What are some nutrition and fitness hacks to build muscle fast?
For starters, we need to recognize that “fast” is a relative term here and needs to be addressed appropriately before engaging in any discussion regarding muscle growth.
Speaking of relative terms, personally, I dislike the term “hack” when it relates to nutrition and fitness. Hack implies bypassing a traditional method of progress in order to save time by using a more efficient method. Furthermore, when we use the term hack, it often is meant to be about something specific and with a finite goal in mind. We use some TicToc approved cleaning hacks to avoid having to vacuum each week. That’s all well and good. The issue is, with health and fitness, rarely is there a better method than the time-tested proven strategies, which unfortunately require consistent, intentional and persistent effort over long durations of time. Doing 10 push ups today is only worthwhile if you do 10 more tomorrow and so on. Doing only 10 push ups today isn’t going to get you the muscle growth you desire, and if you stop doing push ups, you’ll lose the muscle mass you’ve built. Eating healthy today is a great choice for today, and will need to be repeated, daily, if you long to be healthy and see physical changes and bodily capacity improve.
Health and fitness are a life-long journey with the one and only body you have. Your body is the little powerpack of energy, unique to you, and is your first and original place of dominion and responsibility. All our life experiences come to us through our body and in conjunction with it. It is with and through our bodies that we have a time, place, space and context in human history.
Okay, off the soapbox and back to the word “fast”. Fast is relative, and ambiguous. If you want to be jacked by your wedding next Saturday…that’s not going to happen. If you want to be jacked by summer in six months-that’s a much more likely scenario, but even then will be determined by some factors within your control and some beyond your control.
The things that impact muscle-growth that are beyond your ability to change easily include your genetics, age, injury history, movement history, gender, and current body composition. It might seem obvious, but it is worth repeating that a 25 year old with 14% body fat who has been doing sports her whole life will develop muscle mass and definition easier than the 83 year old who just came off three years of chemotherapy.
The things that will impact your muscle growth that are within your capacity of choice is where we need to put our attention. These include:
- Eat Enough Calories. Calories are energy. To build muscle, you need to make sure that you are eating enough calories to fuel hard training, recovery, and muscle growth.
- Eat More Protein. Protein is a muscle building block of nutrients, so you will need them in abundance.
- Lift weights, frequently. Overloading the muscles is how we grow them. Lifting light and heavy weights, with progressive increases, differing rep and set schemes, targeting a wide variety of muscle groups is how we’re going to stimulate the growth we desire.
- Sleep. Get a minimum of six hours of sleep each and every night. Sleep does numerous wonders for our body.
- Engage in multi-joint, compound movements. It is important to curl the biceps to get bicep growth, however, throw in an additional joint like the shoulder, or the hips and we’ll see added bonuses. Exercises like olympic lifting, and gymnastics are great multi-joint, compound movements that will spur muscle growth and definition.
- Rest. Our bodies need rest to recover, to build, to grow, to develop. Give yourself some days and even some weeks off.
Focus less on becoming jacked in three months with hacks and focus more on being jacked throughout the rest of your life, as your life ebbs and flows through a wide variety of circumstances within and beyond your control. Commit to the proven principles over the long haul and not only will you see growth quickly, you’ll have a higher quality of life in that one precious body you have.