Subj: Advice for skinny guys on how to build muscle from a former skinny guy.
This article is for the skinny guy that wants to build muscle.
It’s full of all the advice I wish I had when I started weight lifting as a skinny teenager. Back when I was a skinny kid trying to build muscle without a clue as to what I was doing.
It was a long road that took A LOT of time but now I’m at a point where I’m happy with the muscular mass I’ve obtained.
I went from a lanky 6’2” 150 pound kid with thin limbs and torso to a 6’3” 210 pound man with muscle to show for it.
It took a lot of hard work to pack on that 60 pounds. Over 10 years of work. The funning thing is that my results could have been achieved in less than half that time maybe even one-third of that time if ,when I started, I knew what I know now.
I’ve distilled over 10 years of personal experience and many, many hours of research and study into this article.
I’ll try to keep it brief enough to read and digest in one sitting yet comprehensive enough to make something ‘click’ in your brain that allows you to tap into impressive muscle and strength gains quickly.
Ultimately, this article is over 6,500 words of knowledge and experience you ever need to get started in the gym, build muscle and gain weight.
Skinny Guy Genetics: Using What You Got
You were brought into this world without any content to your genetic disposition. Realize this, then realize that there are steps you can take to build muscle no matter how skinny or scrawny or small you are.
No matter if you carry the skinny gene and have the world’s fastest metabolism, you can gain weight and build muscle IF you eat enough.
That being said, there are Three Basic Body types. Each body type has district features, form and shape. Each body shape has a starting point but with hard work can evolve into something better.
Ectomorph – Skinny with narrow shoulders, low muscle and low body fat.
Ectomorphs are naturally skinny with thin and bony limbs and no muscle tone. Your ribs or hip bones might show through your skin and your shoulders are about the same width as your hips.
You have a fast metabolism and eat light. Maybe your bone structure is smaller than you Mesomorph and Endomorph cousins but with the right training program and diet plan you can create a great athletic-looking physique.
Think olympic swimmer, professional soccer player, or basketball player.
Mesomorph – Broad shoulders, some muscle and low body fat.
Mesomorphs are the inbetweeners; Not skinny, not fat. They usually have a good build and the potential to build a decent amount of muscle mass while keeping body fat in check with some effort.
Fitness models, bodybuilders, action movie stars possess classic mesomorph physiques.
Endomorph – Heavy bone structure and more inclined to fat gain, moderate to high muscle mass potential.
A heavy bone structure means more muscle potential. It’s easier for these guys to gain weight. The extra fat protects their body from muscle wasting so they maximize muscle mass.
Endomorphs look plump, burly, and strong. Think powerlifter, NFL lineman or lumberjack.
Everyone has a genetic potential and a genetics response to different stimuli. Learning yours will take time and experimentation. But once you know how your body responds, you can maximize your gains and get results quickly. Biology is a powerful thing.
As an ectomorph , you need to start by Training hard and eating a lot and you will grow. Plain and simple no bones about it. Over time you will learn how your body adapts.
Ecto-Morphing from Skinny to Muscle
Being an ectomorph sucks at first because you look skinny and frail, however many ectomorphs can develop a lean muscular physique with a very low risk of getting fat.
As time goes on and you get into your 20’s, 30’s and beyond. You’re metabolism will slow down. Most people will get fat but you will stay muscular and lean if you maintain your training. Your genetics will start to work in your benefit especially when you get a desk job and your daily level of physical activity declines.
I was an ectomorph pretty much my whole life until after college. AS you know, ectomorph is one of the three basic body types and the body type that has the hardest time gaining weight. Ectomorphs are ‘hardgainers’ incarnate.
Narrow shoulder, thin limbs and narrow hips are the ectomorph’s trademark features.
After years of being trapped in the cycle of hard training with little results, I’ve gradually developed myself into a mesomorph through training and proper diet.
It took a while but you need to reach a certain point and build enough muscle mass you will notice a shift.
As an ectomorph you have a tough uphill battle ahead of you. It’s a struggle. But once you build enough muscle, look out ladies.
The solution is actually very simple: EAT MORE and Train HEAVY.
