A Workout Guide For All Skinny Guys!

Industry

Senior Don Juan
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#1
Maybe you've had sand kicked in your face. Maybe you've lost one too many attainable women to beefier guys. Or maybe you've read so much about weight loss that actually admitting you want to gain weight is a societal taboo. Whatever the reason, you want to bulk up. Now.

But forget about your alleged high-revving metabolism, says Doug Kalman, R.D., director of nutrition at Miami Research Associates. "Most lean men who can't gain muscle weight are simply eating and exercising the wrong way," he says.

Here's your fix: Follow these 10 principles to pack on as much as a pound of muscle each week.

1. Maximize muscle building. The more protein your body stores -- in a process called protein synthesis -- the larger your muscles grow. But your body is constantly draining its protein reserves for other uses -- making hormones, for instance. The result is less protein available for muscle building. To counteract that, you need to "build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins," says Michael Houston, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech University.

2. Eat meat. Shoot for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day, according to a landmark study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. (For example, a 160-pound man should consume 160 grams of protein a day--the amount he'd get from an 8-ounce chicken breast, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a roast-beef sandwich, two eggs, a glass of milk, and 2 ounces of peanuts.) Split the rest of your daily calories equally between carbohydrates and fats.

3. Eat more. In addition to adequate protein, you need more calories. Use the following formula to calculate the number you need to take in daily to gain 1 pound a week. (Give yourself 2 weeks for results to show up on the bathroom scale. If you haven't gained by then, increase your calories by 500 a day.)

A. Your weight in pounds: _____

B. Multiply A by 12 to get your basic calorie needs: _____

C. Multiply B by 1.6 to estimate your resting metabolic rate (calorie burn without factoring in exercise): _____

D. Strength training: Multiply the number of minutes you lift weights per week by 5: _____

E. Aerobic training: Multiply the number of minutes per week that you run, cycle, and play sports by 8: _____

F. Add D and E, and divide by 7: _____

G. Add C and F to get your daily calorie needs: _____

H. Add 500 to G: _____. This is your estimated daily calorie needs to gain 1 pound a week.

4. Work your biggest muscles. If you're a beginner, just about any workout will be intense enough to increase protein synthesis. But if you've been lifting for a while, you'll build the most muscle quickest if you focus on the large muscle groups, like the chest, back, and legs. Add squats, deadlifts, pullups, bent-over rows, bench presses, dips, and military presses to your workout. Do two or three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, with about 60 seconds' rest between sets.

5. But first, have a stiff drink. A 2001 study at the University of Texas found that lifters who drank a shake containing amino acids and carbohydrates before working out increased their protein synthesis more than lifters who drank the same shake after exercising. The shake contained 6 grams of essential amino acids -- the building blocks of protein -- and 35 grams of carbohydrates. "Since exercise increases bloodflow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles," says Kevin Tipton, Ph.D., an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Texas in Galveston. For your shake, you'll need about 10 to 20 grams of protein -- usually about one scoop of a whey-protein powder. Can't stomach protein drinks? You can get the same nutrients from a sandwich made with 4 ounces of deli turkey and a slice of American cheese on whole wheat bread. But a drink is better. "Liquid meals are absorbed faster," says Kalman. So tough it out. Drink one 30 to 60 minutes before your workout.

6. Lift every other day. Do a full-body workout followed by a day of rest. Studies show that a challenging weight workout increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours immediately after your exercise session. "Your muscles grow when you're resting, not when you're working out," says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men's Health exercise advisor and a former skinny guy who packed on 40 pounds of muscle using this very program.

7. Down the carbs after your workout. Research shows that you'll rebuild muscle faster on your rest days if you feed your body carbohydrates. "Post-workout meals with carbs increase your insulin levels," which, in turn, slows the rate of protein breakdown, says Kalman. Have a banana, a sports drink, a peanut-butter sandwich.

8. Eat something every 3 hours. "If you don't eat often enough, you can limit the rate at which your body builds new proteins," says Houston. Take the number of calories you need in a day and divide by six. That's roughly the number you should eat at each meal. Make sure you consume some protein -- around 20 grams -- every 3 hours.

