14 Steps to Building Muscle Mass More Quickly

14 Steps to Building Muscle Mass More Quickly
Photo Credit: Jason Tran

I was asked to participate in the #MYO30 #EASPartner campaign, sponsored by EAS Sports Nutrition at Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

Struggling with your goals in building muscle mass this year?

I feel your pain…

There often comes a point where the results from taking a “pretty good” approach to diet and exercise start to flat-line. Once you hit that point, it’s time to get serious if you’re to continue building muscle mass and smashing your fitness goals!

This article outlines 14 of the essential steps you can take to fine tune your efforts and continue progressing…

 

14 Steps to Building Muscle Mass More Quickly

The steps in this article cover both diet and workouts, but also a couple of things you can do outside the gym/kitchen in order to build muscle at a faster pace.

Here are the 14 steps to building muscle mass more quickly:

 

1. Keep a Log for Everything

Keeping a detailed log of your food intake and your workouts is probably the best way of tracking your progress. How much protein you’re getting, the amount of reps you’re able to do for a specific exercise… these are all things that need to be tracked.

If you’re not progressing and building muscle mass, then your log will probably show you as to why that is.

 

2. Focus on Compound Movements

Compound movements basically incorporate multiple joints in your body, and therefore target multiple muscles. Because of this, they are a MUST, and making them the staple of your workout routines is guaranteed to help you build muscle more quickly.

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Examples of these exercises include:

  • Bench Press
  • Pull-ups
  • Squats
  • Dead-lift
  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Shoulder Press

Start doing more compound movements!

Max Tapper - Compound Movements
Photo Credit: Max Tapper

3. Make Sure You’re Consuming Enough Protein

This was probably the first step you took to make sure you began building muscle. But sometimes it’s very easy for people to slip up on their diet, and also forget about taking their increased weight into account.

You should be consuming 1g of protein for every pound of your bodyweight, every day. If you weigh 150lbs, your target would be to consume 150g of protein per day.

However, how many of you started building muscle, gained a bunch of weight, and then forgot to increase your protein intake?

Always remember to consume enough protein.

 

4. Lose Some Body Fat Before Focusing on Building Muscle

Studies have shown that it’s harder to build muscle when your body fat percentage is high. For example, someone with a body fat percentage of 20%, would likely struggle to build muscle tissue as quickly as someone with a BF percentage of 15%.

The research explains that when people who are obese consume large amounts of calories in order to gain muscle, they end up gaining more body fat in comparison to people who are skinny.

Ie. Eating larger numbers of calories than usual is likely to result in skinny people gaining more muscle than body fat, in comparison to obese people who are likely to gain more body fat than muscle.

The point is… try and focus on lowering your body fat percentage before building muscle.

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5. Keep Your Rep Range & Rest Times Set for Hypertrophy

The way you train your muscles is very important, and the way you do will depend on your overall goals.

There’s 3 major ways to train:

  • For Strength
  • For Mass
  • For Endurance

The amount of reps you do in every set, and the amount of time you rest between sets, will depend on which of the 3 goals you’re focusing on.

As a general rule:

  • For Strength: 4-6 reps, 3-5 minutes rest between sets
  • For Mass: 8-12 reps, 60-90 seconds rest between sets
  • For Endurance: 12+ reps, 30-45 seconds rest between sets
Rest Times - Building More Muscle
Photo Credit: Male-Mode

6. Work to Improve Your Testosterone Levels

It’s well known that testosterone levels play a part in your body’s health, and an increase in testosterone levels is likely to improve muscle growth.

There are a lot of things you can do naturally to improve your testosterone levels. However, how much these things actually affect the amount of muscle you’re building, probably depend on your levels of testosterone beforehand.

For example, once guys reach the age of 30, their testosterone levels start to decline. If they get to a relatively low point, or are low to begin with, increasing your testosterone levels naturally could make a big difference.

There are many ways you can do this, but the best example is to start eating healthy, testosterone boosting foods.

 

7. Eat More on Your Rest Days

Although you’re burning more calories on the days you exercise, your body will be recovering and growing on the days you don’t. Which means that on your rest days, you’ll be needing more calories in order for your body to recover.

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Therefore, use your rest days to eat BIG!

 

8. Make Sure You’re Getting 7-8 Hours Sleep

When you’re asleep, you’re in a higher anabolic state. Your body uses this opportunity to repair your muscle tissue at an optimal rate.

In other words, your muscles are recovering at a much faster rate whilst you are asleep, in comparison to when you’re awake.

Ie. Remember to get 7-8 hours’ sleep in order for your muscles to recover properly. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body will never fully recover, and growth/progress with your fitness goals is highly unlikely.

