In order to add weight and lean muscle in an effective manner without storing excess body fat you need to employ several advanced techniques, all of which I’ll describe in this guide.
If you follow a normal or average plan, gaining weight and lean muscle mass can take be a long-term process. While I’m not saying there’s a secret magic shortcut, we can increase your progress by 200-300% with these protocols, advanced strategies and techniques.
If you want to achieve the same weight gain or lean muscle growth in 1 year vs 2 or 3, this blog is for you.
Here are 5 tips scientifically proven to help you gain weight and lean muscle fast!
Gain Lean Muscle Fast Tip #1: Increase Protein Intake
Protein is the most beneficial nutrient for adding muscle mass, weight and increasing your lean gains.
Traditionally, when bodybuilders wanted to enter into “dirty” bulk they would simply increase carbohydrate consumption. While, this may be an effective method for putting on sheer weight, chronic high carbohydrate consumption may lead to increased fat mass and not optimize lean muscle growth (1).
Protein is well known to do the opposite, helping you add pure lean muscle, without the fat gain.
Interestingly, new research suggests that overfeeding on protein may be the best way to add large amounts of weight and lean muscle without the fat gain. Protein can even help you transform your physique, dropping fat and adding muscle at the same time. Finally, did you know that those individuals who are habitually on a higher protein diet are also leaner? (2)
One study investigated the effects of overfeeding on protein in resistance trained individuals: these participants consumed over 4x the RDI for protein intake (around 250-300g a day) and saw no additional increases in fat mass (3,4)!
Dozens of studies have shown protein will optimize muscle mass, especially when combined with an advanced resistance training workout regime
Aim for a minimum of 1g of protein per 1LB bodyweight, e.g. a 150lb individual would eat 150g per day. Remember, that’s a minimum, if you want to gain weight quickly, I would aim for around 1.5g of protein per 1LB bodyweight.
Gain Lean Muscle Fast Tip #2: Full Body Workouts
Okay, so now you’ve got the extra protein in your system it’s time to put those amino acids to work with some advanced full body workouts.
Traditional resistance training workouts have been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis and result in increased lean mass. But chances are you’ve done that for years; ideally, we don’t just want traditional or normal gains, right?
If you’re looking to quickly pack on size, you need to change things up and stress your body with more sets, total volume, training frequency and advanced workouts.
Full body workouts allow you to do this, shocking your muscle every day or 3-5 times a week. Essentially, giving your body a repeated stimulus to grow in every workout, rather than just once or twice per week, as you would normally train each muscle.
Remember, only training each muscle once per week will not maximize Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) rates, especially in advanced trainees who see MPS decline after just 12-16 hours (7).
For total training volume, full body workouts that consist of compound movements also result in high volume loads. Recently, a dose response relationship between training volume load and muscle growth has been identified (8)!
Finally, although the benefit is still subject to some debate, research has demonstrated that full body workouts may acutely increase the production of anabolic hormones (5,6). Even if this hormone increase is not that beneficial, full body workouts will, without a doubt, help you stay lean while you gain weight, providing you with that lean, toned or ripped physique.
Example Full Body Workout
1.) Back Squat 4×10
2.) Bench Press 4×10
3.) Pullups 4×10
4.) DB Shoulder Press 3×12
5A.) DB Bicep Curl 3×12
5B.) DB Triceps Kick back 3×12
6.) Calf Raises 3×12
7A.) Reverse Crunches 2×8
7B.) Hyperextension 2×8
Gain Lean Muscle Fast Tip #3: Creatine Monohydrate
If you’re looking to pack on lean muscle mass quick with minimum effort, creatine monohydrate is the perfect supplement for you!
Creatine monohydrate is arguably the most extensively researched supplement on the market. While other supplements may take several months or years to notice any added gains to your physique, creatine starts to work after just 5 days.
In fact, research has shown significant increases in muscle mass in as little as 2-4 weeks following resistance training+ creatine supplementation (9). Other research has witnessed 200% greater increases in weight and lean muscle mass when using creatine and resistance training vs resistance training alone (10)!
Creatine has also been shown to improve your health, anabolic hormones and even muscle protein synthesis, the key biological mechanism behind muscle growth. It also boosts strength and power production, making it the perfect supplement to aid in your gym performance and help you gain weight or lean mass quickly.
Gain Lean Muscle Fast Tip #4: HIIT
The next advanced tip for gaining lean muscle and weight quickly is HIIT! Now you may be asking yourself why I’m recommending cardio? Well, it’s perfect to gain lean mass, while reducing or eliminating body fat gain, improving heart health and aerobic fitness!
