build-muscleMany newbies often start a workout routine thinking that results will magically appear after the first few gym sessions. It isn’t that surprising that one of the top searched for phrases on Google when it comes to fitness is: “how to build muscle fast.”

People nowadays are becoming so obsessed about getting quick and rapid results because time is becoming the most sought after commodity. Everybody is short on time and the supplement companies and people who create fitness programs are promising people insane results in the most absurd time frame and the thing is, people buy into it.

I’m sorry to break this to you guys, but in reality, muscle gains don’t happen that fast. It does not matter how much you work out, how much you eat or how many supplements you chug down. Gaining strength and muscle takes time.  If you’ve been around for a while and are experienced with how your body responds, you can definitely agree with me here.

Though muscle growth in reality is a slow process, there are many things that you can do to make sure your body gains strength and size in the shortest amount of time allowed by your natural genetics. Now I’m not about to give you some miracle technique or anything that will turn you super human in a month, so you can stop holding your breath.

The fastest way to build muscle and strength would be to track your progress in the gym. It doesn’t matter if you bring a log book in, or use an app on your phone (I prefer Jefit). Now this seems like such a simple and small thing right? How can this possibly speed up the process when it comes to trying to put on rock hard muscle and strength? Well it DOES and to a great extent.

If you’ve read my previous articles on why muscle grows, it is through stress and adaptation. Your body builds muscle and strength by adapting to the stress loads that you put on it week after week by doing vigorous workouts. As long as you keep trying to lift more weight, or increase the volume of your workout week after week, your muscles will grow. This is where tracking your progress plays a critical role in how fast you pack muscle and gain strength in the gym.

Let me ask you this; how many times have you gone to the gym and have totally forgot what you did the previous week before?  I mean the exact sets and reps, weight, EVERYTHING. This is exactly what I am talking about. About 90% of the people that go to the gym, just pick up any old weight, toss it around until they get a muscle pump, push some more until they cannot lift any more weight and then go home. They then go to the gym the next week and do the same thing again.

Tracking your workouts, allows for EXACT precision. You should be putting down the exact number of reps you did, with how much weight and whether or not the reps were easy or hard. If you want to see results fast, what better way then look in your log book and go, “hey, I got stronger since last week.” This allows you to gauge whether or not you have made any progress since the previous workouts

Let me give you an example:

logJoe is an average guy that is trying to put on muscle as quick as he can. But, like the majority of people out there, he doesn’t really track his workouts. It’s a Monday so he goes to the gym and does a “push” day work out. His first exercise is the bench press. He loads up 180 lbs on the bar and goes to work. He pushes until he cannot push anymore and he ends up being able to perform 6 successful reps and almost a 7th one. He does this consecutively for another 3 sets.

Now over the course of the week his body grows and adapts to the stress that was put on it and it is a little bit stronger; providing that he ate enough calories, drank enough water, got enough rest, etc.

It’s the following Monday and chest day again. He proceeds to the bench press again, does his warm-up sets and is now ready for the work load. Since he does not keep track of his previous workouts, he totally forgot what he did the last workout and he loads up the SAME weight and pushes until he cannot push anymore, which is 180 pounds, but for this time he only performs 5 reps.

Now since he did not keep track of what he did the last workout, he totally forgot and did the exact same weight and 1 less rep than last time!  Now according to the law of adaptation, do you think that he will get stronger and grow muscle from doing the same thing again? Most likely not.

Now since he is looking to pack on muscle quickly, he should have kept track of what he did the previous workout and realized that in order for his body to get stronger and progress quicker, he would have had to try for a 7th rep again! Now this wasn’t’ as bad as it could have been.

What is even worse is that; he might have forgotten how much weight he did the previous week, so instead of 180lbs he was lifting, what if he forgot to add a 5lb plate to each side and ended up benching 170lbs? What if one workout he was feeling really good and tried for 190 pounds and was able to perform  4 reps, but the following week, he completely forgot that he attempted that weight and went back to 180 pounds? He might have even gone backwards with his training!

Now I’m not saying that this mistake will prevent you from putting on size and strength altogether, because over time, your muscles will grow stronger.  I’m just stating the fact that your body will not grow stronger and get bigger at the rate that it can potentially grow at if you actually did track your workouts.

Do you see how important tracking your workouts is when it comes to getting stronger and building muscle the fastest way possible? If you keep a log of your workouts week after week, you can strive to beat the previous work that you did, ensuring that you are ALWAYS making consistent progress in the gym.

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John considers himself as a fitness enthusiast who loves to do anything to keep the body in peak physical performance (much like a highly tuned machine). He mainly focuses on sports nutrition and supplement research, but is also highly knowledgeable in relation to muscle growth and fat loss. He's helped numerous people over the years achieve the body that they've always wanted and hopes his information will guide you to the goals you want.

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