How to gain mass as a skinny guy

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So I've been in the gym regularly for the past two years and got a pretty good defined body. Like visible sixpack, nice chest and back. But I haven't put on one Kg of weight.
I do heavy lifting with squats up to 75 Kg's and bench presses with dumbbells up to 26 Kgs. per arm (and other exc. of course) I also tried eating a lot, like a lot of eggs/milk/meat/olive oil on everything. Even when I'm on vacation where I can literally just can shovel several steaks/entrecotes/ other meats or fish on my dish, can train everyday in the hotel-gym and can relax in the sun I struggle to put on weight. (Like last year I managed to get to around 71 Kgs with that, but lost it later again.)

I'm 21, weigh 68 Kg's and am 1.85 m tall.
I'm def. the skinny guy.

Any suggestions how I could gain actual mass? Is anyone in the same spot?
 

ManlyMan

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I come from a bodyweight building mass background. However they talk about how higher reps ranges tire out the muscle more and are better for hypertrophy (or building mass). And that lower rep ranges. Also called greasing the groove. Like less than half than what you are capable doing. Often just 2 to 3 reps. Produces the most strength. But no mass.

You could try more reps to get bigger mass. Because really tiring out the muscle is required for mass. some say this good for endurance only however some are saying it is for mass. Up to 50 reps.

Also a lot of guys in jail don't really have access to healthy food. But they claim eating a little junk before a workout helps with mass gain. Might try some top ramen before a workout or even a cup cake. they say junk food is actually anabolic. You should try to maintain healthy diet.
 
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Obee1

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Can you tell us how often you lift and what lifts you are doing for what sets and reps? How much are you sleeping? Do you drink alcohol on the weekends? How often are you eating and do you take supplements? Any idea what your caloric intake is?
 

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I come from a bodyweight building mass background. However they talk about how higher reps ranges tire out the muscle more and are better for hypertrophy (or building mass). And that lower rep ranges. Also called greasing the groove. Like less than half than what you are capable doing. Often just 2 to 3 reps. Produces the most strength. But no mass.

You could try more reps to get bigger mass. Because really tiring out the muscle is required for mass. some say this good for endurance only however some are saying it is for mass. Up to 50 reps.

Also a lot of guys in jail don't really have access to healthy food. But they claim eating a little junk before a workout helps with mass gain. Might try some top ramen before a workout or even a cup cake. they say junk food is actually anabolic. Some evidence cholesterol produces testosterone.
Thanks I'll def. try that.

I sometimes eat some cereal bar before the gym to get some sugar into my system, that quick energy def. helps with lifting more.

Currently I'm also experimenting with more reps to get more work done. I saw some YT-videos where they recommended to when you do curls for example at the rope-pull machine to start with a heavier weight where you'd do 8-12 reps and than immediately switch to a bit lower weight where you could go to 20 reps.

Can you tell us how often you lift and what lifts you are doing for what sets and reps? I've never seen a hotel gym that is equipped to maximize hypertrophy beyond a novice lifter. Just saying, maybe yours is different. How much are you sleeping? Do you drink alcohol on the weekends? How often are you eating and do you take supplements? Any idea what your caloric intake is?
The past few months I've only gone 2 times with 2 full-body workouts, I also went running and to boxing once a week. Before that I went 4 times with a push-pull split.

Well I'm at home again so that's fine. This gym in particular was quite decent, since it had a lot of machines for almost a complete workout.
I try 8 - 8.15 hrs under the week, and on the weekends I sleep in.
I actually do small shots of vodka/whiskey with my grandparents on the weekends. I drink beer rarely. I eat breakfast (just a slice of bread with coffee), lunch (usually salad with whatever the buffet in the uni provides, can also be meat, fish or mozzarella), for dinner usually meat/fish with veggies, potatoes or rice. I take like these magnesium supps.
My caloric intake could be better but I just can't eat more, esp. under the week. I think with the amount of protein through the meat it should be ok.
 

MixedMutt00

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I used to stay up to 3/4 am shoveling food down at first, gagging every now and then. But the results were amazing; it was the first time a girl called me Sexy without me ever opening my mouth it gets easier and sometimes I was STILL hungry
 

BackInTheGame78

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You simply eat more. Specifically dense carbs like rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. Start increasing your calories by 500 a day for a week and see where you end up. If you don't gain weight, start increasing it by 300 per week after that until you start gaining weight.

