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A number of fitness training programs and self-help books are available that promise to help build muscle fast. The advice offered is often contradictory, and much of it can seem to be a matter of opinion or personal preference. There are, however, some basic guidelines that most experts agree can help you build muscle fast. A regimen of weightlifting, exercise, a healthy diet, proper hydration and adequate rest can help you achieve this goal.
Strength training is essential for beginning bodybuilders, providing the foundation on which to build. Without this strong foundation, the muscles cannot take the strain of a workout, and injury is likely. Weightlifting is an effective method of strength training as well as helping to build muscle fast. Free weights are recommended over weightlifting machines, primarily because of their versatility and because they allow for a natural range of motion. Simple calisthenic exercises such as push-ups and crunches are a cheap and easy way to get effective strength training.
In order to build muscle fast, each workout should be more difficult than the one before. For the best results, some experts suggest that either the number of reps or the amount of weight being lifted should be increased each time. This principle, referred to as progressive overload, forces the body to gain muscle mass in order to adapt to increasing challenges.
When lifting weights, compound exercises that use several muscle groups are preferred over isolation exercises. Squats are especially effective for building overall muscle mass. For peak efficiency, the weight should be light enough to complete at least eight reps but too heavy to complete more than 12 reps in a set. A workout should consist of between six and nine sets of exercises that combine to work the entire body.
Diet is another important aspect of achieving muscle growth. In order to build muscle fast, you will need plenty of protein, but carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables and fats are also needed for energy and nutrients. Muscle mass increase will require that more high-protein, high-calorie food is consumed in a day, with as many as six meals recommended each day.
Adequate hydration is critical if you want to build muscle fast. Water keeps the body cool, even with all of those calories burning, and helps the muscles recover from the workout. Bodybuilders should drink plenty of water during exercise and with meals, getting about 12 glasses of water daily.
Rest should not be overlooked as an essential part of an exercise program. Growth hormones work at peak levels during sleep, and eight hours each night is ideal for most people. Waking rest time is important as well, because muscle growth takes place during rest after the workout.