Do you need an edge in gaining muscle mass? These 19 tips are proven to make your efforts to build muscle work faster. Learn how to hack training, rest, and eat to hack muscle growth naturally.
Hacking Muscle Growth Naturally
You know your body is very complex and works as a whole system. So if you want to build muscle fast and naturally you will need to focus on the body as a whole. Every part of your body plays a part in your ability to exercise, diet, rest, and build muscle. For these reasons, if you truly want to hack muscle growth naturally you must do all the 19 tips. There will be no claims for your results, everyone’s body is different and some people can build muscle faster than others. What I will guarantee is that if you use these tips with a resistance training program, you will build more muscle than if you don’t.
1. Preventing Injuries Will Enable You to Achieve Muscle Growth
You want to build muscle and not get hurt. So, when you are building muscle you need to also consider your tendons, joints, ligaments, and bones not just your muscles. The stronger your muscles are the stronger your bones need to be as well. Additionally, to prevent injuries, you need to perform the right exercises correctly. This will allow you to build muscle and prevent injuries. Likewise exercising consistently at the right frequency is also very important and plays directly in with resting, which is also required to build muscle.
2. Focusing on Your Technique will Prevent Injuries
The type of exercise that builds muscle the fastest and most efficiently is resistance training (Weight Lifting). Furthermore, the most effective resistance training involves lifting heavy weights at your body’s limits. If you are not convinced that while building muscle you need to focus on safety and injury prevention watch this video. This is Franco Columbu injuring his leg in the refrigerator race during World’s Strongest Man Competition in 1977.
Franco Columbu World’s Strongest Man Competition 1977
3. Focusing on Technique Will Build Muscle Faster
Have you ever seen someone contorting their body to get that last couple of reps in? Or swinging their body to get momentum to lift more weight? These people look like fools to those who are familiar with weight training. Additionally, they are more likely to injure themselves and not reach their goals for muscle growth. The goal of weight lifting for muscle growth is to fatigue your muscles. Most importantly you want to fatigue your muscle safely. It is better to do a drop set with good form than lift one more with bad form.
4. Resistance Training is Your Key Exercise Method to Hack Muscle Growth Naturally
This seems like common knowledge but the fastest way to build large muscles is through resistance training, specifically weight lifting. Now you can do other types of resistance training to build muscle such as resistance bands and body weight workouts. You can start with these other methods of resistance training, but eventually, you will not be able to add enough resistance to hack muscle growth naturally. Since you will not be able to add enough resistance you will have to add repetitions (reps) to fatigue your muscles. This is a way to increase strength, but will not grow your muscles as fast.
— Hacking Vitality (@HackingVitality) September 12, 2018
5. Failure is the Fastest Way to Success in Muscle Growth
If you really want to grow some mass fast you need to exercise your muscles to failure. Your goal at the gym should be to exercise the muscle group you are trying to grow to failure in a single exercise. building muscle doesn’t require you to do multiple exercises per muscle group. Unfortunately, many people waste hours at the gym thinking they need to do more exercises so they can build muscle faster, but they are wrong. Muscles are built while resting. The point of the exercise is to fatigue your muscle so that your body sends the chemical signals to repair and build your muscle.
6. Lift Slow To Fatigue Your Muscles Faster
You may find this one of the most challenging changes to make. But if you really want to gain mass faster you will make this change. You may have heard that time under tension builds muscle faster. However many people misinterpret this to their own detriment. For that reason, many people perform static hold exercises, which will make you stronger, but is not work the entire muscle. To maximize the fatigue of the entire muscle group you should lift with good technique through the entire range of motion slowly. I like to use a 5-second extension and 5-second contractions with a slight pause in transitions. Doing this you may be lifting less initially. Although you may lift less initially your gains will be much greater if you stick it out.
Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Teach What Exercises You Should Do To Gain Mass
7. Use a Workout Log to Track Your Progress
You must have a way to track your progress and know if you are actually getting stronger. Your log will also push you to put on more weight and do one more rep. If you are going to the gym and not writing down what you are doing, you are probably lifting the same weight every time. When you are building muscle the goal is to lift more weight every time. I use Gym Log+ on my iPhone. It is a great app with a lot of tracking features. This app is easy to use consistently, but you have to set up your workouts in it before you go to the gym. You should plan your workouts before you go to the gym anyway, even if you are using a notepad and pencil to track your progress.
8. Recovery and Rest are Required
Your muscles do not grow at the gym. You can get pumped up at the gym, with muscles full of blood and fluid. But your muscle grows during rest and recovery. Your recovery between sets is not that important compared to days between similar muscle group resistance training. Once you know how much weight you can lift using a 5 and 5 cadence to failure in 6-12 reps, then you are ready to build muscle. If you are just starting out lifting, you should only do one set to failure. Don’t add additional sets to failure until you reach a plateau, then it is time for a change.
9. Sore Muscles are Growing Muscles
Your recovery time will have a lot to do with your age. Sorry, the older you are the longer rest and the sorer your muscles will be. When you are young you have more active hormone glands and your body will naturally recover faster. I typically don’t get sore until the day after I lift hard. Sometimes if I haven’t worked out in a while it will be even worse on the third day. The key is to let those muscles fully recover before you lift that muscle group to failure again.
10. Dynamic and Static Stretching Will Reduce Soreness and Recovery
Your muscles will feel sore from the Latic Acid that is released by your muscles when they are growing. If your muscles feel sore immediately after you exercise or you have pain in your muscle more than just fatigue, something is wrong. In fact, you shouldn’t feel sore until all the endorphins your body releases during exercise have worn off. While these endorphins are flowing is a great time to help rid your body of some of the Latic Acid by doing some dynamic stretching. You should also do static stretching after your workout to maintain and increase your flexibility. If you don’t do this your recovery will take longer and you will become “muscle-bound.”
11. Dynamic Stretching Before Your Workout Will Prevent Injuries
Having a go-to dynamic stretching routine can do a lot to help your muscle growth naturally. A good routine will take less than 5 minutes. Additionally, it will get your heart pumping to all of the muscles you intend to work. This is typically called a warmup. If you have a go-to warmup it will help your body psychologically as well. If you do the same warmup then workout, your body will quickly associate the warmup with preparing the body for strenuous exercise. When your body is prepared you are less likely to get an injury like a pulled muscle.
Here is a Good Basic Static Stretch Routine That Only Takes 4 Minutes
12. Take Cold/Hot Showers
We all want to shower after a good workout. You can actually use this to help your body recover faster. There are many benefits to both cold and hot showers. One way to hack muscle growth naturally with a shower can help you recover faster and flush some of the lactic acids from your muscles. The hack is to take both cold and hot showers in a cycle. Take a shower with the water as cold as you can for about a minute then switch to as hot as you can for another minute. Continue rinsing and repeat for a few more cycles. This will constrict and open your blood vessels helping pump out the toxins and waste products of your workout.
13. Natural Muscle Growth Requires a Lot of Nutrition
You are going to need to eat a lot to grow muscles. Let’s face it building muscle is gaining weight and we have all heard that muscle weighs more than fat. I will say it again your muscles do not grow during exercise but during recovery. Besides exercise and rest to build muscle nutrition is at the top of the list as well. You may find it hard to understand how much you need to eat and for many people trying to build muscle, eating enough is the hardest part. You know the old adage, “you are what you eat.” When you are trying to build muscle naturally, you need to eat a lot of healthy food, rich in protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
14. Consume a Lot of Protein, the Building Blocks of Your Muscles.
There are so many studies out there and so many opinions on how much protein you need to eat to build muscle. Everyone agrees that you need to eat a lot of protein to enable muscle growth. The expert suggests anywhere from .8-2.5 grams per pound of body weight. The World Health Organization recommends 56 grams for a 137 lb adult to maintain body weight. When trying to hack muscle growth naturally, I try to consume more than 1 gram per pound of lean body weight. So when I weighed 170 lbs at 15% body fat my goal was to consume more than 145 grams of protein a day while building muscle.
