglect your carbs and fats either.

Comprehensive list of essential foods for gaining muscle:

Protein rich foods

  • Eggs
  • Lean beef
  • Chicken
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Pork
  • Beans & Pulses
  • Cod
  • Sardines
  • Lamb
  • Mussels

Healthy carbohydrates (including carb rich fruits)

  • Barley
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Spelt
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Couscous
  • Pumpkin
  • Beetroot
  • Blackberries
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples
  • Pineapple

Healthy fats

  • Flaxseed
  • Almonds
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Coconut Oil
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Ripe Olives
  • Peanuts
  • Hemp
  • Pecans

For some of the most vital vitamins and minerals your body does not produce, eating nutrient rich vegetables is necessary in order for all your bodily functions to perform at their highest possible levels.

Too many people think that taking vitamins in pill form are the way to get extra nutrients but the fact is your body absorbs micronutrients to a far better degree via the foods in your diet.

So without further ado, here are the best vegetables for you to be eating regularly in pursuit of the nutrients to aid muscle building:

Vegetables

  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Green Onions
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower

This nutritional section is not an exact list of what you should eat and when – it is simply a guide advising on you on the scientifically proven best foods for your body to function best AND to build muscle as fast as humanly possible.

Find what works for you by combining these food groups to make meals that you can fit into your daily schedule at regular intervals and remember – without good nutritional habits you are never going to see the results you crave physically.

Steroids

Anabolic Steroids are synthetically manufactured performance enhancing drugs derived from testosterone.

These drugs are used to increase lean muscle growth, boost strength levels, reduce fat and reduce the recovery times between workouts.

For centuries they have been used in competitive sports and bodybuilding because they produce such extreme results in such short periods of time.

However, Anabolic steroids are ILLEGAL and consumption comes with very real and dangerous risks.

Side effects can include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Liver damage
  • Acne
  • Male Pattern Baldness
  • Testicular Atrophy
  • Cancer
  • Increased aggression
  • Excess body hair
  • Gynecomastia (Man Boobs)

Those are just a few of the reported side effects associated with these powerful drugs and those risks can affect not only you, but your friends and family as a direct result.

Anyone considering the use of Anabolic steroids should do extensive research on the subject and ask themselves the following question – are quicker gains really worth risking my life over?

There are many cases of steroid users suffering with major health issues and that includes former professional bodybuilders – many of whom state they wish they’d never taken the drugs and advise future competitors to aim for greatness through natural means instead.

Quickstart Plan To Build Muscle Fast

Concluding your one-stop guide for building muscle quickly it is time to bring it all home and recap what we have talked about.

The information provided in this article can be the foundation that sets you on your way to becoming the leanest, strongest, most defined and muscular version of yourself.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, a seasoned gym rat or someone that falls in the middle – if you train hard and efficiently as well as eat smart and efficiently – you can gain lean muscle mass quickly.

  • Revise the principles of training and the best practices for stimulating muscle growth
  • Use the training programme I outlined as a starting point for your first 8 weeks of training
  • Remember to incorporate different training techniques (Pre exhaust, Drop sets, Super sets, Volume Training)
  • Consider the rate muscles actually grow and be realistic about the time periods you wish to see results in
  • Make sure you get enough sleep, warm up/down every time you train and feed your body the nutrients it needs to stimulate muscle growth as often as needed for your weight and body type.
  • Do not necessarily follow a strict diet – like with training your body adapts when habits are constantly repeated – just make sure you are eating high quality foods from all the main groups and getting the minerals needed to keep your body in optimal working order.
  • Supplement with the products I have mentioned when possible, they can really boost your progress and give your body an extra kick performance wise.
  • Try to build muscle naturally and avoid the temptation to seek the quick way to success through use of anabolic steroids.

Bodybuilding is an empowering, healthy and sociable hobby or profession to get involved in and with these steps you can start to put on real lean muscle mass as fast as possible.

Everyone wants to look in the mirror and see chiselled abs, a peacock chest, boulder like shoulders and defined tree trunks for legs.

So that’s how to build muscle fast. If you put your mind to it and stay dedicated, within a few months you can be well on your way to the physique of your dreams.