9. Make one snack ice cream. Have a bowl of ice cream (any kind) 2 hours after your workout. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this snack triggers a surge of insulin better than most foods do. And that'll put a damper on post-workout protein breakdown.

10. have some milk before bed. Eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein 30 minutes before you go to bed. The calories are more likely to stick with you during sleep and reduce protein breakdown in your muscles, says Kalman. Try a cup of raisin bran with a cup of skim milk or a cup of cottage cheese and a small bowl of fruit. Eat again as soon as you wake up. "The more diligent you are, the better results you'll get," says Kalman.

The Whey to Go

Drink this protein power shake before every workout

Weight-gain powders seem like an easy solution to a skinny guy's problems. After all, they pack as many as 2,200 calories into one serving. But you're not getting what you pay for. "High-calorie weight-gain drinks usually get more than 80% of their calories from sugar," says Doug Kalman, R.D. And downing that much sugar can give you an upset stomach and diarrhea. So, in a sense, you're flushing good money down the toilet. "You'll get much better results by spreading your calories throughout the day," says Kalman. And by using protein shakes. Look for whey-protein powders, such as Nitro-Tech by MuscleTech or Mega Whey by GNC, at nutrition stores. Combine one scoop of the powder with the following ingredients and blend for a homemade muscle-building preworkout shake:

1 tsp olive or flaxseed oil
1/2 c fat-free yogurt
1 c grape or apple juice
Per shake: 335 calories, 27 grams (g) protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat
 
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Templeton

Master Don Juan
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#2
This is a good post. It is very basic and obvious stuff or at least should be. Unfortunately many guys ask the same old questions trying to complicate issues that are straightforward. This is the kind of info you need to read before posting and asking very basic questions. Note the importance of carbs all you guys who think that protein is the only thing you should focus on.

Re protein products: Nitrotech - Overpriced. A basic protein and carb powder or a whey plus your own added carbs is fine.

On point 6: Full body workouts great for beginners and when returning after a lay off but I would split in two after about 6 weeks so you can add an extra exercise for larger bodyparts without workouts becoming overly long. Check out the routine I set out for "Affirmed" a few posts back, that will get you growing.
 
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#3
On a side note: I actually know Dr. Houston. He's the head of the department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise at Virginia Tech. I've known him for over 11 years.I work in a lab in HNFE every day. My father is also a prof. at tech in HNFE. So I can say that everything in this post is dead on.
 

Industry

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#6
Any chance we can make this sticky? It would be beneficial to all new members (and old!) and would cut down on a lot of repetitive questions.

Just an idea....
 

DIESEL

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#7
Originally posted by Industry
Any chance we can make this sticky? It would be beneficial to all new members (and old!) and would cut down on a lot of repetitive questions.

Just an idea....
Gee, just like this repetitive thread!! Or did the "GUIDE TO BULKING UP" leave any doubt ??
 

Eternal

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#8
Originally posted by DIESEL
Gee, just like this repetitive thread!! Or did the "GUIDE TO BULKING UP" leave any doubt ??
Wow, he's back!!
 

Templeton

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#10
Steady on Industry. I doubt Diesel is threatened for one minute by this post - he knows his stuff and everyone on here knows he knows his stuff. I don't agree with all I have seen him post but that leads to healthy debate. The two stickies we currently have are more than enough for the time being. There is such a thing as information overload and you can always bump your post if you so wish. Don't get me wrong, what you posted is very good information whatever the source may be. You seem to know your nutrition very well but by your own admission you haven't been training very long and the danger is newbies considering what any particular individual posts as lore, especially when an individual hasn't earned it. Diesel, IMHO has indeed earned it - at least the right to the stickies. In my view, none of the rest of us have.

Let me add as a side note that there are no true "experts" on this board. Many of us know a little of this and that and the combined effort works very well.

When I say expert I mean people such as Dr Fred Hatfield, Ian King, John Beradi, Bill Pearl, Dr Mauro Pasquale, Bill Roberts et al. Do you see what I mean?
 

