Muscle Building
8 Mins
Read Time
February 27, 2023

Strategies to Build Muscle Mass and Accelerate Growth


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The desire to grow muscles quickly stems from the desire for noticeable progress and tangible results. Nobody goes to the gym looking for slow or minimal gains. It's natural to want to see and feel the transformation happening within our bodies.

There are numerous approaches and theories when it comes to muscle growth. Fitness coaches and experts have developed various strategies to optimize muscle development. The fitness community is constantly exploring ways to accelerate muscle growth and achieve impressive results.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the common thread among these approaches is the underlying principle of progressive overload. Progressive overload refers to gradually increasing the demands placed on your muscles over time. By subjecting the muscles to progressively higher levels of stress, they adapt and grow stronger and larger.

Some strategies focus on high-volume training. This is where individuals perform a large number of sets and repetitions to exhaust their muscles. This approach aims to induce significant muscle damage and stimulate muscle hypertrophy.

Others emphasize heavy lifting and lower rep ranges. By lifting heavy weights, individuals aim to recruit a high number of muscle fibers. This activity leads to strength improvements and muscle gain.

There are also theories surrounding muscle confusion. It involves changing exercises, training modalities, and rep ranges frequently. The idea is to prevent the body from adapting to a specific routine, thus continuously stimulating growth.

How To Grow Muscles Faster

If you want to grow muscles faster, muscle activation serves as a crucial preparatory step. This technique helps optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of your workouts. 

Muscle activation involves engaging and awakening the specific groups you will be targeting during your workout. To promote muscle growth, it is essential to ensure that the targeted groups receive maximum stimulation during training. Merely going through the motions and moving weights from points A to B without intentional engagement can lead to suboptimal results. 

By activating the muscles before training, you prime them for the upcoming workload. It also increases the likelihood of a growth response. Muscle activation also enhances the mind-muscle connection. This is the ability to consciously and effectively contract and control the targeted muscles during exercises. This connection is vital for generating the necessary tension and stress within the muscle fibers to stimulate growth.

Activation exercises offer three significant benefits to your exercise routine. First, they enhance neuromuscular efficiency by strengthening the connection between the brain and the targeted muscles. Second, activation exercises reduce the risk of injury by relaxing overactive muscles and promoting effective muscle engagement. Lastly, these exercises improve overall performance by optimizing muscle utilization and maximizing strength output during workouts. With their low-impact and low-intensity nature, activation exercises are unlikely to cause injuries.

-, 3 Reasons to Wake Up Your Workout With Activation Exercises

Common Mistakes

Many individuals neglect to activate their muscles before training. They go into the gym, load up weights, and start performing exercises without proper preparation. This can result in a lack of focus and engagement in the target muscles. Other assisting muscle groups might compensate to make the exercise easier to perform.

By skipping muscle activation, you risk distributing the workload across multiple groups. It dilutes the stimulus for growth in the targeted muscles. This can lead to imbalances and hinder your progress toward fast, targeted muscle growth. Therefore, incorporating muscle activation techniques into your pre-training routine is crucial for optimizing results.

Isolating the load

When maximizing gains in a specific group, isolate the load as much as possible in the targeted area. While compound movements involve multiple groups, you want to focus on directing the load and stress primarily to the muscles you intend to develop.

By isolating the load, you ensure that the targeted group receives the majority of the growth stimulus. This can lead to enhanced muscle activation and hypertrophy. It also requires intentional activation before performing compound lifts or exercises.

By engaging and priming the targeted group, you enhance the muscle's responsiveness to the upcoming training session. This technique serves as a bridge between your mind and muscles. It allows for more effective and efficient contractions during workouts. The increased focus and load isolation contribute to maximizing growth stimulation and fast muscle development.

Muscle Activation Workout Techniques

By incorporating muscle activation into your routine, you can accelerate the process of muscle building and achieve your desired results more efficiently. Here are some tips and exercises that work effectively. 

If you prefer a visual representation of these exercises, watch our video on How To Grow Muscles Faster.

Chest Activation

To activate the chest muscles effectively, it is important to understand the short contraction position. This position occurs when your humerus is pulled over the midline of your body. It results in the maximum contraction of the pectoral muscles. By focusing on this shortened position, you can enhance the mind-muscle connection and stimulate optimal growth in the chest muscles.

Resistance training with bands

Resistance bands are a valuable tool for muscle activation. They provide increasing tension as they stretch. It allows for a gradual increase in workload on the muscles as the muscle contracts into its shorten range. This helps activate the chest muscles while minimizing unnecessary workload when the chest is in a lengthened position. 

Proper band placement and positioning 

When utilizing resistance bands for chest activation, it is crucial to position the band correctly. Tie off the resistance band at shoulder height and position your body to achieve the optimal end band position during each repetition. This ensures that the tension is focused on the chest muscles. It also avoids unnecessary engagement of other muscle groups.

