How Skinny Guys Really Build Muscle
It’s 9:53 am. I can see the sun shining outside in what promises to be a beautiful day in Vancouver, BC. I’ve been up since 5 am, getting right into my muscle building morning routine, and my success morning routine.
I do my exercises, drink my water, have my testosterone cocktail, then I sit down, read, think, take notes, and finally open up my computer and start working. In a few hours I’ll go to the gym. I go pretty much every day these days. Not always to work my ass off, sometimes just for a break from work. To hit the bag or do a light lift on a weak point.
Aside from my testosterone boosting cocktail, I have yet to eat. I’m focused on what’s most important right now, this article, and how to illustrate to you that less is more in the world of building muscle for skinny guys.
The day I’m describing will eventually consist of 3-4 meals + 1 shake. One of the meals will be massive. The others, smaller in comparison.
Each, however, serving a specific purpose. My body is important to me, as is staying lean and muscular year round. I’ve never been a fan of bulking. So I don’t do it.
My work is my mission. This site is my passion. I love writing and working on ways to help you build your dream body, and construct your legendary life. Having two main focuses in a day – along with the life stuff like having fun, laughing, living and the like – my nutrition as well as my training needs to serve both purposes.
The odd thing about this is that in focusing on my energy levels and focus (yes, even with nutrition), I’ve also helped my body.
As I wind down this article, I’ll head to the gym.
Years ago I used to do long, 2 hour workouts. They left me drained skinny and weak. Today, I’m going to do a 20-30 minute workout that will absolutely kick my ass.
Let me paint a bit of a picture for you. I walk up the stairs to my gym, headphones on, coffee or Extreme Rush, already having been consumed. As have my first round of BCAAs, I have my training notebook in my hand, gym bag over my shoulder. I’m ready to go.
The songs on my gym playlist (there are 4 of them) are motivating. They keep me focused if my mind wanders. They get me hyped if my intensity wains. I’m leaving nothing to chance. I will kill this workout.
I get to the squat rack, pop on a couple plates and do 24’s to warm up. After the warm up, I’m right into my workout. For the past 2 weeks, I’m doing the challenge workouts in the PowerHowse Challenge. Which means, I’m completely depleting my muscle with limited rest periods, before moving on the the next exercise.
The exercises are in a strategic list. A lower day might start with squats or deadlifts. The goal rep count is 50 reps and I’m aiming to fail 3 times within the set. Meaning I let the rep count and the failure goal dictate the weight I choose.
I hit the first exercise hard. I have my watch on my wrist to time my rest periods. After the first set I rest for 25 seconds, then hit it again. I fail 4 times in that first set, which is great because I’ve brought my muscle to the brink 4 times. After just the first exercise I’m experiencing a skin-bursting pump.
As I go down the list of 6-8 exercises, my body is screaming for me to stop. Now, the workout is less about the physical and more about the mental fight. Will I quit early on a set, take it easy and look for an excuse, or will I push through?
Half way through the workout I take a few more BCAAs, then continue on. I blast through the list in 24 minutes. I’m drenched and I can barely walk down the stairs to my locker. The blood still coursing through my muscles. I’m walking out of the gym on a ‘high’. I’m not worn down or deflated. But my body is completely broken down.
One thing you want to avoid in training is to leave the gym having done too much. You reach the point where your blood is leaving your muscles. You’re ‘deflating’. You want to walk out of the gym, blood still inflating your muscles.
You want to break your muscle down as much as possible, in as little time as possible. Walking out of the gym without a big cortisol release, and ready to start the recovery process.
This is when you have a post workout shake, and a cold shower. Stretching is also important. Which is something I do after the workout when the muscle is warm, not before (can be dangerous to stretch before a workout).
Lactic Acid. HGH. & An Intense Workout
I’ve done the long workouts in the past. The bodybuilding sets that have 2 minute rest periods, or allow for full recovery before picking up the weights again for the next set.
In a workout we want to build up as much lactic acid as possible in as short a time as possible (within reason). Long rest periods makes this impossible. As do sets with only one exercise in them. We need to be doubling and tripling up our exercises with supersets and giant sets. Or we need to be doing a challenge workout like the one previously described.
Lactic acid increases the acidity of the blood and as a result can cause a dramatic increase in growth hormone (GH). GH is probably the most important hormone (along with testosterone) for repairing muscle tissue and burning fat.
Our workouts need to be excruciating, but short. Too long means our body will release cortisol and we’ll experience the opposite effect: lowered testosterone levels.
Naturally Boost Testosterone
Hormones play a very important role in a skinny guy building lean muscle, as do calories. Let’s not kid ourselves. Many a young man has failed to gain lean muscle simply because he’s unwilling to eat enough food.
Both ‘birds’ can be hit with one stone.
We need to eat a lot to gain lean muscle mass. But we also need to be burning fat. What we don’t need is to avoid eating fat.
Fat and manliness go together like pb & j. Saturated fats (and cold showers) are one of the only ways men can naturally raise our testosterone levels. By cutting out fats, like FAR too many of us do when we’re building lean muscle mass, we have the opposite effect.
We need fat to burn fat and to raise our testosterone levels. We also need carbs to feed our muscles. So where’s the balance?
Focus the majority of your carbohydrates in your post workout shake, and post workout meal. Make these meals massive, with low fat content, high carbohydrate (fast carbs like fruits, sugars, white flour) content, and high protein content. No need to measure the macronutrients, just eat a lot.
Then, eat fats with low carbs the rest of the day. Have a lot of eggs, eat red meat, white meat, whatever. Just eat a lot. Also, follow the two protocol’s below to boost testosterone the natural way.
Shake 3x a week
12 oz whole raw milk, 4 tbsp raw almond butter, 2 raw egg yolk, 3 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Before bed & upon rising snack
Cod liver oil. 3,000-5,000 IU vitamin D3, 3 Brazil nuts + a source of fats (food). I threw this in on my own. It was usually a couple whole eggs, an avocado, or a grass fed beef burger paddy.
Muscle Building for Skinny Guys
For years I trained more and more in hopes of gaining more and more muscle. It didn’t work.
Gaining muscle for skinny guys isn’t like finding success in a job or even in a sport. More is not better. More intense is. But a longer workout can completely kill your progress, keeping you skinny, weak, and frustrated. It did it to me for 8 years.
If you’re tired of working your ass off, but seeing no results, check out the video below and learn how I finally turned things around. And how you can stop being frustrated, and start getting jacked: