In past articles I've discussed the best ways to add muscle to your physique, but how do you get the most muscle to reap those benefits as quickly as possible? In this article we'll discuss some of the most effective ways to achieve muscle mass quickly and the exercises to get you there.
We'll start with nutrition. Protein and carbohydrates are the body's building blocks, protein for muscle growth and carbohydrates for energy. You need to eat enough calories of both to fuel proper growth. To find out how much is right for you the general rule is to multiply your lean body weight by 19, somewhere between 1500-3000 calories or more for men and 1200-2500 or more for women. It is very important not to under eat if you expect to gain muscle mass. General numbers for protein consumption are 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Protein contains around 4 calories per gram. About 20-30% of your caloric intake daily should come from lean protein. Carbohydrates should be consumed at about twice the rate of protein and consist of between 40-60% of daily intake. Again carbohydrates have around 4 calories per gram so grab a calculator or your fitness pro and get to eating! It's recommended that you eat 6 small meals a day and eating 30-60 of the recommended grams of protein immediately after a lifting session will ensure the essential building blocks of your muscles are on hand to assist in their growth.
Next is weight lifting. This is a must but compound exercise moves get you much better results much more quickly. These are exercises utilizing more than one group of muscles or joints at a time, resulting in the ability to lift heavier weights, workout more muscles at once and gain more growth. Here are some of the best compound exercises to build muscle fast; chin-ups, pull-ups, dips, bench, military presses, rows and push-ups. There are also several movements that workout upper and lower body such as hang clean and push presses. For the lower body try, squats, dead lifts, lunges and good mornings. The heavier weight you lift the more damage you do to your muscle fibers and the more quickly additional mass will be packed on. A good rule of thumb for safely lifting heavy weights is to lift 70-80% of your 1 rep maximum or however much weight you can put up safely for 8-12 reps. Like most compound exercises it is imperative to utilize correct form and have a spotter to help prevent injury.
Next on the list are super sets, or doing 2 or more exercises in succession without rest in between. This increases the intensity of your routine and gets more accomplished more quickly. There are several forms of this kind of workout including exercises that utilize the same muscle groups pushing that group to its limit, opposition or antagonistic muscle groups allowing time for each group to rest between exercises, or staggered super sets which work completely unrelated groups of muscle , each of these has its own benefit.
The final ingredient is rest, the most essential and overlooked portion of the workout recipe. As just mentioned, muscles tear as you lift; your rest cycle is when these tears are repaired. This is especially true when you sleep; the body secretes the majority of your human growth hormones, which helps repair muscles, as you sleep. Never work the same group two days in a row, allow 4-5 days' rest before working out the same muscles again, allowing for proper recovery. Overt raining can lead to injury and lessen the effectiveness of the work that you've already done. If you follow these steps you are guaranteed massive gains in your muscle mass and power! Finally, always seek professional advice; do not tackle this type of advanced training without proper technique. Have fun and get to it!