Recommended intensity and rep range

During activations, it is important to select a resistance band that generates an intensity level of approximately three on a scale of one to ten. The goal is to feel the muscle contracting against the tension without inducing fatigue. Performing 12 to 14 reps across two to three sets is a general guideline. However, the number of reps can vary based on your mind-muscle connection and the strength of your muscles.

Lats Activation

To activate the lat muscles effectively, focus on the short position. This occurs when your arm is pulled behind you with a slight rotation around your back. By placing tension in this shortened position, you engage the lat muscles and prepare them for the upcoming workout.

Utilizing resistance bands for tension

Resistance bands are valuable for generating tension during lats activation. By attaching the band at approximately neck height, you can create the necessary resistance to activate the lats effectively. The tension in the band should be greatest at the end position. This is where the lats are fully shortened.

Avoiding traps engagement

When performing lats activation, it is crucial to avoid engaging the trapezius muscles excessively. To achieve this, focus on pulling your arm down and around toward the opposite hip. This helps keep the traps out of the activation as much as possible. Avoid raising the shoulder and instead concentrate on the movement of the elbow toward the hip for optimal lat engagement.

Correct technique for optimal activation

Maintaining proper form during lats activation is essential. Keep the arm straight. Slight lock at the elbow and pull it down and behind you while rotating it. Hold the end position for one to two beats. This helps fully activate and engage the lat muscles. By performing the movement with precision and control, you maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

Hamstrings Activation

The hamstrings have two primary functions: knee flexion and hip extension. Knee flexion refers to bringing the knee toward the glutes. Hip extension refers to pulling the hips forward. Depending on your workout plan, you may need to focus on activating the hamstrings for one or both of these functions.

Activation techniques for both functions

For knee flexion, tie a resistance band around your ankle and secure it to a low point. While lying face down, contract your hamstring by pulling your heel up toward your glutes.

To focus on hip extension, lock the band at waist height and wrap it around your waist. Place the balls of your feet on an elevation and drive your hips forward against the band's tension.

Maintaining proper form and minimizing glute involvement

During hamstring activation, it is important to maintain proper form to isolate the target muscles and minimize glute involvement. Avoid arching the back excessively or using momentum to complete the movement. Focus on using the hamstrings to initiate and control the motion while keeping the glutes relatively relaxed. This will help ensure optimal activation.

Recovery Strategies

During intense workouts, muscle fibers undergo micro-tears. Rest and recovery allow them to repair and grow stronger. Here are some key strategies to optimize recovery:

  1. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. During sleep, the body releases growth hormones. It aids in muscle repair and growth. Establish a consistent sleep routine and create a sleep-friendly environment to enhance recovery.
  2. Incorporate regular rest days into your training schedule. This allows your muscles and central nervous system to recover and adapt to the training stimulus.
  3. Ensure you're consuming adequate protein and nutrients to support muscle repair and recovery. Consider post-workout nutrition strategies. Some examples include consuming a protein-rich meal or shake within an hour of finishing your workout.
  4. Engage in light activities on rest days. Walking, yoga, or stretching are examples. These activities promote blood flow and reduce muscle soreness.

Tracking Progress

Tracking your progress is crucial to ensure you're on the right track and making consistent gains. Keep track of your body measurements, including weight, fat percentage, and muscle measurements. Regularly assess changes in these metrics to gauge your progress.

Track your strength gains by recording the weights, sets, and reps you perform in your workouts. Gradually increasing these numbers indicates progress. Take photos of yourself at regular intervals to visually assess changes in muscle definition, overall health, and physique.

Maintain a training log where you record your workouts, exercises, weights, and reps. This helps you track your progress, identify areas for improvement, and maintain consistency.

Supplement Considerations

While not essential, certain supplements can help build and maintain muscles. It's important to note that supplements should not replace a balanced diet, but rather enhance it. Here are a few supplements that have scientific support for their potential benefits:

  1. Protein powder: Whey protein powder is a convenient way to increase your protein intake. This is especially helpful for post-workout. It provides a quick and easily digestible source of protein.
  2. Creatine: Creatine monohydrate has been extensively studied and shown to enhance strength and muscle mass gains. It can be particularly beneficial for high-intensity, short-duration activities like weightlifting.
  3. Essential and Branched-chain amino acids: EAAs + BCAAs are essential amino acids that can aid in muscle recovery and reduce muscle damage. They are commonly consumed during or after workouts. 

Building Muscles Fast and Efficiently

Maximizing muscle growth requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses various factors. By understanding the science-backed principles and applying them consistently, you can optimize your muscle-building journey.

Remember that everyone's body is unique. It may take time to find the strategies that work best for you. If you need help, Tailored Fit Alpha offers a personalized fitness coaching service for males over 40. We help transform men's physiques via our science-backed approach.

If you want to grow your muscles quickly, muscle activation is a crucial step. By incorporating the discussed techniques and prioritizing the mind-muscle connection, you can optimize your workouts and accelerate your progress toward your muscle goals.

Remember, activating your muscles before training is a powerful strategy that can take your workouts to the next level. Stay dedicated, focus on proper technique, and enjoy the rewarding results of your efforts.


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