How do you become a mass gainer to create larger muscles? Larger muscles, a toned body, and a stronger self are what most people desire. These traits improve self-apprehension and boost health, fitness, and self-esteem.
But the question is, how to gain muscle fast. The answer may be disappointing, but no QUICK or FAST methods exist. Muscle building requires time, consistency, motivation, and effort. However, doing it right may bring better than expected results.
So, let us explain how you can gain larger and stronger muscles step by step.
Step 1: Comprehend the muscle-building process
First, you must understand the entire process, which allows your body to grow muscles better. This process has two requirements.
- Signal to the body
An adequately designed weight training program gives signals to the body. With this, the body releases certain hormones and develops muscle. Thus, this includes:
- a progressive overload to muscles (where you increase the exercise gradually)
- Metabolic stress (overuse of muscles to get the energy pump)
- Muscle injury (the wear and tear which signals repair and rebuild).
When the body finally repairs the muscle, it is faster and binds tissue more cohesively to form stronger muscles. But the second requirement of this process is also crucial.
- The diet of the body
During the muscle build-up, you must supply your body with high-quality protein and essential amino acids. Plus, eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals would be best. Essential fats are also important, though choose only the unsaturated ones.
Step 2: Choose an impactful weight/resistance training frequency.
We will first understand the resistance training frequency to learn more about this step.
It means how many days a week you work out and how many hours per day. You must work out 3 to 5 days a week to build your muscles fast.
However, when we study muscle building more deeply, we know that resistance training means how often you should train each muscle group in a week. We show three examples below for this regime to help you understand the concept.
- Resistance training once per week. Train your muscles every Friday.
- Resistance training twice per week. Train your muscles every Monday and Friday.
- Resistance training thrice per week. Train muscles every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Although it goes against the typical stereotype exercise schedule, which involves having an entire chest day, tricep day, or shoulder day once a week, this regime fits the people falling in the genetically average category. So if you are also the one who is not a steroid user and falls in the genetically average group, you need to hit all your muscles at least two to three times in one week.
Step 3: Formulating a workable and effective workout split
The Workout split is an entire schedule of your muscle-building exercises. When and for what duration will you train your body, when will you have a rest day, and so on. To plan a workout split ideal for your custom needs, you must consider five essential points.
- Your Ideal resistance training frequency
- Your Schedule (this includes your job, education, family, etc.)
- Recovery Capacity (break you need to take in between to allow your muscles to recover)
- The expertise level (select the most compatible workouts for you)
- Choice (you may enjoy a specific type of workout more than others)
Now let us show a few examples of workout splits.
The Full Body (Beginners split)
The full-body workout split is ideal for beginner-level bodybuilders. It involves a full-body workout three times a week on alternate days.
Upper/Lower Body workout split
This split looks like this:
- Friday: Upper body workout
- Saturday: Lower body workout
- Sunday: off
- Monday: Upper body workout
- Tuesday: Lower body workout
- Wednesday off
- Thursday off
Push and Pull/Leg Split
This regime uses the following sequence:
- Friday: Push (Upper body, includes the muscles of chests, shoulders, and biceps)
- Saturday: Pull (involves the muscles of the back and biceps)
- Sunday off
- Monday: Lower body (Includes muscles of Legs, Quads, Calves, and Abs)
- Tuesday off
- Wednesday: Push (Upper body)
- Thursday: Pull (Back Biceps)
The Next step is to identify the volume of all these splits. I.e., you will perform how many sets or reps to train each muscle group in a week. The professional recommendations go like this:
- The bigger muscle group: around 6 to 14 total sets in a week
- The smaller muscle group: around 3 to 7 total sets in a week
Before following these splits, consider your experience level and consult your gym instructor.
Step 4: Determine the workout intensity and rep range
When we talk about muscle building, resistance training intensity means how much weight you should lift and how light or heavy your weight is.
If the weight is light, then the intensity of your workout is low and vice versa. Simply put, it means how many reps are you doing in one set. If you are doing more reps, then the workout intensity is less. Also, the failure point, aka the point you no longer can do, is an important consideration.
So simplifying things for you, if you want to build your muscles faster, you need to train your muscles in a rep range of 8 to 12. Also, this is the ideal range for muscle development and strength.
Many muscle builders believe that continuing reps till the failure point is beneficial. However, this is not true. Continuing reps till you fail does more harm. It sometimes brings demotivation and excessive muscle fatigue.
Ideally, stop the set just 1 or 2 reps before the failure point. For example, if you have set out for nine reps but feel you cannot continue beyond 7, you should not try the 8th one.
Step 5: Selection of an appropriate exercise
This is the most crucial aspect of the entire muscle build-up regime. We have summed up some of the expert recommendations.
