Your Complete Guide for Fast Muscle Growth – Build More Muscle in Less Time With These Proven Nutrition and Weight Training Instructions Specifically Designed for Maximum Muscle Growth
Sep 9th, 2011
Maximizing muscle growth is the goal of every serious bodybuilder, but only a select few individuals understand, and implement, all of the principles and techniques necessary for muscle building success. You are about to learn everything you need to know about structuring your bodybuilding program for fast muscle growth.
This posting is meant to be an all-inclusive guide to ensure that you never have to look anywhere else for the most powerful instructions on how to build lean muscle as fast as possible. Let’s get started!
Because nutrition is the most important element for rapid muscle growth, and is the most neglected aspect in bodybuilding, it is only fitting that we start by addressing the best way to feed your body for building muscle fast. Let’s start with the nutrient that is most responsible for muscle growth – protein.
Sources of the Best Protein for Muscle Growth
I spent years believing that all protein sources were equal when it came to their muscle building potential. While it is hard to admit, after years of eating large amounts of protein with the hopes of building muscle quickly, I eventually learned that much of the protein I was feeding my body was virtually useless for building muscle mass.
While this was a hard pill to swallow at the time, I am glad that I realized the error of my ways because it has enabled me to quickly put on muscle with only a slight modification to my diet plan.
Amino Acids and Complete Proteins
Proteins are made up of a combination of amino acids. While there are a total of 22 different amino acids, only 14 of them are naturally produced by the human body. The 8 amino acids that cannot be manufactured by your body are called essential amino acids.
The 8 essential amino acids are leucine, lysine, isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. These essential amino acids are directly responsible for the production of muscle building hormones, such as testosterone, and are required for building new muscle tissue.
Any proteins that you consume that do not contain all 8 essential amino acids cannot be used by your body for muscle growth without you supplying your body with the missing essential amino acids from some other source. If your goal is to gain muscle fast, you must make sure that you are feeding your body with complete proteins that contain all 8 essential amino acids which are the best sources of protein for muscle growth. Actually, they are the ONLY proteins that can be used for muscle growth on their own.
Here is a list of the most common sources of complete proteins:
Any proteins that do not come from the sources listed above are incomplete proteins and they will be useless for muscle growth on their own. While foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and pastas do contain protein, the proteins that come from these sources are incomplete and are not considered to be muscle building protein sources. If you are serious about building muscle fast, the majority of the protein you should be eating needs to come from sources of complete protein to build muscle.
By the way, it is perfectly acceptable, and healthy, for you to eat incomplete proteins such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and pastas. However, you want to make sure that you don’t count on the protein contained in these foods for muscle growth, and that you are eating sufficient amounts of muscle building protein from the complete protein sources listed above.
The Role of Carbohydrates for Muscle Growth
As the body’s primary source of energy, carbohydrates are an integral part of any program for muscle growth. Not only do carbohydrates serve as fuel for weight training, they can also have a significant impact on our ability to build muscle.
While most people have been exposed to the importance of protein when trying to build muscle, the role that carbohydrates play in the muscle growth equation is not as well known. Let’s go over the basic types of carbohydrates and see how they impact our ability to build lean muscle mass.
Complex carbohydrates are carbohydrates that are made up of numerous branching chains of molecules (this is why they are called complex). This type of carbohydrate is abundant in foods that contain grains and starches like breads, potatoes, rice, oatmeal and pasta.
Complex carbohydrates take a while to be digested and broken down after they are eaten. Consequently, complex carbohydrates provide our bodies with a slow and sustaining source of energy. Because complex carbohydrates are slowly digested, they do not lead to large spikes in blood sugar that can lead to gains in body fat – as long as they are consumed in moderation.
Many bodybuilders neglect the importance of complex carbohydrates, and fail to consume them in the proper proportions, which ultimately leads to diminished muscle growth. You might be wondering how a diet deficient in complex carbohydrates can lead to diminished muscle growth. I am going to tell you.
The sugar energy provided by carbohydrates is your body’s primary source of fuel, and if your sugar reserves are lacking, your body will begin to break down the proteins in your body to make up for the energy deficiency.
In fact, if you deprive your body from complex carbohydrates for long enough, your body will even enter a catabolic state and begin “eating away” at your muscle tissue for the energy it needs to function. This is obviously undesirable and is a big problem for those of us interested in building muscle quickly.