 

9. Aim for Weekly Strength Improvements

Sometimes people don’t make progress simply because they forget to really set any aims. Before you go into the gym, set your aim to do “this much” more, or “this much” more.

Then aim for “this much” next week. That why you’ll be a lot likely to test your limits, because you said to yourself that this was what you were going to do.

 

10. Never Skip Leg Day

Leg day is feared by most. Not just because most people like to focus on the more noticeable features, but also because leg day seems to be the most painful of the muscle groups to work.

And that’s probably because your legs are the largest of the muscle groups in your body.

Exercising your leg muscles also causes a big increase in the production of testosterone in your body. As I mentioned before, testosterone is crucial for building muscle, not to mention a bunch of other things.

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So skipping this muscle group now and then is probably the worst thing you can do for your muscle growth.

Jason Tran - Blog 4
Photo Credit: Jason Tran

11. Eat 4-6 Meals a Day

If you’re someone who typically needs to eat a lot to gain weight, but struggles to consume lots of food within a single sitting; then eating 4-6 meals a day is your best bet.

You can reduce the amount you’re eating in your main meals, and move it to your additional meals. By eating regularly, not only are you solving your problem of eating enough, but you’re also giving your body a constant source of protein throughout the day.

Just take the times when you’d normally snack, and turn them into small and healthy meals.

 

12. Search for Some Beneficial Supplements

When used correctly, supplements can be a great addition to an already healthy diet and solid workout plan.

Whey protein is probably the most commonly used supplement for post workout recovery.

As you may have seen in my previous article, I trialled several EAS Sports Nutrition brand health products for 30 days, which included the below:

  • EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder (Chocolate Flavor)
  • EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder (Vanilla Flavor)
  • EAS Myoplex Original Ready to Drink (Chocolate Fudge)

I’ll give a short review at the end of this article, and let you know where you can get these on special offer so you can try them out too.

Protein - Building Muscle Mass

13. Stop Doing Endless Cardio

If you’re struggling to gain weight, take a look at how much cardio you’re doing every week. Too much cardio, and you’re going to end up burning through your muscle as a fuel source.

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It’s probably also a good point to mention that if your metabolism is naturally high, and you struggle to gain weight of any kind, you won’t want to do much cardio.

If you have an incredibly high metabolism, then your body will burn more calories naturally anyway, so cardio is the least of your problems!

 

14. Learn to Take a Week’s Rest Once in a While

Taking a rest isn’t such a bad thing you know. And I’m not talking about the rest days you take during the week. I’m talking about taking a rest from exercise completely for a week or so.

Have you ever had a car where the battery has slowly died, and some days you turn on the stereo before you turn on the car, and… It won’t start.

It’s good to recharge, especially when you’ve been running yourself flat every week for the past couple of months.

 

The EAS 30 Day Challenge Results

EAS ProductsAs I mentioned in the supplement section, I’ve been trialling the below products for 30 days now, so it’s time to analyse the results!

  • EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder (Chocolate Flavor)
  • EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder (Vanilla Flavor)
  • EAS Myoplex Original Ready to Drink (Chocolate Fudge)

Overall, after 30 days of using this protein, here’s what I noticed:

  • I’ve gained about 1.5-2lbs of lean mass
  • It’s great to consume one of these shakes before bed to reduce recovery time
  • The powder mixes with milk very easily, you don’t even need a shaker in order to produce a smooth shake

I’ve still got a lot of EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder left over, so I’m going to continue using it and hopefully see some more gains!

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A big thanks to  for supplying these awesome products to me last month! If you’re interested in trying the EAS 30 day challenge, and incorporating these products into your diet, here’s what you need to know…

You can participate in the Myoplex 30 Day Challenge by signing up for your own fitness program #MYO30.

You get to choose the Athletes Edge program to help increase your agility and lean muscle. Or you can choose the Physique Focus program to help build muscle and tone your body. Just enter your name, email and gender and you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling your best!

 

Summary

Just to recap, here’s the 14 steps to building muscle mass more quickly, again in short:

  1. Keep a log for everything
  2. Focus on compound movements
  3. Make sure you’re consuming enough protein
  4. Lose some body fat before focusing on building muscle
  5. Keep your rep range & rest times set for hypertrophy
  6. Work to improve your testosterone levels
  7. Eat more on your rest days
  8. Make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours’ sleep
  9. Aim for weekly strength improvements
  10. Never skip leg day
  11. Eat 4-6 meals a day
  12. Search for some beneficial supplements
  13. Stop doing endless cardio
  14. Learn to take a week’s rest once in a while

Has this article helped you in your quest for building muscle mass more quickly? Leave a comment below.

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