Compound exercises vs. Isolation exercises.
If you intend to build up muscle at a better rate, your workout regime should include a mix of compound and isolation exercises. However, the major regime part should comprise compound exercises that involve the exertion of different muscles.
These exercises include bench presses, deadlifts, squats, lunges, overhead presses, etc. Some isolation exercises that work better in muscle-building are chest flies, leg extensions, bicep curls, etc.
The order of the exercise
It would be best if you did the exercise which exerts the muscles more and is physically straining in the low rep range. We should also carry them out before the less straining ones.
While selecting any exercise for a muscle-building regime, consider your personal history. It helps to acknowledge past injuries and weak points. Also, consider your liking or preference for different exercises.
Step 6: Set up suitable rest periods
While setting upon a rest period, consider specific essential points. First, consider your exercise and how physically challenging it is. Naturally, the more complex the exercise, the more rest your body will require. These challenging exercises include shoulder presses, deadlifts, squats, etc.
You should also the rep range. If the rep range is lower, the intensity is higher, requiring more rest between the sets.
Duration of the rest period
A more extended rest period will help your body to generate progressive tension overload. In contrast, a shorter rest period generates metabolic fatigue in muscles, which leads to repair and rebuild. The primary compound exercises are better for generating progressive tension overload, so if you require this, rest for longer and increase the overall strength output.
But if you are doing the isolation exercise, which causes metabolic fatigue, plan a shorter rest period. Compound and isolation exercises call for a reasonable rest period between the sets.
Step 7 Develop the Progressive Overload
To understand this, we must go through the basic progressive overload principle. It states, “If a muscle has to grow at a better rate, it should adapt to the stimulus beyond any of its previous experience.”
This means that if you continue a weight lifting exercise lifting the same weight for the same number of reps, the muscle will not outgrow its capacity. Nothing will happen. You need to increase the weight and reps to force it to grow at a better rate. This way, the body will have to adapt to meet the needs of growing demands. Also, this will ultimately cause more muscle growth.
However, you may notice that you cannot go further than you already are in progressive overload. You might go for a training break or reduce the workload so that your workout regime seems to be more accessible at a particular time.
Step 8: increasing the caloric intake
Until now, we have discussed steps that signal the body to build muscle faster. Now we will discuss increasing caloric supplies to support the additional growth. For those striving to gain muscles, you need to consume additional calories. This means you need to eat more calories than you need to maintain weight.
Estimate Maintenance level
For this, you need first to estimate your maintenance level. The easiest way to do this is to multiply your current weight in pounds by the number between 10 to 15. For example, a person who weighs 135 pounds will get an estimated maintenance level of between 1350 to 2025 calories.
Determine the surplus
Before the actual calculations, we need to tell you that surplus does not mean adding calories and fat-dense foods to your diet. Instead, they will add to the fat content of your body. Therefore, it would be best if you designed a surplus to minimize fat gains and maximize muscle growth. Ideally, men should consume about 200 surplus calories above their maintenance levels. For women, it is 100 calories above maintenance levels.
Step 9: Determine the ideal nutrient intake.
When you have determined how much you consume, it’s time to decide what to consume. Ideally, protein is the nutrient that will play a crucial role in muscle development. But consume carbs and fats in adequate amounts to maintain energy levels.
Professionals recommend the nutrient intake in the following proportions:
- Protein: should be between 0.8 to 1.2 g per kg of body weight.
- Fats: should come in a range of 20 to 30% of the total caloric intake.
- Carbs: factor the remaining calorie count in with carbohydrate content.
Try to manage your pre and post-workout meals. For example, consuming an ideal healthy meal 1 to 2 hours before and after the workout would be best.
Step 10: Intake of supplements and ideal sleep
You may require additional nutrient supplements if you are all set to gain some muscle mass faster. However, remember that supplements alone can do nothing. Follow all the steps mentioned above to gain muscle. A supplement will only help a little in accelerating the growth rate.
Experts recommend the supplement of whey protein powder, creatine, Fish Oil, vitamin D, and beta-alanine for muscle growth and strength.
And finally, resting your body and sleep are vital for muscle growth. Sleep naturally produces and releases most of the growth factors and hormones produced by the body. Sleep deprivations often lead to low testosterone production, higher cortisol levels, increased hunger, poor cognition, etc. Professionals recommend having at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily.
Mass muscle gaining is a continuous process. It takes consistency and motivation to perform a regular and strenuous regime while consuming a surplus diet. Remember to set realistic and achievable goals before you work on your body.
This article has gathered all you need to develop your muscles. It would be best if you take action while remaining consistent at all times.