So you want to know how to build muscle fast. But what does it take to craft the bulging biceps, cannonball delts, firm glutes, and six-pack abs of your dreams?
We’ve got to be real with you — the answer is time, dedication, and hard work. Here’s the good news, though: By setting a solid foundation and following the tips below, you can be well on your way to growing strong, healthy, functional muscle.
Best 9 Tips to Build Muscle Fast
1. Ease In
“Sometimes less is more, especially when you’re new to resistance training,” says Kellie Davis, strength coach and co-author of “Strong Curves.”
“It’s easy to want to go all-in, but that’s the quickest route to injury and burn out,” she says. Instead, it’s best to gradually work your way into a new routine, allowing for ample rest and recovery time (more on that in a bit).
2. Save Macro Counting for Later
Before tackling more complex nutritional concepts, make a concerted effort to eat healthy foods to provide the energy to get through a lifting session and grow and repair your muscles after you put in the work.
Davis suggests slowly taking out the foods you know do not contribute to your overall wellness like highly processed foods and then add in more fresh, whole foods.
“Once you get really dialed in around food awareness, you can start to invite more complicated tasks like counting macros,” Davis says.
3. Eat Plenty of Protein
To build muscle, you’ll need to focus on getting enough high-quality protein in your diet. The daily recommended intake (DRI) for sedentary adults is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.
(Not sure what that shakes out to? Try this DRI calculator.)
But once you add exercise into the mix, protein requirements go up. High-protein foods include chicken, turkey, eggs, cheese, and yogurt. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can build muscle with the help of plenty of tasty and versatile plant-based protein options from nuts and seeds to legumes and soy products like tofu and tempeh.
Whether you’re a plant-based eater or not, Natalie Wallace, MS, RDN, Container Program Nutritionist at Beachbody suggests eating plant-based protein sources to make sure you’re getting enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your diet. For another quick and portable way to bump up your protein consumption, a nutritional supplement like Beachbody Performance Recover can help you hit your daily protein goals.