From beginners in weight training to advanced athletes, all want to gain muscle mass fast. It is the reason nutritional supplements are a multimillion dollar industry. It is also the reason we continue to be bombarded with advertisements for the latest “breakthrough” in muscle building.
There are no secrets to gaining lean mass fast. You just need to go back to the basics. And yes, be prepared to put in the necessary work. Here are some tips to speed up the muscle mass gaining process:
1. Start from inside: Adapt the right mind-set and attitude right from the start. Know that though you can get quick results, it will not happen overnight. Believe that you can do it. See yourself in your mind’s eye looking the way you want to look.
2. Utilize proper form: Don’t sacrifice form for weight. Beginners tend to go heavier than their bodies can take, which causes them to use improper form. Not only is this a waste of time, it is also the quickest way to injury, which will keep you from training and therefore hold your dream off even longer.
3. Mind-muscle connection: Visualize your muscle growing with each repetition (or rep as it is referred to). If you’ve ever watched professional bodybuilders working out you’ve probably seen how their muscles appear to move under their sweaty skin. You can almost see each contraction and every muscle contour. Visualize this happening to you when you’re working out.
4. Full range of motion: Take the weight all the way in both directions. For the bench press, for example, lift the weight to near lock-out and then bring it all the way down till it almost touches chest – some professional bodybuilders actually let the bar touch the chest.
5. Squeeze at the end: You should pause momentarily and squeeze or tense the muscle at the point of contraction. Be careful when training hamstrings on the leg curls machine, though, as this could cause cramping.
6. Eat right: Three meals a day may be enough for the couch potatoes, but not for you. The demands placed on a body through intensive weight training require more calories and nutrients. Your body needs quality food to build up lean mass. Eat about six well-balanced meals a day. Avoid processed meat and canned food (except perhaps tuna fish).
7. Supplements: If you want to gain muscle mass fast, supplements will have to be part of your regimen. This is where you should be careful as you could find yourself spending a fortune on needless junk. There are tried and true, time-tested supplements that have proven to work. These include creatine, whey, casein and glutamine, among others. You should also be careful to purchase only known quality brands, as some manufacturers have been known to do what is called “label fixing” where the product does not actually meet label claims.