How Fast Can I Build Muscle Naturally? A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Muscle Quickly

How can one build muscle fast? Doing deadlifts like this man will help.There’s a lot of false
information out there on “building muscle

There’s also A LOT of companies making money selling useless
supplements, many of them promising “toned” muscle within

These two things are not a coincidence.

Today, we’ll provide the truth you so rightly deserve:

This will help you separate fact from fiction on building muscle
when training naturally.

Make no mistake about it, this stuff isn’t easy.

Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading about it on the

If you’re somebody that’s worried about wasting time, or you
want to have an expert hand craft a workout and nutrition program
that’s based on your current situation, consider checking out our
really popular 1-on-1 Online
Training Program
! I’ve been training with an online coach
since 2015 and it has been the biggest boost for me in the

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coaching program, and then scroll down to learn all about how long
it will take to build muscle naturally.

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Alright, onto “how much muscle can I build naturally?”

How Fast Can I Build
Muscle Naturally?

Bruce Banner can grow muscle really quickly. You'll have to take a slower path.

You’re here for an answer, so I’m going to get the
ugly truth (that will probably make you sad) out of the

Under OPTIMAL conditions, you can expect to gain
around 1-2 pounds of muscle per month.

We’ve found that for most Rebels here in the Nerd Fitness
Rebellion (our community), closer to one pound per month is the

“Optimal conditions” mean that you are eating the right
amount and the right kinds of food, potentially using 1-2
supplements (protein
), AND you are training perfectly for muscle growth
(which we
explain in this section here

Proper sleep
is also absolutely necessary.

This also means you are trying to thread the needle of eating
JUST enough to build muscle, but not too much that you put on a lot
of fat, too.

Yeah, you could go
full hulk mode
(“dirty bulk”) and just eat anything and
everything, maxing out your muscle building… but it’ll be
buried under fat, which you’ll have to trim again and restart the

While it is certainly one effective way to gain muscle and
strength, we more often recommend fiddling with your diet and
training so you can find that sweet spot where you’re building
muscle and not gaining too much fat.

All of this to say: Yes, can build muscle
but it will NOT be the crazy amount you read
about in the magazines, unless you’re taking Dr. Stark’s super
serum (ROIDS!).

If you had grand visions of looking like the dudes in the ads
you see in muscle and fitness, don’t expect to do so in 90 days
with a few days of training and protein shakes.

Remember: Expect 1-2 pounds of month of muscle gain…under
optimal conditions.

The one possible exception to gaining strength and muscle fast?
Noob gains.

How Fast Can a Beginner Gain Muscle?
(Initial Gains)

Beginner's will often see lots of progress when they start their training.

Yes, we’ve all heard the stories of guys that have
gained 40 pounds of muscle in two months.

We’ve also seen all the ridiculous ads about “the workout
supplement doctors don’t want you to see” with a guy that looks
like Bane.

99% of that stuff is absolute bullshit, so let’s just get that
out in the open!

HOWEVER, If you’re really skinny, young, training hard, and
eating all day every day, as a newbie you can produce results very

It is possible, in the first year of true strength
training with intense focus and dedication, to gain 15-20 pounds
of muscle. Combine that with 15-20 pounds of fat gain and you can
drastically change your appearance if you started out very

When I started to take strength training serioulsy, I
felt like I was invincible.
I even gained
18 pounds in a month
, and I foolishly assumed most of it was

But due to taking the
supplement creatine
(which allows your muscles to hold more
water weight), almost all of it was water weight, along with some
fat… and then probably 2 pounds of muscle!

I’ve since come to learn “TEH MUSCLE GAINZ” aren’t that
easy. Fortunately, that’s only part of what I learned in that

If you are new to strength training and you are eating right,
you’ll not only pack on muscle, but you’ll see some incredibly
impressive gains in your strength training:

  • Going from 1 pull up to 3 sets of 15?
  • Adding 100 pounds to your squat?
  • Adding 150 pounds to your deadlift?

I can’t predict what sort of results you’ll see in
that first year, but it can be pretty epic if you attack it

Muscle growth might happen slower than you want, but I expect
something different will happen along the way – you’ll fall in
love with this idea of building STRENGTH! In fact, getting hooked
on progress, and strength training is one of the best things you
can do for yourself.

So, if you are young, growing, and brand spankin’ new
to strength training, you’ll be able to pack on muscle at a
decent clip.
 Our goal will be for you to do it in a way
that’s sustainable!

Hopefully I didn’t put a big damper on your
Captain-America fueled dreams!
I just want to set proper
expectations so you don’t get discouraged with slow progress, and
instead get SUPER encouraged with any progress. Getting strong
should be freakin’ fun!

Weirdly enough, once I stopped trying to get there quickly is
when I started to
actually make permanent progress

Good? Good! Now let’s build you some muscle!

How Do You Make Your
Muscles Grow Faster? (Strength Training 101)

How do you get muscles like these? Strength training will get you there the fastest.

We’ve covered this at length in the “How
to Bulk Up Fast
” Guide but I’ll give you the abridged

How to build muscle quickly and bulk up:

  1. Lift heavy things.
  2. Then, lift heavier things than last time (progressive
  3. Specifically include
     and compound movements – they target the muscle
    building triggers in your entire body.
  4. Target
    sets and reps
    in the 4-5 sets of 6-10 reps per set.

  5. Sleep as much as you can
  6. Eat more calories, especially on training days (with plenty of
    and carbs, and vegetables
    ). Head
    here to calculate your caloric needs
  7. Use a
    protein supplement
    if you cannot consume enough protein via
    regular sources.
  8. Consider supplementing with
  9. Repeat month after month after month.
  10. When in doubt, eat more than you think.
  11. If you put on too much fat, slightly cut back on calories on
    non-training days.

