How To Get Swole on Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System

How To Get Swole on Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System 2021

Whether you’re trying to get stronger, recovering from nagging injuries, or just want enormous muscles because you think they look cool, one of the most awesome yet challenging parts of building serious muscle is figuring out how much you need to eat.

Building muscle tissue requires a surplus of calories paired with heavy lifting over a long period of time. But even if you’ve done your homework and created a nutrition plan that makes sense for your goals, toss in a hefty amount of meal prep and the price tag of most healthy foods, and the results can be paralyzing. As a personal trainer, I’ve seen firsthand that most people end up not eating enough to see real changes in the gym.

How To Get Swole On Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System 2022

Unless you have a friends-and-family discount at Whole Foods, it’s hard out there for folks trying to get strong without blowing a ton of money on groceries—so how do you fuel yourself to get super swole without breaking the bank?

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1. Learn to love your kitchen.

After a long day, sometimes all we have the energy for is plopping on the couch and scrolling through Seamless or Grubhub—but lukewarm pad Thai isn’t going to get you to those gain goals, so it’s time to channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and fall in love with your kitchen.

First, you’ll want to make sure you have some quality essentials, like a non-stick grill pan, a slow cooker, and food storage containers. Investing in the right tools will ensure that they last longer and can make meal prepping a way more enjoyable experience overall. Then take a look at the week of training ahead and make a grocery list based on the kind of meals you want to support your workouts. If a magnetic dry erase board on your fridge feels like a fun way to map out your weekly eats, do it to it! YOU MIGHT LIKEThe Kitchen Tools Our Editors Can’t Live Without

2. Practice frugal shopping.

A lot of large grocery chains offer frequent shopper rewards, so do some research and seek out stores that have them. Try giving yourself a limit of 50 bucks and see if you can buy your weekly groceries without going over. Clip those coupons, embrace your inner bargain hunter, and make a game out of sticking to your list (don’t even think about going shopping without your list!). Most importantly, never ever ever go to the store hungry—you’ll probably leave with a $14 cheese and some bougie organic stone-ground crackers.

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3. Prioritize affordable protein.

Protein is definitely the crown jewel of your grocery list—it preserves muscle mass and stimulates the growth of new tissue in the form of amino acids, and you’re going to need a lot of it to build muscle and maintain steady energy and blood sugar levels.


Think about what sort of protein you’d like to eat that week (chicken? Beef? Tofu?) and calculate how many meals you need a day based on your goals. If you’re a carnivore, chicken thighs are more affordable (and more flavorful in my opinion!) than chicken breasts, and both beef top round roast and pork shoulder are on the cheaper side and awesome for slow cooking. A carton of whole eggs is always cheaper than the pre-separated whites, and you can trim your costs on beans by buying them dried and in bulk.

8 Tips for Eating to Get Swole Without Breaking the Bank 2022

Most meatless alternatives can get pretty pricey, so vegetarians and vegans who aren’t trying to survive exclusively on lentils have it a little tougher when it comes to protein. Checking out places like Trader Joe’s or Costco for items like veggie burgers and tofu is your best bet.

As for prep, I’m a huge fan of batch-cooking my protein. It’s super easy to dump chicken thighs and salsa in a crockpot on low for a couple hours or grill a big batch of salmon or steak with some seasoning. Once your protein is cooked, you can weigh it and put it in food storage containers or plastic baggies. Yeah, this is the most time-consuming part of your prep, but it’s absolutely worth the time and attention—once it’s done, it’s done!GREATIST RESOURCESGet Our Guide to Cutting Back on Added Sugar

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4. Eat your veggies!

I throw a handful of spinach or cooked greens into most of my meals for added vitamins, fiber, and energy. Any green, leafy vegetable will do: kale, collards, Swiss chard, whatever floats your boat. Fibrous veggies like sweet potatoes are dirt cheap, packed with vitamins, and super-versatile to cook with.

Keep an eye out for what’s in season and buy the whole and unbagged bunches of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots instead of their prepackaged counterparts. Sure, you’ll have to rinse and chop, but it’ll help keep overall costs down considerably.


