A Beginner’s Guide to Getting BiggerI was once a skinny guy. A very skinny guy. Not sjinny that, but I was also what you might call "skinny fat. There was no way in the world you would catch me with my shirt off in public. I also had a very hard taining gaining weight. At times it seemed like I was eating from sun weight gaining diet plan for skinny guys to sun down, but despite this, the scale stuck boldenone hunger pounds until my senior year of high school.
How to Gain Weight Naturally for Skinny Guys: The Definitive Guide | StrongLifts
If you are a skinny guy and struggle putting on weight, this post is for you. If you are a skinny lady and are interested in bulking up , a lot of the same advice will apply and we even have an entire section for you that explains any differences.
If you are trying to LOSE weight, keep reading. Growing up, I was always the scrawny, skinny weak kid. There was a reason I dressed up like superman every other day for the first six years of my life: When I was cut from the high school basketball team which I thought was the end of the world , I signed up for a gym membership to get big and strong; within five minutes I had almost killed myself when loading up way too much weight for a set of bench presses.
Fortunately I survived, and thus began my love affair with strength training. I spent the next six years training in a gym, reading every muscle and fitness magazine I could find, drinking protein shakes religiously…and had about 3 pounds of muscle gain to show for it. After graduating college I moved to California, signed up for a gym membership, and received a few free personal trainer sessions. Although I thought I had known it all I had been training for 6 years in a gym!
I read the muscle mags! The trainer drastically simplified my workout and doubled the amount of food I was eating. I thought he was crazy, but I stuck with it. In 30 days, I had put on 18 pounds pictured below , increased the strength in ALL of my lifts, and felt more confident than I ever had before in my life.
And thus began a radical redefinition of how I thought the human body worked, how muscle was built, and where I needed to put my priorities. A few years back, I took an epic 35, trip around the world, and despite not having access to a gym for 6 months, I managed to once again pack on even more muscle and get myself in great shape without once picking up a weight pictured below:.
Again, my world was turned upside down. I learned that gyms are not a requirement to build muscle and get stronger if the proper training routine is used. I spent four years of college working out five days a week for 90 minutes a day trying to get bigger. I drank protein shakes like I thought I was supposed to. I got a little stronger, but never bigger. If you are not getting bigger, you are not eating enough.
Like a muscle, your stomach can be trained to eat more food. I find that a majority of skinny dudes overestimate the number of calories they consume and conversely, a lot of overweight people UNDERestimate how many calories they consume. So, track your calories over a few days and get an average. If you are not getting bigger, then you should add an additional calories per day and repeat the process. Depending on your training, genetics, how skinny you are, and how much weight you need to gain, you can decide how much weight you want to gain each week.
Some gurus say that under optimal conditions , you can expect to gain one pound of muscle per week, while others say 2 lbs per month is more realistic. For starters; you need to be eating enough protein each day. Claims for the amount of protein needed vary wildly from source to source and athlete to athlete. Personally, I have found that 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight 2 grams per kg works for me.
After protein, in order for you to get bigger, you need to eat enough calories composed of carbs and fats. Depending on your desired level of healthiness and amount of weight you need to gain in a certain time period, you have a few different options available to you: This is the diet I used to put on 18 pounds in 30 days.
If you are super skinny and on a tight budget, this might be your only option. Whole milk, cereal, pasta, rice, potatoes, fast food, ice cream, juice, peanut butter sandwiches, meatball subs from Subway, whatever gets you to your caloric intake goal for the day. When I put on my 18 lbs, I used to drink 3 CytoGainer shakes a day, because it was the easiest way for me to stay on target.
If you are training properly, a majority of these calories will go towards building muscle instead of putting on a lot of fat. Drink a gallon of whole milk every day along with your meals. Sounds crazy, yup, but it works.
A gallon of whole milk is full of enough sugar, carbs, fats, and protein that when all said and done, results in calories consumed in liquid form. Mix in vegetables and meat for healthy meals and you got yourself a simple to follow diet. Can you bulk using just paleo? Getting calories from paleo-only sources is a challenge, but certainly doable. If you have the budget and want to try it, go for it. Just like knowing that you need to exercise and actually DOING the exercise are completely different things, so is knowing to eat more food and actually being able to accomplish it.