After several months of consistent training you’ll have a nice base of muscle and be lean and cut. You may not be able to build as much muscle mass as your mesomorph and endomorph counterparts but you will look more ripped and have better aesthetic value.
Being an ectomorph can seem like a curse but it’s truly a blessing in disguise. It’s very hard for ectomorphs to gain fat, so adding even a small amount of muscle can make you look ripped without having a restrictive diet.
Once you build a solid foundation of muscle you’ll realize being an ectomorph is actually a blessing.
While your larger cousins nibble their chicken and rice and skip dessert, you can wolf down ribeye and potatoes and pretty much anything else you want without fear of getting fat.
Bottom Line: Skinny guys are skinny for a number of reasons. Genetics and diet being the main culprits. However, no matter what your genetic predisposition, you can always add muscle mass to your frame. Even hardgaining ectomorphs can build muscle with know-how and will-do.
Take it from me, I’m a skinny guy that gained over 60 pounds of (mostly) lean muscle mass since I started weight lifting.
Words of Wisdom from a Former Skinny Guy
It took me almost a decade to get the formula right to build muscle. I’m now to the point where I can build muscle or gain weight at my desired rate.
When I was in my early teens, there was no broadband internet at my house, and muscle building knowledge was not nearly as freely available as it is now.
The only thing I had to go by was a Men’s Health my dad bought and muscle magazines I’d flip through at the grocery store during occasional shopping trips with my family.
Lucky for you, skinny guys today have unlimited information about anything you want to know about building muscle right at your fingertips.
However, any Tom, Dick or Harry can puke on the page, then hang it on the internet’s refrigerator door and claim it’s gospel, when in reality it’s absolute garbage.
Now we have too much half-baked or down-right bad information resulting in a ton of misinformation for every ounce of good advice.
I’ll let you decide if what I have to share is good advice. I recommend you try it and see for yourself. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
What I do know is that it worked for me. And it worked for people I’ve trained. It worked so well in fact that people often ask me for training advice.
What I’m going to explain is what worked for me and people I know. I didn’t follow the book. I free-styled and experimented my way until I built a good body.
The benefit of of this approach let me to learn what works for me. The draw back was I lost a lot of time and opportunity training in ways that didn’t work. In 10 years of training, I would say I’ve trained the ‘right’ way about two years.
My loss is your benefit. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what works and what doesn’t. What I write here won’t turn you into the next Arnold Schwaranegger but head these words and you will turn some heads.
I learned that there are a lot of wrong ways to train and that there are a few underlying, un-weavering principles – no, LAWS for building muscle.
These laws must be followed to build muscle and gain weight. Failure to do so will result in no significant progress.
Building Muscle for Skinny Guys: Calories, Macronutrients and Nutrition
LAW #1: Diet is top Priority.
Nutrition is #1 when it comes to building muscle. It’s also #1 for overall health. The quantity and quality of food you eat will determine if you build muscle or stay skinny.
Skinny guys with fast metabolism need to eat A LOT of food and eat OFTEN. So often that when trying to gain weight, you should have something to eat within arms reach at all times.
Most guys are skinny because they do not eat enough. Either because they have small appetites, fast metabolism or both. Skinny guys typically have a low-protein intake, further stunning their muscular development.
As a skinny guy you need to eat, eat and Eat some more to gain any weight.
You must be in a calorie surplus to ensure your body is in an anabolic state. Anabolic is a fancy word for muscle building. And muscle require lots of calories to be built and maintained.
To Gain weight you must eat more calories than you burn.
You burn calories just by being alive. Your burning calories right now reading this article. You burn calories around the clock, even in your in your sleep.
Every bodily function require energy to perform and calories are your bodies main source of energy.
You’re body never truly rests until you die. It’s constantly burning calories so you constantly need to eat otherwise calories end up as metabolic fuel with nothing left over to build muscle.
Calories are found in the three macronutrients: Protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Protein is a muscle builder.
Protein was abtley named because it literally means”most important” in latin. Hippocrates who is known as the Father of Modern Medicine, names protein because he understood it’s importance in building healthy body tissue.
