Is it possible to build muscle fast? It took me years to gain some size and eventually my gains stopped altogether. However, in my recent lean bulk, I implemented a handful of new research-backed muscle growth techniques and managed to gain a lean 20 lbs in 16 months. By far my best bulking transformation and my fastest muscle gains since the early days. So, if you’re interested in learning how to gain muscle fast and how to bulk up fast, check out the 5 things I did to build muscle.
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Number 1: my training. There’s a really exciting new area of research called “stretch-mediated hypertrophy”. Some muscles seem to grow faster from exercises that challenge them the most when they’re in a stretched position. So, to take advantage of this and build muscle fast, there’s two things I did. First, in my weekly routine, I made sure I was doing at least one exercise that really challenged each muscle in a stretched position. Second, I emphasized the stretch by lightening the weight and trying to go as deep as I could with good form. For some exercises like presses and squats I also added a half second pause at the bottom.
Next, to maximize muscle growth, you need to get at least within 3 reps of failure. Now even though I was aware of this, I’ll be honest after I built up a decent amount of muscle I just got comfortable. It wasn’t until I started pushing myself close enough to TRUE failure that I started really seeing my growth take off. This won’t be comfortable and it never gets easier. But there are a few things I did that helped. First, I changed my mindset toward the pain. I simply view it as a sensation and I now link that feeling of pain with growth. Second, I always take at least a few seconds to just close my eyes and mentally prepare myself for the next set. It’s so easy to let your mind get distracted when you’re working out and start scrolling through social media. But to push to the levels required to truly force your muscles to grow, you need to get locked in and that happens before you’ve even started your set.
Next, recovery. Your workouts are what provide the stimulus for your muscles to grow, but the actual growth happens when they’re resting and recovering. For years I would always train at least 5, 6, and sometimes even 7 days a week. When I was younger I could do this no problem. But overtime it became too much. I stopped looking forward to my workouts, had low energy, and my muscles just didn’t recover very well. So I cut down my workouts to just 5 per week and recently cut it down even more to just 4 slightly longer workouts per week with the occasional accessory day. Almost instantly after making this switch I felt MUCH better day to day and a lot more energized going into my workouts. And I definitely noticed my muscles recovered and grew a lot better as a result. Don’t get me wrong you still need to train hard and you still need to do enough weekly volume to grow; at least 8-10 sets per muscle weekly. But more isn’t always better.
Now, all that training wouldn’t have done much to build muscle if I didn’t modify my bulking diet. To maximize growth, you probably need to be eating in a calorie surplus in your bulking meal plan. But just like with workout volume, more calories isn’t always better. So what I did was a “lean bulk”. This is when you purposefully overfeed your body with just a bit more than it needs, typically around 10-15% above your maintenance calories. However, even with a lean bulk, you probably will still gain some fat. In the past I’d always go back to dieting whenever I saw a bit of fat gain and so I never really progressed. This time I decided to stick through it and I’m telling you it paid off tremendously. So shift your mindset and think of it as a long term investment.
So tip number 5 when it comes to how to gain muscle fast was probably the hardest thing to implement. You see, fat loss is a relatively fast process. You can easily lose 1-2 lbs of pure fat per week. But in comparison, once you’re past the beginner stage of training, it can take several months to gain even just 1 lb of muscle. I mean I gained 20 lbs but not all of that was muscle and it took me almost a year and a half to do. But don’t let this discourage you. The small gains you make week to week will overtime amount to big noticeable changes. So be patient and trust the process.
0:00 – Lean Bulk Transformation
0:17 – Training
2:55 – Effort
4:54 – Recovery
6:21 – Diet
8:09 – Time
26 thoughts on “How I Built Muscle FAST (Using New Research)”
Hope you enjoyed this one! You’re capable of so much more than you realize if you just stay consistent and trust the process. See below for links to the studies I mentioned! Cheers!
