Gaining muscles, in general, can be a tedious task that requires a lot of consistency and discipline. But for skinny guys, it’s a different scenario. Skinny people can struggle for months, or even years at a stretch, to gain muscle mass and still fail. Does this sound like something you have been going through? If yes, then keep following this guide to learn essential tips on gaining muscle mass.
Understanding the Regime
First and foremost, it is important to learn how the muscle mass-gaining process works. You also need to know why you are doing a particular workout or following a particular diet. While gaining muscle mass, muscle growth happens when the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. The body repairs damaged fibers by fusing them to increase muscle size, and certain hormones also play a major role in this process.
For skinny guys, a comprehensive approach consisting of exercise, nutrition, and rest is crucial. Resistance training, including compound exercises that focus on squats, deadlifts, rows, etc., is generally recommended. As for the diet, increasing the calorie intake while consuming more amount of quality protein is vital.
Now that we understand the gist of the mass gain regime let’s discuss these points in depth.
Exercises to Follow to Increase Muscle Mass
As per a study conducted by a sports medicine college, individuals who want to gain muscle mass need to perform a combination of strength and hypertrophy-specific resistance training exercises. The exercises should be focused on large muscle groups, and optimum weights should be used.
But what does “optimum weights” mean? You should utilize a weight that can be lifted for 6 to 12 reps only for optimum muscle building. Each exercise should be performed for 3 to 5 sets, and the rest period should be at least 1 to 2 minutes between each set. It is also important to increase the weights gradually to continue challenging the muscles and promoting growth.
Here are some exercise recommendations for skinny people who want to gain muscle mass –
- Squats – they target quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
- Deadlifts – they target the back, hamstrings, and glutes.
- Rows – they focus on the back and biceps.
- Bench press – they target the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
- Pull-ups – they focus on the back, biceps, and shoulders.
- Overhead press – they focus on shoulders and triceps.
- Dips – they target the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
- Lunges – they target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Each exercise should be performed for 3 to 5 sets, with each set consisting of 6 to 12 reps. If you feel that you can do more repetitions with your current weights, it is time to increase the weights.
Recommended Workout Plan
Your weekly workout regime for muscle gain should look something like this –
- Monday – squats, bench presses, and rows.
- Tuesday – light cardio.
- Wednesday – deadlifts, overhead press, and pull-ups.
- Thursday – rest or light cardio.
- Friday – Lunges, dips, and rows.
- Saturday – light cardio.
- Sunday – rest or light cardio.
Frequency of Workouts
Generally, rest 1 to 2 times a day is recommended. Apart from this, a 45-60 minute strength workout three times a week is a good place to start. Over time, as you start building muscles, you can increase the intensity to 4 times a week. The trick is to provide at least 48 hours of rest to each muscle group in between workouts.
Nutritional Plan and Diet Recommendations
Your calorie intake is the most crucial part of weight gain. Unless you are consuming more calories than you are burning, it is impossible to gain weight and bulk up. Bulking up requires putting on weight with your diet and gaining muscle mass with your workouts. The recommended calorie surplus is 300 to 500 calories per day, along with a sufficient amount of protein.
But how much protein in your diet is sufficient? The general rule is to consume 1.6 grams to 2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight. Protein intake within this range can enhance muscle protein synthesis and optimize muscle mass gain. A balanced diet with 45-65% of calories coming from carbs, 20-35% from fat, and 10-35% from protein is recommended.
Top 8 Food for Skinny Guys to Build Muscle Mass
Here are some superfoods that can help you bulk up even with your fast metabolism as a skinny individual –
- Full cream milk has been a trusted weight gain food for naturally skinny men due to its high protein content and convenience. Unless you are lactose-intolerant, full cream milk is an excellent addition to your weight gain routine. Each glass of full cream milk provides 148 calories and 8 grams of protein, making it the top-most choice to be in a calorie surplus while increasing protein intake.
