Training Tips for the Skinny Guy

Most gym goers are people looking to shed a few pounds and tone up problem areas. However, there are also those guys and gals who want to put on some mass and gain some size. For those people it may seem like no matter what they do they can’t gain any weight. When I started playing college football I was 6’5” and only weighed 180 lbs; I was going against guys that were 140 lbs heavier than I was. By my senior year I had gotten up to 255 lbs, all through the gym and eating. Now many of you may not want to gain that much weight in the gym, but here are some types to help start the process of adding muscle to your frame.

Get in the weight room and out of the cardio room. If you are starting off without much body fat and trying to add muscle, cardio will hinder you in every way. Doing cardiovascular exercises will zap you body of the needed energy required to build muscle. Try cutting your cardio sessions down by one or two days and making those days weights days.

While working out, concentrate on working the larger muscle groups in full body exercises such as squats, deadlift, bench press and shoulder press. By activating the larger muscle groups your release the largest amount of testosterone (your natural muscle builder) into your blood stream; which is then transported to all your other muscles, to be utilized during the rest of your workout.

Train in lower reps with higher weights and more sets equals muscle building. You should try to be from 6 to 1 rep per set, from 75% of your one rep max and 3 – 5 sets of each exercise (you will need larger rest periods). This will help you build muscles and strength.

Eat, muscles burn three times as many calories as fat; meaning they require a lot of good sources of protein to allow them to grow. Studies have shown that the optimal time to ingest protein is within 45 min of finishing your workout. Now don’t cut all the carbs completely out too, protein is going to utilize that to help build muscles as well. Keep fresh fruit and veggies available as you eat your protein.

Finally probably the most underutilized muscle building aide is sleep! Our muscles and body repairs itself during REM sleep. Meaning that if we don’t even get close to the recommended 8 hrs of sleep our body does not repair itself fully, leading to sickness and injuries as well as not fully healed muscles. Try to get as much sleep as possible, allowing your muscles to fully recover and grow.

For those of you who have tried over and over to gain muscle, it can be done. It takes training correctly for muscle gain (commit the time in the gym and you will see results) and making habit changes that will aide you in every aspect of your life. Try adding the tips above to your workout and see where your body goes! If you need any help with any of these tips or want to hire a trainer to get you going in the right direction please feel free to contact the Fitness Director Jacob Galloway at jgalloway@sacdt.com.

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