Hippocrates’ medical philosophy centers around preventive maintenance and holistic healing using food as primary medicine. That’s because whole natural food is the best defense against disease. Hippocrates recognized that protein’s role as a building block for body tissue.
Protein is made of amino acids which are used to produce crucial molecules within your body – like enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies to boost your immune system and create blood cells.
Daily protein intake must be high enough to sustain all these critical body functions to keep you healthy and strong.
Good sources of protein are beef, chicken, eggs, fish and beans.
Carbohydrates are a quick source of energy. They hydrate your muscles and provided efficient nutrient delivery. Carbohydrates digest quickly and are an easy way to add extra calories to your diet.
Carbohydrate rich sources are rice, oatmeal, break, grains, and potatoes.
Fats are needed for hormone production.
Your body chemistry will determine the rate at which you gain muscle and the amount of muscle you can build. The ‘male’ hormone Testosterone is the key component in developing masculine features, strong bones, reduced body fat and building muscle.
Dietary fat is necessary for your body to produce testosterone naturally and ensure healthy levels to build muscle mass. DOn’t shy away from fat because it’s ‘fat’. You need it!
Sources of healthy Fats are Grass fed dairy products whole milk and butter, olive oil, coconuts and whole eggs.
You must eat a lot to gain weight. being in a calorie surplus is essential to grow muscles. Your body first uses the calories you eat for basic daily function.
As a skinny guy, you need to eat food constantly. You can lift all the weights in the world but if you don’t eat enough you won’t gain an once of muscle.
Building Muscle For Skinny Guys: Skinny Guy Meal Plan
How much of each macronutrient should you eat if you’re skinny? All of them. Every single one you can get your hands one.
What I mean by that is that you should be eating constantly. Anything and everything in site, just put it in your pie hole.
Remember, protein is most important – be sure to get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. No need to count calories. Just eat 4-6 regular meals a day and 1 or 2 protein shakes each day and you should be good.
When your’e full, eat more. Eventually your stomach will expand and you an eat more food.
Weight yourself every single morning and if you’re not gaining weight in a week you need to eat more.
Add 10-20 grams of protein a day and 400-500+ calories. Eat a donut. That’s 450ish calories. Track your weight every morning in a notebook and keeping adding protein and calories until you gain weight.
Gaining 1-2 pounds a week is a reasonable goal.
What should Skinny Guys eat to Bulk Up?
Make sure you’re getting quality meats, like beef chicken and fish. Eat Pasta, cheese, fruits and vegetables in unlimited amounts.
You will burn off most of the ‘bad’ stuff you might have heard about and if you start to get fat, you can just reduce your intake. Easy.
You cannot build muscle without eating the right stuff. Nutrients are the brick and mortar for constructing your physique. Make sure you get plenty of foods from many different sources.
Eat nutritious and fulfilling meals to ensure all your nutritional bases are covered. then splurge and eat and drink what every you want in addition to the ‘good’ food you eat. Eat pizza, ice cream, whatever – Just get those extra calories in and make sure you leave room for the good stuff.
Skinny Guys be Warned: Ignore this Muscle building LAW at your own peril.
I spent a lot of time in the gym with small returns in strength and muscle mass mainly because I didn’t understand the importance of nutrition. My growth was stunted and progress was slow.
I should have been eating two or three times as much protein and calories than I actually was.
A daily diet for me was a bowel of cereal, school lunch (pizza, bread stick and chocolate milk or whatever trash was served that day), and whatever my mom made for dinner on a given night.
I was maybe eating 2000-2500 calories a day. While I was physically active in sports practice for two hours a day and lifting weights and training 4 days a week. I should have been eating 5000-6000 calories a day to grow and get stronger
I was hungry every morning around 10 a.m. and hungry again before school ended to the point my stomach growled. I’d go through a good part of the day, foolishly, on an empty stomach.
Not because I couldn’t afford food, I didn’t have a good reason, I just endured it.
Maybe because I though three meals a day was enough or the norm and that’s just what people do. I didn’t put much thought into it and I definitely didn’t take any action and because of that my I worked my ass off for minimal muscle gains. All because I didn’t understand the importance of nutrition.