You want the weight to be quality weight, not fat weight.
 

BackInTheGame78

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I used to stay up to 3/4 am shoveling food down at first, gagging every now and then. But the results were amazing; it was the first time a girl called me Sexy without me ever opening my mouth it gets easier and sometimes I was STILL hungry
No need to do that, you could have created high calorie shakes. The lack of sleep is doing more damage than the eating is doing good.

And you'll likely say no it isn't, to which I will say you need to have a much longer timeline than you currently do. Short term, sure it might help...try doing it for a few years and see how it works...
 

BackInTheGame78

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Your problem is that you're not recording the calories you consume daily. You THINK you're eating a lot, but you're not coming close to what you need, my biggest mistake starting the gym myself.


Enter your data and click the weight gain tab. (Example: 3049 Calories each day, to gain 1 pound a week)


Set your Caloric Goal (in this case, the 3049)
Of course you SHOULD try to eat healthy, but since you've been so active, just worry about hitting the Goal. I bet you struggle hitting your actual number and you'll realize you haven't been eating nowhere near close.

Tip: If you miss a day of eating, you won't see the results. (Example: if the goal is 3049 every day, and Tuesday you ate only 2000, you NEED to make up that 1049 during the rest of the week, or you simply WILL NOT grow)

Protein shakes will be your best friend, easy 750-1000 Calories. Let me know how it goes
There is really no excuse for not eating healthy. And I'm not even talking about my version of healthy which is on another level than most people's version of healthy. I am simply talking about removing processed crap, refined sugars, HFCS and stuff like that out of the diet.

Plenty of options that are high enough in calories that you can make work. I can easily consume enough one ingredient foods to hit 4-5K calories in a day if I wanted to.

Shakes can definitely help, but again, you can use quality ingredients to make that happen and still end up with 750-1000 calorie shakes.

The overall goal should be health and longevity to continue being able to workout at your best over many years...you aren't going to get there eating processed garbage.

People may not think they are doing damage to their body because they still may look good at 25 eating that way, but when they hit 40 and beyond they'll wish they listened to my advice...
 

Obee1

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Thanks I'll def. try that.

I sometimes eat some cereal bar before the gym to get some sugar into my system, that quick energy def. helps with lifting more.

Currently I'm also experimenting with more reps to get more work done. I saw some YT-videos where they recommended to when you do curls for example at the rope-pull machine to start with a heavier weight where you'd do 8-12 reps and than immediately switch to a bit lower weight where you could go to 20 reps.



The past few months I've only gone 2 times with 2 full-body workouts, I also went running and to boxing once a week. Before that I went 4 times with a push-pull split.

Well I'm at home again so that's fine. This gym in particular was quite decent, since it had a lot of machines for almost a complete workout.
I try 8 - 8.15 hrs under the week, and on the weekends I sleep in.
I actually do small shots of vodka/whiskey with my grandparents on the weekends. I drink beer rarely. I eat breakfast (just a slice of bread with coffee), lunch (usually salad with whatever the buffet in the uni provides, can also be meat, fish or mozzarella), for dinner usually meat/fish with veggies, potatoes or rice. I take like these magnesium supps.
My caloric intake could be better but I just can't eat more, esp. under the week. I think with the amount of protein through the meat it should be ok.
Thanks for the info. I think we've possibly found the issue(s). When adding mass 2-3 times per week full-body is absolutely fine provided you are performing basic compound movements and using the principle of progressive overload, adding weight and/or reps whenever possible.

Your food consumption coupled with your running/ boxing is making it very difficult to gain mass. Your BMR probably puts you around 1700 calories. That is just for your body to run itself and not including ANY activity. If your a couch potato you'll still need about 2000 calories. With lifting, boxing, and running you are going to need upwards of 3000 calories just to maintain what you have and not including gaining mass. I guess you'll need to figure out what is most important to you. In your current state though you are seriously undereating not only from a calorie standpoint but from a protein standpoint.