Industry

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#11
I was only poking fun at him man. My experience in nutrition is second to none. My father has a Phd in nutrition and my mom is a medical consultant. My main goal of this post was to give doctor's advice on the whole topic and not just some everyday joe who thinks they know what they are talking about.... I hear too much of "Yeah just drink protein" or "very little carbs while bulking" or even better, "no cardio". I mean come on! I do cardio, I workout, I drink protein and take my carbs and I still have gained 6 lbs of muscle in 5 weeks. And when my bulking cycle is done, I wont need to cut, because I already am cut and have a 6 pack and some nice biceps to match.

Pretty much what I am trying to say is... don't skimp on other parts of your nutrition just because you think you'll get bigger muscle gains out of it. It's not worth it.
 

DIESEL

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#12
Originally posted by Industry
Uh oh.. someone's feeling a little threatened by my post! :D
My attempt at sarcasm didn't go over too well it seems.....

Actually, industry, it was an informative article!
 

DJ Wez

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#13
Industry, or whoever can answer... QUESTION:

I have currently been consuming a supplement called Weider Mass 1000. Now I just read where you said "High-calorie weight-gain drinks usually get more than 80% of their calories from sugar," says Doug Kalman, R.D. And downing that much sugar can give you an upset stomach and diarrhea."

Here are the contents per serving:

Calories: 750
Carbohydrate: 147g
Protein: 34g

So while it's not abnormally high in calories (nowhere near 2,200 per serving), I still experience light diarrhea.

Now, is my body able to metabolically (or whatever) adapt to these sort of servings, or should I switch to a low-carb whey protein supplement? I like the numbers I see considering I am looking to bulk up seriously... but the digestion difficulties has got to go.

This is a whey protein concentrate shake mix, btw.

What is your suggestion?
 

Matt Rogers

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#14
Congratulations, Industry. This is absolutely sound guidelines for building up. Your calorie guide was one of the few which is actually any where near the amounts that a skinny guy in his 20s needs to bulk up. So many people (not mentioning any names, Bill Philips) seem to think you can gain bulk on 2500 or so calories a day. Rubbish! More like 4000 for most people who are the typical skinny types.

DJ Wez. If you insist on using a weightgainer Progain is the best.

But stick to real food: lots of milk-the old timers built up to a gallon or two a day. Peanut butter sandwiches. Blended drinks. Bananas, dried fruit and pure fruit juice for quick energy, and lots of pasta and chicken and tuna.

If you want a shake try this:

a litre of milk
2 scoops protein powder
1 banana
2 tbsp peanut butter
scoop or so of ice cream

Put this is a thermos and drink during the day between meals.
 

krd

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#15
I've been working out for nearly three months now and I posted a question recently about the effects of weight gainers--the consensus seems to be that they are overpriced and not very nutritious. I am glad to see a workout plan tailored to skinny guys, since I assume our needs are different from that of a guy of average weight who wants to bulk up. My calorie estimate came out to about 3100.

It's cool that I don't have to drop the cardio. It's also good to hear that I don't have to give up Ben & Jerrys. Although I do have a question about this; I was under the impression that I would have to be leery of high fat foods once I started trying to gain weight. The idea being that, although I'd be gaining muscle, it would be hidden under a layer of fat and lack definition. Of course I know too much fat is not good for you, but is this something I need to watch out for?

Also, I have a bunch of protein shakes that I got at GMC. They are the EAS Myoplex brand. They taste kind of cruddy, but it's cheaper than the ones they serve at the gym, which although better tasting, are nearly $5 a shake. My question is, would these be sufficient enough for a pre-workout shake? I may print out this thread so I can try out the recipes as well. Good post.
 

Big N

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#16
This all looks good to me except the cardio and the ice cream.

Cardio:
Explain why cardio will help me put on muscle.

Ice cream:
Explain why I need an insulin boost 2 hours after my workout. It seems to me that this is coming way too late. I would say maybe have a scoop of ice cream immediately post-workout if you cant find any fruit juice. However, 2 hours after my workout I am eating normal food (oatmeal+whey+milk).
 
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