I trained hard 3 – 4 times a week but because I didn’t eat enough I didn’t grow and my energy was low. I wasted years, literally years, of lost gains because I didn’t eat enough.
My muscles were literally starving. Over those years I could have built 20-30 pounds of quality muscle and kept it for life. But I blew it because I only had half the picture. It’s my own fault for not reading up and learning. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Read this article and take it to heart. Then read the rest of Iron and Grit to learn how to build muscle the right way.
Let’s get down to brass tacks –
Skinny Guy Meal Plan for Gaining Weight and Building Muscle
Eat Big to Get Big: Calories are fuel. you need calories to pack on muscle mass. Protein, carbohydrates and fats. All of them. Don’t discriminate. Eat them all and eat plenty of them.
The One Thing you want to make sure you do is get at least 1 gram of protein per body weight every day. Then eat anything and everything else you can.
You see a theme here? Am I starting to sound repetitive yet?
You need to burn this into your psyche and remember it. It’s your key to building muscle.
You should eat a meal every 3-4 hours. If you’re not hungry, eat anyway and train harder. Training hard will work up an appetite.
If you’re having trouble eating then drink your calories.
Eat constantly. Eat 4-6 times a day minimum:
Meal 1: Eggs, Bacon, oatmeal, strong black coffee.
Meal 2: Protein shake, homemade meal replacement shake and protein bar
Meal 3: Two Turkey or roast beef sandwiches, pasta salad, steamed greens.
Meal 4: Protein Shake and greek yogurt
Meal 5: Steak and eggs with steamed greens and baked potato
Meal 6: Cottage cheese and peanut butter jelly sandwich
You can even eat more than that if you can stomach it. Add in some snacks to ensure a constant stream of calories to keep your body anabolic.
Snack on Snack on Snacks
Snack on bagels and peanut butter, protein bars, and crackers. Anything you can munch on to get extra calories.
If you’re hungry between meals you need to snack. High-calorie snacks like bagels and peanut butter are perfect because they have lots of all three macro nutrients. Plus it’s cheap. Just carry a bag of bagels and peanut butter around with you and try to finish all the bagels each day.
Don’t have money for extra food or mommy and daddy won’t help you out? get a part time job or a paper route to finance your bodybuilding pursuit. Mow a few lawns each week and pocket $50-60 cash. This should be plenty of dough to make you grow.
Drink lots of water. Water flushes out your system and makes everything better. Don’t drink water and you’ll get dehydrated and tired. Get yourself a water bottle and drink at least 4-6 of these full bottles a day.
Muscle Building Diet Tips For Skinny Guys
You should never feel physically hungry when trying to gain weight and build muscle!
This means eating BIG and snacking often.
Eat 4-6 whole food meals a day plus 1-2 protein shakes.
Old School Weight Gaining Methods
These three methods were used by old school trainers to keep their body in an anabolic (muscle building) state.
Heavy Cream and Ginger Ale drink
An old method used by elite European athletes in the 1940’s and 50’s to make incredible muscle gains in record time.
It was a mix of 6oz of heavy cream and 6oz of ginger ale and was drank 2-3 times a day. It was made popular in America by legendary bodybuilding coach Vince GiRonda champion of the steak and eggs diet and 8×8 workout (for advanced trainers only).
Eat One Hardboiled Egg Every Hour
Another method was to eat one hard boiled egg every hour you are awake. This is actually pretty easy. Just buy a large carton of eggs. Then get yourself an egg cooker.
The third method is to take liver tabs every three hours. Old time strong men would take 100 a day. I recommend taking 5 with every meal and gradually bumping it up to 10 per meal.
Overcoming ‘Skinny Guy’ Genetics
You can overcome ‘skinny genetics’. All you have to do is eat more. So people have a big appetite. Others do not. It can be challenging and takes practice. You can train your stomach to hold more food by eating more food. Every time your full eat 10 more bites. Each bite might take 5 minutes but do it anyway.
Liquid calories are your ally. 2-3 protein shakes a day should be added to your diet. one in the morning, one after your workout and another before bed.