Just add a glass of oz of whole milk to every meal! Along with liquid calories, you can train your body to simply consume MORE regular calories. If you are cooking rice, each week try adding in an extra quarter cup when you cook it. So, start by adding a little bit more food each day and soon enough your stomach.
As long as you are continually increasing the weights or reps you are lifting to an extent , your muscles will continually adapt to get stronger.
If you are doing this while eating enough calories, you are getting bigger. Now, many sites might recommend you follow a bodybuilder type routine that focuses on isolation exercises that chops your body into different segments and works each of them out once a week. Along with that, there are some safety concerns with isolation exercises: Unfortunately, our body is a complex system in which all muscles work in tandem to get things done.
If you want to mix in some isolation exercises at the END of a routine for an extra pump, go for it. But build your routine around the big movements, and get really strong with them. If you can focus on getting really strong with the above movements, and eat enough calories, you will also get bigger in all of the right places. By the way, we cover all of the above in our Strength Training series.
Each workout, you get a chance to work out your legs, push movements, and pull movements: Honestly, no matter WHAT routine you follow, if you are getting stronger and adding weight to each exercise while eating enough calories you will get bigger.
Pick up a weight that is heavy enough that you can only complete your specified number of reps. After a few months, you can reevaluate and then adjust based on how your body has changed. For every of the barbell movements above, I start with just the bar, and then add weight in 5lb increments each week. How long should you wait between sets? Waiting minutes allows you lift heavier weights, and thus makes you stronger.
A piece of advice from 8-time Mr. Yes, you can get bigger and stronger doing exclusively body weight exercises. Take a look at any olympic male gymnast: Think of it this way: If just doing more of something made you bigger, then it would be marathon runners that look jacked, not sprinters. The challenge with body weight exercises is that, just like with strength training above, you need to consistently increase the difficulty in order for your muscles to adapt.
As you get stronger and more experienced, mixing in more body weight training is a great idea. In fact, I personally believe the best routine mixes both weights and body weight training. Weight training for my lower body, body weight movements for my upper body. What it really comes down to is this: I dutifully chugged protein shakes that made me gassy, I went to the gym 6 days a week and followed bodybuilder workout routines, and did everything I could to get bigger.
Over the past few years, after a decade of making inconsistent progress, I cracked the code, and figured out how to finally gain some muscle:. You get a coach that learns your life, your body type, and your goals, and then builds a personalized workout program and holds you accountable on your nutrition and progress! Last but not least, the other important piece to this triforce of muscle building: Your muscles generally need 48 hours or so to recover from its previous workout, so I do not recommend you do any serious strength training of the same muscle group on back to back days.
Feel free to do dynamic warm ups and some calesthetics if you feel like it on your off days, but I tend to take my off days OFF. I might go for a walk to Mordor! A word about cardio: So, cut back on the running or cut it out completely. Try mixing in sprints and interval training if you want to keep the cardio up without having to do all of the crazy distance.
You can always add it back in once you accomplish your weight gain goals. You need more of it when you are building muscle. It might mean less TV or less video games. If you are skinny fat you have skinny arms and legs but have a gut , I would recommend strength training while following a healthy diet to decrease your body fat percentage. The alternative is to bulk up first while putting on even more fat and then cutting the fat and trimming down. I like the first method better.
So, as you eat more and get bigger, if you notice your body fat percentage start to creep up, you can simply adjust until your body fat gets back in the acceptable range.
Do NOT worry about getting too bulky. As you start to put on weight if you ever find yourself getting a tiny bit too chubby, simply eat less at that point! So, when in doubt, always err on the side of too many calories than not enough. Give it a month, and see how your body reacts. Put the running on hold for a while, and focus on getting bigger: The TOTAL number of calories you consume over the course of a day is more important than the timing of the meals.