Simply put, because complex carbohydrates are a great source of slow digesting sugar energy, they are absolutely essential for fast muscle growth because they provide our bodies with the energy we need to perform and train at our highest level while preventing the catabolic effect that comes with carbohydrate deprivation.
Unlike complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates have a very simple molecular structure that does not have numerous branches – hence the name, simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates can be found in fruits, sugar, juices and honey.
Simple carbohydrates are also important for optimizing our muscle growth, but we have to use a little discretion regarding the timing of when we consume simple carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are digested very quickly and lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar. If this sugar energy is not used up, it will ultimately be stored on our body in the form of fat. However, spikes in blood sugar provide prime opportunities for muscle growth and recovery when they occur immediately before and after weight training.
During and after weight training, our muscles have an immediate need for energy, along with the nutrients required for recovery and muscle growth. Consuming simple carbohydrates an hour before, and immediately after training, will provide your body with a fast acting source of energy and muscle building nutrition at the time when your muscles need it most.
Now that you understand the importance of eating complete proteins, along with sufficient amounts of simple and complex carbohydrates (at the right times), we are now going to dig a little deeper and go over specific diet plans that will enable you to build muscle quickly.
Note: While fats are an important part of any healthy diet plan, in my experience, the role that fat will play in your ability to build muscle will be negligible. I have followed low fat diets, and diets that have prescribed high amounts of good fats with just about every meal, and I have gotten the best lean muscle growth results by simply making a conscious effort to eat foods that are low in fat whenever possible.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one specific muscle building diet plan that will be sufficient for everyone to experience fast muscle growth. Your weight, metabolism, and current amount of muscle mass, will all factor into determining the nutrition required for you to build muscle.
The good news is that finding your body’s specific nutritional needs for lean muscle growth is fairly simple. I am going to provide you with a set of muscle building nutritional guidelines that you will use as a starting point. You will simply follow these guidelines for a full week, and if your weight has not increased, you will increase all nutritional values by 10%.
You will continue this process until you are able to measure an increase in your weight after a full week. This will indicate that you are providing your body with sufficient nutrition to put on muscle.
Note: Once you are able to measure an increase in body weight after a week of following your specific nutrition plan, it is important that you do not further increase your nutritional values, unless your weight again does not increase after a full week. If your weight is increasing, you can rest assured that you are providing your body the nutrition it needs for muscle growth. Any additional calories will not lead to faster muscle gains, but will only lead to gains in body fat. *
Below you will find what my personal experience has shown to be a good starting set of nutritional guidelines for muscle growth.
Muscle Building Meal Plan for Weight Training Days *
Meals 1 & 2
Meals 3 & 4
Post Workout Meal
Muscle Building Meal Plan for Non-Weight Training Days *
Meals 1 & 2
Meals 3 & 4
Meals 5 & 6
There is a lot of debate in the bodybuilding community regarding the best ratio of carbohydrates and proteins to most effectively build muscle. I have tried 50/50, 60/40 and 70/30 carbohydrate to protein splits and have found that using a 70/30 split on weight training days, and a 60/40 split on non-weight training days, is the most effective for quickly building lean muscle mass.
Remember to only count complete proteins to account for the protein amounts indicated above. Also, make sure that you monitor your weight each week, and adjust the nutrient amounts as described above if you do not measure any increase in body weight.
Keep in mind that this diet for building muscle should be used by those whose primary concern is fast muscle growth. If you would like to burn off fat while building muscle, I recommend checking out my posting on how to get ripped for detailed nutrition and training instructions for simultaneously building muscle and burning off excess body fat.
I will briefly describe the supplements that can enhance your muscle growth and then provide links to my postings that will provide a detailed look at what you can expect from each of these supplements.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is a complete protein that is usually sold in the powdered form so it can be easily mixed with water, milk or juice. Whey protein is not any more effective at building muscle than any other complete protein, but it is a very convenient way to quickly prepare a shake with your required amount of protein for any given meal.