The timing of these is important because Your body needs calories to repair itself while you’re sleeping. Try my homemade meal replacement shake as a basic recipe. Use this shake as an extra ‘meal’ not a replacement. Add flavors that suit your taste.
To gain weight you must eat more calories than you burn. To build muscle you need enough protein. You need to eat enough carbs and fats in addition to protein so your body burns those carbs and fat calories and reserves the protein calories for muscle building.
Lifting Big: Weight Training For Skinny Guys
LAW #2: Lift Big to Get big.
Yeah, it’s hard. You might fail and drop the weight. You need push push yourself harder than the day before to grow. Your body is highly adaptable. It doesn’t want to change. It resists change.
Our biology tells our bodies to resist change because change is expensive. Change takes effort and energy. Our bodies were designed to conserve energy at all costs.
Bottom line: Your body doesn’t give a shit if you have muscles or not. It’s up to you to make sure it does.
That means training hard, with heavier weight and different exercises to keep your muscles guessing. Your muscles will adapt to the new stimuli by growing to endure it next time.
You have to push your body to grow muscles and it will out of necessity. But you need to stay one step ahead. always pushing a little further than the day before. and your body will catch up.
I grew up a skinny kid with a long and lanky build. I had long, thin limbs and wasn’t all that strong.
One day My dad set up a weight room in the basement. A barbell bench press station and some dumbbells. I was excited and wanted to build big arms and chest and abs like the athletes I idolized.
I remember when my goal was to bench press 100 pounds. After months of training I could barely get 90 pounds. One day, my friend came over to hang out and we started lifting weights in my basement were my dad set up the home gym.
We loaded 100 pounds (including the 45-pound barbell) and my friend, who never touched a weight in his life until that moment, lifted it with ease.
When his turn was over I set up underneath the bar , grabbed it, unpacked it, took a deep breath only to bring the weight to my chest and have it stuck there!
My dad had to lift the weight off my chest.
He was bigger than me, in fact he bloomed sooner than me. It didn’t matter I made up my mind to do what i had to do to reach my goal.
Moral of the story is, sometimes genetic give you a natural advantage over others. my friend was clearly stronger than me despite being the same age. Fast forward years later I was benching 225 pounds and he was lifting much less. and I had a good body to show for it
Don’t give up, make a plan and stick to it. Small victories every day add up to HUGE gains over time.
That being said I also made a ton of mistakes and lifted haphazardly. I could have made a lot more progress a lot faster. I had all the tools available to me to do so but i didn’t.
Tracking my progress never occurred to me. I didn’t research proper form or programming. I just started doing a lot of dumbbell curls and bench press, like most beginners do.
This is called spot training and is something beginners shouldn’t do. Spot training is reserved for veteran bodybuilders who already have a lot of muscle and know their body well enough for spot training to be effective.
You need to do total body workouts using compound exercises to maximize muscle growth. More on this later.
I thought I could lift and muscle would just appear. I was naive and had no knowledge of proper training for muscle growth that was crucial for bodybuilding.
As a young man you have a muscle building powercore inside of you that you need to tap into. When you start training. do everything right and you will reap major benefits. you will build a great body in 1-3 years.
If your weight training programming, progression and nutrition is correct. You will make serious muscle gains in a very short amount of time.
This is because your body is efficient. It regenerates quickly, recovers quickly and has a rush of natural hormones flooding your system that you can use to build many pounds of muscle that you will keep for life.
Muscle Building Program for Skinny Guys
The weight training formula for skinny guys bulking up is simple: Skinny guys need to train using complex movements with barbells and heavy weight.
Complex movement are exercises where more than one joint bends in order to perform the full range of motion for the exercise.
Examples of complex barbell exercises are Squat / Barbell Row / Bench Press / Deadlift / Military Shoulder Press / Power Cleans / Upright Row / Machine Pull Downs
Barbells allow you to lift more weight compared to dumbbells, thus activating a great neuro-muscular response when lifting. Engaging more muscle fibers and working them harder. This results in more intense workouts and more muscle growth.
There are two types of exercises:
Compound exercises and isolation exercises.
