So you want to look like those guys at the gym, on your social media feed and at the beach? You know, the ones with rippling muscles that take off their shirt without a concern in the world? Sometimes when you look in the mirror and see skinny arms and a lean chest, it can be hard to plot a path towards the body that you desire.
However, every one of those guys started somewhere, and the good news is that muscles aren’t genetic – they are built! If you follow these 10 muscle building tips for skinny guys you will be on your way to looking good and feeling more confident in no time.
1. Consume more protein
There is a reason why the muscled guys at the gym are always carrying a protein shaker! Protein is a vital ingredient to building muscle. Aim to consume 2 grams of protein for every kilogram of your bodyweight per day. Therefore, if you currently weigh 70 kilograms, aim to consume 140 grams of protein every day. Protein supplements can be a good way to meet your protein needs.
2. More weight rather than more reps
A program for building muscle should be focused on strength rather than cardio. You should focus on exercises that utilise more weight and develop a program that targets as many muscle fibres as possible. Your workouts don’t need to be complicated. Focus on quality over quantity. Make sure you use correct form and try to increase your weight at regular intervals, as you are ready.
3. Engage a Professional personal trainer
For those trying to build muscle, injury can be a major hurdle. When you introduce more weight to your program, it can be easy to push too hard too quickly. If you injure yourself, you will need to take time off, and this will slow down your journey towards your goals. A personal trainer can help you develop a program that is just right for you, and teach you the correct techniques to progress safely.
4. Keep a log
The best way to see results is to record your journey! Keep a log that documents where you started, what you are doing each day, your weight, how you are feeling and any other factors that will help you see how far you have come. A good log will motivate you to keep going on those days when you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere.
5. Weigh yourself regularly
Everyone knows that muscle weighs more than fat, so logically, the more muscle you gain, the more you will weigh. You should weigh yourself regularly to be sure your workouts aren’t too cardio heavy and actually decreasing your mass. Use your weight as a gauge to make sure you are consuming enough protein and your workouts are helping you to achieve the results you desire.
6. Drink more water
Water makes up as much as 70% of your muscle mass, therefore you should drink a lot of it to keep your muscles healthy and hydrated. Remember how your parents told you to drink eight glasses a day? Do it! Invest in a good drink bottle and monitor your water consumption every day.
7. Be patient
Muscle isn’t built overnight. It is a process that requires reprogramming the way your body works. You are stretching, breaking, healing and building your muscle fibres. The good news is that if you are working your muscles regularly, they will change, but don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results in the first couple of weeks. Keep tailoring your routine, entering data in your log, and remember this is a long-term goal.
8. Let your body Rest & Recover
Allow your body time to recover after each session. When you strength train, your muscles break down and need to be rebuilt. This takes around 24-48 hours. Vary your program so that you don’t target the same muscle groups day after day. It can be tempting to go hard and fast, but this won’t help you see results more quickly. Muscle strain will require more time off. Mix it up to avoid injury.
9. Prioritise your Training
It can be easy with our busy lives to put our health and well-being below other things like work, our social lives and our commitments. However, unless you prioritise your goals, you won’t see results. Building muscle requires more consistency than simply getting fit. The days and times you perform your workouts, as well as what you eat, how much sleep you get and how you feel each day are all factors that will contribute to your results. Prioritise your goals and organise your life accordingly.
10. Be kind to yourself
Wanting to improve and self-loathing are two very different things! Be kind to yourself and your body as it is right now. See your current state as an important part of your journey towards feeling and looking good and don’t be too hard on yourself. You have made a commitment to yourself, and that is the first step!