How To Put on Muscle Fast (5 Science-based And Safe Techniques)

We know what you're thinking — sTerOids! Uh, nope. This article covers how to put on muscle fast using 100% science-based and safe techniques.

How To Put on Muscle Fast (5 Science-based And Safe Techniques)

Hmm, “how to put on muscle fast” — we already know what you’re thinking.

Just take a flight to Thailand, walk into any pharmacy, and ask for *mimes dramatic air quotes* protein powder over the counter, and you’re all good. Obviously, we’re using the term “protein powder” incredibly loosely here:


Not sure why the protein comes in such small tubs here 🤔 #proteinpowder #thailand #naturalbodybuilding #thisisajoke #tren

♬ original sound - Augustas

For sure, steroid use (yep, let’s drop all pretenses 😬) is an indisputably foolproof method for quick muscle gain. A sedentary individual on steroids may even gain more muscle than a drug-free lifter putting in the reps.

But steroids’ “stimulating” effects don’t just stop at your muscles.

They also increase the size of your organs, from the heart to the liver to the kidneys. There’s only so much they can grow before your body starts shutting down.

In most cases, unless your career success hinges on your muscle mass (e.g., professional bodybuilder, an actor playing a superhero, or a niche OnlyFans creator), steroids are just not. worth. it.

Repeat after us: not. worth. it. And with that, here’s:

How to put on muscle fast — safely

#1: Eat enough calories

You cannot be in a calorie deficit if you want to gain as much muscle mass as possible.

Proof: this 2022 meta-analysis from the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Every single analyzed study involving a calorie deficit showed muscle loss.

Meaning? If you aren’t already, get into a calorie surplus.

How many calories you push beyond your maintenance calories depends on your lifting experience:

Complete newbie: Research suggests that when you’re wet behind the ears in the realm of resistance training, you’ll see a nearly 100% calorie-to-muscle conversion (instead of the usual ~50% muscle, ~50% fat). So, floor the pedal. Try to gain ~2% of your body weight weekly. You can use this calculator to estimate your calorie needs.
Trained: The more trained you get, the less “responsive” (in some sense) your body is to resistance training and excess calories. And the more fat you put on. This means that to prevent undesirable excess fat gain, you’ll have to adopt a more measured approach to your calorie surplus. Eat just 200-300 calories north of your maintenance.

#2: Get at least 1.6 g of protein per kg of body weight

A good portion of those calories should come from the building blocks of your muscles: protein.

How much? Research suggests at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. There’s some evidence that pushing that to 3.3 g/kg of protein could help skew your weight gain toward muscle instead of fat gain — but come on.

3.3 g/kg of protein?! If you weigh 65 kg, that’s 214.5 grams of protein daily. Or:

And don’t get us started on quantifying plant-based protein sources (notoriously known for their relatively lower protein content compared to animal sources).

So, for practicality and enjoyment, focus on hitting 1.6 g/kg of protein.

If you’re able to exceed that, good. But if you’re not, don’t worry. You’re probably not missing out on a whole lotta’ gains.

👂 What’s that? You need help getting your protein in? Here:

How To Create Delicious Meal Plans for a High Protein Diet
There are countless meal plans suitable for a high-protein diet. But? None show you how to tailor recipes to your needs. So, let’s change that.
How To Create Delicious Vegan Meal Plans You’ll Want To Eat
There are countless vegan meal plans out there. But? None show you how to tailor recipes to your unique fitness goals. So, let’s change that.
Getting Your Protein In on the Cheap (Source and Meal Ideas)
Find out how you can hit your daily protein requirements on the cheap - including source, seasoning, and even meal ideas. Pack those muscles on.

#3: Ready, set, streeeeeetch

Eat right — tick. Now, you need to train right.

By that, we mean picking exercises that’ll place the most tension on your target muscles when they’re in the stretched position. To share very briefly, researchers have now found that lengthened partials result in better hypertrophy outcomes than full range of motion (ROM) training.

Was that too skimpy on the details for you? If it was, read this article:

Wait … Partial Range of Motion Is Now Better than Full ROM?
The days of full ROM training is over. Or ... is it? While research increasingly supports partials produce better hypertrophy, there’s a catch.

A disclaimer: this doesn’t mean you should replace all exercises in your training plan with “stretch exercises”.

It’s generally still wise to double down on more “bang-for-your-buck” exercises, be intentional about achieving a deep and nice stretch with those, and then sprinkle specific “stretch exercises” here and there.

More specifically, let’s say you want bigger quads. Your:

Priority: Would still be “big” movements, like the barbell back squats or leg press.
“Stretch exercises”: These are treated as “embellishments”. A great example would be (the name is terrible, but —) sissy squats.

#4: Supplements

The next thing you want to look into would be supplements.

TBH, safe, science-based workout supplements are few and far between, with the only 2 that have consistently shown ergogenic (i.e., performance-enhancing) benefits being:

Caffeine: Works by interacting with the central and peripheral nervous systems, reducing the perception of pain and effort during exercise. Best taken in doses of 3 to 6 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight and 60 minutes before exercise.
Creatine: Works by saturating your muscles with phosphocreatine, which serves as an immediate energy source for your muscles during exercise. Best taken at 3-5 g daily.

Somewhat ironically (and, frankly, sadly), the 2 ‘C’s don’t seem to play well with each other.

Find out why and how that impacts your supplementation strategy here:

Should You Mix Creatine with Caffeine?
Mix creatine with caffeine: yes or no? Find out if these two are BFFs or mortal enemies here, so you make the most of your supplements.

#5: Adopt healthy lifestyle practices

As a quick summary, here’s what we’ve covered so far on how to put on muscle fast:

  • Shovel enough calories into your mouth
  • Eat at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • Sprinkle some of those stretch-focused exercises into your training plan
  • Top all that up with performance-enhancing supplements

What else?

Well, the cherry on top of all that would be speeding up your recovery between sessions by getting at least 7-9 hours of good-quality sleep nightly and managing your stress levels.

Want to put on muscle fast? Then put in the work

If you’re thinking, “Wow, that sounds like a lot of work,” it is.

Nobody said putting on muscle would be easy. But if you put in the work and stick with it (in a safe, healthy, and sustainable way — i.e., no steroids, please), you’ll see that it’s more than worth it when you see a completely different body in the mirror.

And if you’d like an overhaul of your existing training + nutrition plans and/or would simply like more accountability for your fitness progress, check out GymStreak:

Workout Programming + Nutrition Tracking, Off Your Hands

*sigh of relief* We'll guide you through it all — step-by-step. Just download the app, and you'll be making progress toward your dream body like never before.


Abad-Santos, Alex. “One Dirty Trick for Huge Muscles Fast.” Vox, 5 Nov. 2021,

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Weight Gain Calculator. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.