Nick Tumminello

The research on muscle building tells us that we need to create mechanical tension on the muscles by either lifting heavy loads for lower rep ranges (e.g., 4-6 sets x 4-6 reps) and/or by lifting medium loads for higher rep ranges (e.g., 2-3 sets of 12-20+ reps).

That said, if you’re looking for faster workouts (i.e., to spend less time in the gym) doing more higher rep sets will be in order. Just make sure you take each higher rep set to form failure (or close to failure) to ensure you create sufficient muscle pump and muscle damage, which have been also shown in the research to be mechanisms of stimulating muscle growth.

Nick Tumminello is the owner of Performance University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, which provides practical education for fitness professionals worldwide. Nick is also the author of the best selling book, Strength Training for Fat Loss

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Juan Carlos “JC” Santana

Training for GO can also be for SHOW!  The IHP metabolic protocols not only give you endless stamina, they also provide an incredible PUMP. Try this on for size!

Do all 60 REPS NON-STOP, 1-3 sets after chest workout as a flush!!

1) Unilateral Push-Off x 10/side

Assume a normal push-up position, right hand on the floor and the left hand on a small step (4-8 inches). Perform a Push-up until your left arm is straight and your right hand comes off the ground.

2) Cross Over Step Push-Up x 10/side

Perform a unilateral push-off on the step (as above). While your left arm is locked out, take your right hand and place it next to your left hand on the step. Take your left hand and shuffle it to the left, placing it on the ground at shoulder width. Perform a push-up. Repeat to the right.

3) Hands On Step Close Hand Push-Ups x 10

Assume a push-up position on the step, using a close hand position. Perform a push-up on the step.

4) Depth Jump Step x 10

Assume a push-up position on the step, using a close hand position (i.e. thumbs of each hand touching). Quickly jump off the step and land with your hands to each side of the box. Immediately jump back on to the step.

Juan Carlos “JC” Santana is the director and CEO of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton Florida. He is an international presenter and consultant, authoring over 350 titles. JC received his Bachelor and Masters Degree in Exercise Science from Florida Atlantic University and continues post-graduate work in route to his PhD.

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Tana Ashlee

One thing people need to understand about fitness is, it doesn’t happen over night. Especially, with trying to gain muscle. You have to lift heavy, eat your carbs and protein, and make sure you get your sleep, because without it your body won’t recover. You want to keep your rep range between 8-10 and sets between 4-8. Be patient with your fitness and your results will come!

Tana has been training since she was 13, and will be 25 this November. She got certified as a personal trainer when she was 18 and has been in fitness and nutrition classes ever since.

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Dave Schmitz

Don’t Let Muscles Get Bored

A program that stays the same will not create adaptation because muscles get bored and plateau. Muscles will respond better if movements are varied, speed is altered, and resistance is changed.

Muscles Need A Challenge

Muscles are adaptors and therefore need different challenges to create muscle growth. Some primary exercises can be staples of your program but auxiliary exercises that compliment primary exercises should change up movement planes, patterns, and force vectors.

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Injured Muscles Don’t Grow   

“No Pain No Gain” is not completely accurate and needs to be defined as it relates to building muscle. Aggressive, intense, planned strength training is necessary to achieve muscle growth.  However if muscles, or the tendons associated with particular muscles, begin to demonstrate chronic long lasting pain, training is going to quickly become counter-productive or potentially eliminated due to injury. Building in recovery days to allow muscles and tendons to heal will allow growth too continue.

Muscles React Not Just Contract

Building in muscle reaction training by performing short sprint training, jump training, or medicine ball throws, changes up movement patterns while working on muscle reaction speed versus slow muscle contraction. A reactive muscle is a much more efficient muscle than one that requires exclusively on a conscious effort in order to effectively do work.

Muscles Are Dumb

Muscles do not know what type of resistance or training tool they are being challenged with.   Using different forms of resistance like resistance bands to strength train will cause muscles to adapt resulting in better muscle growth potential.

Dave Schmitz (aka The Band Man) is an international speaker, author and the Co-owner of Resistance Band Training Systems, as well as the creator of Resistancebandtraining.com where since 2008 he has hosted a video blog (RBTLIVE) that focuses on using resistance band training to build a body that looks, feels, and moves great for a life-time. 