BICEPS GROWTH ON PREACHER CURLS VS INCLINE CURLS
STRETCH-MEDIATED HYPERTROPHY FOR BICEPS
TRICEPS GROWTH ON OVERHEAD EXTENSIONS VS NORMAL TRICEPS PUSHDOWNS
OPTIMAL PROXIMITY TO FAILURE
UNDERESTIMATION OF PROXIMITY TO FAILURE
OPTIMAL TRAINING VOLUME FOR HYPERTROPHY
THE NECESSITY OF A CALORIE SURPLUS FOR MUSCLE GROWTH
FAT GAIN ON FAST BULK VS LEAN BULK
Majored in kinensiology and that made me gravitate towards your videos, ever since my college years. Thanks for the help and keep it up.
Great vid! What bodyfat % were you on before and after this 16mo lean bulk?
Thanks for delivering that very useful contents
Quality content as always.
Hey Jeremy! Can you give us more examples of these kind of exercises to put your muscles in a stretched position, to get these results!? Thanks a lot!!
buy the program
@VisualGamerBF sush I want a video
@VisualGamerBF you buy the program lol
Just go by feel, whatever exercise you’re doing make sure you feel a good stretch before contracting again
John Meadows was a huge fan of stretch training. Rip to the legend.
Wow this is a very excellent and brilliant video bro telling about this topic and about how you built muscles fast and you are doing a excellent work for all of us who want to build muscle and keep it up
Great video! Really enjoyed the time spent on “Effort”. Those indorphenes that happen when pushing yourself to failure is such a great feeling.
Bro! I’ve been experiencing the same thing ever since science youtubers came with the stretched position literature. I wouldn’t say I gained 20 lbs (don’t have a scale so idk) but what I’m seeing in the mirror is pretty insane. Been lifting for 5 years and I feel like I’m making similar progress comparable to my 2nd year of training in these last few months.
Great video Jeremy. I have done the same thing, but over the last month – less volume and higher intensity. Before I found that I could easily do 25–30 sets for my chest, but now just doing 12-14 sets a week with more sets to failure, my progress is a lot more consistent. Also, not feeling like a need a deload is great too!
I really appreciate the greater focus on volume lifted per muscle group per week as a measurement of how much to train for muscle grow. I’ve only recently started getting into working out and oh man is it extremely confusing to get into lifting as a complete beginner. At my home location you get the generic advice of ‘do 3 sets of 15 reps, if that’s too easy up the weight’ which for someone like me who wants to know a bit more about the underlying reasoning of such advice wasn’t enough.
I’d also love to get some more advice on set quantity differences between muscle groups. Multiple times now I’ve seen workout programs of other youtubers and pro lifters who have varying amounts of sets between their exercises and I’m still not sure why they do this. I remember hearing somewhere (could’ve been one of your videos) that certain bigger muscles are able to withstand more fatigue so maybe it’s got to do with that? But I’m not sure.
would be really happy if Jeremy make a new push pull leg routine (update version)
This is why training to failure occasionally is very important. It shows us where our failure points actually are.
Fitness and Jeremy are just synonyms , he is the best and always stays relevant. Greatful to you always
Turely inspirational. I’ve been following you for about 3 years. Your advice has been very useful and even transformational for me. Thanks!!!
If you wanna bulk up you just eat more it’ll translate in more power in the gym therefore more gains. In his case he seemed to eat less than he should cos he had to drop the weights down, but if he just upsized his food he’d be gaining muscle as well.
Its three variables that works always synergistically, food, strength or power and size.
You are absolutely true brother….I used to train 6 days a week with no increase in strength and increased fatigue….once I dropped it from 6 days to 4 days my recovery shooted up , my strength shooted up, my muscle increased ….I then understood to Just listen to your body not the bookish number of fixed sets to increase muscle…..
I had noticed in the recent videos that you looked like you were on a bulk. Honestly, I thought you just looked better overall: stronger and healthier.
Bro dont stress about how you look for Youtube. Your videos are seriously helpful and inspirational for a lot of people. Thanks for always putting out quality content and for always being honest and real. We all appreciate it.
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