Build Muscle Fast – 4 Steps to Get You Started Today

Chances are, if you’ve just landed on this page of my blog – you’re just starting out on your muscle building journey. (If you are starting on your fat loss journey -> Click Here to Get Started!)

Now this road could potentially be a long and frustrating one if you don’t know what you’re doing – Trust me, I’ve been there. I wasted around 2 years just messing around in the gym with no clear plan or any idea of what I was doing before I finally “got it”!

In this post I’m going to share with you how I (Altug Kop <– Click here to find out more about me if you’re new to my blog!) got started on my journey from 135lbs soaking wet, with bricks in my pockets..to adding 65lbs of muscle to my frame!

Luckily, I’ve made the mistakes for you and this has given me the oppurtunity to cut through all of the crap information you might come accross and help you to start achieving your muscle building goals like I have! Ok let’s do this!

 

STEP 1 : Be Ready to Build Muscle

You’re probably thinking to yourself : “I am ready to build muscle otherwise I wouldn’t be looking for information, duh!”

But the truth is most people don’t realise that to build muscle fast, you need unwavering discipline – You can’t build muscle as a hobby I’m afraid..You need to commit to a LIFESTYLE otherwise you won’t see optimal results, if at all!

Ask yourself :

  • Am I willing to change my eating habits to build muscle?
  • Am I willing to say “No” to things that might take me away from my goals to build muscle? (Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, bad foods)
  • Am I willing to follow my plan to the letter, even if I’m having a “bad” day or don’t feel like going to the gym?

These are just a few things you’ll have to be ready to do in order to build muscle consistently! Remember this :- Muscles aren’t build inside the gym, they are built outside of it. Hence why building muscle is a lifestyle

STEP 2 :- Set Yourself Some Smart Goals!

Again, not the sexiest of subjects when it comes to building muscle but one of the most important! Almost every program worth a damn will tell you the same thing..When you set smart goals, you set yourself up to win.

I’ve seen this in my day to day life too – When I set myself small, actionable goals…I achieve them.

Just a quick outline for you on what a smart goal is :

S -pecific. Make sure your goal is narrowed down.

M – easurable. You should be able to measure your goal!

A -chievable. Don’t set yourself something that you’re not sure you can achieve.

R – ealistic. Ties in with the above. Make sure your goal is actually feasible. (No you can’t become Arnold in a month!)

T – ime Framed. Your goal must have a deadline!

 

EXAMPLE OF A SMART GOAL :

I want to gain 15lbs (measurable) of muscle (specific) by weight training 3 x a week (achievable) and reach my goal in 3 months (realistic and time-framed)

Ok, now it’s your turn..set yourself a smart goal following this formula before you start.

 

STEP 3 : MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN EFFECTIVE PROGRAM

Yeah, I wrote this all in upper-case for a reason – Because I’m shouting this at you to make sure it sinks in! 😉

I wasted around 2 years in the gym just flapping around aimlessly – I thought that all I needed to do was show up at the gym and do random exercises with no set routine. Well, needless to say I didn’t see anything in those first 2 years but the same skinny Altug looking back at me in the mirror..

I didn’t know how to eat, train or look after myself to build muscle..BIG MISTAKE.

I then came accross a really helpful coach when I was 17 who answered all of my questions via email. Thinking about it now, he was amazingly patient with me and I appreciate him getting me started. I created myself a program with the new knowledge I gained and started to finally build some muscle..

Not much mind you…Progress was slow but steady.

If you’re starting out today, you’re either extremely lucky or…extremely UNLUCKY. Yeah, I know that doesn’t really make sense but hear me out.

You are lucky because you have so much more information out there compared to back when I started…BUT this wealth of information is also the problem – Because there is a whole heap of BAD information out there on building muscle. If you fall into one of these sources of bad information, then you become UNLUCKY.

A good way to avoid this situation is to grab a full program from a reputable source..and out of all of the muscle building programs I’ve reviewed, my favourite is Vince Delmonte’s No Nonsense Muscle Building Program.

