The Best Way to Gain Muscle Fast
How to grow muscles without adding any time to your workouts.
When we are hunting down muscle gains, looking for muscle growth or just working out butts off for a little increase in strength, stalled progress can be beyond frustrating.
And what usually ends up happening?
We spend more and more time in the gym, throwing around heavier and heavier iron, trying to see results. And sure, that can work to build muscles and increase strength.
But there’s another way that works that doesn’t require spending any more time in the gym than you already do. Research has shown us how to work smarter and more efficiently to gain muscle fast.
The Case For Intraset Stretching
Stretching between exercise sets, also called intraset stretching, is the new secret to boosting muscle size and strength fast. And adding weights to those stretches can give you serious results.
Back in the 80s, some strength researchers decided to add weights to the wings of a quail to see what happened. And crazy enough, that quail increased his strength by 300%. Obviously, he was the swollest bird in the nest.
So then, what all good researchers do, they figure out how to test the ideas on humans. So they went to the body builders. And they found that adding weight to stretches between sets actually helped them increase the size of their muscles AND how much they could lift.
Now, we aren’t exactly sure why this works because the human muscle has too many mysteries to know for sure. But we think these intraset weighted stretches:
- increase the size of the muscle fibers you’ve already got
- help your body add new muscle fibers to the bundle
- and stretch the fascia around the muscle fibers to give you more room to grow
A triple whammy for the big guns.
So these weighted stretches worked for body builders.
Do they work for the average Joe?
There aren’t any formal protocols for a weighted stretching program for muscle gains, but two studies showed that stretching in between sets – with or without weights – led average Joes to increase their strength by 20% in just 3-8 weeks.
So how do you do these stretches?
After you perform one set of an exercise, use your 1-2 minute rest to do weighted stretching of the muscles you just worked.
So your rest time becomes your stretch time. Then once your ‘rest’ is up, go right into your next set. Then rinse and repeat.
If you’re using a weight for your exercise, let that weight naturally pull you into a stretch. If you’re sans weight, find a body weight stretch. Make sure you use a light enough weight that you can comfortably stretch for 30-60 seconds. And then go right into the next set.
Here are a few ideas for your stretches:
- Chest Work: Hold dumbbells in an open fly position.
- Hamstring Work: Hold dumbbells or the bar in a forward flexion. Keep the weights close to your body and your spine neutral.
- Quad Work: Get into a kneeling position with your back foot up on a bench. Press your hips forward into a couch stretch.
- Back Work: Hang from a bar in a dead hang, hollow hold.
- Tricep Work: Use a light weight or rope pull your hands down behind your head, while your elbows are pointed to the ceiling.
Now before you jump right in, know that this type of workout isn’t easy. Sure, weighted stretching with light weights may seem simple. But this training method is only for the mentally tough. You are exhausting your muscles each set and then stretching them with weights – that means no real ‘rest’ break for those growing guns.
But if you can stand it, you’re bound to see some worthwhile results.