Bodybuilding 5 MIN READ 48675 VIEWS May 6, 2016

How to Gain Mass- The Ultimate Guide for Skinny Guys

In your quest to understand how to gain mass naturally, you have tried it all. Yet the scale doesn’t budge. Our complete guide to gain mass for skinny guys tells you how to gain weight, and how to put on muscle!

The skinny dilemma is quite apparent. No matter what one does, training, nutrition and supplementation-wise, he or she can not make their weight go up. This may be because there are quite a few things you might be doing incorrectly or half heartedly. Remember, half hearted work ethics lead to half hearted results so before we understand how to gain weight, we must understand the two facets of this unique problem.

  1. A guide to gain mass for skinny guys is incomplete without mentioning the skinny fat paradox. This is an uncomfortable situation where you are skinny but fat in troubled areas like the belly and obliques. This condition is unique and one should cut and/or bulk depending on the body fat percentage. Anything higher than 15%, one should cut, and under 15% should lean bulk. This guide however caters to the ectomorphic body type. The skinny men and women who can’t gain weight.
  2. Metabolism also needs to be mentioned here. This is partly because skinny people can’t eat like mesomorph or endomorph’s. Their metabolism is accelerated so one can actually take advantage of this by eating calorically dense foods to gain weight. More on this later. Just remember, if you can eat a whole pizza and not gain weight; your metabolism is turbo charged and you’d need to eat to use that burning power to the maximum.

I know people will be skeptical towards this. I can already hear people saying “I eat enough, train as well…”. But are you really?! Below are just some of the mistakes one can commit. Gaining weight and losing weight aren’t rocket science. They however require consistency and due diligence.

A. Under Eating

You’ve seen me say this a million times. Weight gain or weight loss is all about calories in vs. calories out. So ask yourself again. Am I eating enough? 2 roti’s at lunch and a bowl of fruit doesn’t count. Skinny guys usually need upward of 3000 calories daily and in some cases this number will reach 4 or even 5000. That’s a lot of food! Fortunately or unfortunately you can’t clean eat this amount. Just imagine having 4000 calories of chicken breast and brown rice! It’s honestly not going to work. So cheat on your diet, and use that junk food to your advantage. I’ve discussed how to count calories in previous articles so instead I’ll discuss some muscle building tips:

  1. Space out your daily calories in 5-7 meals- Eating at a frequency keeps your metabolism going and provides a constant stream of energy to your body. This way the body doesn’t use the body fat and muscle mass and uses the food for day to day activities.
  2. Eat a meal right before you sleep- Best muscle gaining tip ever. Make a killer shake by adding peanut butter, casein and oats right before you sleep. Drink, get to bed and thank me later, because this is perhaps the single biggest thing to help you gain weight.
  3. Track your calories religiously- It’s imperative that we track our calories during our quest for gains because we need to understand how over and under we are in our daily caloric intake. A 100 calories too less and all your efforts will go in vain, so do understand the importance of doing this.
  4. Watch the scale- Now that you’re tracking everyday you need the scale to determine your progress. A gain of 0.5-1kg per week is adequate. Anything below; you should be eating more, and anything more; you need to cut back because that will lead to fat gain

B. Importance of cardio

Whilst there are numerous cardio exercises that leave a significant impact, ectomorph should severely limit this. In a week, I would suggest to only do cardio twice, that too maybe on Monday and Saturday, 15-20 minutes each session. Furthermore they should be at a slow pace or Low Intensity Steady State (LISS). The explanation is obvious here. We are trying to put our bodies in a caloric surplus. Doing cardio counteracts this as it burns off calories. It is however beneficial for heart health which is why one should still get in 1-2 sessions maximum.

C. Progressive Overload

The equation is simple. A stronger muscle is not necessarily a bigger muscle, but a bigger muscle has the potential to become a stronger muscle. With that in mind, if you aren’t progressing in the gym, then the weight also won’t increase. Even after 6 months if you’re still pushing out 10 reps of 40kg on the bench press, then your pecs won’t increase. Hence muscle mass will not increase. To do that skinny guys should focus on progressive overload, which means to improve in weight amount over a period of time. Doing so will pretty much ensure that your weight will increase because of the increased muscle mass.

Related Article: Counting Calories- The Magical Way to Weight Loss and Weight Gain?!

This is basically what you came to read I guess. A simple, no-nonsense way to gain weight. Just remember to plan ahead realistically. Don’t think that this plan will put 20kg in 2 months. That’s unrealistic weight gain. To further clarify I am not stating that absurd gain can’t be achieved. I and simply stating the majority of this will be fat. Also it’s not uncommon for your weight to shoot up in the first week. Don’t get too excited or fret, as that is simply water weight acquired from carbs and sodium. This isn’t a tip to gain mass fast. Just a sign of better things to come.

Diet Plan to gain weight

Because I can’t cater to every metabolism and body type combination, below is a sample 3000 calorie plan for weight gain:

Meal Description Calories
1 2 large eggs + 2 slices bacon 556
2 2 bananas + 1 sweet potato + 1 cup whole milk 547
3 1 cup brown rice + 1 10oz. steak cooked in 2tbsp olive oil 1000
4 1 serving mass gainer + 1 cup whole milk+ 2tbsp peanut butter 880
Total 2983

Hopefully now you understand the kinds items needed for foods to gain mass. This plan can be altered in any way. Just remember the total caloric intake should be up to 3000 daily.

Training Plan to gain mass

Training is a vital component of gaining muscle. You can eat all the calories you want. Without resistance training, all those extra calories will turn to fat. For skinny individuals the absolute rules for gaining mass is that you need to indulge in full body 5×5 movements. This means choosing a weight you can perform 5 repetitions of and mostly focusing on compound movements. Below is a sample workout plan to get you started on your muscle building journey:

Monday- Push Day

Exercise Reps & Sets
Bench Press 5×5
Overhead Press 5×5
Dips 3×8
Arnold Press 3×8
Close Grip Bench 3×8
Skullcrushers 3×8
Decline Crunches 3×10-15

Tuesday- Rest

Wednesday- Pull Day

Exercise Reps & Sets
Pull Ups 5×5
Bent Over Row 5×5
Deadlift 3×8
Reverse Lat Pulldown 3×8
Incline Curl 3×8
Hammer Curl 3×8
Cable Crunch 3×10-15

Thursday- Rest

Friday- Legs

Exercise Reps & Sets
Back Squat 5×5
Leg Press 3×8
Leg Extension 3×8
Lunges 3×8
Leg Curl 3×8

Saturday and Sunday- Rest

Now that you know everything about how to build muscle mass and how to gain weight, just know that supplements are helpful. They aren’t essential but vital to fulfilling your caloric goals as you can see by the diet plan above. Below are some of the essential supplements you can use:

  • Lean Mass Gainer: This will be helpful for not only filling your calorie goals but also help manage your daily protein intake
  • Creatine (for men): This will increase your strength by increasing ATP synthesis, which in turn will help you build more muscle
  • Fish Oil: Another staple that helps you intake healthy fats in your total caloric intake

This, I hope sends you towards the path to gains!

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