How to build muscle fast
Last Updated: August 5, 2014
Working with a professional trainer is proven to increase muscle, increase strength - and make you look better.

But up until recently it was also pretty expensive - a highly-qualified personal trainer can cost as much as $200 per hour. Even lesser-qualified trainers charge as much as $75 per hour.

Luckily, the internet has given us a wealth of training programs, which show how you how to train yourself - using low cost equipment, with little or no scientific knowledge required.

We decided to review these training programs - our key criteria were ease-of-use, strength gains, and muscle growth.

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised with the results - these programs do work, and if you pick the right one for goals, you could begin to see results in a matter of days.

We reviewed 11 muscle building programs - only 3 met our criteria:

  • Fast Increase in Strength - at least 10% in the big lifts
  • Fast and Easy Start-up - in only a few hours, even for novices
  • Quick Muscle Gains - minimum of 1 pound per week
#1 Beginner Program  No Nonsense Muscle Building

Rating 9.0/10

Ease of Use
Strength Gains
Muscle Gains
Customer Support

"The best program for new lifters in 2012..."

Out of all of the programs we reviewed we found Vince DelMonte's No-Nonsense Muscle Building to be the easiest to follow.

With breakdowns of the workouts as well as the nutrition and supplement advice, even a complete novice will be able to put this program to use quickly. The basics of eating and training are covered, and everything is layed-out in step-by-step fashion.

If you have been training for a year or less this is the program that is best suited to your needs. However, more advanced guys may find the information too basic.

That is the real downside to this program. Eventually even the beginning lifter will out-grow it, but it will help you gain some serious muscle and strength before you do.

This program is also the best selling muscle building program in the world, so its got a proven history of delivering results.

The Verdict: Great for beginning lifters; solid info and gains; proven track record - our top pick for beginners

Rating 9.0/10

Ease of Use
Strength Gains
Muscle Gains
Customer Support

#1 Intermediate/Advanced Program

Muscle Gaining Secrets

Our top pick for intermediate and advanced lifters comes to us from renowned strength coach Jason Ferruggia. Jason has done his work "in the trenches" training hundreds of athletes and regular guys alike.

He has taken his years of experience and collected them into the Muscle Gaining Secrets system. While the program isn't as flashy as some of the others we reviewed, the routines and tips it contains are of the highest quality.

However, many of the workouts are fairly advanced, and require the lifter to have some experience with training hard. Simply put, a beginning lifter would be in a lot of pain if they tried to follow many of the programs in this system!

But for the intermediate or advanced lifter it is just what the doctor (or trainer) ordered. The routines contained in this program will shock your muscles into new growth so that you can blast through a plateau. This is all done with a purpose though - it's not just new workouts for the sake of doing something different.

We had difficulty getting answers to our questions quickly, so we had to take a point off for customer service, but for the intermediate or advanced lifter this won't be much of a concern, as they won't have many questions anyway.

The Verdict: Very well-designed program; too advanced for most new lifters; our top intermediate/advanced pick

Rating 8.5/10

Ease of Use
Strength Gains
Muscle Gains
Customer Support

#1 Combined Fat Loss and Muscle Building Program

Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded

The Lean Hybrid Muscle training system is one of the easier-to-follow guides we came across - our own experience says it only takes 15 minutes to get started - although it will take a little longer if you've never worked out before. This guide emphasizes fat loss in addition to muscle gains, which makes it similar to the Truth About Abs.

The focus is on the development of a "Type 3" lean hybrid muscle fiber. This is done through a combination of heavy lifting and "resistance cardio" (AKA the Lean Hybrid Muscle exercises). This unique approach can be very effective, not to mention pretty fun.

Because the Lean Hybrid Muscle program also works on fat loss, the muscle gains aren't quite as good as with the other programs. But if you need to lose the flab on your belly as well as gain some muscle, then this is a great choice. If your only goal is to gain weight and strength then this routine will work, but you would do better with one of our other recommended programs.

The other stand-out aspect of this program is the great technical support. Impressively, our e-mails were usually responded to in under an hour, and by the author of the ebook no less. Not to mention that this program is consistently updated, with the newest version (Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded) having just been released.

The Verdict: Great for those who need to gain muscle and lose fat; works for a variety of body types and experience levels; the best all-around program

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