Being skinny and having very low body fat levels in every day life is a great thing. You tend to look pretty good in most clothes, you don’t have to choose clothes that hide your lumps and bumps. You generally have more energy and it isn’t such a challenge simply moving around each day as it is for your larger friends. But as with all things in life there is often a catch and there is one here too.
Whilst you may find it much harder than most to store body fat, which is great, you will also find it much harder when building muscle. The following three mistakes are most commonly made by skinny guys when trying to gain muscle.
- Not Changing Your Lifestyle – Your body will normally struggle to get enough calories each day to carry out quite simple tasks such as work or any other activities that you do on a regular basis, let alone recover from the rigors of weight training. If you do decide that building muscle is going to be one of your priorities then it will be necessary to slow down in other areas of your life. Rest whenever you can, never run when you can walk etc. Also you should add in extra meals or snacks wherever possible in order to ensure that you are eating enough calories to support muscle growth.
- Training Harder Than anyone Else – Another common misconception when training on a regular basis is that you will see others who seem to not work as hard as you do or perform workouts much shorter than yours, yet they appear to be getting more muscular and at a much quicker rate than you. Your natural instinct at first will be to work harder and for longer still to keep up with them. This is also a big mistake because you are built differently to others and what works for them won’t necessarily work for you. You run a real risk of over training and your body will shut down and flat out refuse to grow. You’ll feel run down, tired, have no energy and struggle to eat the calories you need to eat each day. The list of side effects is endless and can be a real sticking point in anyone’s progress. Instead ease off your training a little, monitor your progress by taking measurements regularly. If you are making gains then keep going at the rate you are, if not then add a few extra sets, reps or exercises in to your program gradually.
- Eating More Calories – Yes you are nearly right, eating more calories is absolutely essential for anyone interested in building muscle, but for the skinny guy, the tendency is to just eat any old food in an attempt to pack on the muscle. Eating large amounts of fats especially saturated fats is not a healthy way to add body weight. Whilst the aim is to gain weight we ideally want to gain most of that from muscle as opposed to extra stored body fat. The key here is to increase both the amount of proteins you eat and also the carbohydrates. There may need to be a small compromise in that you will need to eat slightly more processed foods such as white bread instead of whole meal for example, because generally speaking unprocessed foods fill you up much quicker than the processed types and you may struggle to eat enough calories.
Being skinny can be great, but when building muscle it can be a real hindrance. Far more skinny guys stop training before they make any real progress than any other type of body shape. You need to slow down a little and take things easy, eat more of the right types of foods and stop judging yourself against the progress of others. Be patient and you will see results.