Whatever route you decide to take, a complete program should contain the following things :

  • A theory section so that you understand WHY you are doing what you’re doing
  • A Nutrition section (preferably with meal plans) to help you understand the importance of nutrition for muscle building
  • Effective Workout Plans to build musle fast.
  • Exercises and video’s to show you practically and safely how to train.

No Nonsense Muscle Building contains all of the above things and Vince lives the muscle building lifestyle so he’s a great person to learn from. You can see me tear his program apart in my honest review –> CLICK HERE.

Whatever program you use, make sure you stick to it and that you get your information from reputable sources. Not “faceless” people who can’t back up anything they teach!

  • This aspect is the most important part of the equation if you want to build muscle fast so choose wisely!

STEP 4 – TAKE ACTION!

Nothing happens if you just sit and think about it – You’ve decided that you’re ready to build muscle, you’ve set yourself some goals and you’ve picked a decent muscle building program..All of that counts for nothing if you don’t TAKE ACTION!

You learn by doing so get out there and start shortening your learning curve. Once you understand your body, what works and what doesn’t – You’ll see results a lot faster and nobody will be able to stop your momentum even if they tried!

Just remember to be patient…Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take baby steps first of all and those baby steps will turn into leaps and bounds.

Building muscle is all about taking consistent steps towards your goal and living the lifestyle for at least 85-90% of your daily life – If you can do that, you’ll see the rewards inside and outside of your body.

Take the bull by the horns and start to build muscle fast!

Altug

 

 

 

 

no nonsense muscle buildingTo get started the right way and not waste years like I did researching and following the wrong information – Do yourself a favour and start to build muscle from DAY 1!

Get yourself a good program which covers all of your bases. Vince Delmonte’s No Nonsense Muscle Building is the best of the bunch and has helped 25’000 skinny guys transform their bodies.

CHECK IT OUT HERE….

 

Muscle Fascia Stretching to Burst Through Your Plateau and Build Muscle Fast

“Fascia Stretching to build muscle you say??” Surely there’s something more fun and important I could be doing?

If you’re anything like me and into muscle building, you tend to develop an obsession with finding any little things that could potentially help you to build that bit of extra muscle. Usually when trainee’s tend to look for extra ways to build muscle, they tend to go for the common stuff – The latest, expensive scam supplement or the newest, craziest workout they can find in Flex magazine.

But today I’m going to explain to you the concept behind fascia stretching of all of your muscle groups – Now if you’re anything like most of the people I talk to about “stretching”, you may roll your eyes and not be very interested. After all you don’t see any immediate, visual benefit from stretching and you just seem to experience discomfort (Fascia stretching can get REAL uncomfortable and being the good samaritan, I’m gonna show you exactly how!).

Well, what if I told you that stretching could actually put some quality,lean mass on your frame. Would you be interested then? What if I told you that studies had been done that found stretching to cause hyperplasia – Cell division of your muscles – Yeah, that’s right your stretches just gave birth to a whole bunch more baby muscles for you to grow and nurture. Convinced about the power of stretching yet?

Now if you bear with me, I’ll teach you something that I feel played a major part in putting on a ton of muscle on to my frame in 11 weeks..And that is extreme muscle fascia stretching.

I first heard the concept of muscle fascia stretching from Dante (I implemented a lot from that guy) and Jason Ferrugia also explains this concept really well in his Muscle Gaining Secrets Program (<– Which I highly recommend for fast muscle building!) – To explain it to you simply, you have muscle fascia that sits as connective tissue surrounding your muscles keeping everything bundled together. Kind of like a sheet of thick armour covering them.

Amongst other things, the muscle fascia is what is thought to be one of the limiting factors of muscle growth. This makes sense. I mean think about it..if there is nowhere else for the muscle to go, where can it go? It would just bump up against the muscle fascia and have no room for growth.

So what can we do to counteract that? Yeah, you guessed it – We can STRETCH the living daylights out of our muscle fascia until they let us have some more muscle growth!
(When I say “living daylights”, it’s a figure of speech! I don’t want any injuries so be careful!)

Over time I’ve noticed tremendous results with this kind of stretching – Within 6 weeks you’ll notice a huge difference in your physique, especially if you’re an intermediate trainee who may just be coming up to that point where your fascia has started being difficult!

