Are you looking for information about How to Bulk up Muscle Fast?
You are in the right place and in good hands, my friend because I’ve been bodybuilding for almost all of my conscious life and I’m here for you to pass you all my knowledge and experience.
Putting on serious muscle mass is especially difficult for skinny guys or, in other words, Ectomorphs. If you don’t know what body type you have, make sure to check out my other post Work out Your Body Type – Work Hard, but Smart!
But if you already know for sure that you are Ectomorph who is having difficulties with building up a muscular body, check out my other post How to Gain Muscle for Skinny Guys – Diet&Training Tips.
I’m a Mesomorph with a super-rapid metabolism so I have always struggled to see those mass gains when I first started my weightlifting journey until I have figured out what I need to do and the main pieces of the puzzle have come together for me.
So, in today’s post, I’ll share with you the main tips for bulking up muscle fast for beginners.
How Can I Bulk up Muscle Fast?
Most probably, I’ll tell you things here you already know. And that’s because this is what really works and I’ll tell you why. Let’s analyze all the components of successful bodybuilding: training, nutrition, and rest.
In order for you and me to gain muscle mass, there are literally only three principles to follow. Without these, muscle building is simply impossible.
After approximately 48-72 hours you’ve finished your workout, muscle protein synthesis increases in your body, and this the period of time when your body recovers and builds more muscle if you nourish it with the right nutrition and good rest.
In addition to training, muscles require a building material – amino acids from protein supplied with food.
You can take protein from a number of sources, including:
- Meat (steak, bison, pork);
- Fowl (chicken, turkey, duck);
- Cheese and Dairy;
- Fish and shellfish (salmon, tuna, shrimp);
- Legumes (black beans, chickpeas);
- Vegetarian protein sources like beans and tofu.
Carbohydrates are equally important: without them, you won’t have enough hormones for muscle growth. I have a dedicated blog post about Carbs in Bodybuilding – Which Ones are the Best for Your Muscle Growth?
For your convenience, I’ll include here foods full of carbohydrates you can prioritize for bulking up:
- Legumes and lentils
- Sweet potatoes
- Regular potatoes
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole grain bread
Next, come fats, and these are a useful component of a balanced diet. Some people may think that it is harmful to eat fats, but this is nothing than a delusion!
Among fats, there are healthy and unhealthy fats, and these are the latter ones you want to avoid.
Healthy fat can be found in foods like:
- Macadamia nuts
- Olive oil
- Almond butter
- Peanut butter
- Whole milk
- Full fat dairy
- Coconut oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Fatty cuts of meat
Over time, the body adapts to the load and uses fewer and fewer muscle fibers to perform the same exercises.
The muscles don’t get the stimulus they need and growth stops. Therefore, so that progress doesn’t stop, you need to regularly increase the load.
Sleep is critical to building muscle. Its deficiency increases the production of cortisol, reduces the level of testosterone and insulin-like growth factor.
In consequence, all of this decreases protein synthesis and increases muscle breakdown. Therefore, sleep AT LEAST 7 hours a day.
If you can’t get enough sleep at night, take a nap during the day. Scientific studies show that a 30-minute nap reduces the harm from sleep deprivation and improves performance in sports.
What Should I Eat to Bulk up Fast? – Required Amounts for Proteins, Carbs, and Fats + Sources
If you are a thin person with low body fat, add 15% calories to your daily requirement.
For example, if according to Mifflin-St Jeor Equation, you need to consume 2,000 kcal per day, increase this value to 2,200 kcal.
If in two weeks of such a diet the weight has not gone up, add another 15%.
On the other hand, if you are overweight, you can do alright without this kind of increase. In this case, it’s much better to include more protein in your diet and give your best in strength training.
Muscle mass will grow more slowly than with a calorie surplus, but the good news is that you will not gain fat.
To gain muscle mass, you want to consume between 1.8 to 2.0 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight. That is, if your weight is 80 kg, you need to eat between 144 and 160 g of protein daily.
One important thing to remember here is that high-protein diets are contraindicated in people with kidney disease.
Therefore, before increasing the amount of this element in the diet, it’s highly recommended to consult a physician or nutritionist.
To calculate the remaining macronutrients, follow a simple chart for gaining muscle mass: 25% of calories from protein, 60% from carbohydrates, and 15% from fat.
For example, a person weighing 80 kg requires about 2,500 kcal. So, 625 kcal must come from protein (152 g), 1,500 kcal from carbohydrates (365 g), and 375 kcal from fat (41 g).
Eat 3-6 times a day, including at least 20-25 g of protein with each meal.