If gaining mass is a priority than I would stop at least running for now and possibly boxing. I would aim for 2600 calories to begin with with 900 of those calories coming from protein. (BW 150 lbs x 1.5 grams of protein which is 4 calories a gram). If your gaining mass then stay there, if your not then up the calories again. If you're putting on too much fat, back it down some. Point is, you need to be eating at a calorie surplus with an emphasis on protein. You may need a protein powder to help. But toast in the morning is a lost opportunity. There is a lot of knowledge on this board. Take advantage of it. Also take advantage of your age while the testosterone is still climbing. Good luck to you.
 

CheekyMonkey101

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What do you tend to eat?

I recommend eating things like avocados, whole eggs, extra virgin olive oil, salmon, nuts, seeds and other things high in fat as they are calorie dense.

For muscle growth/hypertrophy, training to failure is optimal. The best way to know when you have gone to failure is when you can no longer perform reps correctly.

I was in a similar boat as you as I've always had a fast metabolism. My meals consisted of:

Meal One - Three whole egg omelette, pineapple, peanut butter and a protein shake.

Meal Two - 150-200g of chicken breast, basmati rice, broccoli and extra virgin olive oil.

Meal Three - Same as two.

Meal Four - 200g of minced beef with an avocado.

Before bed I'll have nuts and seeds.
 

MixedMutt00

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No need to do that, you could have created high calorie shakes. The lack of sleep is doing more damage than the eating is doing good.

And you'll likely say no it isn't, to which I will say you need to have a much longer timeline than you currently do. Short term, sure it might help...try doing it for a few years and see how it works...
Ooff sleep is absolutely important, that's when the most gains are made. I lived that Server Life though so I was getting out at midnight/1 am and had to eat my meals, but I didn't wake up until 12-2 pm so with 6-8 hours I was definitely getting the proper amount of sleep, hit the gym, go straight to work, rinse repeat. Not sure if you care, but even Arnold says he threw up sometimes. My night meal was 3 eggs, 4 ounces of ham, a tortilla, and 1 oz of mozzarella cheese AND THEN a protein shake (1 cup of greek yogurt, 2 tblspns of peanut butter, protein powder, and 3/4 cups of protein granola (kinda my cheat shake)). And that was my second shake of the day, psshh I know how to gain homie.

You also don't want to rely so heavily on shakes, because our bodies were meant to eat whole foods and have the body itself breakdown the nutrients, instead of constant "liquids" (protein shake), so a good balance is recommended.
 

RazorRambo24

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Man I was always the skinny ectomorph kid with decent height.. I'll be blatantly honest man it was just alot of work.. I bough 12 lb bags of weight gainer to help at some point.. like bag after bag. DO NOT RECOMMEND. They are loaded with crap.

1) First and Foremost, Start lifting heavy and focusing the 3 main compound excercises: Bench Press, Dead Lift and Squats. You need to cause the muscles to strain/fibers to tear for growth to happen and for the food to stick.

2) Make GAINER SHAKES. WHEY PROTEIN / OATS/ PEANUT BUTTER / OLIVE OIL / BANANAS - That's all you need. You can also throw in stuff like egg whites, greek yogurt, nuts, cottage cheese, other fruits. Consume 2 of these shakes a day. Each shake should be about 800 calories about. Then eat 3-4 regular meals per day as you would but add more protein than normal. Gaining muscle is all about muscle strain/tension, PROTEIN intake, and REST.


3) Get PROPER Sleep. This means sleep at like 9-10 pm. By the time it gets light out in the morning your body gets out of HGH releasing sleep and is in a more lighter sleep state so if you sleep at like 2 -3 AM, you're getting poor quality sleep by the time its bright out. If you can't sleep early, get BLACKOUT Shades. These will prevent ANY light from entering your room in the morning.
 

BoostedArrow

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Thanks for the info. I think we've possibly found the issue(s). When adding mass 2-3 times per week full-body is absolutely fine provided you are performing basic compound movements and using the principle of progressive overload, adding weight and/or reps whenever possible.

