What is the fastest way to build muscle?
Maik Wiedenbach here, tackling the question: what is the fastest way to build muscle? While there are no magic short cuts ( if I had one I would be the richest man on earth and there would be no need try personal training clients in NYC or to sell any more books!)
You need drugs to grow fast?
What about drugs you asked? That is a fair point, after all steroids use in the fitness world is rampant. Millions of people in the US alone use or have used steroids. SO what is the story? I will certainly not tell you that drugs do not work because they do. They improve recovery, increase strength, better your stamina, cause less breakdown and more building of muscle and help with fat loss.
So all aboard the pharma train? Not so fast. For once, these drugs are illegal so if you do not get them through a proper doctor you will be breaking several laws. Secondly, they are not magic beans but can only make a good athlete better. In other words if you do not check the following boxes do not bother
Thirdly, there are some serious side effects to consider such as shutdown of your own hormonal system, acne, hair loss, liver problems, heart attack and gynomaestia.
1. Squat twice your body weight for reps
2. Bench your body weight times 1.5 or overhead press your body weight
3. Deadlift your body weight times 2x
Additionally, your diet needs to be 100% in check and you should have trained for at least three years.
Aside from steroids, what makes muscles grow fast?
Training frequency what truly matters most. How frequent you train a muscle in good form determines the rate of growth more than anything else. So how often should you train each muscle? Current research points to that anywhere between two and three times a week seems to be the sweet spot. This of course depends on the individual, his / her ability to recover and how much time the athlete can dedicate to training.
You can refer to this article on here
What else matters for muscle growth?
Glad you asked. Building tension in the target muscle is just as crucial. All the frequency, sets and reps will not do anything if we are talking garbage reps. What makes a good rep?
A proper rep focuses on bringing origin and insertion of the respective muscle together while only moving one end of the muscle. Imagine a rope, one end fixed and you are trying to shorten it. If both end of the rope could move, there would be no way you could achieve tension.
When does the rep end? It ends once you have achieved mechanical failure, meaning either the speed of the rep or the form breaks down. Please note: we are not talking about complete failure!
Whenever you are starting a movement to flex a muscle, the body registers your intent and nothing else.
What does this mean?
The body will always use whatever muscle you activate first in order to move the weight. The first motion will more or less dictate the quality of the ensuing set. It will also use whatever muscle is currently at a mid range position since that is the strongest position.
Therefore, you must make certain that you are using the muscle you are trying to work, not just move the weight. This will also require you to leave your ego at the gym check in, but after all you are a physique athlete not a weightlifter.
Here are some ideas that have worked well for my clients and myself.
When doing any type of pull always pull from the elbows, not the wrist. This will ensure you are using the lats first, biceps second. Try having a light grip, do not make the exercise into a heavy biceps curl. Chest:
Two things matter most when pressing: 1. You must have an inward intention, which means that you should do not push the bar straight up but try to bend it together. I advise most of my clients to switch to dumbbell and cable work as the inward intentions is easier to keep.
2. Try to imagine that you are pushing yourself into the bench and the weight goes up as a result of it instead of pushing the weight up. Both of these pointers will help you avoid shoulder recruitment.
3. Keep the shoulder blades looked down and back. This goes for all upper body exercises!
Shoulders (front part):
See above: when doing overhead press, always intend to bring the hands together do not just push straight up.
When working on your medial or posterior delts, you should have the elbows lead the motion, not the hands. This will minimize trap and mid back involvement.
When curling keep your wrist neutral and wrap the thumb under the bar. Secondly, skip barbell curls altogether since you can not curl outward
Put the elbow slightly behind the body in order to assure a maximum stretch, use a long rope or a spreader bar so you can get the maximum contraction as well.
Push your hips downward when doing hamstring curls. If you are using the leg press for single leg press, have a downward intention as if trying to slide the heel off the machine to ensure proper hamstring engagement.
Do not change the angle in your knees during calf raises, otherwise they become mini squats and you look funny. A slight bend works best. Also, forget the seated calf raise as it only trains half the muscle.
Building muscle depends on frequency, tension and proper activation of each muscle when training. Sadly the focus today is too much on drugs, fads and supplements. None of the above will do much if the basis are not covered!
So it pays to learn anatomy in order to know how and where the muscle originates. In fact, taking an anatomy class was one of the first things Arnold did upon coming to the States and the results speak for themselves.
Lastly, when it comes to exercise selection do not get pigeonholed. By that I mean, do not fall for ” you must do this exercise” nonsense. You need to judge each exercise on how much tension you can create and it feels. From there on you build your workout while keeping tension, frequency, strength curve and progressive overload.
As you can see, building muscle requires much more than ” lift heavy bro” but the tools in this article should set you on a path to gains!
If you are in the market for a great workout, look not further than here!