It can be cumbersome preparing and cooking complete proteins for every meal and you will definitely want to have a
tub of protein powder on hand for those times when you just don’t feel like cooking. Here is a link to my personal reviews of some of the most popular brands of whey protein powders:
Glutamine is an amino acid that has been shown to prevent the catabolic breakdown of muscle tissue that can occur during extended periods of time between meals – like when you are sleeping. In order to maximize your muscle growth, by preventing the breaking down of muscle tissue, glutamine can be taken before bed to help ensure that you do not lose any of the muscle you are working so hard to build.
Creatine is one of the few supplements that has been extensively studied and proven to provide increases in strength, endurance, and muscle cell volume by those who consistently use it. If you are serious about muscular hypertrophy, and building muscle quickly, creatine is one supplement you won’t want to be without.
There are several varieties of creatine to choose from. I have broken down the most popular forms of creatine on the market today, and explain what I believe to be the best creatine supplement, in my best creatine supplement posting.
Vitamins for Muscle Growth
Vitamins are used by the body to perform a wide range of functions – many of which are linked to muscle growth. While the average person gets their required intake of vitamins through their various meals throughout the day, the rigors of weight training places additional vitamin requirements on those of us who are in the process of building muscle.
The bottom line is that, if your body is lacking in the vitamins it needs to function, your muscle gains will suffer. Therefore, it best to take a multi-vitamin each day as a precautionary measure to make sure that you don’t experience vitamin deficiencies that would compromise your ability to quickly build muscle.
Unfortunately, sizable muscle growth does not happen naturally. Our muscles must be forced to grow, and the best way to force our muscles to grow, is through weight training – but not just any old weight training.
For fast muscle growth, we need to make sure that our muscles are continually introduced to intense levels of stress that will strain our muscles to the point that they will need to be repaired. It is during times of rest, when our body is repairing our strained muscle tissue, that muscle growth takes place.
I am not going to provide a comprehensive weight training plan in this posting. However, if you would like to see a training plan that is typical of one that I follow, check out my posting on how to get ripped.
For the purposes of this posting you need to know that you should be training every major muscle group at least once per week, with at least 2 full days of rest, in order to build muscle mass as fast as possible. That being said, simply training in this way will not be enough for maximizing your muscle growth.
Most aspiring bodybuilders in today’s gyms actually implement enough lifts to fully build and develop every major muscle group. The biggest difference between those that are getting muscle gains every week, and those that aren’t, are the training techniques that are being used. I want to share with you a few powerful training tips that will enable you to get optimum muscle gains.
Muscle growth occurs as our muscles adapt to the stresses of weight training as a way to prevent the same amount of stress to cause as much muscular “damage” in the future. In order to make sure that our muscles do not ever fully adapt to the stresses of weight training, and continue to grow as quickly as possible, it is essential that we are pushing our muscles to their absolute limit during each set of every lift.
The best way that I know to accomplish this is by performing every weight training set to failure.
When you are at the gym, or in the weight room, you need to have the mindset that you are at war – and your enemy is “the iron”. Before each set, you should start by mentally preparing for an all out unleashing of energy and follow through by using the most explosive movements you can muster to complete each and every rep.
Training with a high level of intensity ensures that you are lifting the heaviest weights possible and performing the highest number of reps – both of which will lead to faster muscle growth over time.
Take Occasional Breaks from Training
If you follow the information I have shared with you in this posting, you will notice continual muscular improvements as you consistently build muscle mass each and every week. After months of consistent training for muscle growth it will be beneficial for you to take a week off from training to mentally reset and give your muscles a week to fully recover.
I know that taking a break from training seems like it would slow your muscle gains, but I promise that you will achieve greater long-term muscle gains by taking a week off from training every 4-6 months. It is simply impossible to maintain an optimum level of motivation and intensity week after week for an extended period of time.
After taking a week off, you will hit the gym feeling rejuvenated with a newfound sense of purpose and motivation, which will pay dividends in the long run.
It’s Time for Muscle Growth!
I have shared everything you need to know to finally get fast muscle growth. By feeding your body the right foods to build muscle, and training with the most effective muscle building techniques, you can expect to continually measure gains in size and strength.
Always remember that the only way to achieve natural muscle building success is through an effective combination of nutrition and training. I can tell you from years of personally struggling to build muscle that neglecting either one of these principles will guarantee your failure.
This guide to muscle growth is your map to muscle building success. While I have shown you the way, it is up to you to put these instructions to work. It is time for you to stop wishing you could have larger muscles and put in the work to make it happen!
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