Compound exercises are also called multi-joint movements because, well, they require more than one joint to bend in order to perform the exercises.
Isolation exercises require only one joint to bend during the exercises. Examples of Isolation exercises are barbell curls, tricep extensions. leg extensions, lateral shoulder raises and leg curl.
Isolation exercises are secondary priority to compound lifts. They are not necessary but can be added into your workouts as needed, but only AFTER you completed all your compound lifts.
Compound exercise are the Holy Grail for building muscle. They are efficient, powerful muscle builders because they allow you to lift the most weight and engage the most muscle fibers.
Lifting Heavy for Skinny Guys
‘Heavy’ is a relative term. Heavy weight to you might not be heavy to me and vise vera.
A heavy weight is an amount of weight you struggle completing the desired number of reps with during a set. If you can only do 5 or 6 reps and couldn’t possibly do another rep then that is a heavy weight.
Lifting heavy can be intimidating, but use a weight that’s right for you and you will gradually increase you confidence and strength and be able to lift more weight.
No Cardio for Skinny guys is pointless if you’re trying to gain muscle. Reserve your precious calories for building muscle, not as fuel for long runs. Cardio will not help you build muscle. Cardio is reserved for conditioning and fat loss.
How fast will you gain weight? That depends. How much will you train? How hard will you train? Will you make it to the gym every day you should?
How to Train to Build Muscle
Skinny Guys need a unique combination of strength and hypertrophy training. Lifting in the ‘strength’ range will condition your muscles and nervous system to move heavy weight. training in the ‘hypertrophy range will ensure your muscles are spending enough time under tension to make them grow. So the best workouts for skinny guys incorporate strength and hypertrophy.
Not all workout programs are created equal and building muscle is a science. The amount of weight and time under tension, volume, intensity all factor into your muscle growth.
To get strong lift heavy as you can for 1-5 reps.
For muscle building, hypertrophy, 6-8 reps is best.
For muscle density 9-12 reps
We’re going for muscle hypertrophy here. So start with 3 sets of 8 reps for each exercises.
Because it keeps tension on the muscle for a longer continuous duration. Resulting in more intense workouts. and stronger mind-muscle connection.
Lift 4 days a week. Total body workouts to maximize growth hormone production and response. You need training frequency as a beginner because you will recover quickly. Take advantage of your youth and recovery power by lifting frequently. You’ll be glad you did.
You want to build mind muscle connection. Mind muscle connection is when you can actually feel the muscles working. This is what separates the beginner from advanced trainer.
When you can focus solely on a muscle and control it completely with your mind. to feel it working to feel it flexing and stretching.
Mind-Muscle connection will take your training to another level. One way to build mind-muscle connection organically is to lift more and build muscle.
Your body and your muscles are an extension of your brain.
The more mass and nerve ending you have the more sensation and control you will have over that muscle. This is why you need to focus on contracting your muscles HARD when lifting. It teaches you to control your muscles at will and will elevate your gain potential.
Train often using the same basic barbell exercises. This will build mind muscle connection with is absolutely critical to gaining size and density.
Skinny Guy Workout Plan: The Muscle Building Program
Skinny guys should workout 4 times a week. That’s a workout every Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday ideally.
You need to focus all your efforts on getting really good at performing basic barbell lifts and perfect your form.
Monday Workout = Squat/Bent Over Barbell Row/Bench Press. Do three sets of each exercises. 8 reps per set.
Tuesday Workout = Deadlift / Standing Shoulder Press/ Dips (add weight if you can do more than 8 dips with just your bodyweight)
Thursday Workout = Squat / Pull Up (or Pull down)/ Bench Press
Friday Workout = Deadlift / Bent Over Barbell Row / Lunges
Do 2-3 warm up sets for each exercise. Then 3 heavy working sets for each exercise (working sets are the sets that count. What counts is pushing your muscles harder than they’ve been pushed before.
Rest 2-3 minutes between sets. Take 5 deep breaths to fill your lungs with oxygen. Breathing is important when lifting.
Oxygen fuels your muscles and every body function realize on ample oxygen. Focus on taking big deep breaths before each rep and in between sets.
