I am often asked how to build muscle fast. Fast is all relative, and your definition of fast and my definition of fast are probably different. There is no quick fix, or over night miracle but these five movements will help you build muscle as quickly and efficiently as possible.


#5: The Bench Press

bench press
The bench press is an oldie but a goodie. The prime mover in the bench press is the pectoralis major. The secondary movers are the triceps and anterior (font) portion of the shoulder. You may read online or in a magazine that the bench press is not the best chest developer, and this is true when speaking directly about the chest itself. But, as an overall mass builder for the upper body, this exercise is a monster and one of the best there is!

#4: Standing Overhead Barbell Press

overhead press
The standing overhead barbell press is one of the best mass builders for the upper body. The movement focuses on the deltoids and also incorporates the triceps, upper traps, and upper chest. This exercise is great for broadening someone’s shoulders and increasing overall upper body thickness.

As an added bonus, this movement will also increase your core strength and stability. This occurs because a person’s center of gravity is constantly changing as the bar is elevated and lowered. To accommodate for these changes in center of gravity, the core has to contract and stabilize. This will result in more efficient movements and a stronger core. You have to love that!

#3: Bent Over Barbell Row

bent over row
The bent over barbell row works the entire posterior chain. The prime mover in this movement is the latissimus dorsi. The secondary movers are the rhomboids, trapezius, posterior (back) portion of the shoulder, and the biceps. The hamstrings, lower back and the rest of the core also get stabilization work during this movement. If you are not doing bent over barbell rows you are missing out on some major back development.

#2: The Squat

“Squats separate the men from the boys… the losers from the winners… the dedicated from the unfaithful… and the strong from the weak.” -Justin Glenn


Squats are difficult, consume a lot of energy, and can break someone’s will. Squats are so taxing because they work the two biggest muscle groups in your body: the glutes and the quads. Assistance movers for this exercise include the hamstrings and the calves.

Since so many large muscles are worked, it is only natural that major muscle gains will follow. Squats also help build lower back and core strength and stability.

#1 The Deadlift

I have already written an entire article dedicated strictly to breaking down the benefits of the deadlift, so I will keep this short. (Click HERE to read the article)

Deadlifts are the king of all exercises. The entire posterior chain is worked during a deadlift, the core is compromised and strengthened due to the front loaded center of gravity, the entire back is activated, and the entire lower body is working as well. It really doesn’t get more efficient than this movement.

For quicker gains, more efficient usage of your time, and to build muscle fast be sure to include all of these movements into your training routine.

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