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John Parrillo

To build muscle you need to give your body the requisite stimulus and proper nutrients. Calories are critical; you need to establish a caloric surplus in order to construct lean muscle mass. In order to build muscle fast you need a huge stimulus. That stimulus is basic free weight exercises done with great intensity in the 6 – 12 rep range. We have found that maximal hypertrophy is achieved when the negative portion of the repetition is accentuated.

Science has shown that intense progressive resistive training boosts serum testosterone. The final piece to the growth equation is adequate rest. You need to eat at least 5 – 6 (or more) meals daily consisting of lean protein and slow release carbs (yes carbs – insulin is anabolic!). Eat enough to make the scale go up and the cleaner the meals the more of the weight you gain will be muscle and not fat. Get plenty of sleep and think happy thoughts about all the muscle you are gaining.

John Parrillo has been a leading training and nutrition expert since the 1970’s. He has worked with Olympia winners, innumerable IFBB Professional Bodybuilders and the world’s greatest strength athletes. He is President and CEO of Parrillo Performance Corporation.

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Bobby Strom

This process takes place in two areas, the gym and the kitchen, so you need preparation. This means planning your workouts around your schedule so you get at least 5 days a week in. It also means plan out your meals so you’re never left without nutrition. You can’t build lean muscle without the proper nutrition no matter how much working out you do.

To build lean muscle you will need to bring your “A Game”, so consistency and intensity are optimal in achieving this goal.

If you’re an endomorph cardio will be a must here, and if you’re an ectomorph stay away from the cardio.

You will need to lift heavy weights relative to your strength and conditioning. As you progress increase the weights in small increments.

Work on opposing muscle groups so that you can perform one exercise after another with little rest in between. Thus creating the intensity I was referring to. Also, your conditioning will dictate how long your workouts are, so as you progress increase the length of the workouts.

Sleep is a must in order to recuperate, so if you are not getting enough sleep you will compromise your results.

Nutrition; It is necessary to eat a small amount of food (which is fuel to your body), every 3 hours in order to kick up your metabolism and burn fat, (which is stored fuel). It is important to eat the right foods too. Lean meats and fish as well as lots of vegetables. No sauces and no sodium! Protein shakes are a good supplement to the program but stay away from the bars as much as possible as they are higher in calories.

You should have nice results in 12 weeks if you commit to this 100%. A lot of our celebrity clients who need to get ready for a role in a short time follow this protocol and it works. If your workout doesn’t crush you at the end, results may fall short, if any at all. If you skip meals and just don’t have the time to prepare them, again you will fall short or fail. So basically it’s like everything else in life, your return is equal to your input. Most importantly, make it fun or it won’t be worth the effort.

Bobby has been involved in fitness and nutrition for 40 years. He is co owner of Valencia Health Club in New York and competed in Body Building Competitions for 11 years. Now living in LA with his wife Alicia, they work with professional athletes and actors readying them for their roles in Sports, TV, and Movies.

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Barry Jay

Building muscle quickly and safely requires attention to specific areas of the body, not just full-body work each day. One of the reasons we format the Barry’s Bootcamp program the way we do is because we want our clients to see results rapidly. Each day of the week focuses on a different area of the body to ensure you receive a well rounded and effective muscle building and sculpting routine that develops into a lifestyle.

Isolation work can be effective, but the most rapid results come from a mix of isolation and the incorporation of compound movements, which will give you the most “bang for your buck” as they will engage more muscles at once. Additionally, we advocate heavy weights at Barry’s. Using heavier free weights than you’re used to, within reason, can help to shock the body and essentially “trick” the muscles, which will produce faster results as well.

Barry Jay is the heart, soul, and brains behind the Barry’s Bootcamp brand. He realized this passion naturally, and sought out to establish his own brand of military-inspired exercise with the atmosphere of your favorite night spot. Barry has appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live,” FOX San Diego, Good Day New York, etc.

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Paul Chek

To build muscle efficiently, start by detoxifying your body. If glands and organs are under stress, resources will not flow effectively to build muscle tissue. The “best solution for pollution is dilution”, so drink at least half your weight in ounces of water daily. Improve nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, and remove fungus and parasites by following a good oral colon cleanse program for 60 days. Switch to a varied, all-organic diet with as much raw food as is comfortable and supplement with an organic whole-food multivitamin.