5. Fats are your friends.

Healthy fats are essential for overall health and gaining mass, and olive oil, whole nuts, and nut butter are all excellent sources. Butters and oils tend to be pricey, so look out for deals (I buy Trader Joe’s EVOO) and try to scoop your whole nuts from the bulk food section. If you tolerate dairy, whole milk is a relatively cheap and easy way to add extra fat and calories as well.

6. Carbs = energy.

Carbohydrates are awesome. Complex carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes, and oats are all cheap, delicious options. You can cook large batches of rice or pasta and store them to toss in meals later. Try to consume most of your carbs around your training time so they help you fuel and recover from training more efficiently.

7. Assemble and keep it simple.

Organize your fridge in sections (I like my protein on the bottom shelf, veggies in the middle, and dairy on the side or top) so that everything is easily accessible when you’re hangry. I prefer to meal-prep on Sunday and Wednesday, but figure out a schedule that works best for you.

When you’re just starting out, keep everything as simple and streamlined as possible. Pick a cooked protein, a handful of veggies, a serving of healthy fats, and an energy-appropriate serving of carbs. Don’t forget to add seasoning spices, mustard, yogurt sauce, or hot sauce for some flavor—once you get in the habit of prepping, you can experiment with different flavors and get creative.


8. Progress, not perfection!

One of the best things about training to gain muscle is that you can have some higher-calorie meals sprinkled into the week—just make sure your choices support your goals and your budget. You’ll probably perform, digest, and recover better if you’re eating your prepped food on a regular basis, but if you want to occasionally hit up the taco truck after a heavy squat session, it definitely won’t hurt you.

Don’t stress about doing the “perfect meal-prep” and filling your fridge with aesthetically pleasing, perfectly stacked containers of food. If you’re able to eat prepped food most of the time, you are well ahead of the game.

How To Get Swole
How To Get Swole

And if you find yourself unable to afford all the food you need, examine your overall budget and see where you can tighten things up. Coffee, alcohol, buying clothes and gadgets—all of this stuff adds up. Eating for gains on a tight budget doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive, it just requires a little planning ahead and creativity. Lift heavy, eat big, and let’s all get strong as hell together!


How to Get Swole on Short Notice

Start an hour-and-a-half pre-beach. …
Eat smart pre-pump. …
To get the chest swole, start with push-ups. …
Use resistance to build the biceps. …
Next, pump up the shoulders. …
T-minus five minutes to the swole nation. …
Give one last look in the mirror.

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1. Consume more calories.
“Extra calories combined with training leads to growth,” certified strength and conditioning specialist Sean Hyson tells Men’s Fitness, encouraging you to eat a lot of the right foods – like salmon, olive oil, and lean meats – if you want to get swole.

2. Eat more protein.
Without protein, you can’t build muscle, so it’s obvious that you need to up your protein intake when you’re trying to bulk up. For every pound of lean body weight, eat 1 to 1.5 grams of protein.

How To Get Swole On Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System

3. Don’t skimp on the carbs.
A lot of people think that cutting carbs is going to help you get muscular and big faster, but numerous studies suggest pairing protein with carbs in order to balance hormones and maximize your gains after working out. 

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4. Use dumbbells
If you’re only using barbells, you might want to consider occasionally working with dumbbells, too, because Montreal-based strength coach Andrew Sakhrani says: “Dumbbell presses open up the chest and recruit more muscle fibers.” 

5. Don’t forget about your back.
Unless you want to look like Popeye, don’t focus too much on your arms and chest without doing plenty of rowing and pulling to work your back as well.

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6. Sleep eight hours a night.
Thanks to science, we already know that sleeping is basically the best thing ever, and is actually the ultimate key to happiness. True story. 

But sleep is also crucial for post-workout recovery and maximizing gains, because “most of your growth hormone release in a day comes during sleep,” Hyson Explains, recommending  eight hours of shut-eye each night

7. Volume training.
Bodybuilders, a.k.a. the buffest, most swole dudes known to man, get that way from volume training, with “five or more exercises per body part, four sets of 8 to 12 reps,” which adds up to a grand total of about 200 reps per body part. 

How To Get Swole On Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System 2022

It’s going to take a while, but it’ll be worth it. 

