Hive Health Media

Fastest Way to Build Muscle

Building muscle, without too much effort…

There are many exercise recommendations out there, things like 5 hours of sports a week and so on. But is this really true? When it comes to health, and especially muscle-building, the recommendations usually include hours of weight lifting, loads of whey protein and if possible some creatine or HMB. The protein is apparently most effective after the actual lifting (not true by the way, but that maybe later) and one should lift as heavy as possible. But is that really the best option?

MED – My Five Kilo’s in Two Weeks

Over the past two weeks I have gained five kilos (11 lbs) of lean muscle mass, nice right? So what if I told you I exercise only 1 hour a week, impossible you say? Enter “Minimum Effective Dose” otherwise known as MED. Imagine a pan of water, this water will boil at 100 degrees Celsius as every kid knows. Everyone also knows that making the water hotter than 100 degrees is not going to make it “more boiled”. The same principle applies to lifting weights to build muscle, by doing hours of sports a week you are just trying to make the water boil harder…

Colorado Experiment

In the Colorado experiment Casey Viator gained 28 kilos (63 pounds) of muscle in 28 days, with four hours of total gym time. Now that was a man who devoted a month to purely exercising and eating under controlled conditions. Most of us don’t have that opportunity, however the same biochemical effects are still at play in the rest of us. This means that we too can make use of this technique to gain seemingly impossible amounts of muscle with quite a small investment of time.

So How Does It Work?

As I outlined in my earlier post, there are some simple steps to take into account. As long as you stick to these you should be fine (and with that I mean FINE ‘wink’).

  1. Stick to a proper diet (ideally paleo diet)
  2. Eat breakfast as soon as you wake up, make it protein rich (eggs + protein shake)
  3. Eat plenty, but make it healthy stuff (again, try the paleo diet)
  4. When you exercise
    – Lift the weight to the highest point without fully stretching your joint (maintain pressure) and hold that for 5 seconds
    – In five seconds, slowly bring down the weight but don’t let it touch the ‘base’ position (again, maintain pressure)
    – Lift the weight in a five second frame again to the starting position
    – Practice this ‘set to fail’, meaning you keep going until your muscles give out
  5. Have no breaks between your exercises, each exercise should last no more than a minute or two, if it does lift heavier.
  6. Take exercises that strain a lot of different muscle (no isolated muscle groups)
  7. Maintain a proper diet on resting days

Just exercise two times a week and you should be fine, I certainly am… For any questions you can always mail me at [email protected], good luck!

Editor’s note: The results of the Colorado experiment are considered controversial.  They’ve never been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

I am a life sciences student in the Netherlands with a passion for health and fitness. I am an avid follower of the Paleo diet and are a self proclaimed body hacker (and thus guinea pig). I'm currently working on a vitamin store, which started out as a pet projects to cater to my own supplement needs. I blog at Skill Collector and work at Hoasted Webhosting.


  1. Eugene_zulumuscle

    March 15, 2012 at 12:06 am

    exercising two times a week, what exactly would you be working out, you cant expect to build a great body when you only workout twice a week. Will you be doing full body workouts? People are different and this may work for a few people but its not practical for most people to get results. Is it for the big bodybuilder like physique in which case most are not interested, I am more into gaining size for a fitness model like physique.

  2. jwpaul

    December 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Wow, MentorPalokaj, this post is incredible! It’s also incredibly similar to a book that was published five months before your article titled “The 4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss. You have all the same information and even the same photographs! Granted, Tim Ferriss didn’t invent the Colorado Experiment, but all the conclusions that you present in your article as well as the supplemental information is almost exactly the same, yet you never reference “The 4 Hour Body” or Tim Ferriss.

    Some might call that plagiarism!

    Why don’t you stop being a hack and write your own material?

  3. fit2fat2fit

    June 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Great article. I try and teach clients similar concepts when it comes to gaining muscle. Some listen, some don’t. I think they feel the more reps they do the stronger they are or the harder they’re working, but that’s not the case right? It’s all about working out smarter rather than harder. Once again great article, MentorPalokaj.

    • MentorPalokaj

      June 3, 2011 at 2:13 am

      Ironically harder work does indeed not yield better results in most cases… The working smart instead of hard is indeed good advice for life in general (e.g. 9 to 5 job)…

  4. Derran

    June 1, 2011 at 4:22 am

    11lbs in 2 weeks without chemical assistance? Maybe from muscle memory, but not from scratch. As for the Colorado experiment….just lol!

    • MentorPalokaj

      June 1, 2011 at 6:09 am

      And that mindset Derran is exactly why people are working their ass off with little result.

  5. Andrew

    May 31, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Great post!Very Informative about the training, but im wondering what kinds of food I should eat. I know I have to eat a lot of protein but does eating a lot of crabs only store fat or can it also build some muscle?


    May 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Sorry guys, but I just had to laugh, does anyone like to look like Arnold? Well, I’m certainly not, and by the way building up muscles is not the same as becoming a gym monster whatever… honestly, keep a good diet, get on a good and healthy shape and forget about exaggerations! None likes guys as Arnold! they are good for a movie but that’s it. Good article anyway.

    • MentorPalokaj

      May 31, 2011 at 3:35 am

      Hey Herbcyclopedia,

      The point of the post is to show how easy gaining muscle actually is (or rather how hard people make it on themselves). I can’t speak for the rest of us on HiveHealthMedia but my goal is certainly not to be like Arnie. A nice set of pecs and abs however are on my ‘maintain’ list :)


        May 31, 2011 at 7:39 am

        Hi Mentor,

        Don’t get me wrong, I fully agree with you a nice body shape is always good and sports help anyway on many other aspects, there are studies on cancer recovery patients showing an increased life expectancy of up to 50% more than in those not doing any sports, however I find body building in excess doesn’t do any good. Cheers.

        • MentorPalokaj

          May 31, 2011 at 8:05 am

          Indeed that is the point of the article, too much is not only bad it is also futile…

  7. MentorPalokaj

    May 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

    It most certainly is interesting, I hope to be able to repeat the Colorado experiment and properly publish it in a peer reviewed journal, I’ll first have to get my PhD first though…
    Sleep is indeed a very important factor very often overlooked, as is resting days…

  8. Mike

    May 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

    This is a very interesting as many fail to get results because they are doing way to many sets and reps. and too many exercises. Getting a good night’s sleep is also crucial to making gains.

    • Josh

      August 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      I do 3×8 fairly heavy on four different exercises on either upper or lower body. How can I “legally” gain more muscle mass. I am 6’4″ and 310#’s.

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