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Ways to Build Muscle Mass Quickly

written by: Veronica Sky • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 5/24/2011

Learn about ways to build muscle mass quickly. There are two main components to building muscle mass quickly, lifting weights and a protein rich diet.

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    Eat, Lift, Sleep

    So you want to discover ways to build muscle mass quickly. First, it is important to realize that you are not going to become a body builder overnight. One of the keys to gaining muscle mass is persistence.

    In order to build muscle mass, you must work at pushing your body every day. Once you have made the commitment to building muscle mass, understand that there are two main components to building muscle mass, exercise and diet.

    As you work your muscles, the tissue tears. You need to eat, specifically protein, to fill in these tears. This process is what causes the muscles to increase in size. Throughout this article, we will go through the main components of building muscle mass.

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    Progressive Overload

    This concept is used by exercise gurus everywhere. It basically states that, in order to spur on muscle growth, you must increase the amount of reps or the amount of weight lifted with each progressing workout.

    As we work out, our bodies adapt to the amount of weight we are lifting or the number of reps we are doing. If we stick to the same routine, then there will be no muscle growth. Thus, it is important to continually push the body to new levels. This means increasing weight and reps.

    For this reason, lifting weights is the most effective of the ways to build muscle mass quickly.

    While other forms of exercise such as calisthenics, such as gymnastics, or cardiovascular work, such as aerobics, do build muscle mass, they are not ideal for someone who is solely focused on muscle mass increase because you cannot add increased resistance to these exercises. Your body becomes adapted to the amount of resistance being offered and while your muscles will surely become toned, they won’t increase in mass beyond a certain point.

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    Compound vs Isolation

    There are two main types of weight lifting exercise, compound and isolation. It is important to engage in both types of exercise.

    Compound exercise focuses on moving various parts of the body through one joint movement. For example, squats are considered compound exercises because the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, lower back, and core are all engaged within one movement.

    On the other hand, an isolation exercise is one that engages only one part of the body. For example, biceps curls or quadriceps extensions would be considered isolation exercises.

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    Incorporating Cardiovascular Work into your Routine

    While lifting weights should be increased, cardiovascular work should be decreased. This does not mean cardiovascular work should be totally avoided because cardiovascular work is essential to one’s health as it burns fat.

    Make sure to perform cardiovascular exercises directly after your weight training. It is best to do a high intensity workout for roughly 20 minutes. Too much cardiovascular work will release catabolic hormones, which break down muscle tissue.

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    A Protein Rich Diet

    As stated earlier, the other component of building muscle mass is eating a protein rich diet.The ideal diet for building muscle mass quickly will allow your muscles to increase in mass without adding fat to your body.

    The key is to find foods that are rich in calories but have little saturated fat. Besides protein, you can eat, cereal, biscuits, avocados olives, milk, and yogurt. Examples of food that contain protein are, chicken, steak, eggs, cheese, whey protein powder shakes, seafood, nuts, and seeds.

    In addition to eating plenty of protein, make sure you are drinking enough water. Water is essential for remaining energized for your workout.

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    Sleep: the third component

    Besides eating and lifting, sleep is an important factor to building muscle mass quickly. When we sleep, the body repairs itself and grows. This is because as we sleep, growth hormone is released, the metabolic rate slows allowing muscle to repair and grow, and our blood flow increases, allowing blood to flow back to muscles.

    There are many ways to build muscle mass quickly but all of them involve lifting weights and pushing the body to new levels everyday as well as eating a protein rich diet.

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    References:

    MayoClinic.com: Weight training: Improve your muscular fitness

    MensHealth.com: Muscle Center

    FitnessMagazine.com: Diet and Exercise Plans