This guide will cover 5 key fitness tips to help skinny guys gain weight and build more muscle. You may find that each tip somewhat overlaps with each other but that’s ok. The body is like a puzzle its not complete until all these little pieces fit together.
1. You’re unknowingly… UNDER-eating
A lot of the time, you may not be correctly tracking your calories. For example, let’s say you want to track pasta, keep in mind pasta’s weight changes once cooked because it pretty much doubles in size. When you first weigh out pasta, 1 portion will be 56g this is what we call ‘dry weight‘ that same 56 grams once cooked can turn to 176 grams and this is referred to as ‘cooked weight‘
On food tracking apps you’ll find that you can search for both types of measurements. So in many cases you can be unknowingly tracking the wrong one which can make it seem like you are consuming much more calories than you actually are e.g. selecting pasta’s dry weight in the tracking app but actually using the cooked measurement of 176g can give you the wrong calorie amount.
It doesn’t matter whether you track dry or cooked weight as long as you select the correct option in the app, that way you will have more accuracy when calculating calories.
Also, to the small percentage of you that say you have crazy fast metabolism and are tracking perfectly each time and you’re still not gaining weight – you need to up your calories!
2. Progressive Overload – Lift More Weights
Once you have mastered Tip 1, its time to now move onto progressively overloading your workouts.
In basic terms Progressive Overload simply means lifting heavier overtime. If you’ve been weight training for a short period of time and you haven’t increased or been able to increase the weight on any of your main compound exercises, something is going wrong.
Let me also state that, you won’t be able to increase weight EVERY time you step into the gym but your should be able to lift heavier or see some form of improvement in strength month to month.
To help track your gym progress simply keep note, whether that’s in an app in your phone or just a regular notepad. Keep note of the main key exercises such as; bench press, deadlifts, squats, pull ups this can help you keep an eye on the progress you’re making. Note down whether you are able to lift heavier or even if you can now do more reps or if you can control the weight easier with better form. As there’s many factors that contribute to progressive overload when training with weights.
Pro tip: If you aren’t seeing ANY improvements in your workouts, you’re unlikely to be building much muscle at all. Be sure to review your diet! No matter how hard you’re training, you won’t see a huge change in your muscle mass and size without the correct protein intake and overall calories to grow.
3. Too Much Cardio? – How much do you move daily
The next thing you’ll need to do is monitor your daily expenditure. This is simply… how much calories do you burn daily?
Things to consider is; are you someone who participates in sports quiet frequently, has a manual labour job or just moves/walks a lot more compared to your average person, if so you will need to eat more calories than the average person! If you do any of these often, you most likely naturally burn more calories daily than you thought, so you will need to eat a lot to just maintain your weight, let alone gain weight.
Remember, even though the average person should be doing 10k steps daily, most barely break 6k steps. I’d advise investing in a wrist based step counter, these are better than using apps on your phone.
4. Eat More Protein… from REAL food
This tip is more specifically to those who want to build more muscle mass. Assuming that you’re training in a gym and want to optimise your muscle growth, depending on what your current protein intake is, you may need to increase it.
For example: if you’re 150lbs and slim built, you should be aiming for at least140 – 150 grams of protein per day. A good rule of thumb for skinny/slim people is to aim for 1g of protein per 1lb of body weight.
Also, there are many ways to achieve high protein diet. Firstly I’d research different types of high protein from whole foods. This can include, Salmon, Cod, Chicken Breast, Greek Yoghurt, Mozzarella, Seabass, Lentils, Chickpeas etc.
5. Eat More Carbs – They are you’re friend!
Often many people think when trying to gain muscle and get lean, they think they should virtually eat zero carbs! This is wrong! Carbs will really help with your energy throughout the day and will help your training performance.
A key tip is to ensure that majority of your carb in take is clean and not just junk food. It is important to have a balance in your food but make sure that you get your fruits, whole grains and veggies in too as this also contributes to your body’s performance.
Anyways people, I hope these tips have helped you learn the importance of understand how your diet and exercise impacts your progress when aiming to gain weight or build more muscle mass. Check out the video below for more in-depth explanation.