Last Updated on
Being skinny while wanting to be muscle-bound is kind of a nightmare, it’s as difficult to achieve as losing weight is for an overweight person but with less of the sympathy and support.
Okay, maybe it’s not quite as difficult as losing weight for an overweight person but it is still seriously difficult.
For one thing if you are naturally skinny that means that you have got used to eating lots of calories daily without putting on weight, due to a very high metabolism.
This is not something that you can easily change, particularly if you are looking to build muscle while gaining weight. Because the increased exercise will also raise your metabolism.
In this article we will look at ways to go from scrawny to brawny in as quick a time as possible.
Tip #1. Lift Weights Properly
You are looking to build muscle here, that means that your goals should include training for hypertrophy and strength.
You should be focused entirely on those two goals, without worrying about adding cardio to your routine.
Your program should include lots of free weights (that are more effective at boosting testosterone and growth hormone), and lots of compound movements (exercises that work multiple muscle groups).
As such, deadlifts and barbell squats should feature highly in your program as they are both free weight exercises that work lots of muscles. Pull ups, bench presses, shoulder presses, and hamstring specific exercises such as Romanian deadlifts are also very useful for guys who are trying to pack on lots of muscle.
While you should place a lot of emphasis on these big exercises, that doesn’t mean that smaller exercises should be neglected either.
Face pulls, and rear delt flyes may not build you much muscle but they can prevent a damaged rotator cuff (that can put you out of action for weeks) and they will help you lift heavier weights in future.
Tip #2. Rest Adequately Between Sets
If you are looking to lose weight then you should keep rest times down to around 45-60 seconds between sets.
But if you are trying to build muscle then you need that extra time to recover, doing so means you will be able to lift heavier weights at a higher intensity and build more muscle. Shortening your rest will have the opposite effect.
This is one of the most common mistakes made in the gym.
Tip #3. Be Certain of Your Goal
If you are completely skinny and have been so all your life then this tip may not apply to you as your goal is very simple. Gain muscle.
But a lot of people who are looking to build muscle suffer from a lack of focus. Because they are not sure what they want. They want to build muscle while losing fat, and will not be happy with following just one path.
They’ll lose weight and then worry that they look to skinny, but when they start to bulk they’ll worry that they’re gaining fat and do a complete 180 and start to lose weight again.
The harsh truth is that unless you are a complete beginner, you cannot gain muscle without gaining a little body fat too.
Make sure that you are 100% committed to gaining muscle as half measures create poor results.
Tip #4. Eat
You need to be eating more calories than usual to gain weight, this is obvious.
But you need to be consistent with that, there’s no point in hitting your targets just 5 days a week but being 500 calories down on Friday because you were busy with work and forgot to eat breakfast or lunch.
You need to plan your meals out in advance and have contingency plans in place for emergencies.
Tip #5. Protein and Carbs
Everyone knows that if you want to build muscle you need protein, and this is absolutely true.
Athletes require twice as much protein as sedentary people to fuel protein synthesis.
But they also require carbohydrates, the bodies preferred fuel source.
It’s not impossible to gain muscle while carb-free but it is extremely difficult, so try to make sure that 30-50% of your calories are coming from carbohydrates (find out what ratio suits your needs).
Tip #6. Sleep Well
If you are going to be lifting very heavy weights at a high intensity then you also need to consider your recovery process.
Sleep is where testosterone and growth hormone can begin to rebuild your damaged muscle fibres and build bigger, stronger muscles.
Neglecting your sleep can seriously slow your muscle building gains.
Tip #7. Be Patient
If you are looking to build massive biceps in 12 weeks then you might be in for a disappointment.
While it is possible, it should not be your goal to double your body size in such a short time frame.
Muscle building can be slow, but the rewards are massive.
Eat well, sleep well, exercise hard, and be consistent. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve when you are patient and hard working.