- Peanut butter is high in monosaturated fats and protein, along with many other nutrients. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains 188 calories and 7.7 grams of protein, and you can also add peanut butter to your full-cream milk to create a delightful shake.
- Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, are guilt-less snacking options that are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins/minerals. For example – 22 almonds contain around 6 grams of protein and provide 169 calories.
- Sweet potatoes are complex carbs, which are essential macronutrients for skinny guys who aim to build muscle mass. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, making them an ideal choice for a sustained amount of energy throughout the day.
- Chickpeas are a good source of amino acids that contribute to muscle building. Chickpeas, when consumed with grains, form a source of complete proteins for vegetarians.
- Bananas can be a nutritious addition to get good-quality carbs, which can lead to weight gain. They are also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- It goes without saying, but chicken is a quintessential food if you are a non-vegetarian. 2 roasted chicken breasts can provide 320 calories, along with 31 grams of protein per 100 grams of chicken breast.
- We all love pasta, and a protein-rich pasta option can be a healthy addition to your diet. They are a great source of protein, iron, and B-complex vitamins and help keep your energy levels brimming.
Making these additional to your existing diet can easily help you be in a 300-500 calorie surplus.
You May also like this: Benefits Of The Best Pre-Workout Supplements And Its Essential Ingredients
Recommended Supplements to Consume with Your Diet & Exercise Regime
If you find it challenging to increase your calorie intake or aren’t able to consume enough protein, then supplements might be a smart choice. Muscle mass gainer supplements can also help improve your workout performance by boosting energy and promoting muscle recovery; here are three supplements that you can go for –
1. Eligator Anabolic Gainer
This anabolic muscle mass gainer is perfect for individuals wanting to gain muscles and can help you through intense workout sessions. It provides 218 calories and 18 grams of protein per serving, making it the ultimate product for muscle gain and increasing calories.
2. Eligator Deca Drol Tablets
These tablets support muscle growth, promote muscle recovery, and increase endurance levels. Each tablet is enriched with arginine and glutamine to promote stamina and achieve your bodybuilding goals.
3. Eligator High Protein Gainer
This protein gainer can help replenish glycogen stores and release amino acids to the muscles. The high-protein powder contains 18 grams of protein per 100 grams and provides 470 calories.
All these products are available at Eligator Nutrition in different flavors and size options to support you through the muscle mass gain process.
Mistakes to Avoid in Your Weight-Gaining Regime
Now that we know the key elements needed to gain muscle mass, it is also important to know what not to do. Here are a few common mistakes that can hinder the muscle gain journey; hence, they should be avoided –
- As explained above, being in a calorie surplus is the most essential part of gaining muscles for skinny guys. Sometimes, you might think you are consuming more calories but are not. Thus, it is important to track your calories for a few weeks to get a gist of what diet is working for your calorie surplus goals.
- Setting unrealistic muscle gain expectations is another mistake made by most individuals. You can expect results in a week or two, and it requires consistency and sustainable lifestyle changes. If you don’t have a solid plan that is realistic and can be followed in the long term, you might fall from the wagon.
- You are not doing enough weight training or are not lifting weights that are heavy enough. If you feel that it is too easy to lift weights, then you are not doing it right. You also need to focus on “progressive overload” to build muscle size.
- Not doing enough can be a mistake, but doing way too much can be a bigger mistake, as it can lead to muscle injury. It is important to be safe and perform the exercise with proper postures to avoid common issues, like back pain, after a workout.
- Last but not least, recovery and rest are crucial to go forward in your muscle gain journey. Your muscles need time to recover, and unless you are giving them ample rest, you won’t see results. Thus, focus on rest days and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day for the best outcome.
If you follow these tips and avoid the mistakes, you can successfully gain muscle mass with visible changes in 8-12 weeks. Make sure not to sweat the small stuff and focus on your long-term goals while making consistent and conscious lifestyle changes, along with your workouts, and you will succeed in your bodybuilding journey.