Physiology - Different types of muscles
There are many different strength training approaches that promise fast muscle building. while some approaches are scientifically based, others are very controversial. This training guide provides you with the most important scientifically proven training methods to build muscle quickly and effectively. Combined with the right diet, nothing stands in your way of building muscle fast.
Not everyone can build muscle mass at the same speed: in addition to metabolic processes, your body’s ability to build muscle has a lot to do with the distribution of muscle fibers. Regular skeletal muscles are categorized into two types: type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers.
Type 1 muscle fibers are slow-twitch fibers. They are especially important for lower-intensity endurance activities such as jogging or long bike tours. These types of muscles are unable to stimulate muscle hypertrophy i.e.increase your muscle mass and cross-sectional area, although they will make you burn more fat than with short, high-intensity movements. Your endurance is largely dependent on your oxygen supply. This means that your maximum oxygen intake is a limiting factor in your level of endurance.
Type 2 muscle fibers are fast twitching fibers, responsible for high-intensity movements and classic muscle building. These types of muscles are able to stimulate muscle hypertrophy (and therefore increase your muscle mass). The main energy sources for high-intensity movements are adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate which are stored in the muscles. This muscle group gets tired much faster.
Muscle building tips - build muscle quickly and effectively
Especially at the beginning of the summer months, many people want a well-trained, fit body. In order to achieve this goal, body fat percentage has to be reduced and muscle mass has to be built up. Muscles have been a sign of strength and beauty since ancient times. But they do much more than this: muscles make you healthier! They help to keep our musculoskeletal system in good condition and promote stability, which is particularly important in old age. Muscles also have a preventive effect on many diseases, such as diabetes, and their symptoms.
Muscle building tip 1: Regular strength training
This point may sound trivial and obvious, but it is the decisive factor for targeted and fast muscle building. Strength training with your own bodyweight or additional weights stimulates your muscles and destroys part of the muscle structure. In order to be better prepared for new stress to your body in the future, the muscle reacts by growing in thickness i.e. your muscle mass and cross-sectional area (hypertrophy) increases and becomes more efficient overall.
However, if there is no stimulus for a long time, muscle growth stagnates. In the worst case, the body even reacts with atrophy—the loss of skeletal muscle mass— to save energy for the future. Constant strength training is of central importance for fast muscle building. This means you should train every large muscle group in your body at least once or twice a week.
Muscle building tip 2: Progressive increase in work out intensity
The human body adapts remarkably quickly, which is why you must progressively increase the intensity of your strength training if you want to build muscle effectively and quickly. As previously mentioned, muscle growth occurs as a response to mechanical stimulation applied directly to your muscle cells. If the same stimulus acts on your hypertrophied muscle many times, your muscle adapts to that level of stress and it will respond with smaller muscle growth effects. To expose your muscles to a higher level of stress again, you must increase the intensity of your strength training. You can increase the intensity either by training with heavier weights or by increasing or by adding more repetitions to your workout.
In practice, one way to build muscle quickly would be to choose a weight for a particular exercise so that you can do 8-12 repetitions per set. To ensure muscle build-up, you should train with this weight until you can do 12 repetitions per set and then increase the weight until you can do at least 8 repetitions. Tip: a protein shake after training can be easily absorbed by the body and supplies it with important proteins. You can also determine your optimal amount of protein with our BMI Calculator.
Muscle building tip 3: Variation of the exercises
The principle of varying strength training exercises is directly related to the previous topic. The human body not only adapts extremely quickly to training intensity, but also to certain movements. Over time, it learns to perform certain movements more economically without having to use so much muscle strength. To prevent this effect and continue to encourage your body to build muscle quickly, you should replace some exercises from your workout plan with equivalent ones every 6 to 8 weeks. This way you prevent stagnation and increase the effectiveness of your strength training to build muscle mass faster. Our nutrition plans include workout plans suitable for every fitness level – whether you are a beginner or an advanced athlete.
Muscle Building Tip 4: Nutrients for your muscles
How quickly you build muscle is influenced greatly by your diet. If you want to build muscle fast, your focus should be on getting a sufficient supply of proteins, which through protein synthesis serves as a building block for your muscles. Numerous studies show that athletes can make progress in building muscle faster with a higher protein intake than with a lower protein intake. The recommendations vary between 1 and 2 grams of protein a day per kilogram of body weight. At the same time, increased protein intake in the diet can also prevent muscle breakdown.
But you must not overdo it here: an oversupply of micro or macronutrients can also lead to undesirable side effects. Your goal is to cover your nutritional needs with your diet. With an Upfit Nutrition Plan for Muscle Building, you ensure the optimal supply of micro and macronutrients for your body to build muscle fast. You should also make sure you have enough carbohydrates in your diet. These provide you with energy during your workout and ensure that your body builds muscle even more effectively. If you are unsure which and how many nutrients you should consume, our Nutrient Calculator can help you.
Learn more about proteins and how you can use them optimally for muscle building in our article on the biological value of proteins.
Muscle building tip 5: Make sure you have sufficient regeneration
You usually only sleep 5 to 6 hours a night and ask yourself why, despite all the training, you are not getting any muscle-building results? A lack of regeneration can be the cause. Contrary to what many think, your muscles do not grow during training, but in the resting phase afterward. After a workout, your muscles are initially weakened. Only in the subsequent rest phases do they recover from the stress of your workout. The result is stronger muscles.
If your everyday life is particularly stressful or you are not getting enough sleep, your body produces larger amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. This has a catabolic effect and stands in the way of rapid muscle building. In the worst case, it can even have a muscle-reducing effect. To create the optimal conditions for fast muscle building, you should ideally sleep between 7 and 9 hours every night. Also, your everyday life should be as stress-free as possible. Yoga, massages and various relaxation techniques can work wonders here.
At what age can you start strength training?
The widespread misconception that strength training in childhood and adolescence is associated with a high injury rate or growth disorders has been debunked by experts. Just the focus needs to be changed a little. If you are a little younger and have little experience with strength training, there are a few principles to consider. First of all—and this is the most important—performing your exercises properly, with good form should be your number 1 priority. In the beginning, when you are trying to build muscle fast it is easy to get sloppy with the quality of your exercises. Young people, in particular, tend to overestimate themselves.
The result is a defective technique that leads to an increased risk of injury in the long run. At the same time, the effectiveness of your workouts drops, which stands in the way of rapid muscle building. So if you are just starting strength training, it is worth learning how to perform your strength training exercises correctly and safely first. After you master the technique, you can begin training with heavier weights and seeing more results. Apart from that, strength training in adolescence has a lot of positive effects that will pay off your whole life! Just experiment with different strength training approaches and exercises and you will find what you enjoy most.
How long should you work out for?
While some people go to the gym mainly for small talk or to take selfies, you will observe others who work out hard for hours until they are exhausted leaving the studio practically on all fours. So how long should you work out to build up muscle mass as quickly as possible? Ideally, you should spread your workout sessions over several days a week. Depending on your fitness level and the frequency of your workouts, a duration of 30 to 60 minutes is generally ideal. For advanced athletes, a workout session can safely last 90 minutes. Prolonged workout sessions of over 2 hours can hinder your muscle development. The reason for this is fatigue, which ultimately affects your technique and thus the effectiveness of the exercises. Also, the risk of injury increases with extreme fatigue. Be sure to always warm up—no matter how long you train for! Warming up prevents injuries and prepares your muscle for the strain.
What influence do genes have on fast muscle building?
Everyone knows them, everyone envies them. Some people seem to build muscle just by looking at a barbell. You, on the other hand, struggle in the gym every day without seeing any results. Not everyone has the same ratio of type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers. Because of this, some people can build up muscle mass much easier because they have more fast-twitch muscle fibers. But don’t worry: this genetic component is only one of many and should not discourage you too much. Training, nutrition, and regeneration are still the basis for fast muscle building. If you take these factors into account, you are guaranteed success. Don’t try to be better than someone else, instead focus on getting the best out of yourself.
Be careful: There are prescription drugs that affect muscle growth. But avoid taking anabolic steroids and testosterone, unless prescribed to you by a doctor for a medical condition, because they cause many harmful side effects. A natural body is not only healthier, but it also looks better.
The market for fitness products is currently booming with almost every fitness studio offering a wide variety of miracle cures. In addition to the classic protein powder, they offer everything from creatine, to amino acids or protein bars. While some of these may be good additions to your nutrition plan, they cannot replace a healthy, balanced diet or intensive workout sessions. So before you invest tons of money in supplements, work on your diet and training plan.
Overtraining - Can You Exercise Too Much?
The clear answer is: yes. Strength training should be structured. This prevents you from exercising too often, too much, or for too long. Typical signs of overtraining syndrome are loss of motivation and appetite and even depression. A good recovery period is part of every good workout, i.e. both the breaks during your workout and the rest periods until the next workout should be well planned. Because: you can have too much of a good thing—and doing more doesn’t always bring more. You should always try to push yourself to the limit, but at the same time listen to your body and know your personal limits. Going beyond your limits can lead to serious physical injuries.
The muscle memory
Almost everyone has heard of actors who can starve themselves for one role and appear in another film only a few months later as the lead muscle-bound muscle man. Professional athletes, such as boxers, can seem to build muscles overnight to get into a higher weight class. You’re probably asking yourself now: How do they do that? In addition to hard strength training and a disciplined diet, professional athletes and actors take advantage of the effect of “muscle memory”. This is the mechanism of your body that makes it easier for it to return to its original form after a long break in strength training by quickly building muscle. So if you can’t work out for a while due to illness or injury: Don’t worry. Your muscles remember your best form and will get you back in shape in no time.
Build muscle mass fast - Summary
As you can see, the best, scientifically based recommendations for effective and fast muscle building are based on some basic training principles that are equally valid for both beginners and advanced users and can be used almost universally. If you always consider these basic rules, nothing stands in your way of building muscle mass fast and getting your dream body. The Upfit Nutrition Plans automatically calculate all the nutrients you need for fast muscle building. You get delicious recipes for every day that always bring you closer to your goal.
- Stoppani, J. 2016. Krafttraining. Die Enzyklopädie. 1. Auflage. München: riva-Verlag
- Wirth, K.; Schlumberger, A.; Zaweja, M.; Hartmann, H. 2013 Krafttraining im Leistungssport. 2. Auflage. Köln: Sportverlag Strauss