Your food consumption coupled with your running/ boxing is making it very difficult to gain mass. Your BMR probably puts you around 1700 calories. That is just for your body to run itself and not including ANY activity. If your a couch potato you'll still need about 2000 calories. With lifting, boxing, and running you are going to need upwards of 3000 calories just to maintain what you have and not including gaining mass. I guess you'll need to figure out what is most important to you. In your current state though you are seriously undereating not only from a calorie standpoint but from a protein standpoint.

If gaining mass is a priority than I would stop at least running for now and possibly boxing. I would aim for 2600 calories to begin with with 900 of those calories coming from protein. (BW 150 lbs x 1.5 grams of protein which is 4 calories a gram). If your gaining mass then stay there, if your not then up the calories again. If you're putting on too much fat, back it down some. Point is, you need to be eating at a calorie surplus with an emphasis on protein. You may need a protein powder to help. But toast in the morning is a lost opportunity. There is a lot of knowledge on this board. Take advantage of it. Also take advantage of your age while the testosterone is still climbing. Good luck to you.
I do train all parts of my body and try to increase intensity all the time.

I guess I'll try increasing my protein intake with shakes/eggs/ maybe nuts. I agree my breakfast is quite ... low. But under the week I don't have that much time to eat a lot before uni starts.

I don't really want to give up boxing, it just gives me way more in terms of the whole self-defense and psychological advantages. I also need at least some cardio, that gives me some energy.

Man I was always the skinny ectomorph kid with decent height.. I'll be blatantly honest man it was just alot of work.. I bough 12 lb bags of weight gainer to help at some point.. like bag after bag. DO NOT RECOMMEND. They are loaded with crap.

1) First and Foremost, Start lifting heavy and focusing the 3 main compound excercises: Bench Press, Dead Lift and Squats. You need to cause the muscles to strain/fibers to tear for growth to happen and for the food to stick.

2) Make GAINER SHAKES. WHEY PROTEIN / OATS/ PEANUT BUTTER / OLIVE OIL / BANANAS - That's all you need. You can also throw in stuff like egg whites, greek yogurt, nuts, cottage cheese, other fruits. Consume 2 of these shakes a day. Each shake should be about 800 calories about. Then eat 3-4 regular meals per day as you would but add more protein than normal. Gaining muscle is all about muscle strain/tension, PROTEIN intake, and REST.


3) Get PROPER Sleep. This means sleep at like 9-10 pm. By the time it gets light out in the morning your body gets out of HGH releasing sleep and is in a more lighter sleep state so if you sleep at like 2 -3 AM, you're getting poor quality sleep by the time its bright out. If you can't sleep early, get BLACKOUT Shades. These will prevent ANY light from entering your room in the morning.
What about other body parts like biceps, back, abs?

I don't have time usually for 4 meals. I'll def. try the shakes. How much are we talking about with one shake? One glass of 200ml or more?

I try to get 8h minimum of sleep.
 

MixedMutt00

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I do train all parts of my body and try to increase intensity all the time.

I guess I'll try increasing my protein intake with shakes/eggs/ maybe nuts. I agree my breakfast is quite ... low. But under the week I don't have that much time to eat a lot before uni starts.

I don't really want to give up boxing, it just gives me way more in terms of the whole self-defense and psychological advantages. I also need at least some cardio, that gives me some energy.



What about other body parts like biceps, back, abs?

I don't have time usually for 4 meals. I'll def. try the shakes. How much are we talking about with one shake? One glass of 200ml or more?

I try to get 8h minimum of sleep.
You can make the shake 200ml or 300ml or 1000ml, the difference is the amount of water you're using. I like my shakes a little thinner since thick is hard to drink, but too thin sacrifices flavor, as well as more to drink. But if you want a definitive answer, you need to use the calculators
 

MixedMutt00

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You don't have to stop any exercise at all. But just remember: the more you DO the more calories you burn. If you burn 1000 that means you need to eat the 1000 PLUS what you're supposed to regularly eat, or you will simply not grow no matter what.
 

Obee1

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I do train all parts of my body and try to increase intensity all the time.

I guess I'll try increasing my protein intake with shakes/eggs/ maybe nuts. I agree my breakfast is quite ... low. But under the week I don't have that much time to eat a lot before uni starts.

I don't really want to give up boxing, it just gives me way more in terms of the whole self-defense and psychological advantages. I also need at least some cardio, that gives me some energy.