To provide structural support for the high intensity lifts that stimulate muscle growth you must first get your core muscles working properly, and balance your body by stretching short, tight muscles. Maximum muscle growth occurs when lifts are performed at intensities of 75-100% max effort. Undulating between 8-12 reps, 6-8 reps, and 1-4 reps with BIG exercises like squatting, lunging, dead-lifting, pushing and pulling provides global muscle development for rapid results. Use the 1-3% rule of progression; if you can’t improve on your last workout by 1-3%, your body is still tired, repairing itself, and you will get more “bang for your buck” taking an additional day off! The secret for long-term success is to train, not drain your body!

Holistic Health Practitioner, Paul Chek is internationally acclaimed for his unique approach to corrective exercise, high performance conditioning and integrative lifestyle coaching. Author of numerous books including the best seller How To Eat Move and Be Healthy!, he is the founder of the C.H.E.K Institute and the P~P~S Success Mastery Program. www.chekinstitute.com

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Amy Clover

Every day, decide on a short, meaningful phrase that will power you through the day’s workout. I use affirmations to push beyond my comfort zone, and they help remind me of why I’m in it in the first place. Some of my favorites are “Make me proud,” and “This is what change feels like.” Make sure that your affirmation means a lot to you; pick something that really fires you up. You can use it in your workouts and also when making healthy food choices (I used them a LOT in my recent shoot prep). Your connection to your affirmation will change as you grow, so mix it up daily to avoid disconnection!

Amy Clover is a fitness personality, speaker and the force behind Strong Inside Out, a site that helps people “become stronger than their struggle” through fitness and positive action.

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Corey Feldman

A man’s internal health can have a significant effect on how he puts on lean muscle. More specifically his testosterone levels, which naturally decreases as men age. If low, he will have difficulty losing body fat and building lean muscle. Complete a full blood panel at the start of a new program so you have a baseline and can plan for any metabolic issue. With that knowledge, a complete nutrition plan is integral to any program.

With so many nutrition plans out there it is hard to navigate. Keep it simple, when building muscle, you need protein. Natural and organic animal proteins are best, but there are many options available depending on dietary needs. Two key factors to support a fast recover are protein and carbohydrates (yes, carbs are needed to build muscle). Anytime you are building muscle and especially in a short period of time, you will experience soreness. Proper protein and carbohydrates pre and post workout will decrease soreness and fatigue. The last critical component is a program or plan. Don’t go it alone. Utilize the knowledge of a personal trainer or someone with experience. By having a muscle building plan created, you waste less time in the gym and you will see results more quickly.

Corey Feldman, MMS, PA-C, ACSM-CPT is a Physician Assistant, Athletic Trainer, and Certified Personal Trainer who owns Trivida in Aurora, CO. Corey utilizes his medical background to build programs for elite athletes and those who are ready to make major lifestyle changes.

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Denton Coleman

My number one tip for building muscle quickly is to remove the fungal infection you likely have. This may sound out of place, but an abundance of research has unveiled that approximately 80% of Americans are currently living with a fungal infection, and such an infection can rob the body of essential nutrients and starkly inhibit adaptation to exercise. The primary means through which fungal invaders may enter the body include: inhalation of fungal spores (which are quite common in gyms/locker rooms), transdermal invasion (through an opening in the skin), and ingestion of contaminated food or water.

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Once an overgrowth of fungi takes place within the body, the fungal species (of which over 400 have been identified as being involved in human pathology) can begin to alter pH balance, steal away and live off of the nutrients you’re ingesting, and contribute to the development of “Leaky-gut syndrome” (in which undigested food particles, fungi, and bacteria begin to leak out of the intestinal wall). Essentially, a fungal infection shifts the body’s environment into one that is beneficial for fungi growth and detrimental to muscle growth (and health in general). Correctly healing from a fungal infection certainly requires an individualized plan, but I would recommend seeing a Functional Medicine Practitioner who can accurately test for such an infection so that you can stop fungi from stealing your muscle gains!”

Denton Coleman is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Orthopedic Exercise Specialist, Holistic Fitness Specialist, and Personal Trainer. He is the founder of the online holistic health academy, Satori Institute, which may be viewed here: satoriinstitute.info.