But How Can We Stretch Our Muscle Fascia Effectively?

Unfortunately, your static 15 second maintenance stretches aren’t going to get the job done. You are not only trying to maintain your muscle fascia’s flexibility but you’re also trying to push it past it’s previous point to allow more muscle to grow in the space it leaves.

Now rule number 1 is to MAKE SURE YOUR BODYPART IS PUMPED straight before you go into your extreme fascia stretch for muscle building. We want that tight, pumped up feeling of our muscles pushing up against the fascia because this way we’re already

In all honesty, this isn’t going to be pretty and is quite uncomfortable..BUT HEY you’re into muscle building, not twiddly winks! This is what you signed up for upon entry!

Most of the stretches here need to be held for at least a minute to be effective (or as long as possible – I personally take 20 deep breaths and each deep breath is at least 4-5 seconds) depending on the stretch. You need to be really honest with yourself during these stretches..if you can sink deeper, then you MUST do it as excruciating as it can become. Of course, you should know the difference between injury and an intense stretch. A good rule of thumb is that your joints shouldn’t hurt in a stretch.

So without further a do, you wanna know some stretches to show your fascia a good time? I’m your man..

Extreme Chest Fascia Stretch – Dante recommends holding two dumbells at the bottom of the dumbell flye position. Trust me you’ll feel this..unfortunately I felt it on my shoulder joints too (mine aren’t great anyway) so I now modify this to use a seated or laying chest press machine. What I do is adjust the handles so that they are as far back as they can go – Then I slot myself in and get my hands behind the handles (This is a squeeze, you might need somebody to help with the initial push) and then I just let the handlebars push against me while holding the stretch in the bottom position. Use about 1/2 the weight you would normally press. If it’s too easy and the stretch is too light, move up in weight.

Shoulders – I never stretch my shoulders using the extreme method as the stretch recommended always hurt my shoulders but for some of you it may be ok. You basically turn your back on a bar and then reach back to grab it with your palms face down on top of it. Then slightly walk out and bend your knee’s until you feel a stretch in your shoulders.

Biceps – I like just sitting down against an inclined bench letting two dumbells hang by my side. Your biceps will feel like they’re about rip open! This was a nice stretch I discovered whilst reviewing Jason Ferrugia’s Muscle Gaining Secrets program.

Triceps – You can do this in two ways. The first is with a towel – Grab one end of a towel and let it hang over your shoulder and behind your back. Now reach behind you with your other hand and grab the bottom of the towel. Start pulling it downwards as hard as you can. You’ll feel your tricep starting to burn. 60 seconds and then you swap arms.

The 2nd method is to use a single dumbell. You can either do one tricep at a time or both. Let me explain it if you were doing both arms at the same time. First grab one end of the dumbell by making a diamond grip with both of your hands. Now lift the dumbell above your head lower it as far down your back as you can. To intensify the stretch you MUST sit up as tall as possible and also try to push your neck back to add an even greater stretch to your triceps.

Either one of these methods for tricep fascia stretching is fine.

Quads – I made this one up and it’s a killer if I may say so myself. Now normally we’d grab behind one leg and stretch it as you balance with the other leg. Well we don’t want to worry about balancing. So I want you to find something that can replace your hand. I normally use the rollers on a hyperextention machine to put my laces on. Now I want you to simply use your oppositte standing leg and lunge down by bending your knee. You’ll feel an intense stretch in the leg that is being propped up on the rollers.

Lats – I have a pretty funky one here that I learned from some Poliquin students – It works a charm though. I want you to sit back into your heels and reach as far forward as you can. This puts you in a standard lower back and lat stretch but here’s the twist. I want you to gently creep over towards one side with your fingers..Try to still keep your arms outstretched. You’ll feel an intense stretch in the oppositte from where you’ve just crawled to. We’re not finished. Now I want you to take your oppositte hand (if you crawled over to the right, use your left hand for this) and I want you to try and creep a little further forward with the fingers of that oppositte hand. Ever felt a lat stretch like that before?? Now do the same on the other side.