If you’re having trouble getting enough protein from foods, you can make up the difference with protein powder. It does not contain carbohydrates or fats, it just needs to be diluted in water or milk.
For those who have difficulties gaining their daily calorie intake, weight gainers are suitable. These are cocktails with a mixture of proteins and carbohydrates.
Should I Eat Immediately After Workout?
I got asked this question quite often. And the answer to this question is that it’s not necessarily. The most important thing here is to not let pass more than 3-4 hours between two protein meals.
In other words, if you had lunch 1.5–2 hours before training, and then worked out for an hour, you have at least another hour to get home and eat.
In this case, the anabolic response will be no less than if you ate meat right in the locker room.
How Long Does it Take to Bulk up Muscle?
Gaining muscle mass is the big dream of gym beginners, and not only. To quickly build up the desired volume, become stronger, more prominent, and look better is a worthy goal.
But it’s difficult to say the exact time of its achievement. Human bodies are subject to many genetic and physiological laws.
We all lead a different way of life, and we have peculiarities of diet, assimilation of food, training regime, and rest.
Still, people keep asking me all the time how long it takes to actually build, how much you can gain, and where is the limit to muscle growth.
Let me tell you that answers to questions are more important than you think.
If you know scientifically-based answers to questions about the speed of pumping muscles, you can get rid of illusions and make fewer mistakes in the process of working on your body.
High expectations in the gym very often cause injury, frustration, and premature transition to anabolic steroid use.
We read articles which tell all kind of stories how this or that actor gained 12 kg of lean muscles in 3 months, and we think that at lower speeds, one should not even hope for adequate results in the gym.
It’s good if a beginner just keeps on learning the basic exercises and complaints about the fact that he is, unfortunately, not Wolverine.
And what if he starts buying useless supplements for muscle growth, purchasing diets from “Instagram gurus”, and eating everything from a gainer to grandma’s cottage cheese with jam.
What will he get in the end? Upset stomach at best. Excess fat, and liver and kidney problems at worst.
Useless supplements siphon off a lot of money, a person begins to think that the gym is the lot of the rich, and, as a result, falls back on his favorite sofa.
Should I mention that, as a result, health does not improve at all, and might even worsen, and self-esteem collapses to the ground.
Will you feel better if I told you that things are even more difficult for girls?
They dream of having rounded buttocks, toned hips, and beautifully traced back and shoulders, but they do not want to look like professional bodybuilding athletes, for the most part.
Many people really believe that huge “masculine” muscles do not grow from a combination of hard training, anabolic steroids, and a certain diet, but simply from the very fact of doing squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
That is why the fitness industry offers a new “muscle tightening” program every day.
As a result, many hours that could be spent effectively in the gym are wasted on the next nonsense, which, at best, strengthens the cardiovascular system, and at worst, simply increases appetite without giving any significant stimulus to muscle growth.
That being said, knowing the real rates of muscle growth saves you time and money, and simplifies the task for your mind.
Gaining muscle mass is not a priority subject of research by medical scientists. Today there are only a few scientifically based positions on this topic.
A fairly well-known experiment by Arthur Jones showed that a healthy man without the use of anabolic steroids and subject to adequate nutrition, recovery, and hard training to failure is able to gain no more than 8 kg of muscle in a training cycle of 12 weeks.
It was about initially strong and athletic people who were not overweight.
Biologists say that in a lifetime you can gain:
- Approximately 22 kg if you are a man;
- About 12 kg if you are a woman.
So, why then professional bodybuilders deny this? The answer is simple – anabolic steroids. These accelerate protein synthesis, allow you to build up volumes and mass more than nature provides for a particular person.
But you need to understand that the use of such substances has side effects for both men and women, and is not justified for health fitness purposes.
There are also other data: a man can add about 100 g of muscle mass per week with an ideally built regimen, while a woman – about 50 g.
It is sometimes said that the maximum gains for men over a 12-week training cycle are about 6 kg, for women – 2 -3 kg, in this case, we mean the total body weight and not just muscles.
It’s important to bear in mind that weight gain can be more significant, since with excess nutrition, not only muscle mass grows, but also a person’s body fat.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Average values are valid for the so-called average genetic giftedness.
There are people who can gain more and faster and those who can gain less. Usually insignificant indicators of the set are compensated by the fact that a person practically does not add in the body fat.
Therefore, Ectomorphs can be lean and embossed with fewer muscles, and Endomorphs can spend considerable energy on reducing the body fat, but still look “damp”.
How Long Does it Take to Pump up in Reality?
So, we found out the maximum indicators of muscle gain. Now, let’s figure out how fast can you gain muscle in reality?