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Andrea Metcalf

BLAST IT or SLOW BURN. You decide which feel best for you!

BLAST IT – high intensity training format. Pick 10 total body exercises (ie. mountain climbers, jump squats, lunge, and press) and time sets for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest. Perform each exercise once for the timed set THEN repeat the entire 10 exercises for 6 rounds.

SLOW BURN – Take those same 10 exercises and perform one rep of each working SLOWLY through the range of motion for a timed 30 seconds; 15 seconds to start the move and then 15 seconds to return to starting point. Perform 3 blocks of each exercise.

Either way the best way to build muscle is to fatigue the muscle… both ways WORK.

Andrea Metcalf, Author, Naked Fitness (Vanguard Press), Certified Personal Trainer NASM, ACE, as seen on the Today Show, Steve Harvey and Oprah.com in Chicago.

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Nicole Chaplin

Being a master personal trainer I get asked frequently how do I build muscle fast. When hitting the gym, exercise the larger muscle groups first to kick-start the muscle building process. These large groups are the legs, chest, and back muscles. Continue to mix the weight load when doing strength training so the muscles do not become used to the heavy load. Incorporate progressive lifting, which ensures that your muscles don’t get complacent and stop growing. Try to avoid doing the same exercise routine week after week. Also, opposed to lifting all the way for 3 sets, do it only a third of the way on the first set, two thirds on the second, and full lifts on the third.

Depending on your eating restrictions and what’s best, supplements can assist in the growing process of your muscles but are not meant to be your only source of nutrients. You can call them helpers or assistors because they fill the nutritional gaps. Boom, there you go. Let’s see those muscles grow.

Nicole Chaplin is a Master Personal Trainer, certified in boxing, TRX, kickboxing, group exercise, and kettle bells. She is a University of Miami graduate where her passion for fitness began to increase rapidly. And successful certified Master Trainer, motivational speaker, author, and owner of Bella X Fitness Boutique located in NYC. nicolechaplin.com

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Amie Hoff

Building muscle overnight may not be possible but a few tips can help you reach your goals a little faster:

  1. Consistency – Baby steps and steady, continued action will yield huge gains!
  2. I.D.E – Ride it out! Switch up one or two of the following as a way to shock the muscles: R: Regularity (how often you exercise). I: Intensity (how hard you work out). D: Duration (how long your workout session is). E: Exercise (What moves you’re doing).
  3. Sleep – Not only do your muscles need the rest to re-build so does the rest of your body! Sleep replenishes energy levels, mental clarity, and focus.
  4. Drink up! – Did you know your body is 70% water? Yup. If you’re dehydrated, your muscles will suffer. Greatly.
  5. Plyometrics – Adding a level of cardio to your workout will help torch calories and burn unwanted body fat. (ie. Your muscles will pop!!!)
  6. Be Prepared – We all have those days we cant make it to the gym, are traveling, or have no time. Be sure to have bands, tubes and a jump rope on hand. And good ole’ body weight exercise work too!

Amie Hoff, CPT, NASM, NYC based fitness professional, media personality corporate fitness consultant. www.HoffFitness.com

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Chris Cooper

Lift Heavy, Recover Well.

Lift Heavy: Heavy is all relative to what your strength level is, but you want to perform compound movements that utilize multiple muscles and joints. Think basic movements like push, pull, squat, & hip hinge. Use different rep ranges for your workouts as well: 1-6 for strength, 6-12 for hypertrophy, and 12+ for endurance.

Recover Well: Recovery is all about making sure your body is ready for the next bout of training.  This covers a myriad of things like eating (can’t grow muscles without nutrition), sleeping (bulk of muscle repair during deep restful sleep), doing SMR & mobility (further helps muscles recover) & taking rest days.

Chris Cooper is a fitness professional certified by the NSCA, a NYS-LMT, an educator for Fitness Education Institute and owner of Active Movement & Performance in Massapequa Park, NY. He works with an array of clients, most notably those coming off injuries, especially back injuries.

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Brett Hoebel

If you want to build muscle than your mental approach may need a tune-up. It’s NOT about burning fat…it’s about building muscle. Sounds simple right? But most people are stuck in the “burning fat” mentality and approach, which is not inline with how to build muscle.