What about other body parts like biceps, back, abs?

I don't have time usually for 4 meals. I'll def. try the shakes. How much are we talking about with one shake? One glass of 200ml or more?

I try to get 8h minimum of sleep.
In the mass building stage if you're hitting basic compound lifts you'll be fine. If you have the energy than throw them in at the end. A typical mass workout could be, squat, bench, and bent rows. Squat covers legs, glutes, and some back. Bench covers chest shoulders and triceps. Bent rows covers upper back and biceps. Next workout could be deadlift, weighted dips, and pull-ups. Same principle, its full body. If you've ever squatted or deadlifted heavy enough, you know your abs are getting a workout. That said, if you insist, throw some more abs in and maybe some bicep curls in at the end but only after you've done the meat and potatos of the workout. If you're doing pullups with a bodyweight of 150lbs, your biceps will grow. I suspect your bicep curls are using half that weight.
 

EyeBRollin

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Ditch the dumbbells, switch to barbells. Start increasing the weight in the bar 5 lb per workout and lower the rep range to 3-5 reps per set. You need to get stronger.

For diet, sounds like you are eating a lot of fat and protein but no where near enough carbs. Men, stop being afraid of carbs. This is getting out of hand. You need to be eating more oatmeal, rice and beans (together). If you still aren’t growing mass, add in drinking whole milk a few times a day. That **** will put weight on fast.
 

EyeBRollin

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What do you tend to eat?

I recommend eating things like avocados, whole eggs, extra virgin olive oil, salmon, nuts, seeds and other things high in fat as they are calorie dense.

For muscle growth/hypertrophy, training to failure is optimal. The best way to know when you have gone to failure is when you can no longer perform reps correctly.
No. Muscle growth is an adaptation to training. If you want to get big, you need to get strong. That means building your squat, deadlift, and bench press up to 400, 500, and 300 lbs respectively.

I was in a similar boat as you as I've always had a fast metabolism. My meals consisted of:

Meal One - Three whole egg omelette, pineapple, peanut butter and a protein shake.

Meal Two - 150-200g of chicken breast, basmati rice, broccoli and extra virgin olive oil.

Meal Three - Same as two.

Meal Four - 200g of minced beef with an avocado.

Before bed I'll have nuts and seeds.
This diet plan is very poor for strength trading. Way too much fat and protein, not enough carbs. Carbs are more efficient as an energy source, and need to be consumed in large quantity to drive progress in the gym. You will not get stronger on a lower carb diet. It is counterproductive.
 

CheekyMonkey101

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No. Muscle growth is an adaptation to training. If you want to get big, you need to get strong. That means building your squat, deadlift, and bench press up to 400, 500, and 300 lbs respectively.



This diet plan is very poor for strength trading. Way too much fat and protein, not enough carbs. Carbs are more efficient as an energy source, and need to be consumed in large quantity to drive progress in the gym. You will not get stronger on a lower carb diet. It is counterproductive.
Wtf are you talking about?
 

BackInTheGame78

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No. Muscle growth is an adaptation to training. If you want to get big, you need to get strong. That means building your squat, deadlift, and bench press up to 400, 500, and 300 lbs respectively.



This diet plan is very poor for strength trading. Way too much fat and protein, not enough carbs. Carbs are more efficient as an energy source, and need to be consumed in large quantity to drive progress in the gym. You will not get stronger on a lower carb diet. It is counterproductive.
Protein is the most important macro for losing fat/weight and carbs are the most important macro for building muscle/gaining weight.

Most people take in far more protein than their body can use and wrongly assume they need more protein as they have trained longer. It's actually the opposite. They need the most protein when they first start lifting since that's when they are causing the most muscle damage that will need repair and before their body adapts to using protein very efficiently.

The only time you really should be taking in significant levels of protein (like 1g/lb of bodyweight) is when you are trying to lose weight. Protein is the most thermogenic macro which will keep your metabolism humming and also will spare as much muscle as possible.

Outside of this, there is really no benefit to taking in more than .68g per pound of lean body mass. If trying to build muscle, eat more carbs. Unless you are on steroids and that overrides your muscle synthesis limitations.
 
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