Bulking For Skinny Guys

I write a lot of articles about fat loss.  Turns out not everyone is interested in fat loss.  One of these groups: skinny guys.  I know a lot about skinny guys, because I am one (basically).

Skinny guys don’t worry too much about fat loss.  They can eat a lot of relatively crappy food and not put on much fat.  Unfortunately, they also have a hard time putting on much of muscle mass, which often results in a “skinny fat” look, where the poor fellow is pretty thin, but also rather soft looking.  (Skinny-fat happens to girls too).  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.  Unfortunately, it isn’t easy.  As any recovering skinny guy (I put myself in this category) will tell you, getting un-skinny can be just as hard, if not harder, than dropping body fat.  Here’s how to do it.

Skinny Guy

Oh dear

Eat More Food

“Oh, I eat a ton already!”  No you don’t.  Open a DailyBurn account and track your calories for a week – accurately.  You’ll probably be shocked how low the number is.  You probably eat like a 14 year old girl (most skinny guys do, despite their insistence).  Even if you don’t – even if you eat like a normal hungry guy – you aren’t eating enough to get un-skinny.  If you’re eating “low carb” to preserve your skinny-guy abs, you definitely aren’t eating enough.  You need to eat tons of good food.  That means lots of lean meat (chicken, beef, fish), solid carbs (sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, even bread!), fruits, and vegetables.  It doesn’t mean McDonalds.  You might put weight on from fast food, but it wont be the kind of weight you want.  Start by increasing your calories by 500 per day over your normal.  If that doesn’t put a pound or two on you after a week or two, add another 500.  Repeat.  If you get to 5000 per day and you aren’t gaining weight, I’ll eat my shoe…and then send you to a doctor for a thyroid check.  Make sure you’re getting 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight (225 grams for a 150 lb guy).

Let Go Of Your Abs For A While

Lots of skinny guys are attached to their abs (if they have them).  Let’s face it, you may have abs, but you look like a toothpick.  It doesn’t help you out that much.  Let go of them for a while.  Eating as big as I just described will put a little fat on you in addition to the muscle you will be building in the gym.  You may lose sight of your abs for a while.  It’s OK!  You’re a skinny guy; you can get them back in a couple months of clean eating, no problem.  Put on 20 lbs of muscle, then get those abs back.  It’ll be better.  Way better.

Train Smarter

Notice I didn’t say train harder.  Some skinny guys put in long hours in the gym and yet see little to no results.  Stop training so much!  You’ve got to conserve calories man!  Start going to the gym 3 times a week, for no longer than an hour per session.  Drop the endless sets and reps of isolation exercises.  Pick 3 big compound lifts per training session: one lower body (squat, deadlift), one upper body push (bench press, dumbbell bench, weighted dips, military press), and one upper body pull (chins, pull-ups, rows) per session.  Go hard and heavy (8×3, 5×5, 4×6, etc), then go home and rest.  No cardio, no sprints, no pickup basketball.

Nate Green

Eat big, train smart.

Supplement Wisely

Get a quality protein powder (Biotest Grow or Metabolic Drive, or Muscle Milk), fish oil, simple micronized creatine, and a post workout drink (Biotest Surge).  Supplement with 20-60 grams of the protein per day.  Drink the workout drink during your workout.  Take 2-6 grams of fish oil and 5 grams of creatine daily.  Done.  No weight gainers (overpriced sugar).  Nothing exotic (overpriced who-knows-what).  Don’t waste your money.

Read Scrawny To Brawny For More Info

I own it.  It works.  The guys that wrote it are much farther down the path from their skinny-guy pasts than I am.  They know what they’re talking about.  Oh yeah, one of them is Dr. John Berardi, nutrition god who heads up Precision Nutrition.  Get the book here.  Sign up for the 5 day online crash course here.

Dr. John Berardi

Dr. Berardi is a little more brawny than he used to be

Get Huge

OK, maybe not huge right away, but definitely bigger!  I’ll be the first to say that this is hard.  Eating that much every day is hard.  I’m not all that good at it myself.  I’m still a pretty small guy, but I’m bigger than I was.  It takes hard work, but it can be done.  Make it happen.

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