Hamstrings – I can do the simplest stretch for my hammy’s and it would still be classed as the super-duper-painful-death-torture-extreeeeeme stretch. Literally my least favourite stretch. A standard hamstring stretch works for me but if you want something extra, prop your heel up onto a bar or a high step. Now your foot that’s on the floor inwards (This makes a hell of a difference) and try to keep your back straight while using your hips as a hinge as you lean over. This should make you cry..

Calves – These are supposed to get a good stretch when we do calf raises at the bottom portion of the movement but it isn’t enough for me. If I don’t stretch my calves, my squats are effected quite badly. I just simply find a ledge and let my heels hang off of it for as long as I can whilst holding on to something and leaning forwards. This is excruciating enough for me. Try a mixture of foot positions to hit your gastronemius and the soleus (turn your foot inwards as you stretch to hit the soleus portion of your calf)

Traps – Another tight part of mine. For this one I like to stand up and open up my whole body. Stand up tall and pull your shoulder blades back and down (retract them) and also have your palms facing forwards at all times. Keep them held in this position as you drop your neck slowly down to the side. To intensify the stretch you can use your oppositte arms to push your neck gently down a little further. These trap stretches will help to stop your head from jutting forward and keep you standing nice and tall.

There you have it – Your extreme muscle fascia stretches that should have you crying for mommy….but looking like Arnie!

Try these stretches out after you’ve completed your last exercise for each bodypart and let me know how it goes.

As always comment below and let’s talk about it!

Post Workout Nutrition – 2 Crucial Things You Need Down Your Neck After a Workout!

One of my favourite scenes in a movie is in “End of Days”, when Arnold Schwarzenegger wakes up, sticks a pizza and whatever leftovers he can find around his kitchen into a blender whilst proclaiming “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” – Then of course, he necks the contents of the blender! Pure Genius..

But the great “Ahnullld” MIGHT have been wrong with that statement (blasphemy I know!) – Because he clearly overlooked post workout nutrition!

Don’t get me wrong breakfast is an extremely important meal to get your metabolism kickstarted for the day and switch yourself from a catabolic (muscle breakdown) state into an anabolic state. You should never skimp on breakfast (a common mistake) but for any kind of athlete, fitness enthusiast, muscle builder or even the casual gym user, post workout nutrition IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY! (You can tell Arnold I said that too!).

Then why do so many people still neglect this most important meal?

Why is Post Workout Nutrition the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Picture this – You’ve just hit the gym pretty hard and had a tough session. You’re exhausted! What have you done? Well without getting to scientific, you’ve just depleted all of your glycogen (energy) stores. Now at this point your body is literally screaming at you for nutrition so that it can refuel your muscles with energy and start the recovery process.

If you’re using weights in your workouts, and everybody should be, you’ve also caused micro-tears and damage to your muscles. They will be begging you for a hit of fast protein to save them from utilizing their own protein stores (Your muscles feasting on themselves? Not a cool scenario if you’re hoping to build muscle)

What do most people do? Go and get changed, have a shower, chat to the cute chick on reception or the personal trainer for half hour, wait until they get home..put their feet up a bit..you get the picture. By the time they’ve eaten and refueled it’s too late. They’ve lost that important window of oppurtunity!

What SHOULD Everyone do for Post Workout Nutrition?

For post workout nutrition everybody should come prepared and carry a shaker bottle around with 25-30 grams of whey protein and around 50-75 grams of fast release, high GI carbs (these doses are approximate and should be dependant on lean weight)  Ready to drink the INSTANT you finish your workout. <– IMPORTANT!

Some trainee’s will even also sip a protein/carb shake during their workout to ensure their glycogen and protein stores are always topped up – I personally also do this but reduce the protein and carbs for this shake.

Make sure you do not include any fats in your shake at this time. Fat will reduce the effectiveness of the shake by reducing the speed at which the protein and carbs are absorbed – Something that is counter-productive to what we want at this time!

When you get home you must then also eat a balanced meal as normal (All 3 macronutrients can now feature in this meal – Protein, carbs and fats)

Yes, these rules apply to you whether you’re a male or female, young or old, muscle building or burning fat (post workout carbs can and probably should be lowered for most people if this is your goal, especially in the last few weeks – experiment to see how you get on). The doses may also change depending on your weight and your body type but you can find out what works for you and make adjustments.