8. Do some heavy lifting.
Instead of circuit training, Hyson recommends doing “sets of five or fewer reps” of the heaviest load possible, because it causes your testosterone levels to spike, which is good news when you’re trying to get bigger.

9. Change things up.
As with all things in life, workouts need variety too, or else your training will plateau and you won’t see more gains.

“Try to work in a little bit of high-intensity interval training or cardio moves into each workout to make sure your body is constantly adjusting.”

10. Move with multijoint exercises.
“The foundation of a big, muscular body comes from big, compound lifts, defined as motions that incorporate at least two joints,” Men’s Fitness says, and recommends doing chin-ups, because “The chin up is the original biceps curl.”

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11. Rest a little.
Contrary to popular belief, working out with the heaviest weights every single day is not going to make you stronger faster. It’s actually a lot more productive to allow your body to fully recover for a few days by decreasing the weight, increasing the reps, and foregoing the last two sets. 

12. Do powerlifting moves. 
Squats, deadlifts, and other powerlifting moves cause your body to release high levels of testosterone, and as we said before, testosterone is absolutely crucial for big gains.

13. Bodyweight exercises.
Don’t underestimate the power of bodyweight exercises, like planks, squats, and push-ups. Sometimes the simplest exercises are the best ones. 

How To Get Swole On Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System 2022

14. Train with a partner.
“Competition in the weight room boosts testosterone and makes you enjoy your workouts more, so you’ll stick with them. You’ll also be forced to train harder,” Hyson says, encouraging us to indulge in a little healthy competition. 

15. Take creatine.
Creatine helps increase muscle size and strength, speeds recovery, and enhances brain function, making it the ultimate workout supplement.


16. Focus on form.
If you’re sloppy while lifting, there’s a solid chance you’re going to pull a muscle, and if you’re sitting out with an injury, you’re not going to build any muscle. That’s why you should always pay attention to your form.

17. Consistency is key.
If you only go to the gym once a week, don’t expect to see any results whatsoever. However, if you consistently go 3 to 4 times a week, you’ll get bigger in no time.


18. Eliminate stress.
Stress causes your body to release the stress hormone cortisol, which makes it damn near impossible to build muscle, and actually promotes muscle breakdown. 

Just chill out, count your blessings, and try to ignore the horse shit life flings your way, and you’ll not only get bigger on the outside, but you’ll be a better, happier person on the inside, too.

How To Get Swole On Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System 2022


19. Don’t limit yourself.
“If you’re stuck at a weight and unsure if you can make that jump up to 225 from 215 on the bench press, don’t just walk away from it. Grab a spotter who knows what they’re doing, and give it a shot. Worst-case scenario? You fail, then you can try again next week

20. Use a spotter.
Spotters are useful for a number of reasons: they help you get in that one extra rep, they watch your form, they count your reps when you’re too busy bench pressing 200 pounds to count for yourself, and they can be your workout buddy. Good dudes. 


21. Get a professional trainer.
More often than not, trainers know exactly what they’re doing, which is why they’re in the profession. Even a session or two can be enough to lock down a good routine, or learn some new nutrition tricks to maximize your workouts. 

How To Get Swole On Short Notice – Muscle Building Workout System 2022

22. Get in the zone.
Without the proper mentality, your workout is going to be subpar at best, so you should do whatever it takes to get rid of distractions and find your gym flow. 

23. Be focused.
You’re at the gym to work out, not to text and fool around. Put distractions aside and focus on your workout for the best results. 

24. Warm up.
Thanks to common sense, we know that diving into weight training without warming up is a guaranteed injury, so make sure to properly warm up first.

25. Find the workout that’s right for you.
“If you’re following a program, be sure to give it at least 6-8 weeks. If you’re not happy with your results, don’t be afraid to try something completely different. Change the exercises, amount of weight, reps, rest periods, amount of days, you name it.”

How to Pump Up

  1. Start early. For a decent swell, an hour and a half is ideal prep time — enough to digest a good meal and then get a fair pump.
  2. Eat smart. Aim to eat about an hour before working out.
  3. Push up your chest.
  4. Band your biceps.
  5. Skip the sit-ups.
  6. Raise your shoulders.
  7. Finish strong.

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