How to Build Muscle Mass Fast – The Keto Way!

How to Build Muscle Mass Fast

The most frustrating part of fitness for most bodybuilding enthusiasts is that it can be challenging to gain as little as 5-10lbs of new muscle mass within reasonable timeframes.

On an aesthetic level, any additional gains would be a welcome addition, but it’s equally important to understand the basic physiology behind the whole concept. Building new muscle is about your body’s response to the muscle damage you inflict during a workout. Which is why incorporating four to five days of weight lifting and resistance training program into your workout regimen is an excellent place to start.

The standard approach of gaining muscle is to focus on a different body part, then performing around 12 – 20 sets of four different exercises  until you can do maybe one or two more repetitions per set in order to achieve hypertrophy.

A woman performing a kettlebell press

Building Muscle On The Keto Diet

The food choices you make will play a significant role in the success of building muscle mass and in this case, you need to ensure that you have adequate calorie surplus available to expend during your workouts in order to generate new muscle fiber. About 0.7g of high-protein intake per pound of body weight is required to synthesize new muscle cells, preferably taken from good quality sources – such as fresh meat, eggs, nuts, and keto meal replacement shakes, will keep your protein synthesis progressive.

So, how can a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein keto diet that is mainly designed to suppress appetite for weight loss purposes and metabolically alter the body to use fat as fuel helps in building muscle mass?

A diet low in carbs including one that is moderate in protein doesn’t seem appropriate for bulking up since typically, to gain muscle, one needs to load up on tons of carb to produce glycogen that fuels your muscles and high-protein meals, right?

Both research and subjective experiences have proven that building muscle while on keto is unlikely, how?

Reducing subcutaneous fat by eating a low-carb diet plays a role in looking ripped, and new studies have concluded that if you can you train your body to use fat for fuel, you can still perform intense workouts geared for muscle building without any problems.

Which is why carb-restricted diets, such as the ketogenic plan, are preferred by bodybuilders who are looking to reduce fat that is located directly below the skin(subcutaneous fat). While most muscle building plans these days call for high carbs and plenty of protein consumption, you can, by all means, find low carb, high fat protein powders that deliver 20+ grams of fat per serving to help you fully maximize your nutrient intake/partitioning.

Why You Don’t Need Carbs To Build Muscle Mass

Even with all the research, many bodybuilders still doubt that they can build muscle on a low-carb diet because their muscles don’t have enough fuel.

But did you know that your body can use intramuscular fat that is stored in the muscle tissue for energy if required?, especially if you are not very lean to begin with. There is no denying that when it comes to building muscle, carbs are needed in order to help you generate high amounts of force during an explosive hypertrophic set at the gym because, in essence, you are relying on creatine, blood glucose, as well as stored glycogen from your muscles and liver.

Therefore, when building muscle on a keto diet, one of your strategies could be to time your carbohydrate intake in conjunction with your pre, intra, or post weight training to then fuel your body with high fat and moderate protein at the other times of the day when carbs are not needed.

Protein is the primary factor responsible for repairing muscle tissueProtein is the primary factor responsible for repairing muscle tissue

Keep in mind that there are four main variations of the Ketogenic diet, therefore, you need to determine which one is ideal for your muscle mass building goals. While all other factors of the diets are similar, what differs about each type of keto plan is the grams of net carbohydrates that you are required to consume per day.

The primary goal of any keto diet is to alter your body’s metabolism to burns fat as the primary source of fuel. For example:

  • The macro breakdown for the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) is 70% fat, 5% carbs, and 25% protein, making it best for weight loss
  • The Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) is ideal for increased workout performance by adding 10 – 30 grams of fast acting carbohydrates(sugar, dextrose) timed around your workouts.
  • The High-Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPKT) works out great for individuals that do not feel satiated on the regular ketogenic diet, and/or are looking to build muscle mass.
  • The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) is the best plan that is suitable for bodybuilders or professional athletes because it follows the idea of 5/2 Intermittent Fasting, where you incorporate 5-days of high-carb intake followed by 2-days of low carbohydrate consumption

As you can see, you have two options to chose from; Cyclical Ketogenic Diet to help with bodybuilding and the Targeted Ketogenic Diet that has one benefit over others which is it’s potential to enhance exercise performance.

The goal with the TKD is to eat small amounts of fast-absorbing carbs before, during, or after intense workouts in order to help fuel your session and top off stored glycogen reserves. This is because performing regular hardcore workouts such as Crossfit, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as well as prolonged bouts of cardio for weight loss, depletes muscle glycogen.

On the spectrum of keto diets, the Targeted Ketogenic Diet falls somewhere between the SDK and the CKD, which is not so much for weight loss but for high-octane performance such as what you’re embarking on for muscle hypertrophy.

Also read: How To Build Muscle Mass Without Equipment

Carbs Can Be Useful… But Are Not Required!

So, assuming you eat the right carbs, at the correct times, while performing the right kinds of muscle-building workouts, the performance-boosting effects of the TDK can help fill glycogen stores, stave off exercise fatigue and prevent low blood sugar and can make it slightly easier to build muscle mass fast.

As mentioned earlier, contrary to popular belief that you only need insulin in carbs for muscle growth, the standard ketogenic diet can also help with strength training and muscle building.

According to a 2017 study that carried out such a study, it was even concluded that resistance-trained individuals added more lean mass on a ketogenic diet than on a high-carb diet.

In this case of building mass, you only need two inputs to build muscle; weight training and sufficient protein are the most important factors, to which a keto diet can provide Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which is a muscle-building amino acid in protein and a ketone that actively spares muscle mass.

Don’t you think it’s time to rethink the must-have-carb theory for muscle gain? Have you run into any plateaus while trying to pack on lean mass?

Let me know in the comments below and I will be more than happy to lend you advice!

Bryan

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