Increase the weight used each workout. if you bench pressed 125 pounds for 3 sets of 8 reps on Monday, then add 5-10 pounds when you bench on Thursday. This is called linear progression and it’s how you constantly make progress and build muscle. Keep increasing the weight in this fashion until you can no longer physically do so.
Continue this workout for 12 -16 weeks without missing a day.
The Simple Magic of Linear Progression
Linear progression is the steady increase of weight used each workout. Make it a goal to add 5-10 pounds each workout for each exercise.
You’re body adapts quickly to stressors. When you lift, you damage your muscles and little micro tears are created in your muscle fibers.
Your body doesn’t like this and goes into survival mode by rebuilding the muscle and making it stronger so next time that stressor is encountered, no damage will be done to the muscles by increasing the size and number of muscles.
This is why you MUST continualy increase the weight lifted. To ensure your body is constantly repairing your muscles and making them stronger (and bigger) than before.
Your work capacity goes up because of your strengthened muscles and you’re able to lift heavier weight. You’ll also notice your body start to transform from skinny to muscular.
As you progress your ability to increase the weight will slowly diminish. Try to push through without compromising form. Linear Progression is how you get bigger and build muscle.
As you train and recover your need to increase the intensity in order to continue to grow.
If you are unable to lift heavier that the previous workout you need to get more sleep and eat more. Rest and nutrition are super important to building muscle and repairing damaged muscle after tough workouts.
Skinny Guy Workout Plan: Find Your Starting Weight
You’re probably wondering, “If I’ve never lifted weight before, how much should I lift?”.
Your first workout is used to establish your baseline. Your baseline is your starting point. You find your baseline by lifting just the barbell, which is 45 pounds.
We’ll use squats as an example here because squats are the most important exercise. Get into a squat position. Put the barbell across your back resting just above your shoulder blades.
Un-rack the bar and take a few steps back to give yourself clearance to perform the lift without hitting the squat rack.
Squat down as far as you can and do 5 reps. Then add 10 pounds and do 5 more reps. Keep adding 10 pounds and doing 5 reps until you can’t do 6 reps.
This is your starting weight. Congratulations – you just finished set one of your first workout. Keep this weight on the bar and do another 2 sets. take 2-3 minutes rest in-between sets to catch your breath.
Do this same method to find your starting weight with the other exercises in this program.
Spend time perfecting your form. Make sure every rep you do is in full range of motion. ALWAYS lift in a sturdy squat rack and you the safety bars.
Rest and Recovery
8-10 hours of sleep. your body repairs and grows when sleeping. Recovery is important. You must sleep and eat enough to fully recover from workouts.
If you don’t you will wear yourself down and lose your will to continue because your energy will be so depleted.
Benefits of Building Muscle for Skinny Guys
Find your motivation. If you’re reading this you probably have your own motivation to bulk up. But in case you needed more reasons to get in the gym here’s a short list of weight training benefits:
- Increased athletic performance
- Increased libedo and sexual performance to please that special lady .
- Attention from the opposite sex. (and same sex if that floats your boat, sailor).
- Overall health (many many examples of this such as improved digestion, circulation, etc.)
- More energy
- Well Being
- Personal development and accomplishment.
- Productive and keeps you away from wasting your time on frivolous things.
- paradigm shift to creating a healthy lifestyle
All these benefits can snowball into bigger and better things in every aspect of your life. Better job, better women, better friends, more money. You just need to learn how to channel these benefits for other purposes.
Weight lifting is a mental game. It takes focus , determination, and grit. As you gain experience you’ll learn to analyze your form and workout routine which will serve to benefit you down the road as training gets more complex.
Realize that building a great body takes time and energy.
Don’t be fooled by ‘spot’ training or too-good-to-be-true training methods. they are scams. and will only hurt you in the long run.
Forget about shortcuts. They don’t exist (legally).
Play the Long Game: Health is Number #1
The bodybuilding diet isn’t always the healthiest diet. The quality of food you eat is up to you. I recommend eating the highest quality food you can afford. Organic, natural and kosher foods should take priority if you value your health.
