Increasing your lean muscle mass can add size and shape to your physique. Building muscle in a short period takes time and dedication. High-intensity strength training workouts help develop muscle quickly, but workouts alone are not enough to increase mass. You can lift weights for hours on end, but if your nutrition does not support muscle growth, you will not see the results you desire. You can build 10 lb. of muscle mass in four short weeks with a combination of strength training workouts and a healthy nutrition plan.
Lift weights four days per week to develop muscle mass. Train each muscle group once per week.
Work opposing muscles on the same day. Train chest and back on Monday, biceps, triceps and shoulders on Tuesday, legs on Thursday and abs on Friday.
Include compound exercises that work several muscles at the same time to quickly build muscle, such as pullups, lunges, pushups, weighted triceps dips, shoulder press and squats. Perform each exercise for four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Train with heavy resistance to stimulate muscle growth. Performing the last few repetitions of each exercise should be a challenge to complete.
Ask a fitness professional to measure your body fat biweekly to monitor changes in your body composition.
Weigh yourself at the end of the week to track your progress from week to week.
Eat healthy foods to provide fuel for your workouts and to support muscle growth. Consume a variety of lean proteins, like beef, chicken, fish and low-fat dairy, to aid in muscle repair and recovery. Eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables and sweet potatoes to increase energy levels and improve workout performance. Include a small amount of healthy fats, like olive oil, nut butters and seeds, to aid in essential vitamin absorption.
Consume a meal every three hours to constantly nourish the muscles. Have a serving of protein and carbohydrates at every meal, such as 6 to 8 oz. of baked chicken, one small sweet potato and 1 cup of spinach.
Avoid foods with little nutritional value that do not provide the nutrients necessary for muscle development. Steer clear of manipulated or processed foods that are loaded with refined sugars, chemical preservatives, fats and sodium.
- "Weight Training Manual"; National Federation of Professional Trainers; 2006
- "Sports Nutrition Manual"; National Federation of Professional Trainers; 2006
- Bodybuilding.com; Compound Exercises Bring Compound Results; Diana Rini