Maybe you have a vacation in a couple weeks and you haven’t had the opportunity to exercise. Maybe you are just in a funk and want to kick your ass to get in a better mood. Maybe you just want to try a new thing and weightlifting is the best option. Or maybe you have a sport season coming up and you want to cram a lot of gains in a short period of time. If you fall in any of these scenarios, then I have been in your shoes before. I want to share what I’ve done that has helped myself add muscle very quickly in a short period of time.
First things first. If you are entirely out of shape, then this may not be for you. This is for those who tend to stay in relatively good shape, but haven’t been able to exercise lately due to various reasons. This is for those who have been sidelined for a couple weeks and now want to add back serious muscle quickly.
The number one thing to keep in mind when going through an intense weightlifting regimen is the nutrition. If your body doesn’t have the tools it needs to rebuild, then it simply won’t. You will need lots of protein. This is obvious for any serious weightlifter. I don’t believe super high protein diets are good for you in the long haul, but if we’re only talking about a couple weeks to pack on the muscle, then protein is our best friend for that. The next thing to keep in mind is to keep away from junk food. Whether it be fast food or sugar, if you are serious about your short term transformation then this should be easy to cut out for the time being. Stick to high quality meats and fish for protein and fat sources. And as always, be sure to include a large portion of vegetables with your meals. Vegetables are the unsung hero in muscle gain because the nutrients in vegetables help with homeostasis in the body. Thus, keeping it running the way it’s supposed to. It helps you absorb good nutrients and flush out waste your body will inevitably produce during this intense short cycle.
The next thing to keep in mind is your water consumption. Try to drink a gallon of water a day. If you can’t drink a gallon, then drink as much as you can without interfering with your meals. The reason behind this is to flush out toxins and waste. Your body needs to burn fuel to produce muscle. And when you burn fuel, you get waste and toxins. Too much waste, like when you burn a lot of fuel to produce a lot of muscle, and your body will not be able to excrete the waste fast enough. This will cause the waste and toxins to circulate in your body which is bad for your gains and even worse for your overall health. One major toxin to be careful of when adding muscle quickly is creatinine. This byproduct builds up as muscle is produced. And if you produce too much of this toxin, then your body won’t get rid of it fast enough. This toxin in particular is very bad for the kidneys if you don’t get rid of this fast enough. The best way to get rid of this byproduct is by drinking lots of water to flush out your system, and by efficient rest. Which leads us to the next topic. Sleep.
Sleep is everything when it comes to muscle growth. Inefficient sleep and your body will not be able to recover properly. You need sleep to produce muscle. Your body produces testosterone and growth hormone when you sleep. So get to bed at a reasonable time.
Now finally, we can talk about what to do in the gym. We touch on this topic last because this subject needs less attention than the others. If you already are a gym-goer, then your routine itself won’t change much. Keep doing the exercises you’ve been doing, but just ramp up the intensity as much as you can. It’s important to go until absolute failure for every single exercise that you do. If you want to push yourself even further, then you can go to absolute failure for every set of every exercise that you do. Just make sure you do a proper warm up before you go until failure. Going to failure on the last rep will ensure you are using your maximum effort to lift the weight. This will get you the best results since it’s the most you can do. And you can’t do more than you can do. So mix in heavy weight in the beginning of the exercise, then lighter weight towards the end of the workout. I like to start with heavy compound Olympic exercises in the beginning, while going to lighter and more concentrated exercises as the workout progresses. Eventually I’ll end up doing a body exercise for my last exercise. Again, in each case, go to failure to get the best results. No matter what the exercise is.
Yes, lifting is important for quick gains in the gym. But equally important is what you do outside of the gym. Proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep are all key factors for any fitness routine. But if you really want to add on gains quickly, then these factors need to be perfect. When you are in the gym, make sure to add a wide variety of exercises, like heavy compound movements and light concentration movements. Whenever you are weightlifting, lifting until failure will always be your best strategy for the best results. Stay focused and you will add on the muscle very quickly.