Building muscle requires patience, but sometimes impatience can be a good thing as it encourages us to push the boundaries and attain results quicker. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to force rapid muscle growth in short bursts if you’re knowledgeable and know what to do at specific intervals. Training intensity is of great importance - if you want to see new muscle reflecting back at you in the mirror in a short timeframe, you better be prepared to kick some ass in the gym! If you’re ready to work, use these six steps to add size in the next four weeks.
Baseline Strength Gains
For the first week, select one compound exercise for each muscle group, which you will complete with free weights. You will start every workout with five sets of 10-12 repetitions, applying a 2-second negative on each rep. Over the four weeks, your goal with these five sets is to lift more weight while maintaining the rep tempo I have prescribed.
This will trigger a myriad of anabolic responses including high threshold motor unit excitement, a fundamental part of increased muscle fiber recruitment. Testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 levels surge when progressive overload occurs at this rate. Not only will these five strength sets build mass, but they will also prime your muscles for increased hypertrophy for the rest of the workout.
Old-School Forced Reps
Dorian Yates made extreme levels of intensity famous in the mass era of bodybuilding. It was normal for him to scream through the last couple of forced repetitions, and it wasn’t for show – these reps are painful, challenging, and extremely effective for muscle growth. Due to the extreme nature of this technique, I recommend using it sparingly for an acute bout of intensity without overtraining the muscle.
Select one isolation exercise for the muscle you’re training and perform three sets of 20-25 repetitions to finish the workout. Utilize 3-second negatives on every rep, and select a weight which induces failure around 15 reps. At this point, you will have to use forced reps with the help of a training partner to finish each set. This will ignite hypertrophy very quickly if applied correctly – it’s all about selecting the right weight.
For the next four weeks, select two of your weakest muscle groups and commit to hit them three times per week. This doesn’t mean three full workouts on the weak muscle groups! Instead, perform a workout on that muscle group, then three and five days later, you’ll perform seven sets of a single exercise for 15 reps of an isolation exercise on a machine. For more impact, use isometric pauses on each rep to re-stimulate muscle protein synthesis within the muscle. This approach can elevate the central nervous system connectivity as well, which may partially explain why certain muscles haven’t grown very well prior to this approach.
High Repetition Overload
While most bodybuilders stick to lower repetition ranges, I have always advocated going higher to discover new growth opportunities. Of course, lower rep ranges are fundamentally important to building muscle, but if you want to cause as much growth as possible within a short 4-week window, high repetitions will help – trust me!
Higher rep ranges induce more sarcoplasmic swelling, literally causing the muscle to balloon. They also allow you to stimulate slow twitch muscle fibers which can be missed with traditional bodybuilding training. For the next four weeks, before performing the forced repetition sets, pre-load that muscle group with three sets of 30 repetitions using a cable exercise - this means there will be an extreme amount of muscle tension. Keep the rest intervals to just 60 seconds between these sets, so the pump accumulates rapidly. Don’t forget, taking PRE-KAGED 40 minutes before your workout will help kick this intensity up another level!
It’s a smart strategy to stretch out the muscle you're training between sets. This encourages more blood to flow into the muscle, which facilities higher levels of growth. Additionally, stretching out the fascia can assist in boosting muscle growth, as you “create” more room for the muscle to grow into. It also increases the range of mobility at the surrounding joints which ensures you're able to contract the muscle you're training with more precision. Use static stretching between your sets, holding each stretch for 15-20 seconds.
Anabolic Amino Acid Protocol
Muscle growth is heavily reliant on the supply of amino acids. Leucine spearheads muscle protein synthesis via mTOR Pathway stimulation; however, having a full spectrum of essential amino acids is critical to promote muscle protein synthesis. Eating a diet rich in animal protein, and eggs, and supplementing with products like Micropure® Whey Protein Isolate and Amino Synergy™, will all contribute to better results. The consumption of 25-40g every three hours is considered optimal for most athletes, especially those looking to grow muscle.
It’s important to be aware that there are times when consuming a fast digesting source of essential amino acids (EAAs) is recommended for gains. One example is during your training session. Sipping on Amino Synergy mixed into your serving of IN-KAGED® provides a full range of EAAs. When you’re utilizing the intense, aggressive training tactics described in this article, the need for EAAs becomes even more significant.
Implementing all of these training strategies consistently over the next four weeks will boost your muscle-growing potential. Growing at a rapid rate is not always achievable, but in acute bursts with focused intention, you can make amazing gains. This is a great opportunity to crush any plateaus you have been fighting.