If you are a skinny man or woman who wants to add muscles mass, this article will show you how to go from skinny to muscular without weights.
I believe it’s easier for skinny guys to become muscular than it is for overweight folks.
But some skinny guys may disagree because they can’t seem to build muscles no matter how hard they try.
Well, as a former skinny guy, I’ll show you exactly how I went from skinny to muscular. And share strategies that have worked for others. In fact, you won’t need weights, mass gainers or any supplement – just your body and real food.
In a nutshell – eat more food than the body needs and do challenging workouts. Even though that’s good advice – it’s vague. So I’ll share numerous tips and tricks you can apply in your diet and workout to get the best results.
Skinny to muscular training tips
Did you know that your body doesn’t want you to build muscles? Muscles boost the resting metabolic rate and hinder fat storage – this goes against the body’s natural function. So the body will do whatever it can to prevent muscle growth.
You have to take advantage of every tip below to win this battle.
If you don’t train intensely your muscles won’t grow and become stronger. Don’t expect a few push-ups and squats to make a difference.
Do simple exercises if you’re a beginner and then advance to more challenging exercises. Note that doing advanced exercises right off the bat can cause injuries.
Do full range of motion and train to failure (do each exercise until you can’t perform another rep).
Advance to a harder exercise once you can do more than 15 reps. High reps are good for muscular endurance but not muscle growth.
Track your workouts
Tracking helps keep the workouts challenging.
Record the number of reps and sets you do in each workout. Then do more reps after every workout.
Use a notebook or an app to track your workouts.
Do different variations
Some guys can’t build muscles with one exercise variation. Do different variations targeting the same muscle to activate growth.
For instance, doing decline push ups, incline push ups and dive bomber push-ups will build a bigger sculpted chest than doing one push up variation.
Rest and recover
Looking at the tips above one may think he/she should train hard for 7 days. But that’s far from the truth. Muscles need to rest and recover to grow.
Muscles get microscopic tears when they are strained. These tears repair during rest and sleep.
Train at most 5 times a week and get enough sleep every night. It’s recommended you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Learn proper form
To get the most out of an exercise you have to do it properly. If your form is flawed the muscles won’t get the workout they deserve.
Go to YouTube and learn the proper form for each bodyweight exercise in your routine.
Train legs more
Most guys ignore legs and focus on upper body. This is a huge mistake because legs are the biggest muscle group and training them will quickly increase overall muscle mass.
Also, exercises like squats and lunges impact the central nervous system and create a great hormone response. This study shows that leg exercises boost testosterone and growth hormone levels. This reaction enhances the growth of muscles in other parts of the body.
Do less cardio
Cardio is good for fat loss but skinny guys don’t need it. Doing cardio will burn the calories the body needs to build muscle. Additionally, research shows that excess cardio causes loss of muscle.
If you have to do cardio, limit to only a few minutes. Your main focus should be strength training.
Best bodyweight exercises for building muscle
I’ll list a few exercises here – this article has all the exercises you need to build muscle and strength.
Pull-ups are the number one upper body exercise you should focus on. They train all upper body muscles – arms, back, chest and shoulders.
If you can’t do vertical pull-ups, start with horizontal pull ups then advance when you get stronger. Chin ups (underhand grip) are the best for building biceps.
Dive bomber push-ups
These are more effective than classic push-ups and they don’t require much strength to perform.
They mainly work the chest, triceps, and shoulders. How to do dive bomber push-ups.
Dips mainly activate the triceps, shoulders and chest muscles. If dips are challenging for you start with bench dips.
I’ve found split squats to be one of the most effective leg bodyweight exercises. They activate the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Wear a backpack loaded with books if you want to make them more challenging.
Skinny to muscular diet tips
You can’t build muscles if your diet is not on point.
You should eat healthy foods and consume more calories than your body needs.
First, calculate your caloric needs. Once you find out the number of calories your body needs to maintain current weight, add more calories to that.
Eat 1000 calories (or more) more than your body needs. Don’t worry if you’re a picky eater, below, I’ll share tips to help you consume more calories.
Eat more proteins
When you eat proteins, they’re broken down into amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for muscles – they repair the microscopic tears and regenerate cells in the body.
Eat proteins in every meal and keep in mind that going for more than 16 hours without eating proteins could lead to loss of muscle.
You’ll get a kick out of this article where I interviewed 39 nutrition experts on the healthiest proteins in the world.
Aim to consume one gram per pound of your body weight.
Increase carbs intake
Carbs give you back the energy lost during training by raising glycogen to normal levels. This will increase your performance during the workout. Most carbs are also high in calories so it’ll help increase your calorie intake.
Eat many small meals
Most skinny guys can’t eat a lot. If you can’t handle big meals, divide them into small meals.
For instance, if your daily caloric goal is 3000 calories, eat 6 small meals of 500 calories. That’s easier than 3 meals of 1000 calories.
Eat enough fats
Fats are high in calories and will increase your calorie intake. Furthermore, there’s a direct link between fat and testosterone levels. A good source of fat is salmon which contains omega 3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids, flaxseed oil, and conjugated linoleic acid.
Cook with more oil
Your goal should be to eat enough calories without being uncomfortably full. Cooking with excess healthy fat can add an extra 200 calories to your daily intake.
Avoid using vegetable oil. Use olive oil and coconut oil.
People trying to lose weight are advised to eat slowly. That’s because people overeat when they eat fast. So do the opposite of what overweight folks do.
It takes time for the brain to register that you’re full. The faster you eat, the more you’ll be able to eat.
Drink your calories
Most of your nutrients should definitely come from real food. But healthy beverages can greatly increase your calorie intake.
You don’t have to take shakes or anything like that. Drink beverages like milk, fruit juice, Greek yoghurt and so on. Avoid weight gainers and unhealthy beverages like sodas and diet soda.
High-calorie healthy foods to add to your diet
Here are a few healthy foods that are high in calories.
High-calorie carbs: Eat carbs like rice, bread, potatoes, pasta and so on.
Avocado: Avocado is one of the healthiest fruits (yes, it’s not a vegetable). An average size avocado contains around 400 calories. Eat a piece of avocado in every meal.
Salads: Salads with oily or creamy dressings are high in calories.
Nuts: Nuts are a great source of vitamin E, protein, iron, and magnesium. And they’re very high in fat. In fact, 100 grams of macadamia carry more than 700 calories.
Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a healthy monounsaturated fat and 10 grams/a teaspoon has around 60 calories. Spreading it in meals can increase your calories.
Fruits: Fruits are rich in nutrients and minerals and high in calories. For instance, a medium size banana has around 100 calories.
Truly, that’s all the information you need to transform from skinny to muscular. Now the ball is on your court. Start working out and apply these diet tips.
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