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How to Build Muscle Quickly

5 tips based on scientific evidence.

Use science to understand how to build muscle quickly!

Building muscle is also referred to as hypertrophy in the bodybuilding community. To achieve hypertrophy, a combination of resistance training and proper nutrition is necessary. Resistance training involves performing exercises with weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight, that challenge your muscles and cause microscopic tears in the muscle fibres. As the muscles repair these tears, they become stronger and bigger, leading to hypertrophy over time.

To optimize hypertrophy, it is important to progressively overload the muscles by gradually increasing the weight, volume, and intensity of your workouts over time. Additionally, proper nutrition is important to support muscle growth, including consuming enough protein to provide the building blocks for muscle tissue, as well as sufficient calories to fuel your workouts and support muscle recovery. It is also important to get enough rest and recovery time to allow your muscles to repair and grow between workouts.

5 Ways of Applying Progressive Overload to Force Muscle Growth

The information taken into consideration for this article is based on a video shared by Jeremy Ethier. Jeremy Ethier is a kinesiologist and fitness trainer, co-founder of Built With Science. His YouTube channel has over 5 million subscribers and he delivers clear information with sound background research.

Check out below how Ethier uses science to understand how to build muscle quickly and his 5 tips to achieve that.

How to Build Muscle Quickly

So here are the 5 tips Ethier used to find out how to build muscle quickly. As an encouragement, he gained 20 pounds of lean muscle mass in 16 months with these tips.

1. Stretch-Mediated Hypertrophy

This has to do with training. “Some muscles seem to grow faster from exercises that challenge them the most when they are in a stretched position,” Ehiter says. Which muscles?

  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings

To take advantage of this science-backed research, there are two things you need to keep in mind and they are exercise selection and form.

A short list of good exercises is overhead extensions, preacher curls, behind-the-body cable curls, behind-the-body cable lateral raises, seated leg curls, and Bulgarian split squats.

Regarding form, you might want to lower your weights by 10-20%, make sure you go as deep and stretch the muscle as possible while maintaining good form, and even add a half-second pause at the bottom to stretch the muscle to challenge them much more.

Overhead Tricep Extensions vs Cable Pushdowns: New Research Finds One Builds 40% More Muscle

Source: Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

2. Minimum of 3 Reps to Failure

Research shows that to build muscle you need to challenge your muscle as often as possible while respecting recovery times. And one thing that is crucial to keep making gains is to train to failure.

According to Ethier, you should be doing every set of every exercise about 3 reps to failure or go to failure.

Another research discovered that people often underestimate their max effort and stop shorter than their true “to failure,” usually with more than 3 reps in the tank which can be detrimental to building muscle faster.

The 5 x 5 Training Program to Build Muscle and Strength

3. True Recovery

The actual growth of your muscles happens when they are recovering from the fibre tear and damage you did while lifting weights.

While rest days are your recovery days, that is not the full spectrum. “The most important part of measuring recovery actually has to do with your workout program,” Ethier says.

You still need to train hard and do enough weekly volume to grow, but that doesn’t mean you should be training 6 or 7 times a week. Sometimes changing to a 4-day program, which is what Ethier did, focused his energy towards the days he was training in the gym which gave him more power when lifting.

4. “More Calories” Isn’t Always Better

To build muscle, a person needs to be in a caloric surplus, eating more calories than burning, to fuel the muscles correctly. But, according to Ethier, “more calories” isn’t always better and he talked about one research comparing fast bulk with slow bulk.

In the research, two different groups were in a calorie surplus, but the fast bulk was having 600 calories more than the other group which was also in a surplus. The group with extra calories gained more weight, 5 times more fat, and almost insignificant more muscle compared to the other group.

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So what should you do? Lean bulk, Ethier says. “This is when you purposefully overfeed your body with just a bit more calories than it needs, typically around 10 to 15 per cent above your maintenance calories.”

5. Snowball Effect

When you are no longer a beginner, gaining muscle mass can be incredibly difficult and take ages. What you could gain in two weeks in the past now might take 3 months.

But it is all in the snowball effect, that little gains will accumulate and serve your purpose for your goals at the end of the day. The tip is to not get discouraged by not making enough progress as you used to.

Click on the video below for more information from Ethier himself.

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