- Average for Men: from 100 to 200 grams of muscle per week (this is about 0.5-1 kilograms per month);
- Average for Women: 50 to 100 grams of muscle per week (this is about 200-500 grams per month).
Does such a set occur in reality? Usually, people gain more or less. There are many factors that affect this such as dietary style, the amount of salt in the diet, the ratio of macronutrients, the amount and quality of carbohydrates.
In addition, weight is influenced by stress levels, hormonal surges in women, medication intake, and even the thing like a common cold.
Sometimes people cannot gain even a gram simply because they are exposed to work and family stress, and stress increases calorie expenditure.
Some suffer from a lack of sleep, and some – because of its quality. Therefore, calculating weight gain in advance is a rather difficult job.
The above-mentioned works well in theory. In practice though, muscle growth factors and their ratio can change significantly under the influence of various conditions. These include:
Cultural reticence about the fact that anabolic steroids accelerate protein synthesis several times allows online trainers around the world to sell 12-week programs of crazy muscle growth.
Anabolics are banned in most countries of the world, but not for personal use, but for distribution. They have side effects, but they will never leave the world of bodybuilding and fitness, as only steroids help to really pump up quickly.
If you see someone completely change their physique literally in 3 months, it is very likely that they were taking steroids.
Beginners can actually build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. At the same time, the mass gain will be really at high-speed, in the first year, many gain up to 5-10 kg, and then this progress slows down.
The more experience you have, the slower the progress is. But if, for example, a person leaves the gym for some life circumstances, when coming back again, he/she will return results faster.
It is believed that with each mass-dry cycle, progress only slows down in growth, and it will be easier to dry because experienced athletes look better than beginners.
The fate is unfair with some people who cannot gain even a couple of kilos, provided that eating and training are like a professional athlete.
But there are also Mesomorphs who look like people using steroids, but they themselves only exercise 3 times a week, and regularly eat just normal food.
Unfortunately, the genetic predisposition to certain sports is not fiction, but reality.
Hormonal balance, the bone structure of the body, the number of muscle fibers, the tendency to gain body fat and the rate of metabolic processes, as well as the number of digestive enzymes, the characteristics of the central nervous system, and the speed of reactions – all these matters when it comes to the speed of pumping muscles.
Really, the hormonal explosion characteristic of youth must be used to its fullest. Testosterone levels can drop in adulthood, so the rate of muscle recruitment will be slower.
Young athletes have not only a higher level of anabolic hormones but also better work out the load of the central nervous system.
Therefore, those who played sports before the age of 20 gain muscle easier in the future. Neuromuscular connections are developed, and the person only needs to slightly adjust the training volumes and loads.
It is believed that you can effectively engage in natural bodybuilding from the age of 15. It’s not recommended starting earlier (as I did, at the age of 13) because it can interfere with the body’s natural growth process.
It is impossible to gain muscle if there are not enough training stimulus for their growth and quality nutrition for body recovery and protein synthesis.
There are many factors that matter, but usually, the meaning of the workout program is that it should be suitable for a specific person for his lifestyle, movement characteristics, and training level.
Many beginners use ready-made training plans from bodybuilding magazines and do not succeed, unfortunately.
They go to the gym 5-6 times a week, they firmly believe in the need to do cardio and perform some special exercises, but everything is quite simple.
A huge training volume only increases calorie expenditure and does not allow the central nervous system to “digest” the load.
As a result, the level of hormones drops, catabolic processes increase, regular food is not enough for recovery, and instead of mass, a person gets fatigued injuries, and rather small muscles.
The main rule of training for a natural athlete is less volume, more working weight, and more multi-joint movements.
In the diet, you should keep a proportion of about 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, and 5-6 g of carbohydrates.
Moreover, the latter should not only be simple and be drawn from sugar and fruits. Pasta, potatoes, rice, and buckwheat – these are the basis of the diet of a natural athlete looking to put on serious mass.
It is important to eat enough fat for the hormonal system to function properly. But they should not be more than 1.5 g per kilogram of bodyweight so that a person does not experience problems with digestion.
Another most common question is are there “most working” universal programs for gaining mass?
The answer is No, everything needs to be selected individually. For some, more frequent workouts with an average weight are suitable, for others, you really need to do one failure approach to generate enough muscle growth stimulus.
There are athletes who grow well solely from power schemes, there are from multi-repetitions. Nutrition is also not so simple, someone does not tolerate gluten, someone can eat everything, there are individual preferences.
That’s why the point of coaching is to analyze specifically the individual characteristics of an athlete and select a good program for them.
I hope this post about How to Bulk up Muscles Fast was useful for you. If you have any more questions left, please leave them in the comments section down below, and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for reading my blog and until next time!