Fill up on whole foods. Life is a long game. So is bodybuilding. The health benefits and find benefits are incredible. You’ll feel better , get better women and get complaints and acknowledgment daily. It’s a responsibility, if you want to look at it that way. Up to you at that point.
As a skinny guy you have the luxury of eating anything you want and as much as you want. You can stuff yourself with all the pizza, donuts and pop you want although I don’t recommend it.
It’s more beneficial for overall health perspective to eat whole foods. Eating cleaner will ensure you have more energy and will stave off many health effects that manifest from too much junk food consumed over time.
Playing the long game means preventing injuries before they happen. Always train safely. Set backs and injuries suck. They can derail your progress and keep you out of the gym. Avoid injury by lifting in a safety rack, using proper form AT ALL TIMES and be fully present when lifting anything. Being unfocused and distracted can be disastrous. you need complete focus when training.
Gaining Weight for Skinny Guys: Track Your Workouts and Bodyweight
“Everything that measures grows.”
I don’t know who said that but they are absolutely right.
Data is how you should make decisions. Track your weight and you’ll know how your body responds to your diet and workout.
Tracking your progress is important because you may need to make adjustment to your diet.
Step on the scale every week to make sure you are gaining weight. If the number isn’t higher than the day before, then you need to eat more.
Weight yourself at the same time every day. First thing in the morning is best. Jot down your weight and compare it to last week. Minimizes the variance or inaccurate weight measures.
Your bodyweight fluctuates throughout the day due to multiple factors. Water retention, hormone levels, and food in your belly could change your weight significantly. It’s not uncommon for my weight to fluctuate 5-6 pounds from morning to night.
Don’t rely on the mirror to track your progress. It can be deceiving. You’ll notice a post workout pump where you’ll looker bigger and more ripped then if you were to take a day off.
The caveat here is that you don’t need to track calories macros or anything really. just make sure you get enough protein and then eat a bunch of other stuff to get in extra calories.
Iron and Grit is about health and my mission is for you to live a better, healthier life through fitness if you so desire.
Muscle Building Supplements for Skinny Guys
Buyer Beware The Truth about Supplements and the Muscle Building Industry
The muscle building supplement industry preys on skinny guys. They know most are naive so they make promises of quick gains and impressive results if you just buy their product.
Don’t be fooled by the hype.
The muscle industry is build to make you desire something you cannot have with what they give you. The result is you keep consuming what they give you but will never quite get the results they promise:
This keeps you coming back to the well. It keeps you buying more and more supplements in hopes that is you take supplements you will look like the buff dude on the cover of the muscle magazine.
You won’t achieve bodybuilder levels of muscle without steroids. But you can get in great shape without drugs. It takes consistent work.
Supplements can help but the base of your results will come from consistent and intense training, eating a lot of natural, whole foods and getting adequate recovery.
Not all supplements are created equal. In fact, most supplest are designed to steal your money, not make you healthier. Stick to the time tested muscle building supplements proven to work with decades of results.
Protein Powder – Get n extra quality protein in your diet with protein shakes. get a quality protein powder like Naturally Flavored Optimum Nutrition protein powder.
Liver Tables – An old school secret. Liver is full of vitamins, minerals, protein and ‘anti-fatigue factor’ that will aid in building muscle and give you energy and endurance for workouts. I wrote a full article about liver tablets here or you can just go get some Uni-Liver tablets from amazon.
Bottom Line: Weight Training and Diet are both important parts of building muscle for skinny guys
Ignore one and you will not get results or worse yet, get results you don’t like. Such as wasting time being tired or eating a ton and gaining fat and not muscle.
Eat big without lifting and you’ll get fat eventually. or you’ll stay skinny because you won’t eat much anyway. Lifting Big makes you hungry.
So you’ll naturally want to eat more. And the more you eat the more you gain. Weight training ensure you gain muscle and not fat. They go hand in hand.
Focus on making gradual progress week after week. Track your weight and workouts. Eat more or less as necessary.
You now know everything you need to to build muscle. Go get a gym member ship or build you own home gym and get started now!
Then, hire me for as your online coach and I’ll make sure you get the results you want!
‘Til next time,