While HIIT alone will not add large amounts of muscle, it has been shown to maintain muscle mass and, in some cases, actually result in smaller amounts of muscle growth (11).
HIIT may further compliment your muscle gains by the spike of several anabolic hormones including testosterone, growth hormone, AMPK and epinephrine. Additionally, HIIT helps your body remain insulin sensitive, meaning you can digest and shuttle carbohydrates and nutrients effectively.
In most normal or average ‘bulks’, this becomes impaired which leads to extra fat gain and ill health. However, the addition of HIIT will keep your cells and insulin function fresh, letting you shuttle most of those muscle building nutrients straight to the muscle!
Gain Lean Muscle Fast Tip #5: Calorie Cycle & Carb Cycling
Calorie cycling and even carb cycling are two more advanced techniques that most people still don’t know how to utilize effectively.
Carb cycling is gaining more popularity, it basically involves strategic higher and strategic lower carb periods, often based on your activity levels. This can help optimize insulin sensitivity, reduce fat storage and keep you lean.
Calorie cycling is very similar just on a bigger scale, letting you chop and change your total food intake based on specific factors such as your goals (fat loss vs muscle gain), workout types, general activity etc.
Both of these techniques are great for optimizing weight and lean muscle gain without the fat storage, especially over the long term. Although the exact methods for each deserve a whole book or guide in their own right, you can add in lower carb and calorie periods as a mini break from ‘bulking’ or the weight gaining period.
By doing these mini breaks you can reduce any gained body fat back down, improve insulin sensitivity and give your digestive system a break (which can become overloaded from all the food daily).
For example, you may do a 12-16 week weight gain protocol, followed by a 2-4 week lower carb and/or low calorie period to re-set. You could then repeat this 3-4 times over the year to finish in a much leaner and healthier place than if you had done a straight 52 week bulk or weight gain cycle.
Wrapping it up
You now have some more advanced tools and ideas you need to increase weight and lean muscle mass quick! If you want my proven 20 Week Scientific Lean Mass protocol, you can also download that here:
Here’s a re-cap of the 5 points discussed today.
- For starters, increase your calorie intake by going on a high protein diet, this helps you minimize body fat gain but maximize lean muscle gain!
- Secondly, you have to make sure you overload and shock your body, you can do this with more training frequency, extra training volume and more advanced workout splits.
- Next, incorporate creatine monohydrate at 5g per day to maximize your anabolic muscle growth potential, increase strength and even health.
- Additionally, perform 1-3 HIIT sessions per week to maintain insulin function, drop body fat and ensure you’re putting on nothing but lean muscle!
- Finally, experiment with advanced calorie cycling and carb cycling techniques to give you the perfect physique and health over the long term!
1.) Daly, M. E., Vale, C., Walker, M., Alberti, K. G., & Mathers, J. C. (1997). Dietary carbohydrates and insulin sensitivity: a review of the evidence and clinical implications. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 66(5), 1072-1085.
2.) Cermak, N. M., de Groot, L. C., Saris, W. H., & van Loon, L. J. (2012). Protein supplementation augments the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to resistance-type exercise training: a meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 96(6), 1454-1464.
3.) Antonio, J., Peacock, C. A., Ellerbroek, A., Fromhoff, B., & Silver, T. (2014). The effects of consuming a high protein diet (4.4 g/kg/d) on body composition in resistance-trained individuals. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 19.
4.) Weigle, D. S., Breen, P. A., Matthys, C. C., Callahan, H. S., Meeuws, K. E., Burden, V. R., & Purnell, J. Q. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 82(1), 41-48.
5.) West, D. W., & Phillips, S. M. (2010). Anabolic processes in human skeletal muscle: restoring the identities of growth hormone and testosterone. The Physician and sportsmedicine, 38(3), 97-104.
6.) Schoenfeld, B. J. (2010). The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(10), 2857-2872.
7.) MacDougall, J. D., Gibala, M. J., Tarnopolsky, M. A., MacDonald, J. R., Interisano, S. A., & Yarasheski, K. E. (1995). The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Canadian journal of applied physiology, 20(4), 480-486.
8.) Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(11), 1073-1082.
9.) Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., … & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4(1), 6.
10.) Kreider, R. B. (2003). Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 244(1-2), 89-94
11.) Naimo, M. A., De Souza, E. O., Wilson, J. M., Carpenter, A. L., Gilchrist, P., Lowery, R. P., … & Joy, J. (2015). High-intensity interval training has positive effects on performance in ice hockey players. International journal of sports medicine, 36(01), 61-66.
12.) Boutcher, S. H. (2010). High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. Journal of obesity, 2011.