The goal here is to thread the needle where we pack on
size and muscle but not fat.
If we don’t eat enough
a problem for us skinny people
), we will struggle to put on

However, if we overeat we’ll build muscle and add some fat. We
can then trim the fat, if after a few weeks we notice our
fat percentage
creeping up.

“But Steve, I don’t have access to a gym – can I
pack on muscle with just bodyweight exercises?

Yes, you can pack on size while only doing bodyweight exercises.
Look at any olympic gymnast!

I personally managed to pack on some weight while
traveling the world

However, this can feel like playing Halo on Legendary
difficulty. It can be done, but damn it can be challenging –
especially for lower body movements.

If your sole goal is to get bigger as fast as possible, access
to a
barbell for squats
and deadlift is almost a requirement.

Note about all of the above:

If you’re confused about how to start with strength training,
or you want to start with bodyweight training before trying a gym,
or you just want to make sure you’re squatting and doing pull-ups
right, we cover ALL of that in our free downloadable guide,
Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to

Get your free guide when you sign up in the box below,
and we’ll show you exactly what to do:

Download our comprehensive guide STRENGTH TRAINING 101!
  • Everything you need to know about getting strong.
  • Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
  • How to find the right gym and train properly in one.
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Should I Worry About Getting Too Bulky?

How was Steve able to gain so much muscle on three months? Strength Training and proper diet.

“I want to put on muscle, but not too much I don’t
want to get too bulky, Steve!”

We get this comment via email a LOT, from both guys and

In fact, I heard this fear so frequently that I included it in
our top
7 myths of strength training for women
. Mostly, this comment
comes from folks who are new to strength training and fitness,
which makes sense.

The unknown is scary, and we’re scared to start something if
we’re not quite sure how our bodies are going to adapt.

Combine this with mainstream magazines saying things like
“lift light weights to tone arms!” and we conjure up visions of
lifting heavy weights producing a Hulk-like response.

Here’s a before and after from Staci, our Lead Female trainer
in our 1-on-1 Online
Coaching Program
, who picked up VERY heavy weights and actively
tried to get bulky.

Let’s see the results:

Don't worry about getting bulky. Staci lifts constantly and doesn't look bulky.

Unless you are training with hypertrophy
(increased muscle size) as a focus, have superior genetics, take
steroids, eat like a horse, and focus on nothing but muscle size
for months/years, you are NOT going to get too bulky.

I run a fitness site. I have dedicated my life to health and
fitness for the past twelve years, and I have actively been trying
to put on weight and muscle throughout that entire time.

I am nowhere close to looking bulky, despite all of my efforts
to do so, and dedicating my last 13 months to building muscle and

Yes, genetically some people MIGHT put on muscle more easily
than others, but even then it’s fractions of a degree, not
DRASTIC sweeping differences. We tend to get this question from men
or women who are so thin and have such fast metabolisms, they
probably need to put on 40-50+ pounds of both fat and muscle,
before they would ever even think to use the word “too

So, remove this from your vocabulary! 

Build Muscle and Get Strong Now.

Whenever Rebels together, we start lifting weights to grow muscle fast.

 I want to talk about one final thing: all of the above
info about muscle building is true, if you are 100% focused on
muscle building.

Your results will vary if you are trying to build muscle while

  • Running regularly
  • Doing martial arts
  • Participating in sports that require endurance

Why? Well, because instead of using the calories from
your food to grow big and strong, the calories are going to fuel an
extra long run.

We dive deep into the subject here in “The
Ultimate Guide to Building Any Physique

Now, all of this information comes with a
do what makes you happy! If you love to run, or
play ultimate frisbee 4 days a week, go for it. Just be sure to
temper your goals if you’re ALSO trying to accomplish a billion
other things too. Just temper your expectations as to what will be

If you are looking for more specific guidance on how to build
muscle naturally, or you’ve been at it for months/years without
getting results and think you’re a lost cause, you’re not

I honestly thought I was a lost cause because I spent 6 years
training to bulk up and saw no results. Despite the story I told
myself, it wasn’t because of my genetics. It was because I was
following bad advice, had a bad training program, and didn’t have
the right nutritional strategy!

If you are tired of not getting results, want to avoid
trial-and-error, or you just want to be told exactly what to do to
reach your goals, check out our
popular 1-on-1 Coaching Program
You’ll work with
our certified NF instructors who will get to know you better than
you know yourself and program your workouts and nutrition strategy
for you.

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Now, if you are somebody that is more of the
“do-it-yourself” type, check out our self-paced online course,
the Nerd Fitness
The Academy has 20+ workouts for both
bodyweight or weight training, a benchmark test to determine your
starting workout, HD demonstrations of every movement, boss battles
so you know when you to level up your routine, meal plans, a
questing system, and supportive community.

What else can I answer for you about healthy strength and muscle

We can become superheroes, and we have dozens
of stories
 to prove it 🙂 – just remember it’s going
to take time. Attack the problem with the right game plan, and your
ascension to superhero status can come a bit quicker.

What do you want to know about building muscle and strength?
Leave questions in the comments!


PS: Not ready to commit to one of our programs? That’s
cool too! Make sure you sign up for our email list so we can send
you BOTH the “Skinny nerd’s guide to bulking up” and also our
entire “Strength Training 101: What you need to know”
You can get both free when you sign up in the box

Download our free skinny guy’s guide to putting on
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  • Bulk like the Hulk with our rules for getting bigger


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photo source:[1]

Footnotes    ( returns to text)

  1. Deadlifting

Source: FS – All-FitnessBlogs
How Fast Can I Build Muscle Naturally? A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Muscle Quickly