A skinny person's guide to building muscle (for men)
Is looking at all those muscular dudes in the gym showing off their perfect bodies, making you desperate to workout and make your way to bulk up some muscle?
You must have heard people complimenting you for having a fast metabolism but little do they know how you feel about it.
You are eating a lot and probably hitting the gym too.
Are you still wondering why you can’t seem to gain weight and build some muscle?
What you need is a proper guideline and a plan to keep you motivated and on the right track. Here are some fixes you need to incorporate in your lifestyle:
Yes it is pretty obvious that you need to eat more if you are skinny, but how to manage your meals is what makes it crucial.
Consume more calories and double up what you are used to eating. This might be difficult in the beginning but you will need to motivate yourself to eat more even when you are not hungry.
500 extra calories in a day = 1 additional pound per week.
Whatever you are eating, add an extra 500-1000 calories to your diet throughout your day.
Carbs are your allies when you require gaining weight, so dig into rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeals etc. to provide you with those extra calories you need.
Feast yourself to not so healthy things like bread, pasta, and even snacks occasionally. Include good whole vegetables and plenty of nuts, as they are high in fat and calories, in your diet in addition to carbs to achieve those caloric goals.
Emphasize on muscle building food (protein)
You could easily get 3500 calories by eating fast food and candies or maybe by drinking sodas but you won't be making any muscle with these calories.
Your muscles are all protein. The more protein your body will store, the bigger your muscles will grow. Your body uses up protein as hormones, enzymes and for other functions as well.
This results in lesser proteins available for bulking up muscle.
“Build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins,” says Michael Houston, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech University.
Aim for consuming at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
For example, a 180-pound man should eat 180 grams of protein a day. Split the rest of your daily calories balancing between carbohydrates and fats.
Proteins should be at least 35% of your overall caloric intake, which approximates to 40-60 grams of protein per meal, for men weighing less than 200 pounds, should be enough to maintain appetite, expand muscle mass, speed up recovery and keep body fat levels low.
You need to ensure you have enough nutrition and energy to workout and then recover from muscular strain after lifting heavy weights for high reps.
Plan and Track what you eat
Eat your breakfast as soon as 15-30 minutes of waking up and keep having meals every 2.5 to 3 hours. Set reminders to get something in your body every time it beeps.
Motivate yourself to these meals as opportunities to building a magazine perfect body. Think of a meal as a power fuel and the next meal as a fuller chest, broader shoulders, larger arms and rock-hard abs!
So how many meals should you eat?
Divide the time you're awake by 2 or 3. Or push yourself to eat every 3 hours before moving on to every 2 hours. If you're awake 18 hours a day, you need to start by eating 6 meals in one day.
Eating a healthy breakfast along with a cup of freshly roasted coffee can boost your metabolism throughout the day (Get your own restaurant quality espresso at home at qavashop.com).
You do all the eating and you will put on weight, but that won't just be enough for a good body now? Will it?
Stimulating muscle growth with some exercises done with heavy weights will activate as many muscle fibers as possible. As your strength increases, muscle size should follow.
Studies show that a strenuous lift workout increases protein synthesis in your body for up to 48 hours straightaway after a session of exercise.
Following complex exercises will stimulate as many muscles as possible. As you keep doing them, try getting as strong as possible with each one of them.
Barbell bench press-
Complete 4 sets of 4 reps.
- Lie back on a bench. Start by lifting the bar and keep it straight over you.
- Inhale and start coming down gradually until the bar touches your mid-chest.
- After a short pause, push the bar back as you exhale.
- Hold it for a while and then return to starting position.
Squat down as low as you can, but be careful about not losing the arch in your lower back. Complete 4 sets of 5 reps.
- Start by supporting the barbell on top of the traps.
- Maintain a shoulder-width distance, with your feet turned out as needed.
- Go down by flexing your knees, without moving the hips back as much as possible.
- Keep descending making sure the weight is on your front of the heel.
Complete 4 sets of 4 reps. keep on raising the weight of each set.
- Hold the bar in a way so that it is centered over your feet.
- Keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Grip the bar at shoulder-width so that your shoulder blades stretch out.
- Keep your back straight and parallel to the ground.
- Return to starting position.
Complete 4 sets of 4 reps.
- Hold the pull-up bar for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
- Start by moving your torso back, creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking out your chest.
- Bring your torso up till the bar touches your chest by moving the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Breathe out as you perform this movement.
- After a pause, breathe in and gradually move your torso back to the starting position.
- Repeat this motion.
Complete 3 sets of 5 reps. If you are able to do this with your bodyweight then add weight with a belt.
- Hold the pull-up bar with a grip almost the shoulder width. Start by keeping your torso as straight as possible, creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking out your chest.
- As you exhale, bring your torso up until your head is almost the level of the pull-up bar. Use your biceps muscles to perform this movement.
- Keep your elbows closer to your body and gradually lower your torso back to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this part of the movement.
Have a drink
“Since exercise increases blood flow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles,” claims Kevin Tipton, Ph.D., who is an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Texas in Galveston.
Search for whey-protein powders at nutrition stores. You will need about 10 to 20 grams of protein in your shake which is usually about one scoop of the powder.
Combine one scoop with some fat-free yogurt and apple or grape juice and blend for a homemade muscle-building pre-workout shake. Liquid meals are absorbed faster so it's ideal to drink your shake 30 to 60 minutes before your workout session.
Eat carbs after exercise
Your body tends to rebuild muscle faster when resting if you feed it with carbohydrates.
Post-workout meals with more carbs will increase insulin levels in your body, as a result of which protein breakdown slows.
So go for a sandwich or a fruit or maybe just a sports drink if you wish, after a workout.
Rest and Recovery
Getting eight hours of sleep every night is essential for the release of growth hormone, so make sure you are resting properly.
Get massages or use a foam roller to enhance blood flow to your muscles. Making all this a part of your routine will enhance recovery.
Lift every alternate day and complete a full-body workout followed by a day of rest. Giving your body rest is vital to gaining muscle mass.
“Your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you're working out,” claims Michael Mejia, Men’s Health exercise advisor and a former skinny guy.
Do not exercise the same muscle two days in a row. When you workout, you are breaking down your muscles.
It takes 48 hours of eating a caloric surplus and some rest for recovering to stronger and bigger muscles. Skinny people mostly don’t need a lot of training, they need to eat and rest a lot more!