To build muscle fast, there are THREE key ingredients:

1) Eat enough protein and the right type of calories.

2) Lift for size (a.k.a. hypertrophy).

3) Get your recovery.

Men and women doing intense lifting to gain muscle need between 0.7-0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Do NOT cut carbs. Cutting carbs is good to lose weight, but not to gain muscle. Hypertrophy training has specific training variables including reps, sets, rest, and time under tension. Generally 3-5 sets per body part with 8-12 reps where you can go to failure within the last 1-2 reps. Rest 60-90 seconds between sets and take your time on each rep (e.g., 3 seconds down and 2 seconds up). You want your hormones to work for you, not against you. Growth Hormone and Testosterone are two of the most natural anabolic muscle-building hormones in the body. Larger amounts of these hormones are produced in the deep sleep part of your circadian/sleep cycle. Proper sleep also helps reduce inflammation and soreness so you can keep training hard. Don’t sleep on your sleep!

As the author and creator of the revolutionary 20 Minute Body™ book and DVDs, and celebrity trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser season 11, Brett Hoebel is one of the country’s most sought-after experts for fast fat-loss, nutrition and motivation. He was also one of the health and fitness experts on Food Network’s Fat Chef, as well as the brains behind the RevAbs® DVDs from Beachbody (producers of P90-X). Greatist named Brett one of the world’s “Top 100 Health and Fitness Influencers” with others including Michelle Obama and Jillian Michaels; and has been touted as “Best of New York” by New York Magazine and Allure. Check out his website: bretthoebel.com.

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Johnny Martinez

Make sure during weight-lifting you can reach muscle failure after each set of 8 to 12 reps – this is the optimal zone for increasing size, move slower during the eccentric (lowering) phase of contraction but only a few seconds, also (but not for novices) incorporate drop sets and super sets to ensure fatiguing the muscle and using more muscle fibers which basically means; more tearing of fibers = more growth.

Certain exercises such as dead-lift, power clean, and squats have shown to increase testosterone. Resistance training of 85-95% of 1RM (repetition maximum), with multiple sets of 5-10 reps and short rest intervals of under one minute were also shown to increase testosterone and Growth Hormone – again this should not be attempted by novices serious injury can occur.

Now possibly the most important aspect for building muscle is nutrition, your muscles can’t repair if it doesn’t have the right “equipment”, mainly protein – approximately one gram per pound of body weight, but our body’s also need various nutrients, including water, to keep all the on-going chemical processes inside us functioning optimally. Keep the junk/sugar you put into your body to a minimum as this hinders muscular or any type of fitness gains.

Johnny Martinez has been practicing Massage Therapy for almost a decade; specializing in pain management, he’s also a Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Coach and Founder of Quintessential Living – www.quintessliving.com, Creating Workplace Wellness Programs designed to develop optimal employees.

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Astrid Swan

Gaining muscle at a fast pace is achievable if you put the proper work in and stay on course. When my clients come to me for what I refer to as “the panic 10” I know exactly what needs to be done whether the panic is to lose ten pounds of fat or gain ten pounds of muscle!

Gaining muscle is easier for most people. The steps are simple and it has so much to do with food. First and foremost, I recommend keeping a food journal. Your muscles will not grow if it does not have the fuel to do so! However, this does not mean you can go wild at an all you can eat buffet! Take days off- a big fight with my clients is encouraging them to rest. The days you let your body rest is when you get the most muscle growth. During this time, still keep your food intake high with protein, not as many carbs since you will not be needing the energy. On training days, be sure to have carbs in your pre and post workout meals. My favorite carbs are rice, both brown and white rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes. Training should be compound moves to engage all muscles and can either be done full body if you are spending less days in the gym or do a body split workout plan. Drop sets for strength training with rest in between and no more than 20 minutes of cardio is my recommendation.

And PLEASE, do not skip leg day. Most men out there hate doing leg and butt work but a man that does, has a way stronger look. Take if from the ladies, we appreciate a strong lower half as much as you do for us!

Astrid is a highly sought after Los Angeles based personal trainer, fitness model, and athlete. She is committed to helping people of various levels of fitness be their best, while looking good and feeling great. (Photo by Ashley Barrett)

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