Archive for the tag - skinny fat

10 Skinny Guy Muscle Building Tips

Dear Davey,

I am one of those guys who is very thin and eats whatever his heart desires and I will not gain a pound. I do not expect to ever be “jacked” but I would like to be fit and filled out. With that being said, do you have any work out tips for people with a build and metabolism like myself?


Dear Max,

So you’re one of those people. I’m sure your metabolism is the envy for anyone reading this that is trying to lose some weight. You probably won’t get much sympathy here. But there are a few things that you should know!

First, nutrition is still important. Even though you can eat whatever you want without increasing your waistline, it doesn’t mean that unhealthy food options are any better for your body. I remember reading about autopsies being done on young American soldiers who had died in Iraq. Their veins looked like they belonged in 60-year-old cardiac arrest patients. In other words, nourish your body with healthy choices.

Second, it’s important to be realistic. If your nickname is “String Bean,” or “Tommy the Twink,” then you probably don’t have the genes to look like the Hulk. All of us are given different body types, and so it’s important to create expectations within the boundaries of what is possible. Instead of comparing ourselves to other people at the gym (who have a totally different set of genes) compare yourself to… yourself. You certainly can add bulk, but it will be to a different degree. It will be bulky for you, and that’s what matters.

Beyond paying special attention to your nutrition and being realistic, the recommendations for building bulk are the same for you as anyone else. You’ll need to:

  1. Lift weights. If you want to get creative, try P90X for a serious workout.
  2. Target a low number of repetitions (4-8 or 10 at most).
  3. Be fully fatigued on your last rep.
  4. Keep pushing yourself to progress to heavier levels of resistance or weights.
  5. Fuel your body with enough calories.
  6. Consume the right amount of protein.
  7. Don’t overtrain - get rest!
  8. Continue with moderate cardio. Don’t worry, it won’t burn off your muscle.

So the truth is, with a little effort and dedication, you’ll certainly be able to add some muscle to your frame. You might not look like Popeye, but you will see some fantastic results.

Hope that helps!


Are You Skinny Fat?

I know a lot of people that are relatively skinny - but that do not exercise in any way shape or form. Some of these people follow strict diets, while others eat whatever they want. But alas, there is a difference between looking thin and being healthy - and that difference is body composition.

Thin people that do not exercise are often considered “skinny fat” - a recently coined term referring to people that look thin on the outside, but that have a disproportionate amount of fatty tissue on the inside. They look healthy on the outside - but the inside tells a very different story. My mom always said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and the skinny fat epidemic is proving her correct.

The number on the scale is not an accurate measure of your body’s health. Period. A scale can be massively misleading - true health isn’t measured by weight alone, but rather by a number of factors like body fat testing, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and so on.

Fortunately, skinny fat is very treatable. It just takes a little energy, effort and dedication. Here are some of my best tips for breaking out of the skinny fat syndrome:

  1. Do cardiovascular and strength training exercises. Cardio means hitting the treadmill, bike or swimming. Do an exercise that you enjoy - but that makes you sweat. Strength training means lifting weights or using weighted machines. Cardio incinerates fat and boosts you metabolism; it will build needed muscle and help to improve your fat to muscle ratio.
  2. Don’t eat whatever you want. You know what’s healthy and what is not - stick to a reasonable nutrition plan. I recommend using the 80/20 rule.
  3. Manage your stress. With stress comes cortisol and with cortisol comes abdominal fat and muscle breakdown. Managing stress will not just improve your life - but it will improve your health.

Bottom line: Don’t gauge your healthy but a scale alone - and wherever you’re at on your health and wellness journey, exercise and nutrition are necessary components.