For those of you who are looking to gain muscle quickly, this post will help guide you to a larger, stronger body. I’m going to share with you the top 10 tips that helped me put on 35 pounds of muscle in 4 months during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. At the end of the post I’ll also share the exact training program that helped me do this. It’s a program that I paid $67 for, but it’s now being offered for free, no strings attached.
A little background on me
Many of you have probably noticed that the name of this site is the “Vertical Jump Resource”. I’m a huge basketball fan, and I originally started this site in order to help people improve their vertical jumping ability. However, I’ve now started to branch into other areas of fitness (muscle building, fat loss, etc.), and I decided I’d begin covering those topics a little bit more on the site.
I’ve always been what most people refer to as a “hard gainer”. This means that it has always been difficult for me to put on muscle mass, most likely due to an abnormally high metabolism. I’m sure that there’s a good chance that you are also a hard gainer since you’re reading this post. I wanted to mention this fact about me to let you know that it’s not impossible for skinny people to put on muscle mass (see my pictures below). It just takes a bit more effort. In fact, putting on muscle mass is actually pretty easy once you know how to do it.
Here are a couple of “before and after” pictures of me. One thing I need to explain is that these pictures are a few years apart. I never had the intention of writing a blog post about gaining muscle, so I never took any before pictures. However, my body was exactly the same from the time I was 15 (my age in the left picture) right up until my massive gain of muscle during the summer after my sophomore year.
As you can see, I haven’t turned into a hulking monster since that wasn’t my primary goal. My intention was to put on a bit more size…and that I did. I put on nearly 40 pounds (35 of that was muscle) in about 4 months. In the picture on the left I weighed about 165, and I stayed that exact weight for almost 4 more years until I finally figured out how to gain muscle. Once I figured out the keys to building muscle I shot up from 165 to 205 during those 4 months of training. Pretty amazing if you ask me!
You might be asking yourself if there is anything special about me that allowed me to do this. My answer to that is “No!”. I’m just an average person like you, so there is nothing special about me that allowed me to pack on this much muscle this quickly. Just simple muscle building principles that allowed me to build muscle in a way that I never thought was physically possible.
Top 10 Tips to Build Muscle Fast
Now that I’ve shown you my results, I’d like to cover 10 of the top tips I used to add those 35 pounds of muscle to my body in the short period of 4 months. These tips should help ensure that you see similar gains in your quest to build more muscle! You’ll find even more tips in the program that I’ll introduce to you at the end.
- Use progressive overload – This term refers to the idea of increasing the intensity of each workout. In other words, each time you do a chest workout (for example) you should aim to either increase the weight or increase the number of reps you’re doing. This will help you avoid plateaus and is critical to forcing your body to build muscle.
- Use compound exercises – Squats, deadlifts and bench pressing are all examples of compound exercises. These exercises target multiple muscle groups and are usually the best for building muscle quickly.
- Train your legs – It’s funny how many people neglect to train their legs because they “don’t like to”. If you’re one of these people, you’re going to have to get used to training your legs if you want to gain muscle. Leg workouts help initiate the release of growth hormones in the body which helps the rest of your body grow.
- Drink lots of water – This should be a given, but most people don’t drink enough water. You really need to measure out how much water you drink each day. Try to work your way up to .75 – 1 gallon per day. This is what I was consuming when I put on 35 pounds of muscle. At first it’s going to be a lot, but you’ll be surprised how quickly your body gets used to it.
- Get plenty of rest – Try to sleep about 8 hours each night. This might be tough for some of you, but if you can it will really help your muscle gains. Muscle growth does not occur while we’re working out, it occurs while we are resting. The more you can rest, the better your gains will be.
- Use short workouts – This goes along with the previous tip. I always laugh when I hear people tell me that they work out 2 hours per day but they aren’t seeing any results. The reason they’re not seeing results is because they are working out too much! Your workout should only last 1 hour maximum.
- Eat more calories (healthy food!) – In order to grow, your body needs more calories than it burns. However, this does not mean that you should go out to McDonalds everyday and grab a Big Mac. You should focus on healthy foods. If you’re confused about dieting, don’t worry. The program I’m going to show you has entire meal plans laid out for you step by step.
- Eat plenty of protein – Protein is the building block of muscle growth. Without protein you won’t see any gains. One thing that really helped me is using protein powders since I didn’t always feel like making meals. In case you’re curious, I was using Cytosport Cytogainer. Cookies and Creme is a good choice.
- Bring a pen and paper – If you go back to #1 regarding progressive overload, you’ll see that I said you need to be working harder each time you train a muscle group. The only way you’ll know if you’re working harder is if you write down what you did during each workout. This is very important, and I don’t see many people mentioning this tip. Always write down your reps, sets and weight for every exercise during every workout. Do not try to rely on your memory. It won’t work…trust me.
- Be consistent – Finally, make sure that you hit the gym consistently. Before you start your workout plan, try to pick out your least busy days of the week. This will help ensure that you know when you’re most likely to be able to go the gym before you start getting into a routine. If you work out one week and then take the next week off you’re results will be painfully slow (if you get any at all).
The Free Muscle Building Program I Used to Pack on 35 Pounds of Muscle
Since it would be almost impossible for me to tell you everything you need to know to build muscle fast in a single post, I’m going to share with you the exact training program I used. This is a program that originally sold for $67 (which I paid, and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!) and is now being given away for free. The creator of the program is a guy named Sean Nalewanyj. Some of you may have heard of him. He’s a fitness expert who also went from skinny to muscular in a short period of time. Fortunately, he took the time to sit down and put together a program to teach guys like you and me how he did it. Ladies, you are also welcome to check this program out!
Everything you need to build muscle fast is included in this program. There is nothing to buy or sign up for. It’s just open to the public. I believe Sean has created a new muscle building supplement line, so that’s why he’s now giving away his program for free. So put down your Muscle & Fitness, Iron Mag, Flex, or whatever muscle building magazine you’re reading and click the banner below to get access to a program that actually works. (If the link is broken please leave a comment and let me know)
You’ll see when you get to the program that there are several navigation links at the top of the page. Here’s an overview:
- “The Manual” contains the actual program and all of the information you need regarding building muscle the proper way.
- “The Workout” contains the workout charts you’ll be using. I would print these out (remember I told you to write down everything you do at the gym!).
- “The Meal Plan” contains complete meal plans that are broken down for you based on the number of calories they contain. Feel free to modify these to fit your needs, or to add foods that you prefer.
- “The Supplements” will take you to Sean’s new supplement line. I have not used these before, so I can’t speak to their effectiveness. However, if any of you decide to try them out please report back and leave a comment on your results.
If you have any questions regarding the program or anything in particular regarding my 4 months of explosive growth, please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, please share this page with your friends if you think they’d benefit from it! Thanks very much.