Important Note : I’ve heard so much nonsense recently from gym members and friends about “Oh I want to stay natural, these powders are cheating” – Really?? Do you drink milk? Whoops, looks like you’re a cheater then because milk contains whey..Do you eat packaged foods on the odd occasion? Eat cereals? There you go cheating again because you’ll find maltodextrin, dextrose and other forms of high GI carbs and sugars in those foods.

Get that “all powders are unnatural and bad” way of thinking out of your head because it’s an ignorant way of thinking – Most supplements suck, yes..but the ones you need for post workout nutrition are ESSENTIAL for your progress. Forego them at your own peril. I will however, look to find a vegan alternative to your protein shake if that is your preference – Watch this space..

Why Whey Protein?

Whey protein is one of the most bioavailable proteins out there which means that your body can use it’s broad spectrum of amino acids for muscle repair..and quickly! Remember, you don’t want to waste time eating solid food, waiting for it to digest before supplying the muscles and most of us don’t have that appetite immediately after a workout.

Whey protein is the smart choice for your post workout protein because it’s the fastest acting. Pick yourself up a decent whey protein supplement without breaking the bank on expensive brands who make fancy claims about how much better their protein is. Whey is whey for the most part. My recommendation is below. You can’t go wrong with Optimum Nutrition. Click on a product for different flavours and sizes if you want something different from what’s below.

Mix your whey protein and your fast acting carbs with water and simply neck the mixture! Done! (There is a school of thought that taking the carbs and protein seperately is better. If you subscribe to that then you’ll have to bring 2 shaker bottles – I personally am not convinced of the negligible difference seperating them would make post-workout.)

Why Fast Acting Carbs and Which One is the Best?

Carbs are an important and often overlooked aspect of post workout nutrition. If people do use post workout nutrition then it’s usually just a protein shake. This is also a big mistake because you’re not replenishing your muscles energy stores and this will impede your recovery and progression in future workouts! “Won’t fast acting carbs make me fat in those amounts?” Maybe during the day when you’re inactive, yes – But not after a workout when your insulin will shuttle them straight into the place that your body needs them the most – Your glycogen stores. You can play with the dose of your carbs but the ratio will usually be around 1:2 with protein to carbs. See how your body responds..if you start getting overspill due to the high dosage and you gain body fat, try reducing the dose of your post workout carbs. Although I took my post workout carbs even when I was cutting down and still got pretty ripped. It’s hard to store fat immediately after an intense training session.

So Which Carbs?

I will dedicate an entire post to this debate but, again it’s a minor detail in my opinion. Just get one of these 4 forms of carbohydrates down your neck and you will be fine.

  • Dextrose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Waxy Maize Starch
  • Vitargo (barley)

The further down the list you go, the more expensive and apprently more effective the carbs are for post workout. The latest two releases are waxy maize and Vitargo (which is patented by one company making the price extortionate for a carb). These are based on having a molecular weight that allows them to pass through the stomach easier and apparently into the muscles much faster than ever before. Real world results? I haven’t seen any studies but I’m certain they are negligible when comparing the four. They all get the job done so just pick the cheapest or most available one – I never recommend wasting too much time or money on supplements. Your efforts are better utilised elsewhere!

So there it is – The simplest of meals but one that is ironically your most important of the day. Don’t forget to eat a solid, balanced meal within 1-2 hours after finishing your workout as well to make further use of this window of oppurtunity.

A recap on your post workout nutrition –

Shaker Bottle with/

  • 25-40 grams of Whey protein
  • 50-75 grams of fast acting carbs
  • Mix w/ Water

Done! Enjoy and please leave your comments or questions below. Let’s get talkin!

Altug

The Top 4 Fitness Books and Programs

muscle building programsIt’s not exactly a secret that the health and fitness industry is one of the most misleading and misinforming markets – Fitness books, supplements, pills, programs etc you name it and they are normally designed part you from your cash without actually help you getting any closer to your goals.

This means that you’ll go back into your pocket and fork over some more cash for the next big fitness product..it’s a neverending cycle. Luckily there are some good guys in this industry who ARE more interested in seeing you succeed and ARE more interested in helping you achieve your goals.

