For all of us naturally skinny guys, it is important to follow a good diet and exercise regimen for bulking up and putting on weight. Some people have incredible muscle building genetics and seem to get bigger just by looking at a set of dumb bells. For the naturally skinny guys, it takes a lot more effort.
I use to be a pretty skinny myself, and my sophomore year in high school I was right around 135 lbs of skin and bones. The idea of working out and strength training was pretty intimidating to me, and I did not want to embarrass myself in front of my friends and other people. Then I had an encounter with a body builder who encouraged me to lift weights to help my basketball. He told me that when he was in high school he was extremely skinny too, and that he was able to put on an incredible amount of weight by working out and eating the right way. This really made me a believer!
I assumed that all of the body builders and fitness model type guys had either incredible genetics or were using steroids. Little did I know that a dedicated workout program and eating big would yield incredible results for the naturally skinny guys. I believe that naturally skinny guys actually have a distinct advantage over other types of people because they do not store body fat as easily. When the skinny guy puts on lean muscle mass, it is very noticeable and they have a shredded physique!
I decided to take the body builders advice and started working out. I gained some good definition over the next year but was lacking the size I wanted. Luckily for me I went to a sports academy that taught us how to eat properly for our body type and the essential things we should be putting in our body to gain muscle. After another year of intense workouts and a structured diet that consisted of over 3,000 calories per day, I gained an astounding 25 pounds and kept my body fat about the same.
Since those days I have been hooked on health and fitness. I have researched and read numerous books on fitness and nutrition and even went on to study exercise science at the university level. I have come to a few startling conclusions on the best way to gain muscle.
The Best Workout Strategies For Muscle Gain
The biggest mistake I see with a lot of naturally skinny guys looking to add weight is that they don’t vary their workout routine enough to shock the muscle fibers and tear them. Remember that if you are trying to build muscle mass, you need to break down and micro tear the muscle fibers (During your Workout), and then allow them to recover, repair, heal, and grow back bigger and stronger.
Your body will adapt to whatever workout you are performing after a certain amount of time. If you are always doing the same exercises, keeping the repetitions the same, and rest between sets similar – you are not challenging your body to its maximum muscle building potential.
Since a naturally skinny guy has a little more trouble putting on muscle , it is essential to find new ways to constantly challenge your muscles and continue to create micro tears that will regrow into bigger and stronger muscles.
There are some amazing ways to challenge your muscles and create new opportunities to grow.
Strategy #1: Use Super Sets With Every Exercise
One workout strategy to challenge your body is to incorporate super sets with every exercise. You can do this a few different ways.
One of my favorite ways to do super sets is to incorporate a push-pull superset. This was one of Arnold’s favorite workout strategies. You will do an exercise that involves a pushing motion, such as the bench press, and immediately follow it with (superset) a pull exercise such as the lateral pull down.
You can also do supersets with opposing muscle groups. For instance you could do bicep curls and superset it with tricep skull crushes. Get creative with your super sets and make sure that you are always changing up the routine.
Strategy #2: Use Drop Sets Or Reverse Drop Sets
Another great workout strategy to change up the usual routine is to do drop sets. You can do regular drop sets or reverse drop sets. Both are wonderful at recruiting new muscle fibers and pushing your body far outside its comfort zone.
Drop sets work with just about every exercise. One of my favorite exercises to drop set is the bench press since it works such a wide variety of upper body muscle groups. To drop set on the bench press you would start out very heavy and perform as many repetitions as you can. Then you will drop the weight by 10-20 percent and without any rest you will lift until failure. You will continue dropping the weight by 10-20 percent each set for 4-5 total sets without any rest in between.
You could also reverse this by starting at your light weight, and adding 10-20 percent more weight onto the exercise each set. Drop setting is one of my favorite techniques to challenge your body and reach your muscle building potential.
Strategy #3: Pre-Fatigue Weight Lifting
Another workout strategy to incorporate for explosive weight gain is the pre fatigue weight lifting strategy. This workout strategy is one of the most challenging workouts you can do – but I believe it gets the best results. You will pre fatigue a muscle group by doing high repetitions and light weight of an exercise – then you will perform a very heavy set of 6-8 repetitions of the same muscle group you just pre fatigued.
For example, you might do as many pushups as you can do, then immediately jump on the bench press and try to knockout 6-8 repetitions at a fairly heavy weight. You could burn out on the lat pull down machine with light weight and high repetitions, then jump right on the pull up bar.
The opportunities are limitless and you should get creative and invent your own pre fatigue exercises.
Strategy #4: Negative Reps
Another popular muscle building workout strategy is incorporating negative repetitions into your exercise routine. The negative portion of the repetition is the part where you are lowering the weight.
By doing slow negatives you are really forcing your muscle into a period of deep burn where it is forced to hold the weight and control the speed at which it comes down. This can be a catalyst for great muscle growth and has been used by bodybuilders since bodybuilding was a sport!
If you are looking for an added challenge you can even try forced negatives. That is when your workout partner pushes down and makes it even harder to control the weight. This is an advanced muscle building technique.
Strategy #5: The “Fab Five” Workout
My last workout strategy to gain muscle fast is to incorporate all of the major muscle groups into the same workout. This is a great way to naturally elevate your hormone levels and increase your testosterone.
I dedicate one workout per week where I hit the “Fab 5” of muscle building exercises. My “fab 5 muscle building exercises” are the Bench press, dead lift, squat, pull up and dip. These 5 exercises work all of your major muscle groups as well as secondary muscle groups and will help to naturally elevate your hormone levels, which will be important when trying to put on muscle quickly.
Constantly doing a variation of all five of these muscle building workout techniques will give you the best way to gain muscle fast. You have to keep your body guessing to make it grow, constantly finding new ways to break down your muscle fibers.
You will not grow and get big unless you break down your muscle fibers, and the best way to do this is a constant change of workouts. You should make sure to constantly change the weight, repetitions, exercises, and times between sets. Never stick with the same strategy for too long, and if you find your current workout is not challenging you anymore, it is time to move onto the next strategy! By incorporating all five of these muscle building workout strategies into their workout, every skinny guy will grow muscle at their peak rate.