170 lbs * (100%-15%) = 144.5 lbs of lean body weight.
15. Stick to Sources Of Complete Protein When Calculating Your Protein Intake
You need complete protein sources, which contain the nine essential amino acids. Your body can produce all the other amino acids that it needs to build muscle. As a result, all you need to do is ensure that you consume enough complete protein. When I am tracking my protein intake, I only track foods that are complete protein sources. I don’t shy away from other sources, like nuts and vegetables, these are just a bonus.
Common Sources of Complete Protein Include:
Dairy products (milk, yogurt, whey)
Hemp and chia seed
16. Eat Carbs and Fat As Energy Sources
You need both carbs and fat, but fat is more important than carbs. You can build muscle while eating little to no carbs if your body is in ketosis. I have done a keto diet for months without cheating and have been able to maintain my muscle mass and increase strength and endurance. When it comes time to hack muscle growth naturally, it is very difficult and frustrating to try to maintain nearly zero carbs and eat enough protein. Especially when the foods you want to eat that have high proteins may also contain more carbs than is recommended on Keto.
17. Stay Away From Processed Sugar
You can and should eat complex carbs. But you need to stay away from processed sugars and simple carbs. It is actually not that hard to say “No” to sugar once you start. The first thing to do is stop buying things that contain added sugars; No soda, candy, energy drinks, and most processed food. Next stop adding it to coffee, no sugar or syrup. You may think packs of stevia, sucralose (Splenda), and aspartame is a fine substitute, but if you read the package the primary ingredient is dextrose (a processed sugar). Since the amount of dextrose is <1 gram, the FDA doesn’t require them to add it to the nutritional facts. Doesn’t that make you a little mad, those packets are < 4 calories, not 0 calories.
— Hacking Vitality (@HackingVitality) September 13, 2018
18. Stop Eating Low Fat and reduce Fat Foods
It is very important that you have enough fat. Your brain needs fat, so ensure you are eating healthy fats. Another thing that might make you mad about nutrition labels is the term “Low Fat” which can mean it contains as much as 10% fat. Also, the term “Reduced Fat” means the food has gone through extra processing to reduce the fat. Stay away from Reduced Fat, most of these foods are packed with added sugar.
A Little History of Reduced Fat and Obesity
In 1978 the FDA passed the regulation that allowed for the labeling of “Reduced Fat”. (1) Prior to 1978, the percentage of the US population considered obese was steady at about 15%. Since 1978 the trend has been going up steadily and now more than 30% of the US is obese, with nearly 75% considered overweight. (2) You may find this very interesting as I do. I can’t say that food labeling is the only cause, but it has definitely contributed to obesity. Accordingly, when you read “Reduced Fat” on the label think “Makes People Fat”.
19. Eat Foods With Fat
Eating good fat will not make you fat. Though, you don’t need to go out of your way to eat fat. Eat food that is processed as little as possible and the fat will be there. Your body and especially your brain need fats. When you are eating sources of complete protein, you are also eating good sources of fat. Compare this list of good sources of fat with the list above of sources of complete protein and you will see most are similar.
Good Sources of Fat include:
Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
Soybeans and Soy Products
Nuts and Nut Butters
Seeds and Seed Butters
Olives and Olive Oil
Time To Lift, Eat, Rest, Eat, Rest, Eat, Rest, Lift Repeat.
Using these 19 tips to hack muscle growth naturally you should have more time, a better diet, feel well-rested and you should have some massive gains. Check out some of my other articles that dive deeper into why these hacks work. Additionally, these articles give tips on how to implement these hacks in real life.