As a personal trainer myself, I get sick to death of misinformation and misleading products that give consumers false hope of a quick fix, which is why on my blog site you’ll never see me endorsing these embaressing products like most people online.

Out of interest, I’ve created a list of online fitness books and programs that I’ve personally reviewed and found to be the best. Hopefully this list helps you to see what fitness books are the hidden gems!

Before we start I’ve ranked these in order of the best FITNESS books. “Fitness” to me embodies every aspect of health. Such as cardiovascular health, muscular health, nutrition, exercise, stretching…everything. The whole package. Therefore, these rankings are based on the programs that encompass all of these aspects!

1) Mike Geary – The Truth About Abs

truth about abs reviewThe king of online fitness programs! Although the title of this fitness book may lead you to believe that it focuses on only one aspect of fitness – abs – This could be nothing further than the truth..and the truth is that this is probably the most complete and far-reaching fitness book online that I’ve read. By far-reaching, I mean that the information is useful to almost every member of the public who wants to get fit and healthy.

Contained within the program is theory, nutrition, diet plans, effective exercises that can be done in a gym as well as at home, exercise pictures etc. It is a complete lifestyle guide and I would recommend this to males or females, young or old who want to get fit permanently. The most important thing in this book is that the information is all true and proven to give results. I use these methods myself and on clients with GREAT results.

You can check out the Truth About Abs Book <– Here

or

You can find my detailed and honest Truth About Abs Review <– here

2) Vince Delmontes – My Six Pack Quest

your 6 pack questWhat is it with the authors and their obsessions with abs and six packs eh? Well, normally it’s because a great set of washboard abs go hand in hand with overall fitness. (not always mind you..some people have genetically great abs but are unhealthy on the inside).

Vince Delmonte, famous author of the best selling muscle building program No Nonsense Muscle Building , really hits the ball way out of the park with this fitness program. This book takes care of every aspect of fitness including fat loss, workouts, theory and nutrition. Not to mention you have an exercise database which is real handy.

But again, if the information wasn’t correct information then what would be the point? After a thorough reading of My Six Pack Quest, I can assure you that there is no need to worry. The info contained in this online fitness book is both effective and priceless.

Check out My Six Pack Quest Now <– Click Here

3) Vince Delmontes – No Nonsense Muscle Building and Fat Loss Upgrade Package

no nonsense muscle buildingLooks like Vince Delmonte gets a double listing in my top 5 list and for good reason. His No Nonsense Muscle Building e-book may not appeal to everybody but take the upgrade package and you now have one of the most complete fitness programs online!

Females shouldn’t be put off either. EVERYBODY should be using weights in their workouts whether it is to burn fat or build muscle. This is another dirty secret that the fitness industry has – Putting females off of weight training because they fear getting bigger. Trust me, you will NOT get bigger..only curvier and sexier because it is muscles that give you that toned look that everybody is after..

This program includes everything from workouts, theory, stretches, diet plans, nutritional information, exercise databases and a whole heap more. This program has it all but it also comes in a bit pricier than the other fitness books. However it is still the price of a months membership at most gyms and you get a more than one fitness ebook with this program so the value here is incredible.

Check out the No Nonsense Muscle Building and Fat Cutting Program <– Click Here

or

Read my honest and thorough Vince Delmonte Review of the No Nonsense Muscle Building and Fat Loss Package

4) The Diet Solution Program by Isobel De La Rios

the diet solution program reviewA fantastic lifestyle program by Isobel who you’ll see is clearly passionate about her role as a nutritionist after reading her amazingly detailed program.

She goes into lots of detail about body types and figuring out your metabolism – It almost feels like a personalised program by the author herself! Great value because she provides you with over 6 fitness books online as part of her program! There is no way you would get this much value in a book store.

The only thing that let’s this program down is the lack of exercise advice when compared to the other programs.

If You Want to Check out The Diet Solution Program Now Click Here

or

Check out My Thorough The Diet Solution Program Review <– Here

So those are my top 4 fitness books but what do YOU think? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Write your comments below – Let’s talk!

Until next time, stay safe and train hard!

Altug