You Can Build Muscle Faster
Building muscle faster requires the right strategy. A lot of the time guys go into the gym following any old workout program they found on some dodgy website, work their asses off for a few weeks and realize they can’t keep it up. They can’t recover fast enough between their workouts and they are left feeling exhausted, weak and ultimately they end up quitting and wondering why they even started in the first place. They may even blame their lack of success on the rubbish workout program they found online (which is kind of true), but really they were stupid to think they could sustain such an intense workout program to begin with. These guys, like most guys, wanted to build muscle fast. And quite rightly so, doesn’t everyone? You can build muscle fast without burning out and there are a few fundamentals that you must understand if you are going to achieve this with no problems down the road.
You have to shift your focus in terms of what you consider as ‘achieving more’ when you’re in the gym. In a recent tweet I said to my Twitter followers that my number one goal for 2020 is to be more time efficient in the gym and a follower replied, “Doesn’t being more time efficient in the gym mean that you don’t achieve as much?” This person is focusing on HOW MUCH they are getting done whilst they are working out. They are focusing on how many exercises they do, how many sets, how many reps and how many pieces of equipment they are using. This is what most people focus on when they are trying to achieve more and, ultimately, trying to build muscle faster when they are in the gym. Rather than focus on HOW MUCH you are doing in your workout, focus on WHAT you are doing in your workout.
If you’re doing workouts that contain lots of different exercises and lots of equipment (think machines, dumbbells, barbells, cables etc) and it takes you over an hour to get your workouts done, then that is a sign that you are spending your time doing the wrong exercises. But what exactly are the wrong exercises? Well, given that we are trying to build muscle faster, the wrong exercises are those exercises that train one muscle at a time. They focus purely on that muscle and nothing else. These exercises are commonly referred to as isolation exercises because with these exercises the focus is purely on one specific muscle. The big problem here is that when you do workouts that consist of a lot of these exercises it takes you longer to get your workouts done because you have to do a ton of different exercises to train more muscle. It’s very time consuming and means building muscle becomes a much slower and effortful process for you, just like what I talk about in this blog post with finding protein whilst you’re away from home being effortful and time consuming.
The alternative and much better strategy? Compound exercises. Compound exercises are those exercises that train more than one muscle at the same time. For some compound exercises it’s two muscles and for others it can be as many as three or four. Due to the fact that you are training multiple muscles simultaneously, this means that you don’t need to do more exercises in the gym to train other muscles. You can train more muscle in less time. THIS is what you need to shift your focus to in terms of ‘achieving more’ when you are in the gym. Think about it logically, why do you workout? To build muscle and get stronger! So if you can achieve that faster with the type of exercises that allow you to train more muscle per exercise, then it’s clear who the winner is here.
Compound exercises bring an additional benefit too – you’re much stronger with these types of exercises than you are with isolation exercises and the relationship between increased strength and increased muscle mass is VERY strong. It’s not 100% linear, but it’s pretty linear and you need to make the most of it especially if you have several months to a year of consistent training under your belt and still have a lot of ‘newbie gains’ to make. Not only are you stronger on compound exercises, but your strength will increase faster on these exercises compared to isolation exercises. Your strength potential is much greater due to how much muscle mass is being trained, which means faster and greater leaps in strength week in week out. It’s not uncommon for guys to add 5-10lbs to their bench press, squat and deadlift every week as members of my coaching program.
You will never see strength gains like this with isolation exercises. It’s just not physically possible (unless you’re a juice head and take steroids, lol!) and if you try to do it you’ll end up injuring yourself. You will see some strength gains, of course, but they won’t be as fast nor will they be as big as those you’ll experience with compound exercises.
Another VERY important part of this strategy for building muscle faster is training techniques – drop sets and super sets in particular. These two techniques will bring you more muscle mass faster than anything else in the gym. They are highly effective and you get so much more done. Where most guys go wrong is they use these techniques on the wrong exercises, which you already know the names of. The very small percentage of guys who get it right (guys like me, hehe) use these techniques on compound exercises. They do more compound exercises in less time. It’s powerful stuff and you need to be making this a fundamental part of your workout program if you’re going to build muscle faster. These techniques are at the very core of my coaching program and they are very effective at getting results fast.
You also need to be training every muscle at least two times per week. Once isn’t enough. Too many guys follow workout programs that dedicate separate training days to different body parts. They train chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, Legs on Wednesday etc etc. This is a horrible strategy because you aren’t training your chest, for example, for another six days. That’s six days of wasted muscle building potential! And if you’re less experienced, you’ve got to be making the most of this period where you can make serious gains. The more often you train every muscle the more you spike a process called ‘muscle protein synthesis’ which is a sophisticated term for the muscle gaining process. In my coaching program, you are training every muscle three times per week which means rapid muscle gain for you.
The point is you need to be using these strategies if you want to build muscle faster than you are doing right now. I have been using these core fundamentals ever since I first started lifting weights and that was over 7 years ago. It’s why I look as good as I do today.